Whether he’s the playful CEO of a gaming company, the quiet and reliable photographer, or the upright detective, these are just many facets of the versatile Park Hyung Sik, whose personality has impressed viewers on screen.
The actor will next be seen in the much-awaited “Our Blooming Youth” as Crown Prince Lee Hwan, who is under a mysterious curse and realizes that evil prophecies are all coming true. But he could well be saved by the genius Min Jae Yi (Jeon So Nee), a woman on the run who is accused of murdering her family.
Known to wear many hats such as singer, actor, and performer, Park Hyung Sik’s decade long career in films and dramas comes with critically and commercially acclaimed performances as well as several popular awards. An actor who blends in with his characters, be it ensembles or solo lead roles, is definitely television’s Mr. Congeniality.
Here’s a look at six K-dramas featuring Park Hyung Sik as we await the premiere of “Our Blooming Youth.”
“Strong Woman Do Bong Soon”
A timeless and an all-time favorite among K-drama fans is “Strong Woman Do Bong Soon.” The drama was a complete entertainer that packaged fantasy, thriller, romance, and laugh-out-loud humor.
Don’t go by the petite Do Bong Soon’s (Park Bo Young‘s) delicate frame—she can pack a mighty punch and can spin and throw men twice her size with just the flick of her wrist. Do Bong Soon has a supernatural strength and is recruited by the good-looking and pompous yet goofy Ahn Min Hyuk (Park Hyung Sik), the CEO of a gaming company.
Now the two have a past connection from when the young Bong Soon saved a school bus that Min Hyuk was in from colliding. Though Min Hyuk is attracted to her, Bong Soon is infatuated with her detective friend Guk Doo (Ji Soo). One of the fun moments is when Bong Soon easily carries the drunk Min Hyuk and Guk Doo across her shoulders, muttering to herself as she wonders what she’s doing.
However, Park Hyung Sik makes it easy to fall in love with Ahn Min Hyuk. His boyish charm and childlike humor to being the flirtatious yet super romantic boyfriend make him one of the most delightful male leads.
Start watching “Strong Woman Do Bong Soon”:
Hwarang, or the flower knights, were part of the Silla Kingdom in the 10th century. They were an elite group of young men from high ranking families well versed in philosophy, religion, and arts and were also martial art experts. The legend of Hwarang has grown and often romanticized in popular culture.
Revisiting the legacy, “Hwarang” is a coming-of-age drama of a group of flower knights who band together to form a new “Silla,” on the way discovering love, friendship, and life. The ambitious Queen Mother Ji So (Kim Ji Soo) has ruled Silla since the passing of her husband and safeguards her son, the impatient Sam Maek Jong (Park Hyung Sik), from the conniving nobles and their schemes. She orchestrates and creates the Hwarang to shake up the nobility.
Leading the corp is the brave and free-spirited Moo Young (Park Seo Joon). Though from a poor family, he is a legendary warrior. Sam Maek Jong secretly joins the Hwarang to eliminate nobles and regain his throne. And Moo Young and Sam Maek Jong are both smitten by the cheerful Kim Ah Ro (Go Ara). There’s also the flirty yet chivalrous Kim Soo Hoo (SHINee’s Minho), the happy-go-lucky Suk Han Sung (BTS’s V), as well as Park Ban Ryu (Do Ji Han) and Kim Yoo Weol (Joo Yoon Woo), each with their own agenda. From boys to men, the Hwarang embark on a journey of self discovery as they fight off political intrigues, battle their fears, and discover love. However, it’s the brotherhood amongst the boys which emerges as the star of the show.
Park Hyung Sik as an infatuated prince and burdened king-to-be gives an effortless performance in depicting his character’s emotions. He is a complete natural at drawing you into his narrative.
Start watching “Hwarang”:
This zombie apocalyptic thriller tells the story of residents in an apartment block who are asked to quarantine at the outbreak of a new infectious virus. Two friends, detective Jung Yi Hyun (Park Hyung Sik) and Special Unit Officer Yoon Sae Bom (Han Hyo Joo), are of the many inhabitants of the complex, and they find themselves struggling to bring some order to the building as chaos and the struggle for survival unfold around them.
“Happiness” is a brilliantly crafted drama. It has a compelling story which highlights sociocultural issues but also infuses optimism. Yi Hyun and Sae Bom are busy saving lives, but you also impatiently await a romantic confession from the two. And Park Hyung Sik and Han Hyo Joo deliver flawless performances, showcasing their versatility as actors.
Start watching “Happiness”:
Simple and straightforward, “Soundtrack #1” revisits the classic question of “can best friends transition to becoming something more than just friends?” Sprightly songwriter Eun Soo (Han So Hee) and photographer Han Sun Woo (Park Hyung Sik) have been friends for nearly two decades. It’s apparent that Sun Woo has feelings for Eun Soo, but she seems blissfully unaware and keeps friend-zoning him. When Eun Soo is told by producer Kang Woo Il (Kim Joo Heon) that her writing lacks depth, she asks Sun Woo to stay with her to help break through her writer’s block.
If he is not wrapping a scarf around her so she does not catch a cold, he cooks and makes orange preserves for her or fixes her bike. Sun Woo is Eun Soo’s safe zone. Though there are times you want to shake Eun Soo to take off her blinkers and see the obvious, you realize that she is scared to lose him. Park Hyung Sik is simply delightful as Sun Woo, bringing forth his character’s affection, jealousy, and hesitancy as naturally as possible. “Soundtrack #1” is a no-fuss and breezy watch.
Lawyers Go Yeon Woo (Park Hyung Sik) and Choi Kang Seok (Jang Dong Gun) are strictly of the belief that an individual’s life and choices are their own. The Korean adaptation of the popular American series of the same name, “Suits” is perfect if not better than the original. The drama follows the lives of two lawyers Yeon Woo and Kang Seok. Yeon Woo, an exceptionally bright lawyer who has had a rough childhood, is an orphan who has been brought up by his grandmother. He retains optimism despite his tough life. Kang Seok, a senior lawyer who is one of the best in the business, is weighed down by his personal and emotional baggage. But when Kang Seok takes on Yeon Woo in his firm, he sees a reflection of his younger self in the emotional and empathetic Yeon Woo and allows himself to shed extra baggage.
With the brotherhood between the mentor and mentee, the Kang Seok and Yeon Woo bromance is the highlight of the show. Park Hyung Sik delivers a mature performance here, and the proficiency with which he blends in with his character may have you start thinking that he is Yeon Woo for real.
Love across class divides and social statuses remain a huge draw when watching a drama. After all, who doesn’t love a good drama about young love defying the odds, even if it means standing up against parental opposition?
A handsome chaebol named Yoo Chang Soo (Park Hyung Sik) is arranged to marry the rich heiress Jang Yoon Na (Uee), but the twist is that neither of them are interested or want to marry the other. Yoon Na dislikes her wealthy family and hides her identity by working in a supermarket. She develops feelings for Joong Ki (Sung Joon), Chang Soo’s friend, whose only motive is to marry rich. And Chang Soo falls in love with Yoo Na’s friend Lee Ji Yi (Lim Ji Yeon), who is not taken by his wealth. However, their relationship is disapproved by his parents.
Conflicted between his love and family expectations, he hurts Ji Yi, which makes you want to shake him. But when Chang Soo stands up for the woman he loves, you cheer him on. Park Hyung Sik brings out Chang Soo’s confusion with natural ease, and after his performance in this drama, he walked away with applause even though the show may not have scorched the ratings.
Start watching “High Society”:
Hey Soompiers, which is your favorite Park Hyung Sik drama and character? Let us know in the comments below!
Puja Talwar is a Soompi writer with a strong Song Joong Ki and Lee Junho bias. A long time K-drama fan, she loves devising alternate scenarios to the narratives. She has interviewed Lee Min Ho, Gong Yoo, and Ji Chang Wook to name a few. You can follow her on @puja_talwar7 on Instagram.
Currently watching: “The Interest of Love” and “Summer Strike“
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