Song Joong Ki's successful drama "Vincenzo" has just ended, but the excitement is still high. Song has been nominated for "Best Actor a Drama" at the 57th Baeksang Awards. He will face fierce competition from other nominees for this year's prize, including Kim Soo Hyun.
Last year, Kim returned to the small screen as Moon Gang Tae for tvN's "It's Okay To Not Be Okay," which received the most nominations for the Baeksang Awards, including Best Actress for Seo Yea Ji, Best Supporting Actor for Oh Jung Se, Best Supporting Actress for Jang Young Nam, and more.
This is the third Baeksang Best Actor nomination for Song, who was previously nominated for his roles in "Descendants of the Sun" (drama) and "A Werewolf Boy" (film). Kim previously won in 2012 for his work in "Moon Embracing the Sun."
This article dives into this year's nominations and speculated on who could be the favorite to win the Best Actor in a Drama during the 57th Baeksang Awards.
Song Joong Ki for Vincenzo
In "Vincenzo," Song plays the role of Vincenzo Cassano, aka Park Joo Hyung, an Italian lawyer and mafia consigliere who was adopted from South Korea when he was a child.
He returns to South Korea at the beginning of the series to retrieve money hidden by a late Chinese gangster. Initially resentful and wanting to leave South Korea as soon as possible, Vincenzo grows to love the people around him and the place.
Vincenzo is not the first anti-hero role that Song has played. However, the actor combined his ruthlessness from "The Innocent Man" and his charisma from "Descendants of the Sun" to bring a character that has completely enamored viewers. Song's Vincenzo is not afraid to shed blood, and Song's acting makes it as convincing as possible.
While viewers may have been apprehensive about whether Song could pull the role off, the first two episodes were enough to settle any doubts.
Kim Soo Hyun for It's Okay To Not Be Okay
In his first major role after his mandatory military service (he earlier had cameos in "Hotel Del Luna" and "Crash Landing on You"), Kim played Moon Gang Tae, an orphaned caregiver and nurse who finds himself torn between his brother Moon Sang Tae (Oh Jung Se) and the mysterious children's book author, Ko Moon Young (Seo Yea Ji) in "It's Okay To Not Be Okay."
Kim took on a role that would have been difficult for most actors. But he brought out Gang Tae's vulnerability and strengths, all while looking dashing. His chemistry with Seo and Oh helped seal his place in viewers' hearts and helped make "It's Okay To Not Be Okay" one of 2020's best dramas.
Lee Joon Gi for Flower of Evil
Lee Joon Gi first reached people's hearts through his romantic comedy "My Girl." Like Song, Lee's character in "Flower of Evil" is a bit of an anti-hero. Lee plays Baek Hee Sung, a man who hides his identity and past from his wife, Cha Ji Won (Moon Chae Won), a detective. When Cha begins investigating a series of murders, she begins to suspect Lee.
Lee's acting is incredible, and his subtle facial movements convey how much of an experienced actor he is. Baek is a character with several layers, but Lee pulls it off effortlessly.
Um Ki Joon for The Penthouse
"The Penthouse" needs no introduction. It is one of the biggest dramas to come out of South Korea over the past few years and is already entering its third season, which will premiere later this year. In "The Penthouse," Um Ki Joon plays Joon Dan Tae, a successful businessman and real estate professional.
"The Penthouse" is a drama that requires much gravitas from its actors, and Um does an excellent job in playing the ambiguous character of Dan Tae. Um played one of the biggest roles in his career and promised that he has much more to offer.
Shin Ha Kyun for Beyond Evil
While many viewers may have watched "Beyond Evil" for Yeo Jin Goo, Shin Ha Kyun stole the spotlight. Shin plays the role of Lee Dong Sik, a police sergeant who was demoted for various reasons. Teaming up with Yeo's Han Joo Won, the officers work against time to catch a serial killer.
Shin completely takes over the role of Lee Dong Sik, playing the role with the craft and subtlety most actors fail to accomplish. This is the actor's second Baeksang nomination, and surely many more are on their way.
Who is the favorite to win?
Among the nominations, Song, Kim, and Lee are the leading favorites among fans. "It's Okay To Not Be Okay," "Vincenzo," and "Flower of Evil" are easily some of the biggest Korean dramas from the past year, and the lead actors played a big part in their respective show's success.
So far, the Best Actor in a Drama could go to Kim or Song. Both actors are clearly at the peak of their careers. Either one of them could walk away with the award.
The 57th Baeksang Arts Awards will be aired on JTBC on May 13, 2021, at 9:00 p.m. Korean Standard Time.