2014 was a great year in the drama world! We saw the rise of huge global hits like “My Love From the Star” and the comeback of fan favorites like Rain in “She’s So Lovable.” Maybe you shed a few tears, yelled at the screen, or laughed so hard that your stomach hurt. So many great dramas this year have kept us glued to our screens and made us forsake other parts of our lives! So we’d like to give credit where credit is due and recap the best of the best for all-things drama in 2014.
We’re starting everything off with our list of the Top 10 Newcomers and Breakout Drama Stars of 2014! These actors and actresses became a household name with their drama roles or took their careers to the next level and became a bona fide star this year!
Kang Ha Neul — ‘Incomplete Life’ and ‘Angel Eyes’
Kang Ha Neul did appear in “To the Beautiful You,” “Monstar” and “Heirs,” but his more meaty roles in 2014’s “Angel Eyes” and “Incomplete Life” are making him a household name this year. Did you know he’s close friends with Kim So Eun from “Boys Over Flowers” after they attended Chung-Ang University together? Remember his face because we predict that he’ll be in the breakout star list next year!
Seo Kang Joon — ‘What Happens to My Family?’ and ‘Cunning Single Lady’
Seo Kang Joon only debuted in 2013, but this handsome newcomer has women everywhere falling in love with his dreamy hazel eyes! It has been a super busy year for him, but now he’ll be playing double duty. As the leader of K-pop group “5urprise,” Seo Kang Joon also has made his official music industry debut with the release of the group’s first single on November 18. Keep an eye out!
Park Seo Joon — ‘A Witch’s Romance’
Continuing with the popular noona romance theme (older woman + younger man) from “Secret Love Affair” and “Cunning Single Lady,” Park Seo Joon played the young suitor wooing Uhm Jung Hwa’s character in “A Witch’s Romance” this year. If his good looks weren’t enough, he also can sing and is featured on the drama’s OST. He’s managed by KeyEast, the same agency as Kim Soo Hyun (from “My Love From the Star”) and Kim Hyun Joong (from “Inspiring Generation”), so hopefully he’ll follow in their footsteps to becoming a top star!
Kang So Ra — ‘Incomplete Life’ and ‘Doctor Stranger’
Kang So Ra rose to fame after starring in the 2011 movie “Sunny,” for which she received a flood of Best New Actress nominations at award shows. Soon thereafter, she appeared in the variety show “We Got Married Season 3” with Super Junior’s Leeteuk and “Dream High 2.” This year, we believe she has honed her acting craft and taken over the spotlight as a serious lead actress. We can’t wait for the stunning star’s future roles!
Choi Jin Hyuk — ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and ‘Fated to Love You’
Choi Jin Hyuk has been on a roll lately and is currently starring in the on-air drama “Pride and Prejudice.” But brace yourselves, ladies, because he’ll soon be enlisting for his two-year mandatory military service! He’s definitely come a long way from his minor role in “Pasta” when he was still acting under the name Kim Tae Ho, but we knew he had potential. This was a breakout year for the handsome actor, with major roles in “Emergency Couple” and “Grandpas Over Flowers Investigation Unit” in addition to his two most recent starring roles.
Tia Li — ‘Fall in Love With Me’
In this Taiwanese drama, Tia Li starred opposite the handsome Aaron Yan, which is something she shares in common with Puff Guo, her fellow Dream Girls’ group member who played his partner in the hit “Just You.” For Tia, this year’s “Fall in Love With Me” was her first leading role. But we predict that it won’t be long before this young actress will become a major star!
Jasper Liu — ‘Love Myself or You’
Jasper Liu is just as famous for his curly broccoli hair as for his playful side, which is evidenced by his bromance with co-star Jolin Chien and selca spree with Puff Guo. He has played major roles in dramas before, but this has been the year that he has became a true household name. We can’t wait to see what roles he chooses next!
Jin Se Yeon — ‘Doctor Stranger’ and ‘Inspiring Generation’
Jin Se Yeon is only 20 years old! But in her four-year acting career, she has received wide acclaim for her great acting skills. Jin Se Yeon slowly built up her credibility with her roles in “It’s Alright, Daddy’s Daughter,” “Bridal Mask” and “Five Fingers.” It seems like this year, she has hit her stride and there’s no stopping her from becoming even more popular!
Chris Wu — ‘Rock ‘n’ Road’
For Chris Wu, it all started with a supporting role in 2009’s “Autumn’s Concerto.” In 2013, he finally reached leading-man status in “The Princess’ Stand In.” His years of hard work totally paid off as he continued to climb in popularity with this year’s music-themed drama “Rock ‘n’ Road.” Sadly, Chris Wu is not on the market as he recently announced that he is in a serious relationship! But we couldn’t be happier for him!
Yoo In Na — ‘My Secret Hotel’ and ‘My Love From the Star’
Eleven years and five agencies later, Yoo In Na landed her big break in 2009 at the age of 27. Since then, she has quickly risen in the industry with roles in “The Greatest Love” and “Secret Garden,” for which she won Best New Actress at the Baeksang Arts Awards. This year, she claimed her spotlight as a leading lady with her role in “My Secret Hotel”! Yoo In Na was even invited to KCON 2014 in Los Angeles to promote her beauty show. Check out her interview with Eric Nam on the red carpet!
Which actor or actress is your favorite newcomer or breakout star? Let us know in the comments!
Some titles on Viki are not available in certain regions of the world. But Qualified Contributors (QCs) can view and contribute to most titles. Read this blog post to learn how to become a QC.