The 8 top Korean actors of 2021, from Crash Landing on you Hyun Bin and Sweet Home to Anupam Tripathi from Netflix’s Squid Game

List of Top Korean (K-Drama) actors 2021.

K-biz has seen many bright new stars this year thanks to Netflix. The global streaming giant’s investment in the US$500 million in Korean content production not only gives opportunities for impressive works from “Hollywood” to reach new audiences but also shines a light on rising new actors.

Hyun Bin


World-famous Korean drama celebrity Hyun Bin has been melting hearts for decades! His 2020 Drama Crash Landing on You alongside his equally famous co-star Son Ye Jin propelled this leading casting to even further superstardom. After the final episode of their Netflix drama was a huge success, their beautiful on-screen chemistry transferred into a real-life romance. Fans anticipated that they would get married and settled down while pregnancy rumours had been posted by other fans. We can speculate that this continued union would indeed be widely celebrated.

Image source- Hyun Bin’s Instagram 

Hyun Bin is famous for his strong and charismatic presence in Korean dramas like Secret Garden, Memories of the Alhambra and- it was reported that Hyun Bin’s tall and striking look had a strong resemblance to Son Ye Jin’s father. What can we expect in 2022, his next appearance will be in the film Harbin. A spy and action film set during the Japanese Rule. A story about the independent fighters will begin filming in 2022 and a hopeful release later in the year.

Anupam Tripathi

The breakout star who is lovingly known to squid game fans as Ali, and a not so innocent-innocent. Fans loved his character portrayal of a soft-spoken but determined character in the Netflix smash hit which dominated the number 1 spot around the world. Skyrocketing the actor to instant fame worldwide. Everyone needed to know more about him. Appearing in the reality special I live alone, fans could catch a glimpse into his humble home as he continues towards his goals in acting. The viewer felt empathy for his character in the drama.

Image source- Anupam Tripathi

He is a breath of fresh air in an unforgettable drama. Time might have passed but we have not forgotten him and look forward to seeing him take part in other Korean and international works. Fans wish to see him back in Squid Game season 2 and they have theories on how it could happen or also not happen. Nevertheless, we wish him much success in the Kdrama world.


Singer, Actor, Song Writer; Rain has been impressing us with his dramas from Full House to Please Come Back Mister and the more recent Netflix reality show, The Hungry and Hairy, where he and the performer known as the elevator guy from Psy’s Gangnam Style MV. Share the screen for a motorcycling travel adventure through South Korea. Their on-screen friendship and dynamic are so amusing. Sharing the fine cuisine and location scenery that would inspire viewers to want to visit one day.

Image source- Pinterest


We can enjoy this series while waiting for his 2022 Drama the Ghost Doctor. This medical drama is slated to air this January 2022. Where several doctors combine bodies and spirits. Each with their strong skills. Rain also caught our attention with the fantastic song duo Switch to Me with JPY. His award and nominations are quite long. From music artistry to onscreen. Rain leaves a lasting impression and we’re pretty positive that he’ll be leaving more awards to his collection which showcases how in-depth his talent is.

Koo Kyo Hwan

He has gained some awards over the years like Actor of the Year for his work in Beaten Black and Blue in 2016 at the Busan International Film Festival. Other awards include Busan Film Critics Award in 2017, among others including a Baeksang Arts Award for best new actor in the film Jane. His most recent Drama DP covers the story of a military defector arrest team. Those in strong pursuit of soldiers who go absent without official leave. Within a variety of industry skills including screenwriting and even directing.

Image source- Koo Kyo Hwan’s fan page

His understanding of working both behind and in front of the camera is worthy of noting. His other works include the upcoming Monstrous and DP Season 2. With main roles in the film Leave the door open, Peninsula, Maggie and others.

Lee Jong-Suk

We would like to recognise the heartthrob celebrity Lee Jong-Suk who surely has droves of swooning fangirls. We last saw him in Romance is a Bonus Book in 2019.

Image source- Lee Jong-Suk’s Instagram

He has some notable and heart moving performances in previous dramas like those in Dr Stranger, Dramas like I hear your voice, Pinocchio and even School 2013 left a strong impression of the W two world star who debuted as a Model. With 21.3 Million followers on Instagram alone. This talented and still young actor has truly proven his talent and abilities on the small and big screen. Fans await the 2022 drama Big Mouse which also has Yoona from Girl’s Generation co-starring.

Kim Soo Hyun

Could fans be cheeky enough to say he is our love from the star… well the main lead actor who certainly helped the Hallyu wave swiftly and fiercely take off and has a very successful career. In his recent drama, it’s okay to not be okay dominated as one of the top watched dramas of 2020.

Image source- Kim Soo Hyun’s Instagram

We have enjoyed his various character portrayals and strong on-screen presence. His recent drama One Ordinary Day which aired in 2021, has a university student who is framed for murder.

Lee Jung Jae

Another Squid Game star makes our list! Making headlines across South Korea actor Lee Jung Jae became world-famous for his portrayal of- in the graphic thriller of winner takes all- as in all the money. First in over 70 countries on the Netflix platform. Squid Game took the viewers by surprise and they could not stop watching. One game, in particular, has to do with a special candy called a flag on a. Popularity of this sweet treat surged across the world.

Image source- Lee Jung Jae’s Instagram 

Back to the actor Lee Jung Jae who has an extensive actor’s resume for dramas and films. Interest in the actor picked up shortly after the drama’s debut. And interviews, spanning to the US had fans eager for more news on the stars of the drama. No doubt more job offers will continue to arrive, but Netflix has hinted that season 2 is in development and a possibility of season 3.

Ma Dong Seok

He broke through Hollywood and the MCU. Also known under his westernized name Don Lee, he was a personal trainer in mixed martial arts. Lived in Ohio and even attended university before pursuing his career in South Korea. In 2021, he made his Hollywood debut in the MCU movie Eternals. He also has a long list of Korean films and dramas showcasing his range of acting abilities. Perhaps typecase as a thug like in the drama Bad Guys.

Image source- Pinterest 

It seems to stick and he portrayed both good guys and bad guys extremely well. Ma Dong Seok knows how to impress his viewers with his diverse performances.