Given his recent success, it is hard to deny that Kim Min-kyu is clearly punching above his weight. This South Korean heartthrob has amassed millions of fans since he appeared as Cha Sung-hoon in the wildly popular rom-com K-drama series Business Proposal last year. His legendary performance as CEO Kang Tae-moo’s (Ahn Hyo-seop) secretary and friend – sharp, stern and poker-faced, yet warm and overflowing with love – was potent enough to create the second-lead syndrome. Kim has been unstoppable in his domain ever since and, as far as I can gather, is one of the most promising actors under 30 who has currently established his sphere of influence. The guy never ceases to amaze me with his relatable presence whenever I see him onscreen. In my mind, he is a driven individual with the capacity to experience as well as appreciate his roles.
Kim has ascended the ranks of authority much like a star thespian. He made his debut back in 2013 after he had a tiny role in the drama Monstar. But I’m certain he gave it a lot of consideration, even for that brief run. The rationale led him to land vital roles in later projects like Signal (2016), Because This Is My First Life (2017), The Rich Son (2018) and Perfume (2019), in addition to a season-three appearance on the variety show Crime Scene. Kim embraced all of his characters and recognized that every modest exploit will help pave the road for something significant. That did take place in the ensuing years.
American actor, comedian and producer Paul Giamatti made the following accurate observation: “The supporting thing can be harder to pop in and out of. The hardest thing is the people who have to come in and play, say, the bartender for a day – that’s a lot harder than playing the lead role. You have to pop in and get it right. It’s a lot of pressure to just pop in there and fit in and find your footing really fast.” Kim had been in this predicament for a while, probably up until the beginning of 2019. He was juggling prominent roles in many TV shows and other projects of the sort, alongside a number of smaller ones. But as I pointed out earlier, something about his performances and overwhelming screen presence remained in our memories every time.
I realize that terms like ‘lead role,’ ‘side role’ and ‘cameo’ are meaningless when discussing Kim Min-kyu. He has become who he is because his roles have always been essential to the shows he has acted in. The historical drama Queen: Love and War (2019-2020), a fantasy sageuk about those vying for power and the queen’s throne, provided a breakthrough lead role and greater fame for Kim. He depicted Lee Kyung, the King of Joseon, in the drama. The following year, he co-starred with Ji Chang-wook and Kim Yoo-jung in the romantic comedy and slice-of-life drama Backstreet Rookie. Kim portrayed Kang Ji-wook, a young actor or, rather, rising star. Despite his brief appearance, Kim gained extensive praise for both his performance and his good looks.
The actor’s fame has reached a peak in recent years. He made an appearance in So I Married the Anti-Fan in 2021. In the highly regarded drama Snowdrop later that year, he portrayed Joo Gyeok-chan, a vicious North Korean operative. The succeeding year, Kim was featured in Business Proposal and won the Excellence Award for Actor in a Miniseries Romance or Comedy Drama for exemplary work as well as the Best Couple Award with co-star Seol In-ah at the 2022 SBS Drama Awards.
As of now, the Korean stunner has etched out a spot for himself in the industry, consistently capturing attention both as a public figure and a normal bloke. This is abundantly evidenced by his booming social-media following. The dude is quite modest, though. Kim, according to insiders, is still the one who pays the least attention to success. His characteristic manner is to be as pleasant as he can. That also comes through in his depictions. Regardless of the role, he makes them look likable. I’m anxiously waiting for his next, The Heavenly Idol, a love story centered on a character named Lembrary who served as a spiritual leader and divine emissary in another realm but wakes up one morning in the form of an unidentified Korean idol. Kim will portray the protagonist, Pontifex Lembrary or Woo Yeon-woo, in the drama scheduled to premiere next month, on February 15th.