Gong Yoo’s 5 best roles on screen

Marcus Goh

After being overtaken by Song Joong-ki in Descendants of the Sun, Gong Yoo returned to the hearts and minds of Korean pop culture fans everywhere when Train to Busan debuted. There’s a reason why he’s such an evergreen idol though – he’s taken on a number of vastly different roles and excelled in all of them.

So today, we pay tribute to five of Gong Yoo’s best screen roles. In 10 years’ time, we’ll see him star in remakes of these shows, mark my words.

1. Train to Busan

Train to Busan. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Train to Busan. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Of course Train to Busan would be on the list. You can’t quite call Gong Yoo an action hero in this one since, well, he actually spends most of his time dodging zombies. But what we remember him for the most is his character arc, and how he transforms from a cold-hearted monster into the compassionate human being that was inside him all along.

Kind of the opposite of a zombie transformation, when you think about it.

2. The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince

Gong Yoo the Coffee Prince. Credit: Yoon Eun Hye (윤은혜) Facebook Page

Gong Yoo the Coffee Prince. Credit: Yoon Eun Hye (윤은혜) Facebook Page

For all the BL fans out there, The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince was a mainstream drama that also had ambiguous undertones as to the sexuality of Gong Yoo’s character. Fortunately, everything turned out right for him, but we can’t imagine how excruciating it must have been to be doubting your very identity the whole time.

Plus, what if Eun-chan turned out to be a boy all along? Or if she secretly went for a gender reassignment surgery? Or if his first girlfriend was actually a boy (and that’s why it never worked out between them)? Now that would have been a far more interesting drama.

3. Goblin

The cast of Goblin. Credit: Goblin 쓸쓸하고 찬란하神-도깨비 - Korean Drama Facebook Page

The cast of Goblin. Credit: Goblin 쓸쓸하고 찬란하神-도깨비 – Korean Drama Facebook Page

Real Gong Yoo fans will have heard about this new Korean drama that debuted just last month. This fantasy drama sees Gong Yoo as the titular Goblin who gets into shenanigans with the Grim Reaper when he saves someone who was supposed to die. There’s a military element to it too (since Gong Yoo’s character used to be an army general), but the best part is that it emphasises a strong fantasy angle to it, a welcome change from the stormy lives of beautiful people who in real life would be spending most of their time doing facials.

It also surpassed Descendants of the Sun in popularity!

4. The Suspect

Gong Yoo gives an interview for The Suspect. Credit: kPOPfix.com Facebook Page

Gong Yoo gives an interview for The Suspect. Credit: kPOPfix.com Facebook Page

The Suspect is one of Gong Yoo’s most action-packed roles, seeing that he performed most of his stunts at the Han River himself! He also learnt Systema, a Russian martial art, for the role, although we wonder why Taekwondo wasn’t good enough for the fights. There’s plenty of melodrama in this role too, with his character’s wife and daughter being reduced to corpses early on in the film.

But this wouldn’t be the last time we see Gong Yoo caught up in a web of political intrigue…

5. The Age of Shadows

The Age of Shadows. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

The Age of Shadows. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Because he returns in The Age of Shadows as an integral figure in a dangerous game of espionage! Age of Shadows already won Best Picture in the 2016 Fantastic Fest in Texas, and looks set to garner more awards. Although there aren’t as many crazy stunts as in The SuspectThe Age of Shadows, is nevertheless, an action thriller that’s sure to remind you of Gong Yoo’s prowess and range.

The Age of Shadows. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

The Age of Shadows. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

So what happens in The Age of Shadows? Set in an era when the Japanese controlled Korea, it sees a group of resistance fighters plotting to gain liberation from their cruel overlords. The key to victory, however, lies in the hands of an antique shop owner, Kim Woo-jin (Gong Yoo).

Who will win in the The Age of Shadows?

 

Credits: Yoon Eun Hye (윤은혜) Facebook PageKorean Drama Facebook PagekPOPfix.com Facebook Page, Golden Village Cinemas

 

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