[Actor Spotlight] Yoon Hyun-min
Our spotlight series continues, and this time it’s all about Yoon Hyun-min. He’s flexing his comedy muscles once again in the tvN drama Mama Fairy and the Woodcutter, which wraps up this week. Yoon Hyun-min, though he’s relatively new to the scene, has had impressive diversity in his roles thus far. He’s strong as a comic relief player, but he’s also held his own in rom-coms, police procedurals, medical dramas and more — often opposite big names like Jang Hyuk and Jung Kyung-ho.
Born in 1985, Yoon Hyun-min was actually a professional baseball player before becoming an actor. He played for the Hanhwa Eagles and Doosan Bears before getting bit by the acting bug, after which he promptly retired as an athlete. After working in theatre, he made his TV drama debut in 2009. Yoon’s career quickly grew both in the magnitude and range of his roles. After playing some great supporting characters, he landed his first leading role in 2015, in the popular weekend drama My Daughter Geum Sa-wol.
Here are some great drama roles from Yoon Hyun-min, followed by his full filmography.
Heartless City (2013)
Heartless City stands out in my memory not so much because of the plot or love line, but because of the fantastic relationships between the characters. One great relationship was between Kim Yoo-mi and lead Jung Kyung-ho; the other was Jung Kyung-ho’s long-standing and loyal friendship with the character played by Yoon Hyun-min. You have to hand it to actors when they can create the feeling of history and backstory between their characters — and that’s exactly what happened in this Heartless City bromance. Even though they lived in the dark, “heartless” world of the criminal underground — a world rife with lies, betrayal, and moral ambiguity, these two kept it real. This was a great role for Yoon Hyun-min, especially considering the fact that he didn’t have many acting credits under his belt at the time. Also, dramaland needs to do more noir!
Witch’s Romance (2014)
Witch’s Romance was a fun, chemistry-filled noona romance starring Park Seo-joon and Uhm Jung-hwa. Every romance needs a catalyst to get it going, and in Witch’s Romance, that catalyst went by the name of Yoon Hyun-min. He played the kinda jerky best friend of Park Seo-joon, and was responsible for the scene of major humiliation where our heroine was rescued by Park Seo-joon. But she’s no shrinking violet. After she recovered her composure, our “witch-like” heroine chewed him out, saying he looked like “over-boiled spinach” — and I don’t know about you, but I’ve been referring to him as Spinach ever since. With love, of course. In Witch’s Romance, Spinach quickly redeems himself, and continues to add great pizzazz as a supporting character. This drama was my introduction to Yoon Hyun-min, and it made me a fan.
Good Wife (2016)
The Good Wife was a K-drama that barely felt like one, which makes sense as it was adapted from the American show of the same name. Jeon Do-yeon played the lead role of a mother of two who returned to work as a lawyer after her husband (played by Yoo Ji-tae) is caught philandering. I swallowed this drama in a giant marathon gulp — the cast was remarkably strong (those leads!), and the tone throughout was solid. Though Yoon Hyun-min only had a cameo, his scenes were some of my favorite. Yoon played the brother of Jeon Do-yeon’s character, who came back to Korea to stay with her after his relationship had crumbled. Both brother and sister were in a state of upheaval in their lives, and watching them reconnect and support each other added a wonderful depth to the story. In a favorite scene, they are sprawled out on the couch in the middle of the night, talking and sharing their stories with each other in a way that only siblings can. My hat is off to Jeon Do-yeon and Yoon Hyun-min here. With a minimal amount of screen time, the two actors authentically conveyed the fondness and familiarity between their characters. I don’t know how a short scene with two people sitting on a couch talking can be as emotionally intimate as this one was – but it was.
I’m not a huge fan of OCN productions, but I thought I might make an exception when Choi Jin-hyuk and Yoon Hyun-min were cast as the leads in this crime and mystery tale. To make it even juicier, the show had a great (if not completely explained) time jump element, where Choi Jin-hyuk’s character (living in 1986), traveled through a tunnel and was zapped to present day, where Yoon’s character was living. The cops met, the cases converged, and all sorts of suspenseful, emotional police-y things happened. I didn’t wind up watching this one, but the echoes from the fandom were loud and clear: Choi and Yoon really killed it with their “buddy cop” bromance. I love how this drama was yet another example of how a strong leading cast with good chemistry and authentic emotions can bring a story to life, no matter the genre, strength of the script, or believability of the plot.
Yoon Hyun-min’s full filmography:
- Joseon Mystery Detective: Jeong Yak-yong (2009) [Drama]
- More Charming by the Day (2010) [Drama]
- Yaksha (2010) [Drama]
- Kiss and the City (2010) [Drama]
- Pitch High (2011) [Film]
- Still You (2012) [Drama]
- Heartless City (2013) [Drama]
- House, Mate (2014) [Drama]
- Witch’s Romance (2014) [Drama]
- Age of Feeling (2014) [Drama]
- Discovery of Love (2014) [Drama]
- Falling For Innocence (2015) [Drama]
- My Daughter, Geum Sa-wol (2015) [Drama]
- My First Time (2015) [Drama/Cameo]
- Run-Off (2016) [Film/Cameo]
- Beautiful Mind (2016) [Drama]
- The Good Wife (2016) [Drama/Cameo]
- Tunnel (2017) [Drama]
- Witch’s Court (2017) [Drama]
- Mama Fairy and the Woodcutter (2018) [Drama]
- Fall From The Sky (TBA) [Drama]
In his first TV role, Yoon Hyun-min plays an accountant in one of the episodes of this OCN drama, which cracks me up for some reason.
Daily family drama/comedy about a woman raising her three daughters. Raked in a bunch of awards for the cast, including Krystal.
Yoon Hyun-min has a small role in OCN’s Joseon-era action drama starring Jo Dong-hyuk.
Drama about four women living life in the city — title ring a bell? Yoon Hyun-min has a small role here.
It’s pretty obvious why Yoon Hyun-min plays a catcher in this baseball film starring Kim Ju-hyuk and Kim Sun-ah.
Yoon Hyun-min has a supporting role in this daily dose of marriage melodrama.
Excellent supporting role in this noir/crime drama that was heavy on mood, great characters, and a weird loveline (see above).
One-episode drama special about house-sharing starring Yoon Hyun-Min and Nam Gyu-ri.
Imperfect noona romance that became perfect thanks to Park Seo-joon at his most squishy (see above).
Manhwa-adapted, Kim Hyun-joong-led drama about 1930s fighters. Yoon Hyun-min seems to have a nice love line in this. Also, he wears a uniform.
While most of the attention was on the reuniting of Eric and Jung Yoo-mi in this drama, Yoon Hyun-min had a nice supporting role and romance with the amazing Kim Seul-gi.
I’ve tried to watch this drama so many times and gave up because it was so…typical. But, Jung Kyung-ho and Kim So-yeon lead, and Yoon Hyun-min plays the longtime friend who’s in love with Kim So-yeon and not above doing nefarious things to make her his. One day I’ll stick this out for the cast.
Yoon Hyun-min stars opposite Baek Jin-hee and Park Se-young in this weekend drama with high ratings, but not much critical acclaim. Yoon Hyun-min won a Best New Actor award, though.
Yoon Hyun-min cameos as a policeman in this series of episode shorts starring Minho, Park So-dam, and Kim Min-jae, just to name a few.
A group of women come together to form the first female hockey team – sounds like A League of Their Own, the South Korean ice hockey version. Yoon Hyun-min cameos as a coach.
I actually watched this show for Yoon Hyun-min and he didn’t disappoint with his harried I-live-at-the-hospital vibes, and the dimension he gave to his complex, morally-questionable character. He deserved a little more of the screen time that went to Jang Hyuk, IMHO.
Quite a lovely cameo as Jeon Do-yeon’s brother (see above).
Police procedural + time jump + bromance drama extraordinaire (see above).
Yoon Hyun-min and Jung Ryeo-won star as prosecutors that deal specifically with sexual crimes. I love the leads, but when this aired I had legal drama fatigue, and I think I still do.
Wacky tvN adaptation of a webtoon about a fairy from Goryeo-era Korea living in the present day.
This adaptation of the popular webtoon was announced last year, with Yoon Hyun-min and Ahn Woo-yeon in major roles. The drama seems to have…fallen from the sky, however. Hopefully we’ll find out soon if this one is still in production.
- [Actor Spotlight] Song Hye-gyo
- Mama Fairy and the Woodcutter: Episode 1
- Yoon Hyun-min up to romance fairy barista Kang So-ra
- Yoon Hyun-min, Yoon Eun-hye consider robot-human love story Love Like a Person
- Witch’s Court: Episode 1
- Jung Ryeo-won and Yoon Hyun-min courted for legal drama Don’t Trust Her
- Tunnel: Episode 1
- Yoon Hyun-min, Choi Jin-hyuk form detective duo for OCN’s Tunnel
- Beautiful Mind: Episode 1