Which Answer Me Drama Alum Has the Most Successful Post-AM Acting Career or Potential for Such

With the three leads of the most recent installment of the Answer Me drama series from tvN all going on to be leads of soon-to-air prime time dramas, it’s still incredible how this series has created stars from relative unknowns or elevated talent to new levels of fame. From Answer Me 1998, Park Bo Gum is doing Moonlight Drawn From Clouds, Hyeri is with Ji Sung in Entertainer, and Ryu Jun Yeol gets his own hair twin in Hwang Jung Eum for Lucky Romance.

It’ll be interesting to see if they continue the success with their subsequent projects, and use it as a looking glass of sorts to the alums from the earlier Answer Me 1997 and Answer Me 1994. Who has been the most successful with post-AM careers? There’s idol-actress Jung Eun Ji with singer-actor Seo In Guk in AM 1997, while AM 1994 had an even bigger group with breakouts Jung Woo and Yoo Yeon Seok alongside Go Ara, Baro, Do Hee and Son Ho Jun. Who’s your favorite AM actor or actress, and who do you think has been the most successful or has the potential to build on the AM buzz?


Which Answer Me Drama Alum Has the Most Successful Post-AM Acting Career or Potential for Such — 48 Comments

  1. seo in guk and eunji are faring pretty well after r97. the only problem is no matter what they star in i always remember them as their characters from the drama.
    with r94 i was so sure jung woo would establish himself as a big name in the industry but i can’t recall the movies he did after r94 (c’est si bon was meh and i personally haven’t watched the Himalayas movie yet despite hearing it did really well). yoo yeon seok and go ara were my two personal faves from the drama but most of the projects they did after kind of flopped. the rest of them kind of faded away after the dramas conclusion (except for kim sung kyun)
    as for r88 only time will tell. i know bogum will do well no matter what but i’m really rooting for ryu jun yeol to make it big (or bigger i guess) after starring in lucky romance. i have high hopes for hyeri but i’ll love her even if she doesn’t manage to garner as much success as she did while r88 was still airing.

    • i hear its called the answer me curse, where all the actors/actresses are still pretty loved but everything they starred in kind of flopped or did meh. at least certainly their dramas haven’t replicated the same success as their answer me season.

      i think everything that seo in guk was good but not high ratings like High School King Savvy and I Remember You. Jung Eun Ji was a small part of the That Winter the Wind Blows, but didn’t do so well with Trot Lovers or Cheer Up Sassy. Go Ara just got more respect as an actress but flopped with You’re All Surrounded. Yoo Yeon Seok had Warm and Cozy which was frustratingly dumb, and his movies like the Tailor and Mood of the Day didn’t have a lot of buzz. Like you said Jung Woo has been doing movies which is harder to gauge in popularity when your an international fan, but he did have Youth Over Flowers which showed how adorkable he was. The side players of R94 have stayed as side characters with Soh Ho Joon maybe doing well in variety but Baro is back as a rapper and Do Hee is without her girl group.

      For the R88, we’ll see by the end of the year as they move on to other projects. I do hope Entertainer is good mostly for Ji Sung because lately music industry dramas haven’t been doing well. (Ugh My Lovely Girl). And omg i hope Bo Gum gets a good female lead, i almost cried to hear that Seolhyun was being considered. Ryu Jun Yeol has an ace with Hwang Jum Eom, who is the queen of rom coms, and they have a huge advantage coming from an established and hilarious webtoon. I’m not sure if the actors playing Sun Woo or Dong Ryong will advanced to lead status, they’re more suited for funny side character roles.

      • More than curse, i think it just really hard for them to live up the hype

        Am series have their own flaw, however in overall production they have high quality productions at least in directing, characterization, and brand. Too bad, those are rare gem in dramaland which make it harder for those alumnus to find something that able to generate love as much as AM series.

        About rising star and potential, each series have their own talent rediscovery moment. But for me, I think the biggest alumnus probably will park bo gum. He’s already a rising star before 88 and after his appearance in youth before flower… Korean really love their good manner celebrity.

  2. Bo gum all the way.

    Ridiculously talented and convincing actor. Seems like a different person in each role; the adaptive ability is amazing. When I first saw 1988, I couldn’t believe the same guy that played suave cello boy in cantabile and psycho little bro in IRY was awkward genius taek.

    • I agree! His Taek, completely threw me after watching IRY
      But it seems like Taek is close to his real personality, which makes me love him even more

  3. Go Ara. There are no outstanding actresses in her age group (post 90), at least not TV actresses. It’s a lot easier to stand out now that the 85+ even 90+ guys are finding their foothold, and dramas will look to cast younger female leads. I mean, currently kdrama’s big name actresses are all born in the late 70s or really early 80s and we’re not going to see noona romances forever. Go Ara has the looks too, which helps.

    • I disagree about there being no other quality actresses in her age group. If we want to talk about popularity, relevancy, and likability when talking about the actresses in ara’s age group – PBY, PSH, SSK, and KSR are probably at the top. With KSR and SSK being somewhat lower than the other two. I would add MGY to this list, even though she is a good five years older, because they all five have had similar career trajectories.

      Go Ara still has a long way to go, not only with her popularity and recognition, but her acting as well – I don’t find her charismatic or likable on screen. Her movie and drama flopped, and she doesn’t necessarily have the international success or popularity that PSH has, or the likability or popularity of PBY, especially after OMG.

      However, she is the prettiest imo, and her mature looks can definitely work in her favor in landing more mature, adult roles, unlike PBY or MGY, let’s say, who might be hindered by being so young and petite looking.

      • Other than PBY (who’s a film star more than a TV star) and arguably PSH, none of them are really BIG. I don’t see any of the other two headlining their own drama (by that I mean female-centric dramas) anytime soon. If you look at the golden generation of actresses, a lot of them had top billing for their dramas already in their early to mid-twenties (Ha Ji-won, Son Ye-jin, Lee Yo-won, Jang Nara, etc.). Yes, MGY has that but she’s made her debut and shot to fame so early that there’s no point in making comparisons.

        I agree that Go Ara has a long way to go, but her competition is weak. She and SSK are likely to have a huge advantage in getting roles simply because they are just more versatile looks-wise.

      • kitai

        Yeah, I would agree with a majority of what you said. I probably shouldn’t have added PBY, because she is more of a film star, as opposed to the other girls that have mainly focused on dramas, and MGY is older than the rest.

        However, I think it’s a bit unfair comparing this generation to the actresses in their 30s. Sure, they may have headlined dramas slightly sooner in their careers, but it was a very different industry they were working and coming up in at the time. HJW, LYW, SYJ, etc. didn’t have to compete with a million and one idol actresses for leads or supporting roles even, on top of rookie actresses trying to make their break, etc. It allowed them more opportunities and ability to create and maintain a reputation in the industry.

        Go Ara and SSK do have more versatile looks which may help them in movies, but dramas not so much. People very much still like the whole pure, girl next door for their drama heroines, at least in regard to the big three stations.

      • @glossy:

        I’d be the first to admit that it’s unfair actually, since the landscape of kdrama has changed so much. However, I can only really acknowledge actresses when they actually get meaty roles (Hwang Jin-yi for HJW and Queen Seon-deok for LYW). The sad thing about the new generation of actresses is that you can literally see none of them in the same or similar roles. It’s hard to root for actresses who only take up supporting roles to the male lead or are mainly there as a love interest only.

    • Go ara’s movies and dramas didn’t do well after the reply series though and in the past few years her popularity has gone down .it doesn’t help that she has like zero screen presence no matter how pretty she is. there are already actresses like psh, pby, ksr, and, psh, even shin se kyung who is getting more recognition than her.

      • MTE. I’m surprised people are even bringing her up. She’s only done two projects since reply, and both did poorly and is doing Hwarang, which has like a cast of what? Six other guys, or so, she’s going to basically be a background prop for that drama. And she is never talked about in the media anymore, as opposed to her contemporaries who even on hiatuses get more media attention or side projects while they pick out their next acting projects, like cf deals, photoshoots, appearances, and fanmeets.

        In general the second season of reply seems to be the weakest in terms of cast successes and recognition tbh.

    • Go Ara is a very weak actress compared to many in her age group, especially rising 90ers like Baek Jin Hee, Kang Sora, and even a newly rising Shin Se Kyung and Park Shin Hye.

      she has the looks but all her subsequent projects more or less burst the Answer Me bubble impression of her being a goo actress. And she isn’t getting those female-centric roles either.

    • @kitai at your comment “I don’t see any of the other two headlining their own drama (by that I mean female-centric dramas) anytime soon” You must have missed out PSH’s news for Doctors. The drama was originally female-centric and even now it’s about a story of a girl even if KRW’s role might be a lot bigger.

      And to say Go Ara is bigger than other actresses her age is just a joke.
      PBY and PSH are much bigger in Korea even one of the hasn’t had worked for a while. KRS, SSK are doing extremely well… while I can’t say the same with Go Ara after her movie and film flopping.
      This might change if her new film with LJH doing well… but for now she is no where close to the formal

      • You must have missed out the part where the other two refers to KSR and SSK. And I’m saying GAR has the potential, not that she’s bigger than the other actresses. Of course she isn’t. It’s like saying that Andrew Wiggins has the potential to become like Lebron, he isn’t there yet is he? And he may never make it too.

  4. Eun Ji is to date still my favorite female lead but unfortunately I think she is underrated and her projects haven’t fared well. I also like Go Ara and I see her having the most success at least because of the fact that she has a big agency supporting her. I can’t wait for her movie with Yoo Seung Ho. As for th guys I see Park Bo Gun and Yoo Yun Sook succeeding the most but I’m rooting the hardest for Ryu Jun Yeol and Jung woo. They both have aesthetics that not that of typical Korean drama lead But their talent is phenomenal.

  5. Park Bogum works as supporting characters before already leave good impressions. In film and drama…even he appeared in Blind for a few minutes.. I already fall for him. When seeing him as Min in IRY…damn. It’s so wrong of me to want a serial killer to walk away free from punishment. Min~~

  6. The Answer Series can validly take the credit for making break-out stars of most of its lead actors and actresses. Since these actors and actresses were either new or relatively known, the Answer Series catapulted them to fame enabling them to land in lead roles in dramas. This cycle happened to the leads of the three series. However, the staying power with regard to fame and popularity really has to do with the ability, the “nose” to smell and pick good, solid scripts that will churn out critically acclaimed dramas and movies. There could be a tendency for these these actors and actresses to “strike while the iron is still hot,” and not be careful or discriminating with the projects they choose and just grab whatever comes along their way.

  7. More so than the cast, I am curious in what the writer/PD team does next. There’s not many eras, if any, that can be done that would be relatable to the audience. I’d like to see the team do something really new and different. It could be a sageuk but not another “guess-the-husband.”

  8. TRASH OPPA ALL THE WAY. his movie was success too after RM94. i like eunji, but she always chose a failed drama. i mean, not in story-wise, but in rating. sig too. he did fine with tvn, but with major broadcast, just meh. YYS, uhm.. poor this guy. he has everything but his previous drama was such a meh too.

    i dont know about R88 trio. let’s see.

    • out of the three, Jung Eunji has the best reviews for her post-Reply projects, or at least no complaints that she can’t act (other than when she was literally learning to talk in Seoul speech)….of course we have not seen Hyeri yet, time will tell.

  9. 1994 has the best cast imo,
    YYS has another upcoming drama as I remember with police squad?, Go Ara too with the hwarang squad, idk about jung woo
    tbh I hope YYS and Go Ara can be in a drama together with plot like love shuffle or itsuka kono.

  10. in terms of long term success, probably Jung Woo. He is a movie actor and Himalaya last year was a big hit, plus he has more projects upcoming.

    And Seo In Gook has been quite successful in establishing himself as a respected actor, his public broadcast projects didn’t fare well but he gained new fans after High School King of Life was a hit on tvN.

    Park Bo Gum is widely praised and has potential but he hasn’t even started on any post-Reply projects yet so time will tell.

    As for the girls, out of the three leads Jung Eunji is the best actress (and actually has the least number of acting credits out of the three female leads so far), but she has been rather typecast. Also she seems to be concentrating on her singing career and squeezing in acting as a sideline, rather than ditching her group once she got successful.

    • His acting is definitely what will help him establish a long term career. I don’t see they hype over his looks but his talent is undeniable. I’m really rooting for him!

  11. Pretty sad that Go Kyung Pyo’s status hasn’t changed much. His breakthrough still hasn’t come. So close and yet so far, it seems.

  12. They are all working steadily, so I think that is a success itself. So far I liked Seo In Guk in everythink he did. With the others I have to be interested in the project first, but with SIG I will watch it not matter what and decide later if I will continue or not.

  13. SIG and PBG.

    SIG had steadily being working on drama projects since AM97. Although none of the projects have reached the same level of mania as AM97, each of his dramas have been solid in terms of cementing his abilities and gaining him new fans.

    PBG – he was very good in Wonderful days, Coin Locker Girl and IRY. All very different roles that show is versatility. I mean it’s surprising how he was able to go from menacing in IRY to suddenly looking small and helpless as Taec. He also has a successful hosting job and Youth over Flowers just made him even more lovable to the Korean public. He’s probably the next lee Seung Gi (but stronger acting abilities)

    • I rewatch IRY because of these two…Their bromance is the best! Hope SIG and PBG will have a drama or film together in the future.

  14. I think YYS. Even now I everyday go past the cinema and see everyday new big poster of his new movie with no less then Han Hyo Joo. So i think he made a good impressions ti directors and actors that he worked with. He always in some movie.

  15. Yoo Yeon Seok seems the most successful out of the reply 94 group! I liked his movies and he has another one that just came out, Haeohwa.

  16. Ryu Jun Yeol is rising. Not so many rookie actor can gain more than a million followers on instagram from just one drama. He has talent and as long as he is in a good production with a good storyline, I think he will be one of the biggest star. Plus, he’s already scoring movies left and right with top actors.

  17. Lee Si-Un is beyond unbearable in both “Remember: War of the Son” and “High-End Crush.” I don’t know who are the insane people who keep casting him in more and more drama.

    • That’s one very unfair comment! Unless you’re a teenager, you seem to have zero sense of comedy.
      You should strictly stick to young boys with pretty faces. Let comedians master their craft and make us laugh, fcol!

  18. Park Bo Gum is definitely a star and was great in Answer Me 1988. I loved him in Hello Monster with Seo In Guk and Jang Na Ra, he had such great chemistry with everyone in that drama. I can’t wait to see his next drama!

    • I know right?? I have actually been watching some clips to remember the good times since I don’t have time to rewatch it :/. I especially love the scene in episode 12 when she is riding the bus, her words truly hit home.

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