K-ent Lists the 5 Breakout Male Drama Actors of 2021 as Na In Woo, Lee Do Hyun, Song Kang, Kim Young Dae, and Lee Jun Young

Okay, these guys are busy bees this year and most on the list did at least two K-dramas this year and some even more than that (Song Kang, imma looking at you). With the year coming to a close, there is a promising new crop of breakout male drama actors who are expected to rake in more casting offers to capitalize on the momentum delivered this year. The 2021 breakouts as considered by K-ent are out and first (in no particular order) comes Na In Woo who did Queen Cheorin (Mr. Queen) and who I lol called a constipated wet noodle but it turns out that was 90% the terrible second male lead character and he ended up turning my opinion around when he stepped in for the swapped out male lead in River Where the Moon Rises.

Next is Lee Do Hyun who was a raging workaholic this year doing two full dramas with Youth of May and Melancholia, a shivery guest starring turn in Beyond Evil as young Shin Ha Kyun, and is heading to 2022 as Song Hye Kyo’s male lead in the Kim Eun Seok drama The Glory. But he got out-worked by Song Kang who did 4(!!!) dramas this year with Navillera, Love Alarm 2, Nevertheless, and Office Romance Cruelty (which was filmed this year but will be released in early 2022). If you count Sweet Home which premiered at the very end of December 2020 then his full calendar year is 5 dramas. Then there is Kim Young Dae who was in Cheat on Me if You Can and all three seasons of Penthouse, plus a guest starring turn in Undercover and up next is Shooting Star with Lee Sung Kyung. And rounding put this group is idol-actor Lee Jun Young (Jun of U-KISS) who was in two idol dramas Imitation and Let Me Be Your Knight and a cameo in D.P. (Deserter Pursuit) with a Netflix movie coming out called Moral Sense with Seohyun.


K-ent Lists the 5 Breakout Male Drama Actors of 2021 as Na In Woo, Lee Do Hyun, Song Kang, Kim Young Dae, and Lee Jun Young — 12 Comments

  1. Isn’t this Song Kang’s 3rd year breakout year? 2019 after Love Alarm, 2020 after Sweet Home and again this year. Next year after Office Cruelty and Sweet Home 2 will it be another breakout year? I know he’s the IT boy but how many times can one person breakout?

  2. NIW, LDH, SK and KYD – Baeksang best new actor nominees for 2021. KSH having worked with 2 of them and MCing with another such a thrill. Girl is in good company and kudos for NIW for doing a complete 180 from pretty badly done 2ML of MQ to the marvelous ML of RWTMR.

  3. Didn’t we always read that filming a drama is very tiring and actors get no sleep?

    I am not even his fan but with most dramas taking 3-4 months to film and 5 dramas; isn’t that too much for a body to take?

    What’s the name of his agency? They are not looking after their actor’s health.

  4. Rooting for Na In Woo and Lee Do Hyun. TBH I wasn’t very impressed with NIW in Mr. Queen but he changed my mind in RWTMR. There was this scene where Kim So Hyun and Lee Ji Hoon’s characters had a confrontation with swords, then NIW’s character arrived, shot an arrow at LJH, and made a speech. His acting there gave me goosebumps. His fighting scenes and emotional scenes are pretty impressive too. Can’t believe he’s the same actor in Mr. Queen.
    And of course everyone knows how talented Lee Do Hyun is.
    These two have looks, talent and screen presence. All they have to do is pick the right projects and for their agencies to promote them well, and they will be very successful, IMO

    • yes to this! he was the best part of rwtmr (aside from the always spectacular ksh of course). inwoo was nominated for beaksang best new actor award after all 🙂 consider this noona a new fan 🙂

  5. Personally, I liked Na In-Woo in Mr Queen, he was the only character who cared about the Queen. I wasn’t impressed by him in RWTMR, but he did what he could in this situation.

    Kim Young-Dae didn’t have a lead role, so I don’t think we could put him in the same category of the others. I guess we will see in his next projects. It’s very different to be a supporting role or a lead one.

    Lee Do Hyun did well this year. He likes noonas romance :p

    Lee Jun-Young needs to stop idol role! He was really good as a jerk in DP.

    Song Kang had many roles but I never cared about his characters…

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