Kmuse’s End of Year Countdown – Favorite Actresses of 2015

collageWhile it’s not always the thing I first look at in a drama (Sorry I am a shallow khottie crazed ahjumma), the leading lady is always important to the success  of a show.  So let’s take a glimpse at who stood out from the crowd and made my top leading actress list this year. 

Classic Leading Lady

Park Min Young “Healer”

1.png It is Chae Yeong Shin’s spunky and optimistic personality that makes this character come to life.  But it is the sizzling chemistry with Ji Chang Wook that kicked her performance up a notch and added her onto my favorite of 2015 list.  I hope Park Min Young’s new role in “Remember” is just as wonderful so I can put her on next year’s list as well.

Hwang Jung Eum “Kill Me Heal Me”

5.pngI can completely understand why Hwang Jung Eum’s acting style can drive some people crazy.  To say she can be screechy and over the top is an understatement.  Thankfully Oh Ri Jin became calmer as the drama went on and by the end, I have to admit she is one of the most memorable female characters of 2016.

Honey Lee “Shine or Go Crazy”

4I know, I know.  Technically Princess Hwang Bo Yeo Won was the 2nd lead.  But since I accidentally forgot to add her onto my secondary character list, she is getting bumped up to the main event.  While the leading lady was completely adequate, it is Honey Lee that was truly the breakout star of this drama.  Her cold calculated power hungry performance as Jang Hyuk’s wife/sister (yup they were half siblings……..eww) gave me shivers.  Just proof that she is more than a pretty face.

It’s a Twin Thing


Double the characters deserves double the memes right?  It was obviously the year of the twin when it came to popular actresses playing more than one role per drama.  To be honest, I had not realized how many twins themed dramas we had til I started compiling this list.  So in no specific order, here are our leading ladies who pulled off the double roles.

Kim Hyun Joo “I Have A Lover”


I am shocked that I am enjoying this drama as much as I am.  And it is all due to Kim Hyun Joo’s wonderful portrayal of Do Hae Gang.  A wife who loses her child in death and eventually her husband due to grief and a young homewrecker.  It just so happens that she also gets into an accident meant for her unknown twin sister and gets amnesia.  So not only is Hyun Joo playing twins, but she is playing almost a third character when portraying the amnesiac Hae Gang who is being mistaken for her twin Yong Gi.  Yes, I  know that it sounds like a makjang mess, but that doesn’t make it any less fun to follow.

Park Bo Young ” Oh My Ghostess”


While not technically a twin, Park Bo Young does have to play two very different characters. First she plays shy, ghost-seeing, chef  Bong Seon.  But then she has to switch into aggressive, man crazy, Shin Sun Ae every time she is possessed.  I was highly impressed on how seamless her transition between the two characters was.  So let’s all give a pat on the back that her drama comeback was so successful and hope that she will return in 2016.

Jeon Ji Hyeon “Assassination”

f0f8822b3b113af5a2bda2361d9138bcThe only movie on my list, “Assassination”, is a top-notch action film.  This movie stars Jeon Ji Hyeon, as an assassin who is attempting to kill her own father (unknowingly) for the good of Korea.  Freedom fighter Ahn Ok Yoon was lost to her affluent pro-Japanese father as an infant and grew up in Shanghai as part of the resistance.  Chosen for her sniper skills,  Ok Yoon comes back to Korea to assassinate known Japanese sympathizers and meets her unknown family (including her twin sister).  I actually went to the theaters twice to see this show and each time was enthralled.  I highly recommend this for anyone who loves, action, history, or Jeon Ji Hyeon.

Kim So Hyun “School 2015: Who Are You”

4.jpgKim So Hyun is one of my favorite young actresses and I am counting the years until she can emerge as an adult leading lady (you know, where they allow her to have an adult romance and actually kiss someone without the netizens crying foul).  Until then, I must be satisfied with her teenager performances, one of which was in “School 2015” where she played separated orphan twins Lee Eun Bi / Go Eun Byeol.  While there were several moments of “What the Fudge” when it came to the plot as a whole, So Hyun’s performance was exceptional.  I never doubted which twin I was watching at any given time. And it is that talent that lands her on my list.


Chinese Invasion

As many of you know, I spent a lot of time watching Chinese dramas this year.  So it is only normal that some of the actresses made their way onto my top list.  And while there were many great performances, these two found special places in my heart and are officially on my girl crush list.

Liu Tao “Nirvana in Fire”

3.pngBy far one of the strongest female characters ever found in an Asian historical drama, Princess Ni Huang burst onto the scene with a kickass vibe that could not be ignored.  A general in her own right, this princess was not the type to stay at home and let the men take the lead.  Ni Huang stood equal to her soulmate Mei Chang Su and was confident enough to let him do what he had to do without whining and hand wringing.  It was a nice change from your usual damsel in distress.

Zhao Zanilia  “Journey of Flower”

Shan Shan!!!!!  I know, that is not truly who she is, but I will always think of Zhao Zanilia as Shan Shan til the day she dies.  She is just so likable that I can’t help but add her to the list.  And while I admit that Hua Qian Gu isn’t a huge leap from her Shan Shan character, my obvious love for this actress’s style has her on my list.
And that concludes my thoughts on the best actresses of 2015.  Did your’s make the list?  Do you disagree on any of them?  Feel free to post your thoughts and your own list in the comments and be sure to check out our other “End of Year” lists linked below.
Til next time,


13 thoughts on “Kmuse’s End of Year Countdown – Favorite Actresses of 2015

  1. I LOVED Kim Hee-seon’s character in Angry Mom.I have a warm and gooey spot in my heart for Shin Se-kyung’s character in Girl Who Sees Smells. Uee won me over in Ho-Goo’s Love though I didn’t like her acting in High Society. I hold a special place in my heart for all the girls in Sunam Girls High School Detectives. And even though 1988 will go into 2016, I really do think the sisters and the moms of that show needs a shout out because they’re all awesome.

  2. I was REALLY impressed with Kim So Hyeon’s dual roles in the otherwise tediously mehdiocre School 2015, she hasn’t let me down yet. But my vote for the best display of the actor’s craft from a female actor in a Drama this year would go to Shin Eun Gyeon in Achiara’s Secret. She was quite simply AMAZING. Her character was layered and twisted and complex, and she just nailed it. Her character drove the story forward, generating fear and loathing, but also sympathy and understanding. It’s little wonder the PD said the crew applauded her after her scene. She really was THAT good.

    • I so agree with Shin Eun Gyeon. People said that she’s just pure evil, but she’s not. She went through a lot and it’s even amazing to see that she has reached the level where she’s at and still be sane. She’s so layered that I feel so much pity, understanding and compassion towards her. It makes me think whether she could be just another lady if only her situation wasn’t as drastic. But she sent me shivers to know that she only visited her sick child twice in eight years after divorcing her husband and gaining custody of the child while leaving him in the care of her 80 something mother in law. :O

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