2020 has been a weird year with quarantine and lockdown, but thank goodness for Korean dramas because they came to the rescue! There have been some iconic dramas this year with some even more iconic characters. So here are 4 actors whose lives were forever changed after portraying these characters!

1. Ahn Bo Hyun (Itaewon Class)

ahn bo hyun itaewon
| JTBC

We are starting off the list with a strong contender because what a role he played! Actor Ahn Bo Hyun played the villain we loved to hate in the hit Netflix series, Itaewon Class. While he played Park Seo Joon‘s enemy, it was hard to really loathe the character because of all the pain he received from his father. Anytime he came onto the screen, we were instantly sucked in because of how well he absorbed his character, Jang Geun Won.

ahn bo hyun
| JTBC

Ahn Bo Hyun became an instant hit almost overnight with the rest of the Itaewon Class crew. While he has been an actor for some time now, this drama and character became the reason for his success. He was almost instantly cast in another drama, Kairos as well as another Netflix series, Undercover as the main role. He has also been busy going on different variety shows with his newfound fame! If that’s not overnight success, we don’t know what is.

2. Han So Hee (The World Of The Married)

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| JTBC

Here is another villain who took viewers’ breaths away! Actress Han So Hee captivated viewers by playing the beautiful mistress in JTBC drama, The World of the Married. This drama blew netizens away with its well done adult content, a rarity in the K-drama world. Tackling mature topics such as infidelity, sex and violence, it became the highest rated drama in Korean cable television history. With the soaring ratings came the soaring popularity for the actors, most notably Han So Hee.

world of married
| JTBC

The actress has been in other dramas prior, but the character she played for The World of the Married, Yeo Da Kyung, became her life altering role. She made headlines everywhere she went, proving her success. Something else to note was the fact that netizens found it hard to hate Yeo Da Kyung, even though she was the villain. Her acting abilities plus her hard to dislike character may be why she shot to fame overnight. With her popularity, she was instantly cast as the lead female role in Netflix series, Undercover, which is set to premiere sometime in 2021.

3. Kim Seon Ho (Start-Up)

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| tvN

Would this even be a list without this breakout star? Actor Kim Seon Ho has been taking up every headline for months now! The Start-Up actor has been around for a few years but he gained popularity out of nowhere due to the mega hit Netflix series. His character portrayal of Han Ji Pyeong made netizens forget about Nam Joo Hyuk, the male lead. This may have been one of the rare times in K-drama history where viewers preferred the second male lead compared to the male lead. Fans of the drama consistently voiced their opinions on how they hoped Han Ji Pyeong would end up with Seo Dal Mi, Suzy‘s character.

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| tvN

We all know that Kim Seon Ho’s life was forever changed when he agreed to portray Han Ji Pyeong for Start-Up. He is currently still in talks for a few projects that have yet to be confirmed. He is one of Korea’s hottest commodities, however, so don’t be surprised to see him on your screen in the near future. Making appearances on different shows and interviews, everything he says or does is going viral. Everywhere you go, Kim Seon Ho’s face is there and his impact has become hard to ignore. That’s how you know you have officially made it.

4. Seo Ye Ji (It’s Okay To Not Be Okay)

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| tvN

Don’t fret because we didn’t forget about this lovely lady! Playing the iconic Ko Moon Young in It’s Okay To Not Be Okay, actress Seo Ye Ji made an incredible impact in the K-drama world. With her bougie outfits and seductive voice, Seo Ye Ji made everyone go crazy for her in this drama. The drama itself made headlines for its theme of mental illness, which is still a taboo subject in South Korea. The actress, however, made headlines along with the drama because of her perfect portrayal of her character.

seo ye ji
| tvN

Seo Ye Ji has been around for awhile now, making appearances in dramas such as Hwarang, Save Me and Another Miss Oh, but she never got the attention she deserved. That is, until she met Ko Moon Young. This character really turned the actress’ life upside down because she was the talk of the town! With interviews, parodies and constant headlines, Seo Ye Ji became the “it” girl overnight. Playing a cold and emotionless character, Seo Ye Ji nailed it out of the park with this one. We can’t wait to see what her future holds.