From Dramas to Action-Thrillers, T.O.P Has Done It All!
Big Bang is still considered one of the top boy-groups of this generation, despite all the rumors and scandals that have been surrounding the group of late. They have been dominating the scene, and have even attempted to break into the Western market over the span of their 10-plus years as a group. Their signature hip-hop sound has been a trademark since their debut, with hits such as “Haru Haru,” “Tonight,” and “Fantastic Baby.” In that time, the members have also had their fair share of solo work, in both music and acting. People usually point to GD’s and Taeyang’s music careers as the pinnacle of Big Bang’s solo careers but, all things considered, T.O.P’s acting accomplishments are definitely up to par.
Known as Big Bang’s top model-class visual and deep-voiced rapper, T.O.P, or Choi Seung-hyun, definitely stood out from the rest. His touching determination to debut as an idol under YG Entertainment is a story known by most, and that same determination seems to appear in all his work. His time as an actor is definitely not short, with work spanning everything from melodramatic drama series to action-packed movies, so let’s dive into T.O.P’s filmography.
BIGBANG’s T.O.P’s Best Movies and Dramas
I Am Sam (2007)
T.O.P started out quite humbly in his acting career, starring as series regular, Chae Moo-shin, in the drama “I Am Sam”. The drama revolves around Jang Yi-san, played by Yang Dong-geun, a teacher who is now in charge of a class full of troublemakers, such as Chae Moo-shin. Jang Yi-san is new to his job and throughout the drama we grow with him and his students as they go through struggles in their daily life. T.O.P’s role is not as major in the plotline, but it was definitely a hit with viewers, putting him on the spotlight.
His next work as an actor definitely sets him on a whole different stage, as it is the hit drama, “Iris.” The drama stars the likes of Lee Byung-hun, Kim Tae-hee and Jung Joon-ho, who were considered the crème de la crop of South Korean actors at the time. T.O.P stars as Vick, A mysterious assassin working for an even more mysterious organization, headed by a man known only as “Mr. Black.” Though he is of Korean descent, his actual origins are unknown and he communicates fluently in both English and Korean, which fits well with T.O.P’s skills, which he has honed as an idol. Often, he is responsible for eliminating political targets and retrieving, as well as destroying, sensitive information at the behest of his superiors.
The drama revolves around two best friends from the 707th Special Mission Battalion, played by Lee Byung-hun and Jung Joon-ho, who are taken into a secret South Korean undercover operative agency known as the National Security Service. As the two friends find their loyalties tested with each and every mission they had to go through, they also forge new, unlikely alliances. The missions take them from their home country to Hungary, Japan, and China where they find themselves at the center of an international conspiracy.
One of T.O.P’s more iconic roles is his role in the movie, “19-Nineteen,” with fellow band member Seungri and actress Huh E-jae. The movie tells the story of three nineteen-year-olds going through something most young adult never experience, running away after being accused of murder. It is an interesting twist on the Bonnie and Clyde trope and fully explores their relationship with their parents, who believe they are guilty, and how their friendship bond is strengthened in the process of proving their innocence.
IRIS: The Movie (2009)
“Iris: the Movie” is a film adaptation of the 2009 South Korean spy drama, due to the massive success of said drama. T.O.P reprises his role as Vick, and the movie features a movie-length edit of the 20 episodes along with added footage that is done through re-shoots in order to express a different ending. As was predicted, the movie was just as well-received as the drama, which previously reached a 30% rating, an astounding achievement even for a nationally broadcast drama.
71: Into the Fire (2010)
“71: Into the Fire” is a 2010 South Korean war film starring T.O., which tells the story of those who fought during the Korean War, to raise awareness of the existence and importance of the student-soldiers during that period. T.O.P stars as Oh Jang-beom, a volunteer militia soldier, in a battle inside Yeongdeok, North Gyeongsang Province during the Korean War, who was part of a group of 71 untrained and under-armed student soldiers that defended the local Pohang girls’ middle school.
As the city is overrun by the 766th Unit, 5th Division, North Korean People’s Army, he is pulled into a squad of South Korean soldiers led by Lieutenant Kim Jun-seop. Attempting escape and, as one of the three trained student-soldiers, he was appointed one of the leaders of the squad. Check out the trailer above!
“Commitment” is a 2013 South Korean action film starring T.O.P as a North Korean assassin, Li Myung-hoon, in South Korea, out to find and rescue his little sister, played by actress Kim Yoo-jung. Born the son of a North Korean spy, life is looking up for Li Myung-hoon, who dreams of being a pianist, but everything changed once his father dies, disgracing and him, and his sister is sent to a labor camp. The chain of events led to a deal proposed by a high ranking officer, in which he and his sister will be released from the prison camp if he succeeds in going to South Korea as an assassin. Are you curious as to what happens with Myung-hoon, then? Check out the trailer for the movie above!
Tazza: The Hidden Card (2014)
“Tazza: The Hidden Card” is a 2014 South Korean gambling film directed by Kang Hyeong-cheol, based on Huh Young-man and Kim Se-yeong’s manhwa, and the sequel to 2006’s popular “Tazza: The High Rollers”. The movie is centered on a talented young hustler, Ham Dae-gil, played by T.O.P, who is working his way into the big-time, yet falls for a set-up in which he gets the short end of the stick in a crooked deal. To get revenge, he enters a final game which could be fatal to the loser.
This movie was very highly anticipated due to the popularity of the previous movie in the series, as well as the widely known manhwa. Not only that, the movie also features T.O.P’s first explicit love scene, something that sent fans into overdrive. Curious as to how T.O.P would play a risk-taking gambler? Take a look at the trailer above!
The Secret Message (2015)
“The Secret Message” is a drama that was released through the chatting platform application, Line, which portrays the relationship between T.O.P, as Woo-hyun, a Korean man, and Haruka, a Japanese woman who is told through their meeting on said platform. They live two very different lives, but they both carry emotional scars from their past relationships. Haruka, a stage actress in Seoul, has been experiencing a block ever since her break-up with her first love. Meanwhile Woo-hyun, a movie director in Tokyo, is still suffering emotional pains after his ex-girlfriend, who thought to get married, left him, and he no longer believes in love. The two bond over the chatting platform and help each other heal from their own emotional scars.
The two of them, who live apart in Tokyo and Seoul, have a chance encounter because of a LINE message delivered to Woo Hyun’s smartphone from Haruka. They exchange messages without knowing each other’s faces and are drawn to each other before they realize it.
So what do you think of T.O.P’s movies and dramas? Is his acting up to par? Comment your thoughts and opinions down below!