Best known for playing the suave and surprisingly sensitive CEO Kang Tae-Moo in A Business Proposal, here’s a look at a few titles from Ahn Hyo-seop’s filmography.
February 2022 saw Ahn Hyo-seop – who’d added several diverse roles to his TV show repertoire since his debut in 2015 – in global headlines. This, courtesy of his role as the protagonist of the wildly popular romantic K-drama Business Proposal. Soon enough, he’d found himself on the front page of several publications, walking multiple red carpets, and dishing on everything from his favourite food to career aspirations in interviews. While fans swooned over his good looks and 6-feet statute, experts commended his acting prowess. Standing testimony to the latter is his filmography – featuring medical dramas, comedies, and even historical titles – that reflects his versatility.
Interestingly, he was on the path to being a K-pop idol alongside GOT7’s Jackson Wang before he switched gears. Reflecting on his choice of profession, South China Morning Post quotes him as saying, “I loved music, but I didn’t have enough skills, which stressed me out. So I thought it would be better to leave that as a hobby.” He further credited his father for his passion for acting. “My father liked films. I remember watching them with him ever since I was little.” Since then, he’s been nominated for over 14 awards, winning 8 of them. At the moment, he’s set to star in the highly anticipated, A Time Called You. Here’s a look at a few dramas of his that are on our radar.
[Hero and featured image credit: Netflix/Twitter]
Korean TV shows starring Ahn Hyo-seop that will keep you hooked
A Business Proposal
Directed by: Park Seon-ho
Cast: Ahn Hyo-seop, Kim Se-jeong, Kim Min-kyu, Seol In-ah
Release date: 28 February 2022
Synopsis: Go Food CEO Kang Tae-Moo (played by Ahn Hyo-seop) begrudgingly agrees to go on a blind date set up by his overbearing grandfather where he meets his employee Shin Ha-ri (played by Kim Se-jeong). Unbeknownst to him she is in disguise as her best friend who convinces her to take her place in hopes of being rejected. He, however – determined to prevent any future similar dates – decides to propose to her instead. What follows is a series of hilarious situations as Ha-ri tries to keep up the act without losing her job.
Despite featuring in several dramas over the years, Ahn Hyo-Seop’s popularity shot through the roof with Business Proposal. Apart from being featured in several interviews and dominating social media dialogues, he went on to win the SBS Drama Award for The Best Actor in a Miniseries Romance/Comedy Drama for his performance as Tae-Moo.
Dr. Romantic 2
Directed by: Yoo In-shik
Cast: Han Suk-kyu, Ahn Hyo-seop, Lee Sung-kyung, Kim Joo-hun
Release date: 6 January, 2020
Synopsis: Three years after the events of season 1, triple-board certified surgeon and teacher Kim Sa-bu (played by Han Suk-kyu) works at Doldam, a run-down hospital. He drops by Geosan University Hospital to recruit a surgeon and ends up picking two instead – Woo Jin (played by Ahn Hyo-seop) and Eun Jae (played by Lee Sun-kyung). With wildly different personalities and a complicated past between them – the two doctors navigate the challenges of their careers, their personal demons – all while falling in love.
Before Business Proposal garnered the kind of attention it did, Dr Romantic made Ahn Hyo Seop a household name. And the role was challenging for him. Reflecting on this, he noted to The Sun Daily, “Medical terms, and the usage of surgical instruments are what I’ve kept on studying. I had studied them before filming, but still am learning them from the set. I try to understand the terms, as well as be immersed in the scenes.” The actor was also quoted by several media outlets later that this was the role that was the most special to him.
Directed by: Yoo Je-won
Cast: Ahn Hyo-seop, Park Bo-young, Lee Sung-jae
Release date: 6 May, 2019
Synopsis: Go Se-yeon (played by Park Bo-young) is a prosecution lawyer and Cha Min (Ahn Hyo-seop) is a rich heir to a cosmetics empire. The two die in separate incidents – only to be brought back to life by a mystical marble in completely different bodies. The two work together to find the cause of Se-yeon’s death, falling in love in the process.
Ahn Hyo-Seop’s stellar performance in this TV show earned him a nomination for Best New Actor in the 12th Korea Drama Awards (2019).
Lovers Of The Red Sky
Directed by: Jang Tae-yoo
Cast: Kim Yoo-jung, Ahn Hyo-seop, Gong Myung, Kwak Si-yang
Release date: 30 August, 2021
Synopsis: Ha Ram (played by Ahn Hyo-seop) is a red-eyed astrologer who loses his sight in a childhood accident. Seeking vengeance, he embarks on a dangerous mission to get back at the royal family that caused the dreadful event and changed his life.
In an interview with streaming platform Viu, Hyo-Seop called his character ‘complex,’ using the word ‘unfortunate,’ to define him. He also noted that the cast had worked quite hard on the show. His performance won him the SBS Drama Award for the best Actor in a Miniseries Genre/Fantasy Drama in 2021.
Directed by: Jo Soo-won
Cast: Shin Hye-sun, Yang Se-jong, Ahn Hyo-seop
Release date: 23 July, 2018
Synopsis: Woo Seo-ri (played by Shin Hye-sun) – a young violinist – slips into a coma at 17. She wakes up thirteen years later and is now 30. She sets out to look for her absent family, encountering 30-year-old set designer Woo-Jin (played by Yang Se-jong) and his nephew – the captain of the rowing club of Taesan High School – Yoo Chan (played by Ahn Hyo-Seop). While the former is unwilling to help her, the latter is enthusiastic and energetic, committed to protecting Seo-ri.
Despite not being his debut, the TV show marked Ahn Hyo-Seop’s big break in the industry, catching the attention of experts and viewers alike. In an interview with Herald Pop, he noted, “I think Yoo Chan and I are very different. I’m not really someone who’s bright and has cheerful energy like Yoo Chan. There’s a part of me that has a pessimistic outlook on the world and a tendency to focus on negative things,” before adding, “So when I first saw Yoo Chan, I was really ambitious and wanted to portray him. I was curious if any changes would occur while portraying him and I wanted to receive that energy. It was a fascinating experience. One day, I was smiling brightly. I could see that I was slowly becoming similar to him.”
Directed by: Yoon Sung-Ho
Cast: Seo Eun-soo, Ahn Hyo-seop, Cha Eun-woo, Jung Yoo-ahn, Bang Jae-min
Release date: October 31, 2018
Synopsis: Eun-Sung (played by Seo Eun Soo) is a former idol trainee who has the unusual ability to foresee the future. She starts a new job as a manager at an entertainment agency, using this power to see if the struggling group S.O.U.L would make it in the industry. A member of this group? Yeon Woo (played by Cha Eun-woo) who goes through a range of ups and downs while trying to succeed. Also in the picture is Hyun Soo-young, a fellow member of the K-pop group and a singer-songwriter who falls for Eun-Sung.
The show created considerable buzz across the world. It also tapped into Hyo-Seop’s idol past and musical abilities. A Korean cinema database quoted producer Yoon Seong-ho as saying, “Ahn Hyo-seop sings a solo with a guitar in the drama. I thought the guide version of it was good, but his singing with the guitar was even better”.
Which of these shows are you adding to your watchlist?