Kim Soo-hyun’s new romance, Queen of Tears, FINALLY landed this month. Absent from the screens since 2021, fans have waited patiently for the return of the star who has numerous prizes and awards to his credit, including two Grand Bell Awards (the Korean equivalent of the Oscars).

Having started his career in 2007, he has gained recognition overseas since playing the role of Sam-dong, a transformed musical arts school student, in the popular K-drama series Dream High which aired on Netflix. You could say he’s not far from this character’s arc – an introvert, his interest in acting began as a way to overcome his shyness. It’s pretty hard to believe when it lights up on the screen.

Watch his transformation to superstardom over several years with several Kdramas and films, such as in the sweet romantic comedy The Producers. You can also watch the fascinating BBC One remake Ordinary Day or the astonishing Real. With these films and many others, you will understand why he is so famous. Whatever his character, he knows how to rise to the occasion.

  • One Ordinary Day (2021)

One Ordinary Day Kim Soo Hyun

  • Police thriller | Remake 

Based on the BBC series, One Ordinary Day is a visceral 8-episode series. Involved in a case, a young suspect is immediately arrested. Let me tell you, this guy’s ordinary day is going from bad to worse, because he is the only one the police are investigating, convinced that he is the perpetrator. Each episode is a killer, with Kim Soo-hyun proving his talent. Super captivating, even though it’s not a usual genre, you won’t be able to take your eyes off the screen. With only 8 episodes, this is definitely a series to follow. Find it on Disney+.

  • The Producers (2015)

The Producers best kdrama kim soohyun 

  • Romantic comedy  

In The Producers, a 12-episode series, Kim Soo-hyun is one of the main characters, but not the protagonist. He is still captivating in the role of a novice producer who has a crush on his elder brother. As one of the pillars of the classic romantic plot, an idol and “client” of the producers played by IU has a crush on him, which results in them meeting as much as possible.

The love triangle is sweet and full of unexpected moments, even as they navigate classic tropes. All the characters are easy on the eyes, including Gong Hyo-jin and the charming Cha Tae-hyun. Find it on Netflix, Viki, Apple TV.

  • Dream High (2011)

The best K-dramas and films of Kim Soo-hyun K-Selection

  • High school | Music | Love triangle

Much like and most likely inspired by the ’80s series Fame, the 16-episode drama Dream High (available on Viki, Netflix) is set in a performing arts school, grooming raw young talents into stars that they will become. It’s full of famous K-drama names and idols, including IU, Suzy Bae (Miss A), Taecyeon (2pm), Wooyoung (2pm), Ham Eun Jung (T-ara) and of course, the adorable geek of the group, Kim Soo-hyun-ssi. The only non-idol, watch him evolve from quiet nerd to vocal powerhouse in what seems like it should somehow mirror his own story of starting out in the industry while still in high school.

Visually, it looks dated, but you’ll get over it once these kids start singing their catchy melodies.

  • Secretly Greatly (2013)

The best K-dramas and films of Kim Soo-hyun K-Selection

With Kim Soo-hyun leading a band of future celebrities like Choi Woo-Shik (Parasite, Our Beloved Summer) and Uhm Tae-goo (Night in Paradise, Coin Locker Girl), Secretly, Greatly tells the story of a clandestine North Korean spy. Biding his time, he lays low as the village idiot, occasionally checking in with his comrades, but always with little information and no new directives.

So they continue to wait until a change of power in their country requires them to make an extreme choice. This is not what they expected. Find it on Prime.

  • Giant (2010)

Kim Soo-hyun's Best K-dramas and Movies

  • History | Action

Kim Soo-hyun and Yeo Jin-goo (My Absolute Boyfriend, Hotel de Luna, Beyond Evil) lead the set-up of the story. Both are brilliant as key young characters. And the two kids completely steal the show. After episode 9, their characters grow up to become other actors of the era. And our stars take their shine with them. It’s a period Kdrama about a family ready for revenge, but which also intelligently tells the story of the birth of the Gangnam district in Seoul. To see on Viki, Prime.

  • My Love from the Star (2013)

The best K-dramas and films of Kim Soo-hyun K-Selection

  • Romantic comedy | Fantasy |  

It would be difficult to steal the spotlight from Gianna Jun, who plays the comedic lead, a down-on-her-luck celebrity. She relies on her amazing neighbor, who she discovers is beautiful beyond this world – and beyond. But time passes for our extraterrestrial who, after 400 years, waits for the colleagues who will take him home. A love story doomed to failure. Watch it on Netflix, Viki.

  • The Moon That Embraces the Sun (2012)

The best K-dramas and films of Kim Soo-hyun K-Selection

  • History | Romance | Fantasy

A romance between a fictional king and his shaman during the Joseon Dynasty, with politics and conspiracies as a backdrop. Awarded several times, this Kdrama features lovers who met in their childhood and who are separated at every opportunity. Kim’s brother in Giant plays the role of her 15-year-old junior in the first part of the story. Find it on Netflix, Viki.

  • It’s Okay to Not Be Okay (2020)

The best K-dramas and films of Kim Soo-hyun K-Selection

  • Romance | Mental health and autism | Emmy nomination

A story of lonely hearts, family secrets and psychological dysfunction. He has low self-esteem, she’s been diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder – that screams romance, right? But somehow it’s really romantic. In addition to the main couple, Oh Jung-se plays Kim’s autistic older brother, often stealing the scene with calming logic and relevant acting. Watch on Netflix.

  • Real (2017)

The best K-dramas and films of Kim Soo-hyun K-Selection

  • Dark mystery  

Led by Kim Soo-hyun in both leads, this neo-noir mystery film is a complicated story of a not-so-clean-cut casino owner with some anger issues and maybe a few other disturbing issues. This film also stars singer Sulli as her psychiatrist. A difficult role for any actor, this one is worth watching if you can find it on Netflix, Viu, or AppleTV in your area.

  • The Thieves (2012)

The best K-dramas and films of Kim Soo-hyun K-Selection

  • Heist movie | Comedy

A classic heist film, billed as the “Korean Ocean’s 11”, with a cast of players, it’s a lively and fun film. Based on ticket sales, it is the tenth highest-grossing film in Korean history. Several groups of criminals – some of whom have already worked together – come together to seize a valuable diamond. As in many heist films, not everyone escapes unscathed. And not everyone plays fair.

You’ll recognize a number of award-winning actors, including Gianna Jun (Legend of the Blue Sea, Kingdom, Jirisan), Lee Jun-jae (Squid Game, Deliver Us from Evil), Kim Yoon-seok (Escape from Mogadishu), and Kim Hye-soo (Hyena, Coin Locker Girl, Under the Queen’s Umbrella).