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Top stars in line for acting awards

In a year of hit dramas and films, the field is stronger than ever

May 10,2016
This year’s 52nd Baeksang Arts Awards has published its list of candidates for the Best Actor and Best Actress Awards. Hosted by JTBC and Ilgan Sports, affiliates of the Korea JoongAng Daily, this event is recognized as one of the most prestigious entertainment awards in Korea along with Blue Dragon Film Awards and the Daejong Film Awards.

Looking at the resumes and achievements over the past year of these 10 actors extraordinaire, it is safe to say that this year’s competition will be neck-and-neck. The winners of each category will be announced on June 3 at Kyung Hee University’s Grand Peace Hall.



Best Actor

Baek Yoon-sik (“Inside Men”)

As actor Lee Byung-hun, who played one of the two protagonists in the thriller flick “Inside Men,” can attest, the heinous yet cunning journalist Lee Kang-hee could be played by no one but Baek Yoon-sik. Showcasing his acting prowess honed during his long acting career, Baek’s dauntingly accurate portrait of a villain earned the well-deserved nomination.



Lee Byung-hun (“Inside Men”)

The actor’s first-ever role that involved using the Jeolla dialect did not seem to impede him from leaving a lasting impact. “Let’s have a drink of Maldives at Mojito,” Lee’s hilarious line in the movie, made the audience crack up. As well as some of his facetious moments, Lee showed off various skills, attesting to his Hollywood experience.



Song Kang-ho (“The Throne”)

King Yeongjo of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) has been played by many good actors over the years, but Song’s portrayal made it more special. Adjusting his voice, expressions and gestures, Song covered 40 years of the king’s life in this historical film, not to mention all the changes within that span. His exquisite portrayal of Yeongjo’s despair over his son, Crown Prince Sado, confined in a wooden chest, mesmerized the viewers.



Yoo Ah-in (“The Throne”)

A month after starring as the immature and psychopathic heir of a conglomerate in the crime comedy flick “Veteran,” the actor returned to the big screen via “The Throne,” in which he showcased a different sides of himself in the role of Crown Prince Sado. The scene of him brandishing a sword, as if possessed, proved the actor’s ability to be fully immersed and deliver extreme emotions.



Hwang Jung-min (“Veteran”)

Having been in so many successful films, Hwang’s appearance in a movie almost guarantees its triumph. Rough around the edges yet with a superior sense of justice, Hwang’s detective character, Seo Do-chul, delivered unforgettable lines in a funny way during his quest to arrest and convict a criminal millionaire, not to mention all the stunts he pulled off to make this nail-biter even more exciting.



Best Actress

Hwang Jung-eum (“She Was Pretty”)

Hwang was an indispensable part of this hit TV drama. Although the drama started off with only modest viewership ratings, it wrapped up with a satisfying 18 percent viewership rating, showing an increase of nearly 13 percent. Playing the lead role of Kim Hye-jin, who was often shabby and unkempt, the actress is acknowledged as being a pivotal figure in the drama’s turnaround toward the end.



Kim Hyun-joo (“I Have a Lover”)

Kim’s quadruple role should be a closer. Playing two characters who later experienced earth-shaking changes, the role assigned to Kim was pretty close to a quadruple role. Throughout the whole 50-episode run, this jack-of-all-trades pulled it off beautifully. Playing a pivotal figure in the drama, the actress was the anchor of the production and the cast.



Kim Hye-soo (“Signal”)

As big a star as Kim Hye-soo may very well raise questions for appearing in cable TV dramas. The actress, however, had faith in the story and responded with her stellar acting. Due to the drama’s time-travel aspect, Kim had to play a veteran police officer in one minute and a rookie officer in the next.



La Mi-ran (“Reply 1988”)

Having earned the nickname Ms. Cheetah to honor her outlandish fashion statements on “Reply 1988,” the actress made the drama even more interesting. Equipped with ad-libs and unmitigated slapstick, La tickled laughs out of fans. However, the jokes weren’t her only ammo. Secretly crying for her son who was to have heart surgery, the actress was also a great messenger of the drama’s theme: family.



Song Hye-kyo (“Descendants of the Sun”)

What more needs to be said of the actress who was arguably the face of the drama that created an international sensation, “Descendants of the Sun?” Having starred in many romance flicks in her career, the actress again showcased her chemistry with her male counterpart - so much so that their relationship was rumored to be real at one point.



BY KIM YEON-JI, KIM JIN-SEOK [jung.byungki@joongang.co.kr]


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