Gallup Korea year-end poll reveals Korean movie stars who shined in 2021

Published December 16, 2021, 8:52 AM

by Jonathan Hicap

Polling firm Gallup Korea revealed its year-end list of the top 10 Korean movie stars who shined in 2021 as part of its “Person of the Year” ranking in each field.

Gallup Korea held a survey among 1,700 people aged 13 and above in South Korea excluding Jeju Island from Nov. 5 to 28 and asked them to name the Korean movie actors who shined in 2021. The company has been releasing its “Person of the Year” lists since 2007.

The Korean movie actors who shined in 2021 are (clockwise from top left) Lee Jung-jae, Youn Yuh-jung, Ma Dong-seok, Song Kang-ho, Lee Byung-hun, Hwang Jung-min, Gong Yoo, Jung Woo-sung, Kim Hye-soo and Jo In-sung (Instagram, Netflix)

It earlier released the rankings of the Korean TV actors who shined in 2021.

In 2021, respondents picked actor Lee Jung-jae of Netflix’s global hit Korean series “Squid Game” as the No. 1 movie actor who shined this year. In the poll, Lee Jung-jae garnered 39.7 percent.

In the same poll last year, Song Kang-ho, star of the Oscar Best Picture “Parasite,” ranked first with 27.8 percent.

Placing second this year is Youn Yuh-jung with 18.9 percent. Youn Yuh-jung won the Oscar for best supporting actress for her role in the movie “Minari” at the 93rd Academy Awards held on April 25 this year. In addition, she won best supporting actress for her role at the British Academy Film Awards and many other award-giving bodies. She debuted as a TV actress through the 3rd TBC recruitment in 1966.

Korean actor Ma Dong-seok, also known as Don Lee, placed third with 11.4 percent. He played the role of Gilgamesh in the Marvel Studios’ film “Eternals.” He entered Gallup Korea’s movie actor of the year list for the first time in 2016 and entered the top five for five consecutive years including grabbing first place in 2018.

Song Kang-ho of the 2019 film “Parasite” grabbed third place with 8.8 percent and Lee Byung-hun placed fourth with 7 percent even though they had no films in 2021, Gallup Korea noted.

Placing sixth to 10th places are Hwang Jung-min of “Hostage: Missing Celebrity,” 5.6 percent; Gong Yoo of “Seobok,” 3.6 percent; Jung Woo-sung, 3.5 percent; Kim Hye-soo, 2.6 percent; and Jo In-sung of “Escape from Mogadishu,” 2.5 percent.

Other Korean actors who placed in the poll are Ha Jung-woo, 2.2 percent; Yoo Ah-in, 2 percent; Choi Min-sik and Sol Kyung-gu, 1.8 percent; Hoyeon Jung and Song Joong-ki, 1.6 percent; Heo Sung-tae, 1.5 percent; O Yeong-su, 1.4 percent; Cha Seung-won, 1.2 percent; and Cho Jin-woong, 1 percent.

Hoyeon Jung, Heo Sung-tae and O Yeong-su starred in “Squid Game” while Lee Byung-hun and Gong Yoo made special appearances as the frontman and “ddakji” man, respectively.

Actors who responded 1.0% or more outside the top 10 were Ha Jung-woo (2.2%), Yoo Ah-in (2.0%), Choi Min-sik, Seol Kyung-gu (1.8% or more), Jeong Ho-yeon, Song Joong-ki (1.6% or more), Heo Seong-tae (1.5%), Oh Young-su ( 1.4%), Cha Seung-won (1.2%), and Jo Jin-woong (1.0%). Among them, Jeong Ho-yeon, Heo Seong-tae, and Oh Young-soo played the main players in ‘Squid Game’, and Lee Byung-hun and Gong Yoo also made special appearances in ‘Frontman’ and ‘Takjiman’, respectively.

Here are the Korean movie actors who shined in 2021, according to Gallup Korea:

1. Lee Jung-jae – 39.7% – “Squid Game” (drama)

2. Youn Yuh-jung – 18.9% – “Minari”

3. Ma Dong-seok – 11.4% – “Eternals”

4. Song Kang-ho – 8.8% – “Parasite” (2019)

5. Lee Byung-hun – 7% – “The Man Standing Next” (2020)

6. Hwang Jung-min – 5.6% – “Hostage: Missing Celebrity”

7. Gong Yoo – 3.6% – “Seobok”

8. Jung Woo-sung – 3.5% – “Steel Rain 2: Summit”

9. Kim Hye-soo – 2.6% – “The Day I Died: Unclosed Case” (2020)

10. Jo In-sung – 2.5% – “Escape from Mogadishu”

For comparison, here are the top 10 Korean movie actors who shined in 2020, according to Gallup Korea:

1. Song Kang-ho – 27.8 percent

2. Lee Byung-hun- 14 percent

3. Ma Dong-seok – 9.1 percent

4. Hwang Jung-min – 7.5 percent

5. Jung Woo-sung – 6.2 percent

6. Gong Yoo – 5.9 percent

7. Ha Jung-woo – 4 percent

8. Lee Jung-jae – 3.6 percent

9. Kim Hye-soo – 3.5 percent;

10. Lee Jeong-eun – 3.4 percent