2016 Countdown #3: Best Potential

In the drama business, there’s a very clear hierarchy within the cast. You’ve got your leads, seconds leads, supporting actors, and well known extras. Even though some talented actors and actresses may not be getting the top billing yet, there’s definitely star potential there. An unexpectedly good acting performance from a supporting character can be the lone bright spot in an otherwise terrible drama. Or they could even liven up an already great one!

#3: Best Potential on the 2016 Countdown is for all the up-and-comers and stars-in-the-making that we’re waiting to see do big things soon.

Anna: Prior to this year, I had no idea who Lee Sang Yeob was. But after watching him in one great drama and one not so much, I can confidently say that he was one of my favorite actors this year. I saw him in two roles that were literally on the opposite ends of the spectrum: a sympathetic serial killer (yes, really) in Signal (K) and a lovable bro in My Wife’s Having an Affair This Week (K). Despite the very drastic differences in the two characters he played, I found his acting to be extremely convincing in both.

It can’t be easy to win over audience members when playing a cruel serial killer, but Lee Sang Yeob was able to do just that with his emotional performance in Signal. He conveyed his character’s painful backstory with empathy, but never veering into melodrama. After all, I don’t call him the “sympathetic serial killer” for nothin’. And then to do a total 180 and convincingly play the goofy, but lovable PD romancing BoA in My Wife was some acting wizardry. Lee Sang Yeob’s excellent performances in such an array of genres prove that he has the acting ability to play larger roles. Dramaworld, please take notice of this guy!


Runner-up: Seo Kang Joon‘s performance as Baek In Ho in Cheese in the Trap (K) shows that his acting has improved by leaps and bounds since Cunning Single Lady. Despite thriving in these second lead roles, I think he’s quite well-suited for romcoms and would eventually make a pretty good lead in them. And hey, his star is already on the rise by starring in the Korean remake of Entourage.


This probably comes as no surprise to everyone – I think it’s about time Lee Soo Hyuk stars in his own drama in 2017. He has been playing second fiddle (a very charming one at that) for the longest time, starting with High School King of Savvy and Valid Love in 2014, to Scholar Who Walks the Night in 2015, and more recently in Neighborhood Hero (K), Lucky Romance (K) and Sweet Stranger and Me. Seriously, who else does this? Unless if he isn’t planning to make acting a major part of his career (very unlikely), he is bound to be the headliner pretty soon. Not to mention, why waste that voice? Argh.

Though he probably doesn’t have as much breadth as some actors since he has portrayed very similar characters in all these series, but he does a decent enough job to be the leading man in an idol drama for sure. Maybe some acting classes and he can finally make the leap? You can do it oppa! Fighting!


Who is your pick for best potential star? Is it a veteran actor/actress who’s been in the biz for awhile or a rookie just starting out? And stay tuned tomorrow for…Best Actor & Actress!

2016 Countdown #5: Best OST

2016 Countdown #4: Best Chemistry


3 thoughts on “2016 Countdown #3: Best Potential

  1. Que interesante *_*.

    Espero que estos nuevos actores que tanto os han gustado sean premiados con muchos buenos dramas este 2017!

    A mi me encanta Seo Kang y Lee Soo Hyuk 😍😍😍.

    Mi descubrimiento de este 2016 ha sido Lee Jun Ki, no se como vivia sin conocer a este niño 😛


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