“Crash Landing on You” has become such a sensation that the acronym for the k-drama—“CLOY”—has gained a life of its own. Coming from tvN and Netflix, “CLOY” has become the 2nd highest rated cable k-drama of all time behind only JBTC’s soap operatic “Sky Castle” (still first) and now ahead of revered tvN neighborhood portrait “Reply 1988” (long the top-rated one until “Sky Castle” dethroned it). There are several presumptive reasons for this, such as the fact the funny, fascinating show has been aided by an actual North Korean defector, Kwak Moon-san, who allowed the audience to see details in everyday North Korean life.
But the fantastic cast has been noted as the other element that has won fans over. Let’s take a look at these actors:
The 37-year-old actor is one of South Korea’s most famous actors and he plays North Korean Captain Ri Jeong-hyuk, who is a former piano prodigy but now serves steadfastly guarding the border. His life is thrown into disarray one day when a wealthy South Korean heiress crash-lands (hence the title) in North Korea because of a paragliding mishap. Hyun Bin has had many popular shows but his first big breakthrough was the 2005 romantic comedy “My Name is Kim Sam-soon,” opposite Kim Sun-a. Sun-a played the titular Sam-soon, an insecure pastry chef and Hyun Bin was Jin-heon the shop owner who falls for her. (This show had a Filipino version in 2008 with Regine Velasquez in the lead role). Another popular Hyun Bin k-drama was 2011’s “Secret Garden,” written by the bulletproof Kim Eun-sook, who wrote “Lovers in Paris,” “Goblin” and “Descendants of the Sun.” In “Secret Garden,” Ha Ji-won plays stutwoman Gil Ra-im while Hyun Bin is department store executive Kim Joo-won; the drama involves switching of bodies between the leads. Hyun Bin’s most recent work before “CLOY” was 2019’s “Memories of the Alhambra,” the mind-blowing high-concept drama where Hyun Bin plays game developer Yoo Jin-woo who travels to Spain and meets Jung Hee-joo, owner of the Bonita Hotel, played by the fabulous Park Shin-hye. It’s more than that, of course. Hyun Bin has always brought an attractive stoicism to his roles, something that shines in his turn as the honorable Captain Ri in “CLOY.” Fingerhearts for you!
The 38-year-old actress has long been a big film star notable for tackling playing a range of roles from the provocative lead Joo In-ah in 2008’s “My Wife Got Married” to the heart-breaking Su-jin in 2004’s “A Moment to Remember.” There’s also the unforgettable turn as Soo-ah, wife to So Ji-sub’s Woo-jin, who promises to somehow come back a year after she dies in 2018’s “Be With You,” based on the Japanese movie. Most recently, Ye-jin returned to Korean TV after a five-year hiatus with the hit romantic drama, “Something in the Rain,” also known as “Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food.” In his grounded, complex May-December romance, Ye-jin plays Yoon Jin-ah, a manager of coffee shop who has ever only known video game designer Seo Joon-hee, played by Jung Hae-in, as her friend’s younger brother. But this popular, charming show insists the hearts wants what it wants. Ye-jin is always a distinctive screen presence and she plays Se-ri as both flirty and fierce, as both savvy and vulnerable. Her chemistry as well as snappy repartee with Hyun Bin is what makes “CLOY” work so well. All hail the beautiful Picky Princess!
The 29-year-old is “CLOY’s” newest talent, and thus potentially the one who’s career can be helped the most by its popularity. His biggest credit so far is the faithful lieutenant Mo Ri in the 2017’s period drama “The Rebel” on MBC for which he won Best New Actor at the 1st The Seoul Awards. In “CLOY,” he plays Gu Seung-joon, a business partner who escapes Seoul to North Korea after embezzling money from Se-ri’s family’s corporation. He plays Seung-joon as a rogue who seems like a criminal but is not all he seems to be.
The 35-year-old actress already has a long list of credits, starting with the 2005 horror film “Voice” where she plays Seon-min who is the only person who can hear the voice of her recently murdered friend Young-eon. There is the 2014 film “Punch” as Choi Yeon-jin, for which she won Best TV Actor at the 15th Gwangju International Film Festival. Her most memorable turn was the 2016 show “Jealousy Incarnate,” also known as “Don’t Dare to Dream,” where she played self-absorbed news anchor Hong Hye-won. She brings a steely beauty to the part of Seo Dan, also a musical prodigy who has been engaged to Captan Ri as part of an arranged marriage. “CLOY’s” success is also poised to boost Ji-hye’s career. A dead ringer for Kim Chiu, she will be seen next in 2020’s “Shall We Be Eating Dinner Together?”
There is a surprising connection to Bong Joon-ho’s Oscar-winning “Parasite”: two actors play recurring characters on this show. Jang Hye-jin plays Seo Dan’s loud mom on the show was Mrs. Kim. Most memorably, Park Myoung-hoon plays Seo Dan’s uncle military uncle here, played the scary man in the bunker. Ironically, those who antagonized each other in “Parasite” play sibling here. The rest of the supporting cast is talented, including experienced characters actors such as Kim Sun-young (the aforemenioned “Reply 1988”), who plays village leader Na Wol-sook, Ha Seok-jin (“Radiant Office”) who plays Captain Ri’s brother Moo Hyuk and Hwang Woo-seul-hye (“Drinking Solo”), who plays Se-ri’s scheming sister in law Do Hye-ji. Take note of the very special appearances by “My Love from the Star’s” Kim Soo-hyun, “Life on Mars’” Jung Kyung-ho and “Stairway to Heaven’s” Choi Ji-woo.