[K-Star’s Best Character] Ryu Jun Yeol Who Plays the Most Ordinary Youth

Ryu Jun Yeol drama
Credit: C-JeS Entertainment

Edited by Seo Hayne
Translated Cho EK

Ryu Jun Yeol movie
Credit: CJ Entertainment

Ryu Jun Yeol, who’d never dreamed of becoming an actor, changed his career path after failing to get into his dream school. He debuted with the movie Socialphobia (2015), which reveals the dark side of social media. In it, he played famous steamer Yang Geh, who tracks down the man of the hour and live-streams whatever he sees. He gets both excited and upset with the real-time comments and realistically shows the character who obsesses with people’s reactions. He perfectly pulled off the unlikeable character with his vivid outfit and messy hair put together with a headband. By playing this character so well, he caught the attention of another movie’s production company, which led him to pursue his next work.

Ryu Jun Yeol drama
Credit: tvN

One year after his debut, Ryu Jun Yeol starred in tvN’s Reply 1988 (2015). Unlike his character in his debut film, Kim Jung Hwan, his role in the drama turned out to be the most introverted yet strong guy among the five high schoolers in Ssangmun dong in 1988. Having a crush on Deok Seon until the end, he left a famous quote such as, “All I ever cared about was you.” In the interview after the drama, he showed his special affection toward his character by saying, “I am the biggest fan of my character.” It was a thoughtful response of him, considering the fans who shipped the two, shouting out ‘Eo Nam Ryu’ (Deok Seon’s husband will be Ryu Jun Yyeol anyways), throughout the airing.

Ryu Jun Yeol movie
Credit: Next Entertainment World

Soon, starting with One Way Trip (2016), where he first played the lead on a big screen, he took on various roles. In The King (2017), he played Choi Doo Il, a loyal gangster, and in Believer (2018), he became Seo Young Rak, a man from the largest drug gang in Asia, and showed off his somewhat rough and tough appearance. He also appeared as a significant character in historical movies. In The Battle: Roar to Victory (2019), written based on the Battle of Bong-o-dong in 1920, he played an independence fighter, Lee Jang Ha. And in the movie, A Taxi Driver (2017), set in Gwangju in May 1980, he left a deep impression as a righteous college student, Goo Jae Sik. Last but not least, Jae Ha in Little Forest (2018) showed the image of a young man who lives a happy yet simple self-sufficient life.

This time, Ryu Jun Yeol will meet the viewers in the JTBC’s new drama Lost. In it, he will be a young man who dreams of living a wealthy life and runs an errands service company that provides actors to fill in someone’s gaps. The young man’s name is Kang Jae, and he lives off by pretending to be someone’s friend, relative, or lover. Though he gets to wear various personas every day, he suffers from his own loneliness. It is expected to be a different role from the various youthful characters he has shown so far. Meanwhile, his unique fantasy film Alien and thriller The Owl, set in the Joseon Dynasty, will meet the audience soon.

I look forward to seeing Ryu Jun Yeol’s future career path, who is continuously painting impressive images of the most ordinary youth figure.


Editor Seo Hayne: I like actors as they faithfully lead through their long running-time. I also like idols who accomplish everything on stage within 3 minutes.

Translator Cho EK: I’m a big fan of Korean dramas and movies.

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