It is no news that Korean films, celebrities, and music groups have become very popular around the world due to the spread of Korean popular culture. One of the Korean celebrities who have gained worldwide fame is Ahn Jae-hyun, a young actor and model from South Korea. He is best known for his appearances on Korean television drama series.
Ahn Jae-hyun’s career kicked off when he started modeling on runway shows, commercials, and magazines in 2009. As a model, he worked for many designers and was recognized with nominations and awards. One such award was the Best New Model at the 4th Asian Model Festival among others. Two years later, his acting career began when he starred in the reality TV show Lee Soo-geun and Kim Byung-man’s High Society (2011) as a delivery man. His first casting caught the eyes of many, hence his subsequent gigs. He was featured next in the 2013 drama, My Love from Another Star, where he played the brother to popular Korean actress, Jun Ji-hyun.
He made his debut lead role playing a vampire in the Korean movie, Blood (2015) and is best known for his appearance in films like You’re All Surrounded (2014), Cinderella with Four Knights (2016), Reunited Worlds (2017) and The Beauty Inside (2018). He has also appeared in a few Korean music videos. Here are some of Ahn Jae-hyun’s films ranked from best to worst.
Ahn Jae-hyun’s Best and Worst Movies and TV Shows
My Love from the Star (2013 – 2014)
My Love From The Star is arguably the best TV show Ahn Jae-hyun has ever appeared in due to its high critical ratings, adaptations, wide popularity, and huge success. The 21-episode series is centered on the love story between an alien who landed on earth during the Joseon Dynasty and a Hallyu actress – 400 years after the alien’s arrival. It was written by Park Ji-eun and directed by Deep Rooted Tree’s Jang Tae-yoo.
It stars Jun Ji-hyun, Kim Soo-hyun, Park Hae-jin, and Yoo In-na alongside Ahn Jae-hyun as Cheon Yoon-jae. The drama influenced Korea’s fashion as clothes, accessories and make-up products worn by Jun Ji-hyun were purchased en masse following its success. The movie recieved high ratings in South Korea and most of Asia. A Philippine and Thai remake was made while that of the United States was proposed but never broadcasted. Also, due to its popularity, it was adapted into a Chinese film in 2014.
You’re All Surrounded (2014)
In this Ahn Jae-hyun’s TV show, Lee Seung-gi plays the role of a son who changes his name to avoid being identified by his mother’s killer as he sought to avenge her death. He also becomes a detective to unravel this case. This young detective falls in love with a middle school classmate while spying on his team leader who he believes is a party to the murder. As he works on this case, he discovers the truth behind the incident 11 years ago and he learns about his past.
Working alongside Ahn Jae-hyun on set were Cha Seung-won, Go Ara, Park Jung-min, Oh Yoon-ah, and Sung Ji-ru. This film is a television drama that ran from May 7 to July 17, 2014, on SBS. It was shot in South Korea and included Korean actors and actresses. The script was written by Lee Jung-sun and directed by Yoo In-shik. The series gained a lot of popularity in Korea and beyond and was nominated for a couple of awards including the 7th Korea Drama Awards, 16th Seoul International Youth Film Festival, SBS Drama Awards and more.
Have you ever watched a vampire movie produced in South Korea, my guess is no. Well, you might want to watch Blood. It is a Korean television drama about vampires and of course, romance as is always the case. Blood is about a doctor (Ahn Jae-hyun) who is a vampire but loves humans and therefore tries to save cancer patients while suppressing his lust for blood. He finds himself falling in love with a young, proud and wealthy doctor (Ku Hye-sun).
Blood was very popular internationally despite receiving poor ratings in Korea. In China, for instance, it was the No.1 hot topic on Weibo at the time. It was also one of the most-watched drama series on the internet worldwide. It trended at the top on Drama Fever, Viki, and My Asian TV. In 2015, it was ranked 6th on Drama Fever Top 10 Most Popular Korean Dramas. Starring alongside Ahn Jae-hyun (who played the lead role) was Ji Jin-hee, Ku Hye-sun, and Son Soo-hyun.
Snow Lotus (2015)
Another amazing performance from Ahn Jae-hyun was seen in this 2015 romantic and time travel drama. Snow Lotus also known as Lucid Dreams is a creative depiction of love and time-space transverse. It is centered on Lee Soo Hyun and Han Yoon Hee who fall in love hundreds of years ago. Their love is threatened by an ex-fiance of Yoon Hee who is still in love with her. The strength of the love between Soo Hyun and Yoon Hee is depicted through the snow lotus, a deep-rooted flower that survives in harsh and unfavorable weather conditions. Fast forward to the present time; Lee and Han work together at the same office and are strangely drawn to each other even in their dreams.
The drama was written by Min Ji-Eun and directed by Song Hyun-Wook. It stars Ji Jin Hee, Lee Ji Ah, and Seo Ji Hye alongside Ahn Jae-hyun. The drama was widely accepted and approved by reviewers and audiences alike. The storyline fascinated its viewers as much as the cinematic landscape and character performances.
The Beauty Inside (2018)
The interesting and sometimes intriguing fact about South Korean movies or dramas is their ability to introduce concepts rarely seen in the movie industry. For instance The Beauty Inside is a drama that brings to the fore prosopagnosia, a condition that inhibits the ability to recognize familiar faces, including one’s own face. The drama is a love story about an A-list actress whose appearance changes at a certain point in a month and a prosopagnosic executive director of an airline company.
Im Mea-ri rewrote this story into a drama series from a 2015 movie with the same. This Ahn Jae-hyun TV series was directed by the Meloholic and Revolutionary Love director Song Hyun-Wook. It aired on JTBC from October 1 to November 20, 2018, for 16 episodes. Starring alongside Ahn Jae-hyun were Seo Hyun-jin, Lee Min-ki, and Lee Da-hee. The Beauty Inside was rated 8.5/10 by the audience on MyDramaList and 7/10 on IMDb.
Cinderella with Four Knights (2016)
Writers Min Ji-eun and Won Young-sil gave a fresh angle to the Cinderella story in this Korean drama series. The tvN series, also known as Cinderella and Four Knights aired from August 12 to October 1, 2016. Like all Cinderella stories, it was about a damsel in distress who had a mean stepmother and had to work in a big mansion as a maid. This time she had no evil stepsisters but was caught up in a love quadrangle as her attention was sought by 4 handsome sons of her benefactor.
This drama series was shot in South Korea and was very popular both on national and international soils. It scored 7.3/10 on IMDb based on audience approval votes. It also received accolades in the form of awards. Ahn Jae-hyun who played the role of a Playboy and son of a billionaire won the Top Excellence Award, Actor at the 9th Korea Drama Awards and a Global Star Award. He also won the 7th Macau International Television Festival for Best Actor.
Reunited Worlds (2017)
South Korean dramas are known for their touching romantic stories and this is no different. Reunited Worlds is one of such Korean dramas with a compelling romantic story bordering on the lives of Sung Hae-sung and Jung Jung-won. The two lovers meet again after twelve years having been torn apart by the death of Sung Hae-sung who mysteriously resurrects from the dead having not aged a single day, while Jung Jung-won is now 12 years older. With the help of Jung Jung-won, Sung Hae-sung sets out to uncover the mystery between his death and resurrection.
The series was written by Lee Hee-myung and directed by Baek Soo-chan. It aired from July 19 to September 21, 2017, on SBS and had a total of 40 episodes. It starred Yeo Jin-goo, Ahn Jae-Hyun, and Lee Yeon-hee who played the roles of the major characters. The critical reception of this drama is unknown, however, the audience approved of it as it scored 7.6/10 on IMDb and MyDramaList.
New Journey to the West (2016 – 2018)
New Journey to the West is a variety TV show which began in 2015 and was broadcast online via Naver TVCast. However, Ahn Jae-hyun wasn’t on the show until its second season in 2016. It is a game show where the host travels to China to play various games. This show is one of the most popular variety programs in Korea. According to IMDb, it is the fifth most popular variety show in South Korea. Reviews from the audience show that it is a very interesting and engaging show.
Perfect Imperfection (2016)
Ahn Jae-hyun also stars in Chinese movies and Perfect Imperfection was his first. It was also a successful venture but not his most successful. This Chinese love story was directed by Chen Bing and is centered on a love story between a couple who have opposite characters with the same astrological sign, Virgo. It is a simple movie whose story can be summarized as opposite sides attract.
Reviewers also say the concept was good but poor acting and low budget lessened its quality. The audience on IMDb scored the movie 6.6/10 while those on MyDramaList gave the movie a 6.8/10 rating. Despite the average ratings, the movie won the Golden Angel Award for Film at the 12th Chinese American Film Festival and grossed ¥4.4 million at the Chinese box office.
Fashion King (2014)
This is a coming of age film about a teenager’s life through high school and into adulthood while discovering his passion for fashion. It is arguably the worst drama series Ahn Jae-hyun has appeared in. It was written by Yoon In-wan and directed by Oh Ki-hwan. Also, it was based on the Webtoon series Fashion King written by Kian84 also known as Kim Hee-min.
Despite receiving four million hits, it is regarded as Ahn Jae-hyun’s least successful movie because of its low rating. On iMDb it was scored 5.2/10 by the audience while on Letterboxd it was rated 2.2/5 by critics.