TW-ent Lists Hyun Bin, Kim Soo Hyun, Gong Yoo, and Song Joong Ki as Top 4 K-drama Actors of the 2010-2020 Decade

Lists are fraught with disagreement but I don’t think I find anything objectionable about this list. TW-ent ranked the top Hallyu K-drama actors of the last decade (2010-2020) and selected four still very active and marketable male leads Hyun Bin, Kim Soo Hyun, Gong Yoo, and Song Joong Ki. I don’t think any of these four could be left off such a list and perhaps the list can only be expanded to add a few more names. Hyun Bin is book-ending the decade with his two greatest hits Secret Garden in 2010 and now Crash Landing on You in 2019-2020, Kim Soo Hyun hit superstar status young with You From Another Star and The Moon Embraces the Sun, Gong Yoo washed away the failure of Big with the trendiest buzziest drama in years with Goblin, and of course Song Joong Ki swept all of Asia with the mega hit Descendants of the Sun and also delivered a dense melo torte of a drama in Nice Guy.


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TW-ent Lists Hyun Bin, Kim Soo Hyun, Gong Yoo, and Song Joong Ki as Top 4 K-drama Actors of the 2010-2020 Decade — 82 Comments

  1. Where is lee min ho? Whose dramasare big everywhere and till to this day remain most popular k actor overseas. He smbecome king and faced ksh sjk for pan asia popularity. You dont have to like his acting but lmh deserved it more. He has more hit dramas thus decade than hyun bin and gong yoo( yes they have many but i m talking this decade ) . Peoole who wanna fight and argue with me have a great day. I am not changing my opinion.
    Sorry you cant cut off lmh’s name from this decade list

    • He become first king of new wave and new faced ksh sjk but outlasted them and with new bug drama coming, he is going ti start new decade on high note. Lmh belongs there. Haters can hate but cant deny this fact
      Though this list dont matters but still his name should be there

      • Sorry sjk n ksh r not much better actors. Onoy gy n hb. N this is about starpower n success. Lmh deserved it. Period. Biggest actor of decade

      • Because sjk already hit it big since 2012. Dots only elevated his status into superstardom. His movie werewolf boy and nice guy were huge hit in 2012. He was the only actor with kim soo hyun who was included in gallup korea and forbes korea power list in 2013.

    • …the list says THIS decade ie 2010-19

      Now compare the hit projects of the others in film and tv for those years:

      Kim Soo Hyun: Dream High (2011), Moon/Sun (2012), The Thieves (2012), Secretly Greatly (2013), You From Another Star (2013). I’m not even including Producer in this btw even though it was successful.

      Hyun Bin: Secret Garden (2010), Confidential Assignment (2017), The Swindlers (2017), Crash Landing On You (2019)

      Gong Yoo: The Silenced (2011), Train to Busan (2016), The Age of Shadows (2016), Goblin (2016).

      (I left out Kim Ji Young Born 1982 because he’s only a supporting role in that, the movie is Han Ji Min’s show)

      Song Joong Ki: Nice Guy (2012), Werewolf Boy (2012), Descendants of the Sun (2016)

      (I left out Tree with Deep Roots since he appears in only the first half)

      Lee Min Ho: Heirs (2013). (Legend of the Blue Sea was not the YFAS-level buzz hit SBS wanted, but I’ll be generous and include that too).

      Basic maths shows who has had the most impactful projects out of the people listed. Even the ‘doesn’t deserve to be here’ Song Joongki has had more hit projects THIS decade than LMH, stop being stuck in 2009 thinking this is still Gu Jun Pyo era.

      • Ignoring city huntee which was massive oan asia hit and had highest endorsement rate in korea and time slot leadee, bigger than nice guy amd producers . Lobs might not be mlfts but it is bigger than arthal n nice guy pan asia, producers. His chinese movie was hit his korean graphic movie was hit. 5 successful projecys

        Hyun bin flopped with 4 r 5 movies including last 2 in 2018. Only hit drama was secret gardern moa was jnderperformer and cloy success came in 2020. If we tale poll from 1 jan 2010 to rnd kf 2019. He has more more flops than hits lmao. And took one decade ti get hit drama. Success of cloy is in 2020

        Gong yoo had massive 2016 with 1 hit drama m 2 hits. Also 2011 hit movie but he haa flops too. But i will rank him above hyun bin

        Sjk has nice guy which was local hit and firat as male lead anyways. Werewolf boy was hit and dots made him hallyu star but arthdal flop n movie underperformed. He has lost his cfs. So he couldnt maintain the pace

        Ksh is only one who might be ranked at top sucxess wise. No disagree but in longevity his popularity has faded and next prject quite look bad. But i hope it works

        Lmh has 5 hut projects. So ur jaths skills jeed work

        Moreover south korean givt took poll in 16 halkyu popular countrues and he topped 14 out of 16 when he wa in army and u say he has no impact beating gong yoo who was coming of massive success. Yes bof ended om 2009 and he has followed it massiveky becominf bugger. I rather take sk govt poll over a hatera opinion n distortion of facts and selective criteria and a random taiwan thjng wjich has no credibility
        U will cry more when king becomes bugger thab ckoy and any drama this year. Cant wait

      • Cool, add City Hunter AND LOTBS (if you think it had that much impact) and he has 3.

        That’s still only equal with Song Joong Ki, and still behind the hits count of Hyun Bin, Gong Yoo and Kim Soo Hyun. I have stated that I left out some of their successful and buzzed-about projects too.

        Crash Landing On You is a drama that began airing in 2019 and started getting its bumpup in ratings in 2019, so nice try but it still belongs to the decade.

        I don’t know why LMH fans keep banging on about China when the market has been all but closed for years because of THAAD and no matter how much they like a Korean star, their homegrown stars are 20xbigger there. Downgrade the other actors’ work as “local” hits all you want, it doesn’t change facts and I don’t get the logic of claiming LMH career isn’t affected at all by flops like Personal Taste or Faith but somehow….Kim Soo Hyun’s “longevity” is damaged because ONE project he did was a flop in a decade full of smash hit projects? Come on.

  2. Lists are just list but if it’s mine, I think LMH should be one of the 4 and if that’s the case it should be song Joon ki that will be left out. Main reason boys over flowers defined kdrama during that moment. it was insane, ridiculous but all of us were sucked in. He also did city hunter (which I love), heirs (which i hated), and LOTBS (which I enjoyed but forgettable) – yet all 3 had good ratings and that makes a worthy top 4.

    You can’t take Hyun bin off this list (especially now with CLOY on a high. Secret garden was on fire on the early 2000s and he’s ending the decade with another fire drama that is worthy definitely ) and Goo Yoo with goblin is untouchable. The vulnerable one is SJK- other than descendants of the sun, A. Chronicles was hard to watch and he hasn’t had a hit since then

    • Not only descendants of the sun, He also had critical and commercial hit like innocent man and werewolf boy before dots.

      • The movie and innocent man were no where hit outside korea like lmh dramas. His every drama sold out overseas. So lmh deseeved it more

  3. Gong Yoo all the way than Hyun Bin second for me. How I wish Gong Yoo have another drama soon. Waiting to watch his movie with PBG.

  4. My personal list would be Kim soo hyun at no.1 , gong yoo at second place, lee min ho at third, song Joong ki at 4th and hyun bin at fifth. The reason for hyun bin is that except secret garden, he never had any memorable or big hit Movie or drama, unlike rest of four actors who had back to back hit project. His current Crash landing will definitely help him to get back at top.

    • Hyun bin had 3 hit dramas in the 2000s – Kim sam soon (with a high of 50+% ratings do we even see this nowadays) , secret garden (hitting almost 30%) and now CLOY (running for tvN TOP rated drama now). Even MOA had decent ratings for tvN. Put it next to SJK , it’s obvious.

      • This is about 2009 to 2019 and cloy most success is in 2020. so hyun bin has least success this decade tbh

      • Well, this list is about this decade so sam soon is out of questions. Both him and sjk enlisted to military right after their huge success. In case of sjk he found his roaring success right after coming back from military which is impossible feat for actors. Lee seung gi, ji chang wook their comeback drama were not a success, even hyun bin, it took him a while to find a major hit. MOA was a hit rating wise but it was a forgettable drama.

    • Agree with the 4, even though I hated DoTS and never watched Hyun Bin’s dramas with the exception of My Name is Kim Sam Soon.

      And I do think that LMH doesn’t belong in this list as Boys over Flowers was released in 2009.

      • The heirs, city hunters, legends of blue sea were oan asia hits. His track record is best this decade. Anyone who denies lmh dint belo here is a blind hater

  5. I agree with the above list, those four names are relevant for the last decade. As for LMH detractors, I believe the reason why LMH is not on this list is because he hasn’t been working steadily unlike Gong Yoo, Kim Soo Hyun, Song Joong Ki and Hyun Bin. Although Kim Soo Hyun doesn’t have a recent drama and his last movie, Real, flopped big time. He still retains a lot of online buzz and press for his recent cameos in highly rated dramas. The global impact of SJK’s DOTS cannot be underestimated. Consider this: in China, this year there are at least five different romcoms dramas between soldiers and female doctors. What does that say about imitation? The sincerest form of flattery. And SJK followed up his phenomenal success in DOTs with Battleship Island and Arthdal Chronicles. Whether or not his latest works were well received, the point is that he is constantly working which implies generating more press and online buzz and keeping him at the top of people’s minds. Hyun Bin’s and Gong Yoo’s relevancy does not need to be discussed here at all. Even though, Hyun Bin’s post MS had the epic fail Hyde Jekyll and Me; he followed it up with two well received dramas: ‘Memories of Alhambra’ and ‘Crash Landing on You’, plus his movies did well at the box office. Contrast that with LMH, the mega successful Boys Over Flowers was 2009 (this was two decades ago) and the last drama he starred in was in 2016, which opened up to mixed reviews and wasn’t mega successful compared to Secret Garden, DOTS or Goblin. I’m not saying that LMH doesn’t have the potential to be one of the top actors for this new decade, I’m merely arguing that his name could be left off this list. He needs to churn out more work on a more frequent basis than he did in the past so he can continue to stay buzz-worthy. I’m sure that starring in a KES drama is the best move he can make for now. It is sure to keep him in the press and relevant for a long time to come, as she is a confirmed hit maker.

    • @Adal – exactly. LMH fans throw tantrums about Hallyu like it’s still 2009 but the other guys simply had more successful projects in the last decade, and had more of them. The ratings, CPI indexes and ticket sales are cold hard numbers, and the list was right.

      He will probably recover his status with that Kim Eun Sook drama though, KES dramas are always hits.

  6. Why do people question Song Joong-ki but not Gong Yoo? Song Joong-ki has Innocent Man and Descendants of the Sun for the last decade, while Gong Yoo only has Goblin. Coffee Prince was a much bigger hit than Innocent Man but it was released in 2007. For Hyun Bin, they probably took Crash Landing On You into account considering it was released in Dec 2019; and MOA had decently high ratings as well.

    Agree Lee Min-ho should have a place here. He is no doubt the biggest Hallyu actor for the past decade alongside Kim Soo-hyun, and would make a strong comeback with his next drama.

      • I didn’t. The title said K-drama so I didn’t count their movies. In that case SJK has A Werewolf Boy as well.

      • Train to Busan, The Silenced, Age of Shadows, Gong Yoo has been very successful in films.

        That’s without even counting Kim Ji Young Born 1982 which he has a supporting role in.

      • One great 2016 and one hit in 2011. Gong yooo flopped in ither years. One great year dont make him biggest lmao

      • @adyjunjihyun Actually you just need one project to make you an hallyu star. Gongyoo take all credit from goblin. Kim go eun and lee dongwook popularity not in par with him.
        LMH need to share the popularity of the heirs with PSH and KWB. LMH fans really obsessed with this kind of thing. You better worried about your oppa future, GY will still relevan even after 10 years because great PD recognized his acting. But LMH just has a hallyu star thing, when he’s hit his 40s, his fans will just leave him and call him old. And the great PD not interisted with him because he still not prove anything with his acting. Oppa future in danger

      • @ady – that’s rich considering you are feverishly insisting LMH is the greatest of all time based on projects from 2011 and 2013. You’re really calling Gong Yoo a flop but claiming your oppar is the greatest as if you’re stuck in a time warp from 2009? Really?

      • Tiani lmao u dont hace vrystal ball to predict that his fan will leace. Gong yoo fams left him till 2016. And came back . U can make predictions og ur hate for lmh but he is going nowhere. Another decade on way. He temains biggest korean actor worlwdie. Keep denying

  7. Its good to see gongyoo there, I felt like Korean not really seeing him as hallyu star (tho I don’t really mind).I know He’s pretty big in Taiwan.

  8. I am suprise to see hyun bin on the list. I know secret garden was huge hit but that was almost 10 years ago. Lee min ho should have been included if the list is based on Star power and popularity.

    • Agree LMH should be there instead of HB sorry only because I’m a fan after watching Legend of the blue sea and reading up on his impressive resume and it’s Hallyu top actors and LMH has achieved that status.

  9. No Jo In Sung after the masterpieces That Winter The Wind Blows and It’s Okay That’s Love? He deserves to be there over Song Joong Ki. This list should be at least five to ten names long, not just four. Dumb.

  10. Kim So hyun should be in top position and there is no way to opt out Hyun Bin.
    Lee Min Ho should be placed in the top4 . Song Joon Ki doesn’t deserve to be in the list.

  11. Kim So hyun should be in top position and there is no way to opt out Hyun Bin.
    Lee Min Ho should be placed in the top4 .

  12. This list not that reliable. Hyunbin is not that big, everyone may be knew him but he just have small fanbase. He came to Taiwan last year and just did fanmeeting with like 3000 people. Thats just average number, even non hallyu actor can make it. Counting how many people who came to their fanmeeting is more reliable than this. Gongyoo did fanmeeting in taiwan in 2017 with 6500 people. Thats what I called the king of hallyu.

  13. KSH’s acting is remarkable and he is a very humble person too. He also completed his active military duties even he doesn’t need to.

  14. Lmh haters r so pressed that ge is cmng with another big project this year and start new decade at top after finishing the king of last decade. Topping sk govt pools which is ignored by them using some taiwan biased poll to discredit him. Sjk flopping. Htun bin finally having a big drama in decade. Gong yoo just one big year and ksh eith lamr comeback. Haters gonna hate. Lmh is face of halkyu this decade and his impact is acknowledged by govt . Royal we n haters can keep cryingg. Cant wait for king to see more delicious tears

      • Suzy vagaflopped hard with sequel cancelled with a useless movie role which noone cares about. No top actress will sugn such flowerpot n her next drama is with b list actor. Vagabond mdr such a loss so they couldnt make next sequel. Her onoy claim was cf list n she failed this year at it. She will be finished by 30 lmaoo.

    • They are definitely top 10. But their dramas didnt reach the heightd of otherss.anyways jcw not loosing sleep with calvin kelin dral

      • Lol he dumpes bed warmee suzy wheb he is bigger star more rich n has global endorsements unlike suzy who is loval cd queen. Sorry was local cf queen and he charges more fees than her. He got bored of bed warmer

      • They are talking about star-power and LMH is definitely the most popular Korean actor internationaly.
        An example would be messi and Ronald.
        Messi might be the better player but Ronaldo is more popular.
        He won so many awards and just wait for his next drama the king just like the title says he is a king and mr kiean wave, king if ad, face if kdrama, Asian God man and more.
        One more Lee min ho was ranked first in the most loved Korean actor in 2018 and 2019 considering the fact that he did no drama and was in the military during that time.
        Suzy is not the only women in the world. He can Fall in love with someone else again when the time comes.
        Us minoz are not angry or jealous of the other actors on the list especially me because I watch many Korean actors include the 4 actors here. The thing is that even if you don’t like for whatever reason you just denied the fact that he deserve to be here.

        Legend of the blue sea 28% views.(was popular in so many countries just like goblin and descendant of the sun).
        Everybody in kdrama land know the heir.
        City hunter is definitely in top 5 for best action drama for me just behind healer and k2.
        His movie bounty hunter beat many records in China and was so popular.
        Gangnam blue one of the best movie ever and a slap in those of you guys who claimed he can not act.
        Watch his fan meeting internationally compare to any other Korean actors.
        He has so many cf deals too.

  15. Why is there so many complaints when your bias is not on the list? DO NOT ruin your idol image with your act. Just because he is not on the list does not mean he is not top actor. There may be another list he is in.

  16. Lmh always choose strict character ( like chaebol, rich students) he is popular but he never get compliments from entertainment critics (like he is versatile or talented)
    That’s true we can not deny

  17. Song Joong Ki is by far the MOST TALENTED, Gifted, BEST LOOKING Actor Korea has produced. He’s smart, funny, serious and capable of playing any role requested. His Salary by far should exceed all of the other Actors. Korea does not give him the justice he deserves. He definitely needs better promoters..!

    • SJK is the weakest of the 4. Your comment is very subjective as a fan. Objectively he has the lowest ratings among these 4. Now with the switch of agency, I am not sure what kind of promoters you expect..! I don’t think he can ask for high salary given the low ratings of AC and the bad reputation of poor handling of divorce.

      • I agree with Witney Alona, Song Joong Ki being the most talent among the four star. But I also don’t want him get too popular if it’s the cost of him being popular is always starring something like in DOTS. He will be wasted.

  18. 2019 official government top 20 korean cutural and arts representatives. hope koalas post it despite not her faves in it!
    1. moon jae in
    2. bts
    3, lee min ho while coming from army and not a project in 3 years
    4. song hye kyo8. song joong ki
    19. parkshin hye
    20. lee byung hun

    lmaooo. There r still people here who deny lee min ho is hallyu king and now will say govt list is fake and their opinions matter more. 11 years and he is still at top. and with king coming his another decade at tops set up! where is local pbg or megastars hb or gy!! ! I expected ksh but he needs to bounce back! sjk is still popular
    Ony third to president n bts.
    That is king!
    Also that woozie fan @marie can take a hike now! She is such a flop now!

  19. Am i the only one who doesnt like Globin here? I am just honest. I watch till ep 4 and drop. I can’t understand the script. Very boring drama to me. My top 3 is LMH, KSH and hyun bin. I have to admit the popularity of SSK.

    End.

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