Who were 2010’s top rookie actors?  A couple of baker boys, a Joseon scholar, a high kicking female, a coffee princess, and a girl with an irrepressible love.

The Top Prospects for the Males:

Joo Won, the 23 year old actor who portrayed the tortured loved, but unloved son Goo Ma-joon hit a home run with his first role in a Kdrama.  His highly emotional acting, really no one had that hatred stare and cry down like him, won him much accolades and a bright future ahead of him.


Yoon Shi-yoon was first seen in 2009’s successful High Kick Through The Roof. His starring role as the kind hearted, but rough around the edges Kim Tak-goo shot his new found popularity through the roof.  The warmth and earnestness he brought to the title character of The Baker King, Kim Tak-goo had audiences cheering for him.  The popularity of the drama surprised many with it gaining “National Drama” status and surpassing the 50% viewership rankings for its last episode.

In his acting debut Park Yoo-chun, 1/5th of Kpop mega band Dong Bang Shin Ki, proved his meddle taking on a lead role in a saeguk drama.  Although he started off a little shaky, by the end of his Kdrama Sungkyunkwan Scandal he had critics and fans singing his praises.  Although currently touring with 3/5ths of DBSK as JYJ, more acting gigs are definitely in the future for Yoo-chun.

Honorable Mentions:  Kim Hyun-joong for Playful Kiss, stuntman turned actor Jung Suk-won for Dr. Champ, Super Junior‘s Choi Siwon for Oh! My Lady, and 2PM’s Ok Taecyeon for Cinderella’s Sister.

For the Women, the top prospects were:

Shin Se-kyung‘s popularity carried out through 2010 even though her last drama High Kick Through The Roof ended in March.  She is one of the hottest young actresses in South Korea and has been racking up the CF offers.

T-ara‘s Ham Eun-jung for her role in the Coffee House.  Eun-jung gained praise for her role as Kang Seung-yeon. She gave up her role as leader during the filming of the drama, does that mean there are more acting roles in her future?

Jung So-min broke through in 2010 with not one, but two huge roles in popular kdramas this year.  She played a memorable Hong Mo-ne in Kim Nam-gil‘s last drama before entering the military Bad Boy.  Shen then charmed audiences with her dim, yet lovable and unstoppable Oh Ha-ni in Playful Kiss.

Honorable Mention:  Cinderella’s Sister and Flames of Desire actress Seo Woo, T-ara‘s Park Ji-yeon for her roles in God of Study and Jungle Fish 2, and Nam Gyu-ri for her role in Life is Beautiful.