Ahn Seok-Hwan (안석환) – The (not)-Everyman Extraordinaire!

To celebrate the end of my first year as a KDrama aficionado, I’ve put together a little tribute to Ahn Seok-Hwan, that bundle of awesome that comes wrapped in a different package in every – and I do mean every other (well, almost) KDrama I’ve seen. He is that guy – you know, the character actor who seems to appear in every drama you watch, is always very present, very different, yet so, so familiar that it kind of anchors your experience.

AhnSeokHwan

Ahn Seok-Hwan (안석환)
photo courtesy of Nate.com

 

His presence in KDrama embodies ubiquity — so much so that I’ll sometimes, out of the blue, find myself wondering where he is when I’m immersed in a new drama. And then some other times, I’m not thinking of him at all and ¡ Shazaahm ! there he is, gobbling up the screen like some hybrid incarnation of Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro and Marlon Brando all rolled up in a single thespian tornado. Check out his “cameo” in Ja Myung Go (where his unforgettable Prophet Jamuk is not even mentioned in the credits) if you are wondering what I mean.

So I’ll keep it short and sweet with a little photo album — courtesy of AsianWiki and arranged in descending chronological order of production — of but a handful of some of the memorable characters brought to life by The One, The Only, The Inimitable Ahn Seok-Hwan!

 

Toyotomi Hideyoshi

 Jung-Yi, Goddess of Fire | (2013) – Toyotomi Hideyoshi

From 20th century Japanese war-time collaborator to sixteenth century Japanese war lord, Ahn Ajussi is fabulous in his cameo as a discerning, phlegmatic, and ultimately aesthetically covetous Toyotomi Hideyoshi in another sageuk with Moon Geun Young starring as the resident artistic genius. [P.S. Not sure Japanese viewers would celebrate this portayal of their cultural icon… ]

Lee Shi-Yong

Lee Shi-Yong

 Gaksital (Bridal Mask) | (2012) – Lee Shi-Yong

The wealthy Count who worships and collaborates with the Japanese colonists in Gaksital is a delightfully shameless hypochondriac and pampered ploof! Pure gold!

Lee Shin-Juk

Lee Shin-Juk

Tree With Deep Roots | (2011) – Lee Shin-Juk

Civil ‘service’ was never oilier than with Minister Lee Shin Juk slithering about trying to position himself in the most advantageous locus depending on the political winds in Tree With Deep Roots.

Seo Yoo-Dae

Seo Yoo-Dae

Warrior Baek Dong-soo | (2011) – Seo Yoo-Dae

I look forward to discovering what he’s grimacing about when I watch this, one day…!

Go Heung

Go Heung

King Geunchogo | (2010-2011) – Go Heung

What could have startled him so? Why, he is a fugitive scholar in constant fear for his life! ASH makes his first fleeting, yet unmistakable appearance in two quick scenes in chapter 19 and I admit to feeling quite happy to see his familiar smirk.

Han Yun-Seop

Han Yun-Seop

Personal Taste | (2010) – Han Yun-Seop

Oily and overbearing father of the hero’s primary nemesis. Needless to say, his son is spineless — simply beaten down by daddy’s self-ingratiating saccharine gruffness. Puts you in stitches from beginning to end!

Hwa-Baek Bang

Hwa-Baek Bang

Chuno | (2010) – Hwa-Baek Bang

That expression tells the whole story! Plays the long suffering (yet money grubbing) draftsman/pamphlet copyist beautifully!

Geum Il-Bong

Geum Il-Bong

Boys Over Flowers | (2009) – Geum Il-Bong

This is the face of an endlessly cheerful father who adores his daughter, Geum Jan Di, unreservedly — much to her occasional embarrassment. Can’t you just hear him leading the family pep rally: “Shin Hwa Gœloop!”,  “Shin Hwa Gœloop!”,  “Shin Hwa Gœloop!” AH, good times!

Shin Han-Pyeong

Shin Han-Pyeong

The Painter of the Wind | (2008) – Shin Han-Pyeong

And this is the face of a father who takes adoption to a whole new level of utilitarian entitlement and exploitation! Yup, since the little orphan girl was so talented, of course she had to be the one to carry on the family name!

Seo Yoon-Seop

Seo Yoon-Seop

Hong Gil Dong | (2008) – Seo Yoon-Seop

Can’t wait to see this one!

Jang_Il_Do

Jang Il-Do

My Girl | (2005) – Jang Il-Do

Oh you Sexy Beast, you! How Ahn Ahjusshi pulls off the mysterious, brooding artist (sculptor, no less) in this one is just a marvel to behold! And watching his Lady Love sigh and flutter in response is at once hilarious and touching… Go figure!

Incidentally, actor Ahn is in five (FIVE!) of the titles in my KDrama “Must See” list! Impressive, especially considering that my favorite actor, Moon Geun Young, and my not-so-secret actor crush, Lee Byeong Heon, are both in only three of those titles a piece.

 

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One Response to Ahn Seok-Hwan (안석환) – The (not)-Everyman Extraordinaire!

  1. Pingback: Playing Favorites… the KDrama and Film ‘Must See’ List | SPQ&R

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