Top Korean Actors

Hello everyone and welcome back to another post by EonTalk! In today’s content, we’ll be taking a look at the top 30 actors and actresses of Korean cinema, based on brand ranking.

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The list of top Korean actors that will be introduced today was based on the “Brand Reputation Report” by the “Korean Business Research Institution.” The latest report of Korean movie stars was from March of this year (2020), and the ranking was composed according to the criteria of consumer and brand index, from February 6th 2020 to March 7th 2020. To be exact, the brand rankings of the actors was based on factors such as the participation, media, communication, and community scores. (Sidenote* This post was first made into a video content that was uploaded on the EonTalk YouTube channel on June 9th 2020)

What does this mean? This means that the list was not based on my personal favorite Korean actors, nor does it mean that the actors here are the most famous or well-recognized either. I can’t stress enough that the ranking was derived from data provided by a separate institution. However, if you would like a list of my favorite Korean actors, please let me know and I can make a separate content on that.

Now that we have an understanding of the criteria of today’s list, let’s get right into the Top 30 Korean actors and actresses by brand ranking.


Starting off the list is the actor who completed his mandatory military service last year, Kang Ha-Neul. Mr. Kang had a participation score of 951,141, media score of 1,037,295, communication score of 864,058, and community score of 298,936, with a total brand score of 3,151,430. Some of my favorite movies Kang Ha-Neul starred in were the mystery thriller <Forgotten>, the action comedy <Midnight Runners>, and the comedy film <Twenty>. Kang Ha-Neul also starred in many Kdramas, most recently the incredibly popular drama “When the Camellia Blooms,” as well as “Misaeng” from 2014. 


At #29 was the actress Jeon Do-Yeon. Jeon Do-Yeon had a participation index of 591,795, media index of 975,912, communication index of 983,856, and community index of 623,480, with a total brand index of 3,175,043. Some of Jeon Do-Yeon’s movies includes the crime thriller <Beasts Clawing at Straws>, the thriller <The Housemaid>, and the romance drama <You’re My Sunshine>. The actress also starred in the Kdrama “The Good Wife.”


Next, the #28 spot goes to the actress Lee Young-Ae. Lee Young-Ae had a participation score of 1,175,615, media index of 679,875, communication score of 961,966, and community index of 383,416, coming to a total brand score of 3,200,872. Lee Young-Ae was in popular movies such as the romance drama <One Fine Spring Day>, the thriller <Lady Vengeance>, as well as the mystery war drama titled <Joint Security Area>. The actress most recently starred in the movie <Bring Me Home> which was released in November of last year.


Moving along, the #27 spot goes to the actor that’s been receiving attention fairly recently, Park Myung-Hoon. Mr. Park had a participation index of 733,938, media score of 1,829,058, communication index of 448,148, and community score of 212,344, with a total brand index of 3,223,488. Park Myung-Hoon rose to fame with his memorable performance on one of the best movies of recent Korean cinema, <Parasite>. He also was in the relatively recently released film <Deliver Us From Evil>. Furthermore, Park Myung-Hoon was in the Kdrama “Crash Landing on You” as the uncle of Seo-Dan.


The #26 actor is Yoo Jae-Myung, who had a participation score of 884,526, media score of 1,353,534, communication score of 796,398, and community score of 288,156, equalling to a brand score of 3,322,614. Yoo Jae-Myung is an extremely versatile and dynamic actor, who can essentially transform to any character. Just look at his roles in the crime thriller <The Beast> and the historical drama <Feng Shui>, as well as Kdramas “Itaewon Class” and “Reply 1988.” Some of his upcoming films includes <King Maker>, <Alien>, <Voice of Silence>, and <Firemen>.


The #25 spot goes to the actor Lee Yi-Kyung. Lee Yi-Kyung had a participation index of 1,670,090, media index of 1,160,838, communication index of 351,434, and community index of 147,796, coming to a brand index of 3,330,158. Lee Yi-Kyung recently starred in the comedy action film <Hitman: Agent Jun>, as well as <The Pirates>, and also the Kdramas “Welcome to Waikiki” and “Descendants of the Sun.” I personally first remember seeing him in the drama “School 2013.”


The next movie star is Kim Ji-Young, who’s participation score was 296,718, media index was 815,850, communication score was 1,767,916, and community index was 535,744, meaning her brand score was 3,416,228. Kim Ji-Young starred in the action comedy <Exit>, the drama film <Forever the Moment>, and most recently on <A French Woman>.


Next, the #23 spot goes to the actress Kim Min-Hee. Kim Min-Hee had a participation index of 1,672,647, media score of 783,993, communication index of 569,140, and community score of 456,764, coming to a brand index of 3,482,544. Miss Kim starred in the incredible film <The Handmaiden>, as well as the romance film <Very Ordinary Couple>, and the mystery movie <Helpless>. However, she hasn’t been seen in major feature films lately following her affair scandal with director Hong Sang-Soo.


Moving along, the #22 actor is Kim Nam-Gil. Kim Nam-Gil had a participation score of 1,690,239, media score of 640,248, communication score of 877,192, and community score of 280,104, equalling to a brand score of 3,487,783. Kim Nam-Gil recently starred in the mystery horror titled <The Closet>, the crime thriller <Memoir of a Murderer>, and the comedy film <The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale>. He’s also got upcoming movies such as <Emergency Declaration> and <The Protector>. 


The #21 actor is Lee Jung-Jae. With a participation index of 213,684, media index of 316,239, communication index of 2,929,678, and community index of 429,528, Lee Jung-Jae’s total brand index comes in at 3,889,129. Mr. Lee starred in numerous films, too many to list them all, but some of my favorites of his works includes the action drama <Assassination>, action drama, the crime action drama <The Thieves>, and one of my personal favorite Korean movies <New World>. He also recently starred in the film <Deliver Us From Evil>. 


Coming in at #20 of the best Korean actors by brand ranking is the actor Ahn Jae-Hong. Ahn Jae-Hong had a participation score of 1,621,748, media index of 1,218,336, communication score of 852,118, and community index of 457,336, totalling to a brand score of 4,149,538. I first saw him in the Kdrama “Reply 1988,” and he starred in the thriller action film released earlier this year, <Time to Hunt>, the comedy <Secret Zoo>, and the crime action movie titled <Fabricated City>.


Moving onto the #19 spot, the #19 star is Shim Eun-Kyung. With a participation index of 2,835,830, media score of 560,217, communication index of 591,428, and community score of 296,868, Shim Eun-Kyung’s brand index came in at 4,284,343. The actress starred in movies such as <Fabricated City>, <Miss Granny>, and <Sunny>, and she’s recently been starring in Japanese productions, such as <The Journalist>, and <Blue Hour>.


Next, the #18 spot is the actor Kim Min-Jae. Kim Min-Jae had a participation score of 1,017,052, media score of 1,752,135, communication score of 666,650, and community score of 1,045,108, meaning his brand score was 4,480,945. The actor starred in the comedy drama <Love+Sling>, as well as Kdramas such as “Dr. Romantic,” and “Guardian: The Lonely and Great God.”


The #17 actor goes to Park Hae-Jin, who had a participation index of 497,502, media index of 1,443,666, communication index of 493,918, and community index of 2,238,544, coming to a brand index of 4,673,630. A film Park Hae-Jin starred in was <Cheese in the Trap> the movie, but he’s more well known for his Kdramas, including “The Bad Guys,” “Doctor Stranger,” and “My Love from the Star.”


The #16 spot is without a doubt one of the most well known and talented actors out of Korean cinema, Lee Byun-Hun. This veteran actor had a participation score of 766,777, media index of 1,396,269, communication score of 1,941,842, and community index of 577,104, equalling to a total brand score of 4,681,992. Mr. Lee is another actor who has an extremely long list of films, but a few of my favorites includes <The Man Standing Next>, <Master>, and <Inside Men>. Moreover, Lee Byun-Hun has numerous Kdramas as well, including “Mr. Sunshine,” “Iris,” and “All In.” An upcoming movie of his is a film titled <Emergency Declaration>.


The #15 spot goes to another veteran actor, Jung Woo-Sung. Mr. Jung had a participation index of 509,699, media score of 1,260,294, communication index of 2,328,300, and community score of 1,137,004, which means his total brand index was 5,235,297. Some of his works includes the crime thriller <Beasts Clawing at Straws>, the drama film <Innocent Witness>, the action drama <Steel Rain>, and many, many more. 


Ranked at #14 was the actress Jang Hye-Jin. With a participation score of 1,512,443, media score of 2,543,898, communication score of 1,032,014, community score of 365,112, and a total brand score of 5,453,467, Jang Hye-Jin really got her name out with her role in <Parasite>. She was also in “Crash Landing on You” as the mother of Seo-Dan.


Next, the #13 actor goes to the tallest actor on this list, Lee Kwang-Soo. Lee Kwang-Soo had a participation index of 3,709,566, media index of 843,045, communication index of 883,560, and community index of 375,320, with a total brand index of 5,811,491. Some of Lee Kwang-Soo’s film works includes the crime drama <Tazza: One Eyed Jack>, the comedy drama <Inseparable Bros>, and the crime drama <Confession>. He was also in Kdramas such as “Live,” “The Sound of Heart,” and “It’s Okay, That’s Love,” and he’s also a member of the hit variety show, “Running Man.” He’ll also be starring in an upcoming movie titled <Sinkhole>. 



Moving along, the #12 spot goes to the actress Park So-Dam. Ms. Park’s participation score was 1,181,713, media index was 2,873,346, communication score was 1,313,798, and community index was 527,472, meaning her total brand score was 5,896,329. Park So-Dam starred in the mystery drama <The Silenced>, and of course, <Parasite>. She also had smaller roles in <The Priests>, <Veteran>, and The Throne. 


The #11 ranked actor/actress is a veteran in the Korean movie scene, Kim Hye-Soo. This actress had a participation index of 2,000,093, media score of 1,780,107, communication index of 1,568,518, community score of 634,260, totaling to a brand index of 5,982,978. Kim Hye-Soo starred in <Default>, <Coin Locker Girl>, <Tazza: The High Rollers>, and so many more. She was also in Kdramas such as “Hyena” and “Signal.”


And now, the top 10. Which Korean actors and actresses were ranked the highest according to the Brand Reputation Report? The #10 spot goes to the actress Kim Da-Mi. Kim Da-Mi had a participation score of 2,475,450, media index of 914,528, communication score of 2,119,350, and community index of 751,872, coming to a brand score of 6,261,200. I first remember seeing this amazing actress in the mystery action film <The Witch : Part 1. The Subversion>, and she’s recently gained even more popularity by starring in the Kdrama “Itaewon Class.” I was really surprised to learn that she’s fairly tall, standing at 170cm. I guess I didn’t realize she was so tall because she was standing next to Park Seo-Jun and Ahn Bo-Hyun, who are also two really tall actors, standing at 185cm and 187cm, respectively. Miss Kim Dami has an upcoming movie titled <Hello, My Soulmate>.


The next actor is another movie star that has immense international popularity, Gong Yoo. Gong Yoo had a participation index of 578,425, media index of 1,823,619, communication index of 1,920,300, and community index of 2,002,488, totaling to a brand index of 6,324,832. Starring in the action drama <The Age of Shadows>, the action thriller <Train to Busan>, the action drama <The Suspect>, and many more, Gong Yoo has equally great Kdramas, such as “Guardian: The Lonely and Great God” and “Coffee Prince.”


Next, the #8 star is another actor from the film the won Best Picture at the Oscars this year, Lee Sun-Gyun. With a participation score of 441,207, media score of 3,052,056, communication score of 1,489,714, and community score of 1,456,632, Lee Sun-Gyun’s brand score was 6,439,609. As mentioned, this actor starred in the Oscar winning film <Parasite>, as well as <Jo Pil-Ho: The Dawning Rage>, and <A Hard Day>, and in Kdramas such as “Pasta,” “Coffee Prince,” and “Golden Time.” Lee Sun-Gyun has an upcoming film titled <King Maker>. 


Moving along, the #7 actor is yet another star from Parasite, Choi Woo-Shik. Mr. Choi had a participation index of 1,710,646, media score of 2,801,862, communication index of 1,501,654, community score of 477,224, and a brand index of 6,491,386. Starring in films such as <Time to Hunt>, <The Witch : Part – The Subversion>, and of course, <Parasite>, Choi Woo-Shik is one of the few Korean actors that can speak and act well in English. Two upcoming films of his are <The Policeman’s Lineage> and <Wonderland>. 


The #6 ranked movie star is the actress that’s an icon when it comes to the romance genre, Son Ye-Jin. Son Ye-Jin had a participation score of 2,095,183, media index of 1,004,659, communication score of 1,703,464, and community index of 1,845,008, meaning her total brand score was 6,648,314. Some of her movie works includes the crime film <The Negotiation>, the thriller <Blood and Ties>, and the action drama <Tower>. As mentioned, Son Ye-Jin is an icon for romance films and dramas. Her romance films includes <Be With You>, <Spellbound>, <My Wife Got Married>, <A Moment To Remember>, and <The Classic>, and dramas includes two of my favorite romance kdramas “Crash Landing on You” and “Something in the Rain.”


Coming in at #5 of the best Korean actors and actresses by brand ranking is Hyun Bin. With a participation index of 3,010,600, media index of 1,191,916, communication index of 1,857,814, and community index of 1,349,216, Hyun Bin’s brand index came in at 7,409,546. Some of his films includes the zombie action film <Rampant>, the action movie titled <Confidential Assignment>, as well as the crime drama that he co-starred in with the previously mentioned Son Ye-Jin, <The Negotiation>. Not only this, but he starred in a recent Kdrama with Son Ye-Jin as well, titled “Crash Landing on You,” and there were news of their love scandal last year as well. Two other Kdramas Hyun Bin starred in were “Memories of the Alhambra” and “Secret Garden,” and he’ll be starring in the upcoming film <Bargaining>. 


Moving onto the #4 spot, the #4 actor is the actor that I briefly mentioned earlier, Park Seo-Joon. Mr. Park had a participation score of 2,009,100, media score of 1,749,802, communication score of 2,471,530, community score of 1,448,700, totalling to a brand score of 7,679,132. Park Seo-Joon starred in movies such as <The Divine Fury>, <Midnight Runners>, and <The Chronicles of Evil>, and he also has a big list of hit Kdramas as well, such as “Fight for My Way,” “She Was Pretty,” “Kill Me, Heal Me,” and of course, “Itaewon Class.” Park Seo-Joon will be starring in an upcoming film titled <Dream>. 


Next, the #3 actress was quite a surprise for me, but don’t let that take away from what a great actress she is. The #3 spot goes to Lee Jung-Eun. With a participation index of 1,211,737, media score of 2,501,163, communication index of 1,480,958, community score of 2,576,136, and brand index of 7,769,994, Lee Jung-Eun was in many, many works with a minor role, but she really rose to fame with her role in <Parasite>. Some of her smaller, minor roles prior to <Parasite> includes <Another Child>, <Miss Baek>, and <A Taxi Driver>, and she’ll be starring in the upcoming movies <The Day I Died> and <Fisherman>. Lee Jung-Eun was also in the Kdrama “When the Camellia Blooms” as Dong-Baek’s mom.


And now, just two actors left. The #2 spot goes to the actress Cho Yeo-Jeong. Miss Cho Yeo-Jeong had a participation score of 3,793,468, media index of 2,773,113, communication score of 1,558,418, community index of 1,513,656, and brand score of 9,638,655. Cho Yeo-Jeong was not only in <Parasite>, but also <Obsessed>, and <The Concubine>, as well as the Kdramas “Woman of 9.9 Billion,” “Ms. Perfect,” and “I Need Romance.” 


And finally, the #1 actor. The #1 actor of Korean cinema according to brand rankings goes to one of the most recognized movie stars of Korean films. Mr. Song Kang-Ho. Song Kang-Ho had a participation score of 978,584, media index of 4,436,670, communication score of 2,663,416, and community index of 2,899,624, which means his total brand index came in at a whopping 10,978,294. You may disagree with the other rankings, but you have to acknowledge that Song Kang-Ho deserves this #1 spot, especially of recent times. 2 most recent films of his are <The King’s Letters> and <Parasite>, but practically everything he’s in is good. Song Kang-Ho starred in <A Taxi Driver>, <The Age of Shadows>, <The Throne>, <The Attorney>, <Snowpiercer>, <The Drug King>, <Secret Reunion>, <Thirst>, <The Good, The Bad, The Weird>, <The Host>, <Memories of Murder>, the list goes on and on. He also has great chemistry with arguably the best director of Korean cinema, director Bong Joon-Ho.


And that’s it for today’s post on Top Korean Actors by Brand Ranking. Please remember that this list was based on the “Brand Reputation Report” by the “Korean Business Research Institution,” and not by my personal favorite actors. If you would like a separate content of my favorite Korean actors and actresses, leave a comment requesting so, and I’ll prepare a separate post on that. Also, if you would like to further communicate with me and other K-movie fans, join the EonTalk Telegram, and support me on Patreon if you could take the extra step to supporting EonTalk.

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Please keep in mind this review is composed of solely my own opinions, and should be taken with a grain of salt. I am in no way a professional writer, nor have I majored or studied journalism. This is for informative entertainment purpose only, representing my personal views. I do not own the images and/or videos used in the review. No copyright infringement intended.

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