Kim Soo Hyun Adds Another Exceptional Drama Performance with Moon Kang Tae in It’s Okay to Not be Okay

It’s time to say goodbye to It’s Okay to Not be Okay and I’m most loathe to bid farewell to male lead Moon Kang Tae. I feel like his character still has the most untold changes in the future, what career will he pick after going back to school and how will he navigate finally putting himself first and also still being the bedrock for his love and his brother. These questions are only there because Kim Soo Hyun was simply phenomenal in his performance as Kang Tae, bringing the character to life and without the crutches of being a “perfect male lead”. He’s not an alien with super powers anymore or the King of Joseon Korea, Kang Tae is most akin to Baek Seung Chan in Producer but darker, sadder, sexier, and manlier. I’m glad he played puppy dog Seung Chan prior to the military and got that performance done with before post military he’s definitely got a richer edge and exudes a more mature air. I know he’s picky and doesn’t need to do dramas or movies just for the heck of it but I’m going to start counting the days again until his next project arrives.


Kim Soo Hyun Adds Another Exceptional Drama Performance with Moon Kang Tae in It’s Okay to Not be Okay — 52 Comments

  1. not only he’s a good actor but he has a good taste in picking dramas for sure. Almost all of his dramas are watchable and memorable.

  2. Honestly, his handsome face was pretty distracting, my brain didn’t focus completely on the story :p

    The drama was less impressive at the end but the actors were all very good until the end.

    I’m very excited to see his next project!

  3. Im in the minority who thought it was an ok drama overall. When it comes to mental health drama, i still prefer Kill Me Heal Me and It’s Ok It’s Love. KSH’s acting was good tho, the crying scenes, i will give him that.

    • I I agree with you.

      IOTNBO is certainly NOT the drama I would recommend for mental heath. It felt like window dressing. It’s ok that’s love way superior.

      It’s also not the best role of KSH. To the words of the secretary advising the nurse “frankly apart from his good looks he has nothing to offer”.

      I don’t mean his acting, it’s good. But he’s character wasn’t attractive

      • He had suppressed all his needs and desires for years to obediently fulfill his promise to his mother to care for his autistic brother. The only thing visible in the beginning was that handsome face.

  4. Such a brilliant actor! Also anticipating his next project. I hope we don’t have to wait that long. It would be nice to see him in a medical or legal drama.

  5. I like that he pick projects for the different roles – not the hype. He’s a good actor, not the best, but not far behind and definitely not contented to just be a pretty face.
    And when he’s in one role you don’t see other roles before which is a great testimony to his acting and the way he immerses into the character. Well done!

  6. i wish some korean writer will start to think about story of a racer…i feel like Kim Soo Hyun will be awesome on some bikes…♥

      • ohhhh… MARS. Dang! that was a loooong time ago, but I remember how I was hooked on that series. And yes, Kim Soo-hyun would look really good in motorbikes.

  7. I was never a real fan of his, despite the craze during My Love From Another Star. But in this, I found him really charismatic with acting chops. I hope there is a follow up to Hotel Del Luna and he becomes the new owner. He was awesome in his cameo. One can only dream……the man, in his suit with his hair and swag….what’s not to love.

  8. He was great in this indeed. His performance was incredible and charming, and I can’t wait to see him in a new drama or movie again.

  9. Why am I more impressed by his brother in the show than KSH. And I actually prefer Producer than his other highly rated dramas.

    The 2nd half of IOTNBO is slow and especially the part where her mum didn’t died but go through plastic surgery to the extend that she can’t recognize her at all is rather illogical.

    KSH is no doubt a good actor though.

    • I thought so too. I honestly more impressed by Oh Jung Se and Seo Ye Ji’s acting than his. Though the way he pictured Kang Tae is very natural and nice.
      The second half of IONTBO had me feeling like the writer changed her mind halfway and decided to make it lighter with less focus on mystery/thriller, and more to the romance and drama. Maybe to attract wider audience?
      The final episode is satisfying though.

      • IOTNOB is actually more about female lead and his brother. An recent article on Naver said that KSH was offered many dramas and movies with famous writer and director and his role was of RICH AND HANDSOME GUY but he chooses IOTNOB coz of script and want to show pain of Kang Tae..he knows that story will more revolve about KO MOON YOUNG AND MOON SANG TAE…and SYJ and OJS will get more attention but he wants to play MOON KANG TAE and show his pain that’s the choose it as his comeback. It was also risk taking to choose low key drama and writer was unknown too..

    • I agree with a lot of what you said. Till date I feel his best performance was in The Producers. And for me OJS (his brother) stole the limelight in this show – which btw I dropped towards the end.

  10. Gawd after all these years i am still in awe everytime i watch him. He just proves again and again he can beind a character to flesh. Exceptional, satisfying and makes me want more..

    Crossing my fingers his next project would either be a myster thriller or action packed. And maybe him and YOo ahIn can be in it. Would be such an intense watch.

  11. For me , the star of the show is the brother, from the story point-of-view, and from acting/performance point-of-view.

    KSH comes a close second.

    As much as I want to like SYJ, I didn’t find her comfortable in that role.

  12. KSH was truly phenomenal. I thought his role in the Producers was the best performance he could give. He definitely deserved all the Daesangs for it specifically so I thought he’d never top that performance. And then Kang Tae happened. Very impressed and in awe of KSH and the kind of acting talent he posses. He’s so versatile and so grounded too. He picks challenges and is a risk taker but he posses the charisma and acting gravitas to pull off any character.

    I seriously cannot wait for him to be back. It doesn’t matter what he’ll do next, I’ll be there for it without a doubt.

  13. What makes KSH’s performance such a stand out was the very fact that the character itself wasn’t a stand out. SYJ and OJS played much more flamboyant and interesting roles. Being such good actors themselves, they could’ve stole the limelight.

    This isn’t KSH playing a charismatic King, an aloof alien or the only cast member who can act. It isn’t even him being the earnest puppy who amongst 3 other very popular co-leads still got 90% of airtime. In this drama, he had 2 great costars who both gave such phenomenal performances themselves and who had equivalent screen time. Kang-tae as a character was more reeled in, less explosive and more contemplative.

    That KSH was able to able to garner such rave reviews for his performance both locally and internationally. That so many people became such a huge fan of Kang-tae’s character. And that he was able to show such brilliant acting range for a role that’s actually quite a challenge. I’m extremely impressed.

    • @Lines

      I agree with you wholeheartedly. You summed up my thoughts completely. Why KSH is remarkable is because he took a traditionally obscure role and made it stand out in the midst of phenomenal acting by his costars.

    • This x ♾
      On paper, Gang Tae was such a classic pained hero. Very typical. But KSH brought in such a convincing and utterly heartbreaking yet uplifting performance, it’s so easy to get swept in. I’ve read so many comments from Kentz saying Gang Tae is the best male lead ever lol. But actually, he’s not that special – it’s KSH that makes him special. Amidst the colourful characters of OJS and SYJ, and despite his superstardom, KSH was a real standout.

    • My thoughts exactly. If you watch the drama, the characters of Moon Sang-tae and Go Moon-young have more “flesh” in them. Even the character growth is more apparent/noticeable for MST and GMY. The character of Moon Kang-tae on the other hand is quiet, controlled and as you said, contemplative. But as I watched the drama, I found myself “living” through MKT. Like am watching the drama on MKT’s perspective. I didn’t even notice it until half-way through the drama. KSH’s performance has completely reeled me in. I feel his quiet pain, anger, frustrations and fears.

      This drama is really one for the books. I have never love and root for a character as much I have for the three main characters in this drama.

    • +1

      Everyone said everything already. But yup. Exactly how I felt about Kang Tae. It has been a phenomenal performance and award worthy on so many levels.

    • You’ve put it perfectly. 100% agree with everything you wrote. I was never a fan of Kim SooHyun before this, hadn’t even seen a single drama of his and never felt the urge to. I started this drama because I saw a clip of the Tim Burton like animated bit going around, and that caught my eye. Seo Yeji’s character was what initially reeled me in, and to be completely honest I found Gangtae a bit bland. Sangtae’s performance always stole my attention at the start, simply by virtue of the type of role it is. But slowly, episode by episode, I found myself relating more and more with Gangtae and drawn more to his character. The confrontation between the brothers and his PHENOMENAL breakdown during that was when the switch flipped, and by the end of the show Gangtae’s character,not loud & flashy in any way like MY, or having obvious deliberate developmemt like ST, but a slow, subtle opening up to his emotions from his former subdued self, was the one that became my favorite. I loved how in the last episodes we can see his actual personality shining through, how he gets angry or frustrated without the guilt that previously accomoanied him, how he is the heart of the trio, how he has ambitions of his own and wants to study and explore. Man, I’ve fallen for him. Also I binged everything KSH has ever done and am doing the same for SYJ. OJS up next. Grateful to this drama for introducing me to these brilliant actors and characters 🙂

    • Great minds think alike.

      He deserves that 2.3M. No doubt. Best actor in his generation.

      Some names are also great, but i cant picture anyone else as Kang Tae but KSH. He nailed it well.
      I could understand his pain, his frustration, his anger and his emotions just by looking at his expressions. What a great actor.

      He seemed like walking on the thin line by taking the script from unknown script writer but he’s a true actor. So proud of being one of his 6M followers on IG, lmao.

  14. I like the fact, the real KSH is the complete opposite of his character, extrovert, dorky… I was very entertained watching the bts. looking forward to his next project. I’ve just noticed he is lefthanded like me ?. 1 more reason to love him lol.

  15. The best part of its ok is ohjungse’s acting and kmy’s fashion.. ive nv been impressed w ksh’s acting since star.. he always play this cool n quiet character.. bt ohjungse deserves another daesang..

    • “he always play this cool n quiet character”

      Since “star” he’s acted in 2 dramas; this and Producers where he was decidedly super uncool and most definitely not quiet. That was the biggest talking point back then – he chose a role completely the opposite of Do Min Joon. Before “star” he was in 2 other dramas: MoonSun (cool but definitely not quiet) and Dream High (neither cool, nor quiet).

      You’ve “nv” (I’m assuming that’s never) been impressed with KSH’s acting? Well, you’re entitled to your opinion obviously but you’ve also obviously haven’t seen very many KSH dramas either LOL.

      • I totally agree with you. Baek Seung-Chan was definitely not your typical male lead. He was super-dorky and very clumsy. ?

      • Baek Seungchan would love to be called cool n quiet actually lol. He’d be ecstatic, the dork.

      • @Herra


        You’re right. I take it back. BSC is cool and quiet. He’s dark and broody and contemplative too. I won’t take away his chance at being called something he probably practices in the mirror every night for, while turning around Cindy advertised shampoos. LOL that character was precious.

  16. What makes KSH’s acting superb and standout in this drama is that his character is “ordinary” compared to OJS and SYJ’s characters. No flamboyant personality or dresses, no over the top tantrums, no unpredictable screaming, and yet, he takes the viewers on a healing journey every time he interacts with OJS and SYJ’s characters. He as an actor uses simple gestures like eye movements, hunched shoulders, hint of a smile to make the viewers feel. I believe even the producers said so in their interview, that KSH was the core of this drama.

  17. For me, i think KSH has certainly matured as an actor, with an emotional depth and nuanced acting that is keenly felt by the audience this time compared to his other dramad. TBH I didn’t really enjoy MLFAS and METS and didn’t finish The Producers + Dream High. But this one..his character, his chemistry with the lead actress and the entire acting cast have given me one of the most emotionally satisfying KD ( and swoons!) ever

  18. It might not have been a huge ratings win given the no doubt high production costs, but I think it was a win for all three of the leads and the director. It was a quality drama though I admit I enjoyed the first half more than the second. Really they could have left the mom stuff and a lot of the side character stuff out and had a solid 16 hour drama instead of going over an hour every single episode.

  19. You said it right, Kim Soo Hyun is the core of the drama. Though Seo Ye Ji akd Oh Jung Se’s acting are powerful too! Kim Soo Hyun fitted the role and with even his body gestures, he can convey if Kang Tae was in pain or happy. A very brilliant actor and who loves his craft sincerely. He is always careful in picking his project and must say at a very young age he already won many major awards and even included in Forbes Kprea as one of the most influential persons. He even got an award overseas. He was even praised here by Korean as an actor with good manners though he is very famous. A phenomenal actor that he is. And I had watched his drama since Dream high and he never disappoints me. He always bring to life whatever character he’s in, proving that he is not a multi awarded actor for nothing. He has a good singing voice and hoping he will sing one of IOTNBO’s OSTs. But Kim Soo Hyun is not only admirable because of his acting but his personality as well! He is such a down to earth person, very simple even with fame and wealth, humble and has a great sense of humor. I just love everything in Him❤️?❤️

  20. I am a fan of kim soo hyun and I really love him so much, but its okay not to be okay was a different senario to me because i fell in love to seo yea ji instead. Well kim soo hyun was a very impressive actor and he deserve every single thing he got , he work hard for it. I know many fans out there doesnt like him but please respect those who love him genuinely. I will always support and love him forever ????????????????

  21. awww…he is too manly yet too soft baby face i have ever seen.perfect combination.m just whipped for his story,acting and mostly….he is so down to earth.

  22. I agree with the comments above that it is KSH stellar acting ability that helped what seemed to be a simple, ordinary character to shine. The ratings seem low but let’s face it if a lesser known actor was cast, doubful it will even get the same average rating. His FL SYJ is just gaining popularity and thanks to this drama hopefully gets wider recognition she deserves.

  23. KSH was absolutely phenomenal in this drama. So deserving of all the accolades and praises he continues to get not just from viewers but also industry experts. Hope he continues to pick brilliant projects that challenges him as an actor.

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