30 Day Asian Drama Challenge: Day 19

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Day 19

Ooh, this is a tough one. A really tough one, actually. I feel like I am rather unqualified to really evaluate someone's acting talent, even if only for this challenge. But to make this question easier for me I slightly edited the question from "the best acting award of all time" to "the best acting award for a certain performance". Because logically speaking, I cannot give an award for whole career to someone whose career is still going on. So, I just chose a few people I think would deserve an award for specific role. Though, I think this means that today's post kinda coincides with "my favourite Asian drama character"-posts a bit. Oh well, feel free to skip if I get too repetitive.

Kang Ji Hwan for Coffee House

I have always thought that Kang Ji Hwan's performance in Coffee House has been very underrated. And it's not because I am biased towards that drama, although I am. But I really think that in this show, as Jin Soo, he gave one of the most interesting performances out of everything I have seen and he truly made that character his own. KJH has a wonderful sense for comedy and I have seen it in his pre- and post-Coffee House works, but it was in Coffee House where his comedic sense felt just right for this role. While the character of Jin Soo was already quite intriguing, with all the different layers of his personality, KJH brought the character to life. Avoiding Jin Soo's character becoming too cartoonish or unreal, he balanced the outrageousness of the character with his talent for quiet understated emotion. And because he so seamlessly brought crazy Jin Soo to life, for a second there I kinda wondered that maybe this is the real KJH.

Jo Jung Suk for What's Up?/Architecture 101/The King 2 Hearts/You're The Best, Lee Soon Shin

I know that Jo Jung Suk is kinda new to acting in dramas and that his repertoire is not that extensive, but I have loved him in every single role I've seen him in and he always manages to impress me with his dedication to the smallest nuances of acting. No matter how minor his role is, he always stands out. It is just like they say: "there are no small parts, only small actors". Well, JJS isn't one of those small actors, considering his ability to steal the show in almost everything he has starred in. In fact, it really is difficult for me to single out my favourite role from him. Is it the dorky jokester Kim Byung Gun, the best friend and romance expert Nap Teuk-I, the earnest bodyguard Eun Shi Kyung, or the hilariously clumsy CEO Shin Jun Ho? Don't know, because he rocked every role like he was born for it.

Jung Ryeo Won for History of the Salaryman

History of the Salaryman is filled with awesome actors/actresses, but whenever I think about that show it is Jung Ryeo Won's character Yeo Chi that first pops into my mind. The role of Yeo Chi was kind of a bold choice for JRW because, on the one hand, she really needed to be over-the-top funny but, on the other, she also had to give her real depth. It is easy to overact such a character, but JRW balanced out Yeo Chi's craziness with unexpected vulnerability and emotion. She really dedicated herself for this role, and you can see that dedication. She wasn't afraid to look unattractive or strange, but let the character cry her heart out without any concern whether she looked pretty while doing that. There was never a dull moment in her performance, as there was also never a dull bone in Yeo Chi's body - she was always full of fire. And you could imagine how much fun JRW might have had while acting as Yeo Chi. Tons, I bet.

Moon Geun Young for Cinderella's Sister

I feel like I have talked about Cinderella's Sister too much in these 30 Day Challenge posts, but the reason is that even though I think as a whole the drama was a lackluster, I still haven't really gotten over Moon Geun Young's portrayal of the not-really-evil stepsister Eun Jo. Since Eun Jo's character was a rather cold and inexpressive, I was especially impressed how MGY could show so many different kinds of emotion with a single look. It's something that not every actor/actress can do without looking constipated. What made this role so perfect for her was also because MGY is not a "classic" beauty. I love that unconventional beauty of MGY (especially in first 4 episodes) and that kind of raw, untamed beauty of Eun Jo. I don't think anyone could have acted the role better than MGY, because she was perfect for the role in both talent and appearance. Though, I was rather disappointed that with the gradual downfall of the drama Eun Jo also went through a downfall, but I blame writing for that.

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