Idol Turned Actor, JYJ’s Park Yoo-chun’s Top Class Filmography
As most know, Park Yoo-chun is one of the first idols to have paved the way for those who wanted to transition from singing to acting, having a career in both his idol group, JYJ, and as an actor in the industry. It’s definitely not an easy feat, since he has to be able to juggle and handle both extremely taxing careers while still maintaining a semblance of sanity. He not only promotes as an actor, but a successful one at that, with numerous hit shows under his belt. From dramas to movies, he dominates both the silver screen and the TV screen, establishing himself as someone who is multitalented and has aspirations surpassing his peers.
The hits that have his name and face plastered to them are almost countless, as he has been actively promoting as an actor since 2005. It wasn’t until Sungkyunkwan Scandal, though, that he finally gained recognition as a serious actor who wants to make a name for himself outside of what was then DBSK, and is now JYJ. Are you interested in knowing more about the work that he’s been in and the roles that he’s played? Or maybe the reception it received from fans all over the world? Let’s dig deeper into Park Yoo-chun’s acting career!
Park Yoo-chun’s Dramas
I Miss You
I Miss You is a 2013 Korean drama that was broadcast on MBC and stars Park Yoo-chun as the lead male, alongside Yoon Eun-hye and Yoo Seung-ho. The story revolves around the kidnapping of a chaebol son, later played by Park Yoo-chun, which was a plot to secure the family’s wealth, perpetrated by a mistress of said family. It ties in with a plot of the chaebol son, Han Jung-woo, falling in love with a girl named Lee Soo-yeon, who was then also kidnapped, and fate separated them with the false rumor of Lee Soo-yeon’s death to cover up the kidnappings. Years later, Han Jung-woo became a homicide detective, determined to find Lee Soo-yeon and uncover the mystery behind the kidnapping.
I Miss You was highly anticipated by viewers, as the cast was filled with household names, even for the younger roles of the main characters, played by Yeo Jin-goo and Kim So-hyun respectively. As the drama relies a lot on its crime and thriller roots, it was critical for the actors to be able to show those emotions and troubles explicitly, making it more taxing for the cast than your typical romantic drama.
The story is highly captivating and mixes a blend of thriller, drama and romance to move the plot forward. This is proven to be a successful mix for the demographic it’s aiming for, but it was also highly controversial as it includes a rape storyline involving a minor female that happens off-screen. The plot itself is troubling and caused misunderstanding, as it was not handled properly and didn’t seem to add anything to a plot that was already heavy with very concerning themes. Despite that, its ratings soared, reaching highs of around 16%, which is a feat in itself, even more so for a national television drama.
As we all know, there is nothing like Rooftop Prince, the ever-so-iconic drama that really separated Park Yoo-chun from the rest. Most call it his lifetime work, since it’s one of his projects that really transcended the borders of domestic and international audiences. Rooftop Prince, starring Park Yoo-chun and Han Ji-min in the lead roles, tells a story of the crown prince of Joseon, Lee Gak, being transported 300 years into the future, to the year 2012. He is transported, with his three companions, from the palace to the rooftop apartment of one Park Ha, as they try to uncover the mysterious death of the crown princess. What they don’t know is that they have been transported into the middle of a conflict behind the death of Yong Tae-yong, the son of a chaebol company that is the spitting image of Lee Gak. Not only that, the secretary of the company seems to be the reincarnation of the late crown princess, compelling him to pose as Tae-yong.
So how does he juggle the struggles of discovering the truth of the crown princess’ death while also stuck in a limbo of feelings for both the secretary and the owner of the rooftop he landed in, Park Ha? You need to watch the drama to find out for yourself! This drama with its time-travel plot and elements of Joseon traditional myths proved to be a winning combination both domestically and internationally. Ratings hit a high of 17.3% in the last two episodes of the drama, showing high anticipation for its finale. Adding to that, the drama was also broadcast in twelve countries worldwide: Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Israel, Singapore, Philippines, UAE, Thailand, Vietnam and Pakistan.
Check out clips from the drama in the soundtrack music video below!
The Girl Who Sees Smells
It seems that Park Yoo-chun has a certain soft spot for crime and thriller stories in his repertoire, as seen in The Girl Who Sees Smell. He once again plays a detective investigating the past murder of a loved one. In this drama, Park Yoo-chun stars as Choi Moo-gak, a detective who in his teens suffered the murder of his younger sister after having her mistaken for another patient named Choi Eun-seol. Choi Eun-seol, portrayed by Shin Se-kyung, is a girl who aspires to become a comedian after going through a traumatic incident in which her parents were murdered in front of her by a cold-blooded serial killer who brands his victims with a barcode. Fortunately, she was able to escape, but got hit by a car and was admitted to a hospital later that night, which leads to the murder of Choi Moo-gak’s sister, as the killer mistook the sister for the daughter who escaped the scene.
The drama brought an interesting element to the story by adding the visualization of senses and the absence of it alltogether, in the two main characters as a means of creating a character foil. It highlights the trauma both characters share and its impact on their adult lives, while stressing that that same traumatic experience is what brought them together in the end.
The drama received a warm reception, with ratings reaching highs of 14.4% for the last episode, as it geared for the climax of dealing with the serial killer. The reveal could be said to be one of the most thrilling in Korean television. The drama also led to Park Yoo-chun winning the Top Excellence Award for Actor in A Miniseries during the 23rd SBS Drama Awards, proving that his acting was outstanding in this particular drama.
Three Days is one of the lesser-known and less hyped dramas of the ones Park Yoo-chun has starred in, but that doesn’t make it any less excellent than the ones previously mentioned. It’s a crime thriller with a political twist, as he plays as the president’s bodyguards. The story unfolds to reveal the plot behind the kidnapping of the president, which the bodyguard has to unravel in three days. As time goes by, with each unraveling mystery, the ties behind the president’s closest companions come to the surface.
This drama is definitely an exciting watch for those interested in a political thriller set in modern-day South Korea. It seems, though, that the drama didn’t live up to the hype and had many difficulties during the pre-production phase, with its scheduling conflicts and casting of a top name in the industry. The show’s ratings at 17.4% in its fourth episode, slowly declining to around 11% for its last. Despite that, the show is definitely a refreshing take on Park Yoo-chun’s slight affection for a thrill-heavy plot, so give this show a watch and decide for yourself!
Sungkyunkwan Scandal is not of one of the dramas that Park Yoo-chun has starred in as the sole lead, but it definitely makes our list as one of the most iconic roles he’s played, solely for the drama’s outreach to international audiences. The drama features an all-star cast, with Park Min-young at the helm as the title character, and Song Joong-ki and Yoo Ah-in alongside Park Yoo-chun.
The drama tells a story of Park Min-young’s character, Kim Yoon-hee, who has to take on her brother’s role in order to provide for her family. She takes on different jobs, and one of them was to be an illegal test taker. She gets caught, but was encouraged to enroll into the institute anyway. This begins her life as a scholar maintaining her false identity, gaining friends and falling in love with another scholar, Lee Sun-joon, played by Park Yoo-chun.
The drama is iconic simply because of its traditional take on the Shakespearean trope found in Twelfth Night, where the sister takes on the role of her brother in order achieve her goals. With it set in the traditional Joseon dynasty, it adds a distinctively Korean flavor into the mix. With that said, the drama definitely resonated with viewers both domestically and internationally, reaching ratings as high as 13.7%. The drama was broadcast internationally in Japan, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Philippines, Romania, and Thailand.