A few weeks ago, friend of the blog Xe sent me a few new accounts for the Instagram wall. One of them was Kim Ji Hoon. Flipping through his wall of pretty I wondered–whatever ever happened to Kim Ji Hoon?
No, it’s not like he ever for real left us, but I would have expected his career to be on a higher trajectory by now. Before he left for his military service, he was leading man several dramas including Stars Falling from the Sky and the ambitious Joseon X-Files.
Two years away and his comeback piece was as a second lead in Flower Boy Next Door. Usually, first dramas back are a pretty big deal, as a lot of producers want to swoop up returning skilled actors, so for his return work, he could have easily scored a lead role, but I can see the allure of the Flower Boy series. At the time it was hot–super hot–with big names and great quality.
After that though?
Hi work has solidly landed him in ‘eh’ rated weekend dramas such as Goddess of Marriage and Come! Jang Bo Ri. In these dramas he’s listed as a lead role but with all of the characters and plotlines in those sorts of shows, that doesn’t always mean a lot in that world.
Not to mention–Jang Bo Ri was last year and here we are creeping up on the end of the year and no new Kim Ji Hoon.
So I ask, what happened Kim Ji Hoon? Was he not being offered bigger dramas? Or has he deliberately chose the path of the family drama? There are a lot of actors who choose to go that way with their careers. I can understand the lure–while they may not all be big huge dramas, they are more steady work for longer period of time than the regular nightly drama. (Usually hitting between 30-50 episodes.) With a large cast, there is less pressure on individual actors.
I know perception of popularity of an actor is different in Korea than it is overseas, so I may be off my mark here and while this might be a completely biased view, I think Kim Ji Hoon has the acting skills and presence to pull off more leading roles. Won Kang Ha from Stars, Kim Hyung Do from Joseon, and Oh Jin Rak from Flower Boy, these were all wildly different characters and he is the sort of actor who easily slipped in and became these men.
I looked forward to seeing him and where his career would take him and to realize I’d forgotten about him–not even having any intention of even watching his last two dramas–makes me sad.
Wherever you are Kim Ji Hoon, I hope you are able to come back soon. Step out from under the weekend drama and join us in prime time popularity.