Gong Yoo is easily one of the most iconic Korean actors of our time. His acting skills need no introduction. He is known for hits like the Korean drama Goblin (Guardian: The Lonely and Great God) and Coffee Prince. He is also famous on the big screen for Korean movies like Train to Busan and Silenced. If you have watched his performance, you will agree he lives the character he plays. When you add his handsome looks and deep voice, you cannot really think of a reason to not fall for this Halluyu star!
Gong Yoo is known for the variety of roles that he plays on screen. Almost each of his dramas or movies are of a different genre, with no repeats! We present to you a list of select Gong Yoo Korean dramas and Korean movies that is definitely worth a one time watch. Of course, you will end up repeat watching some of them! Do not alarmed, it is but natural to do so 🙂
Gong Yoo Dramas
1. Coffee Prince
This 2007 Korean drama stars Gong yoo and Yoon Eun hye as his leading lady. Lee Sun-kyun ( of Parasite movie fame) plays the role of his cousin. Gong Yoo is Choi Han-kyul a carefree heir of a Food Conglomerate. He is forced to return from the US, due to grandmother’s ill health;chairman of the company. She asks to him to get married in the hope that he will then settle down in Seoul. She sets him on a series of blind dates.
Gong Yoo meets Yoon Eun hye, called Go Eun-chan in this series, by chance. Go Eun-chan is a complete tomboy. With her hairdo and boyish mannerisms, she is usually mistaken to be a boy. Choi Han-kyul also takes for a boy. He asks her to pretend to be his gay partners on his blind dates. This prank puts an end to his blind dates!His grandmother then hands him an old, out-of- business coffee shop and challenges him to change it into a profitable cafe. In case he fails, he will lose his share from the will & cannot return to the US.
Go Eun-chan supports her mother and sister by doing odd jobs. She gives Choi Han-kyul confidence that they can change the fortunes of the old Coffee Shop, as she is familiar with the area around the Coffee shop.They decide to hire only male staff in the hope to attract women crowd from near-by schools. Go Eun-chan is also hired ( as everyone thinks she is a cute “boy”)!
The two protagonists are supported by four other members who are hired for the Coffee shop. By the time, the Coffee shop becomes a success, Choi Han-kyul falls in love with Go Eun-chan. It leaves him confused about his sexual preference. Go Eun-chan, on the other hand, likes him since she first meets him. But she thinks he would not be interested in her, due to her poor background. She does not reveal her true gender because she is afraid that he will completely shut her off. You have to watch this drama to find out what happens next!
This Korean drama was a very forward drama way back in 2007 when homosexuality was still a taboo topic. The chemistry of the two leads is simply sizzling! The way the concept of LGBT has been handled is praiseworthy. This Korean drama till today boasts of some steamy kissing scenes that are swoon-worthy! This Kdrama was remade in Thailand, Malaysia, and China. It has been dubbed in local languages across 7 countries, including India and the Middle East. This Korean drama was the breakthrough drama for Gong Yoo and established him as a “Hallyu star”. Due to demand from fans, there even was a special reunion show of the cast in 2020, celebrating 13 years since Coffee Prince first aired.
Watch Coffee Prince Korean drama on NetFlix
This 2012 Korean drama stars Gong yoo with Lee Min jung (Boys over flowers kdrama fame) & Bae Suzy (Start Up kdrama fame) as his leading ladies. It falls in the supernatural, comedy genre Kdrama. Big Kdrama was Gong Yoo’s first Korean drama, post-release from his military enlistment. The story was written by the famous Hong Sisters(Hotel Del Luna,Master’s Sun Kdrama fame).
Gong Yoo plays the role of a doctor, Seo Yoon-jae who is engaged to Lee Min jung. Lee Min jung is Gil Da-ran, a kind-hearted school teacher. She has a new transfer student in her school, played by Shin Won-ho (a.k.a Kang Kyung-joon)
However, just before the wedding Seo Yoon-jae and Kang Kyung-joon get into a fateful accident. Kang Kyung-joon physically goes into coma. Seo Yoon-jae is alive but he wakes up as Kang Kyung-joon. Only Gil Da-ran is aware of this body swap. The confusion and fun begins when Bae Suzy (called Jang Ma-ri) flies down from the US in search of her boyfriend, Kang Kyung-joon!
Does Kang Kyung-joon wake up in his own body or does the Seo Yoon-jae, the doctor ever come back to life, is the theme of this 16 episode Kdrama run.
This Korean drama is about body swap. It is fun to watch the older Gong Yoo act as a younger school kid. The Kdrama has its comic moments, with all Korean drama elements. Gong Yoo’s is at fittest best in this series and even flaunts it!
Watch this Korean drama on Viki
3.Guardian: The Lonely and Great God
This 2016 drama/romance genre Korean drama has Gong Yoo playing the titular role of an immortal Goblin; Kim Shin. He is an admired Army general of the Goryeo dynasty, who is wrongly executed by his King. The love of his people keeps him alive. Kim Shin turns into a Goblin, with the sword in his chest and with a curse. He can attain the after-life only if his destined bride pulls out the sword. Kim Shin spends centuries in search of his bride, helping people along the way.
Kim go eun plays the role of his bride; Ji Eun-tak. She loses her mother at a young age and can see ghosts. Some of the ghosts she can see, are her friends and identify her as the Goblin’s bride.Kim Shin does not plan to fall in love, as this will mean moving to the afterlife almost impossible! But when Ji Eun-tak meets Kim Shin, their love story is almost epic. Does Kim Shin manage to tell his destined bride Ji Eun-tak to remove his sword and leave her behind,is the theme of this 16 episode Korean drama run.
Gong Yoo is supported by Lee Dong wook, who plays the role of the Grim Reaper. He is also a special being like the Goblin and has magical powers like him. Yoo In na plays the role of the Lee Dong wook’s love interest and Kim go eun’s employer.
This was rated as the fifth most- watched drama in cable network as of 2020. The OST of this Kdrama series is a huge hit as well. Among other awards, Gong Yoo took home the Best Actor award at the prestigious 53rd Baeksang Arts Awards, for his role in this Kdrama. By the end of Goblin series, Gong Yoo added fans across the globe and was even featured in CNN Talk Asia.
This Kdrama is a high budget drama, that has spectacular cinematography powerful screenplay, and a memorable OST. It also has interesting special effects. The chemistry between Gong Yoo and Kim go eun is cute, as he is initially reluctant about taking her as his bride. The age difference adds to his hesitation. They slowly fall in love, making it a cute love story. The bromance between Gong Yoo and Lee Dong wook is equally entertaining, as two special beings try to live like human beings!
Watch Goblin on Netflix
Gong Yoo – Movies
1.Train to Busan
This is a 2016 Korean zombie action thriller movie. Gong Yoo lives with his daughter (Kim su an) in Seoul, separated from his wife. He is a workaholic Fund manager. On his daughter’s birthday, he agrees to take her to visit her mother in Busan. They board the express train at Seoul station. Soon after, they discover that the city is under a zombie attack, due to a leak from a biotech plant. The fellow passengers in the train are also attacked by zombies, changing them from humans to zombies.
Among other passengers, Gong yoo meets a couple, played by Ma Dong seok and his wife Jung Yu mi. The movie is a fast- paced thriller. It focuses on father daughter relationship of the protagonists. It realistically depicts how people will react to other fellow beings, during a life or death situation. The special effects are neat and well-executed. Read the full review here
Train to Busan movie became the highest grosser in South Korea in 2016, making 80.5millionUSD. It premiered in the prestigiious Cannes Film festival and received critical acclamation too.
2. Finding Mr.Destiny
This is a 2010 romantic comedy Korean movie. This was Gong Yoo’s comeback movie post his release from the military. He has Im Soo Jung as his leading lady.
Gong Yoo owns an agency that tracks down first love! Im Soo Jung works as a theatre director and generally leaves things unfinished. Her father is desperate to get married off. Im Soo Jung is then in search of her first crush she met in India. However, she only knows his name. Gong Yoo still decides to help her from his agency.
They go searching for all men whose name matches the name of her crush! The protagonists go on a lot of goofy funny adventures, in search of her crush. The sitautions are funny as the men vary from a monk, a football player to an overweight farmer! They start liking each other. However, they finally find Im Soo Jung ‘s crush and she decides to meet him. Does she end up with her former crush or her new love interest is the plot of this romantic comedy movie.
The movie is an easy- breezy watch, with good amount of comedy! Gong Yoo plays the role of a nerd of sorts and is unlike his other movie roles. You will see the lighter side of Gong Yoo in this movie. He has even rendered his voice for one of the songs of the movie OST – “Second first love”. It’s not an exaggeration that this song gives us happy Christmas vibes!
3. A Man and a Woman
This is a 2016 romantic, melodrama genre ( age restriction )movie. It stars Gong Yoo and Jeon Do-Yeon. The movie was majorly shot in Finland. Jeon Do-Yeon’s son is a “special” child and she has a stressed marriage. Gong Yoo’s wife suffers from depression and he is worried about his wife and daughter.
Gong Yoo and Jeon Do-Yeon accidentally meet after dropping off their children for a school camp. They end up in one of the saunas while tracking their children in the school camp. They are attracted to each other and end up in a passionate encounter. They go their separate ways the next day. Time passes and Gong Yoo sights Jeon Do-Yeon in Seoul. This time he tries to make acquaintance with her. In the process, their interest in each other grows beyond friendship and grows into a full extramarital affair.
Jeon Do-Yeon’s husband finds out and she leaves him. Gong Yoo’s wife is under treatment and is not in a position to understand where her marriage stands. Both the protagonists, eventually go back to Finland due to work. Do they continue in their unhappy marriages or follow their heart is the plot of this intense romantic Korean movie.This movie won Gong Yoo, the grand prize in the Korea Film Actors Association Awards in the same year. The movie is about extramarital affair, but you will sympathise for both the protagonists, who are unhappy in their marriage.
Gong Yoo’s acting is intense and matches the performance of his critically acclaimed counterpart Jeon Do-Yeon. This is a sober love story where love is showcased at its passionate best! This is Gong Yoo at his emotional best. So go ahead and choose which shade of Gong Yoo you want to watch today. Sit back and enjoy because no matter the genre, you have a “star performance” in each of these Kdramas or Kmovies!