Older actresses in their 30s or early 40s seem to be resigned to the same roles in kdramas: the noona or unnie. The older sister or the older lover. Age. Age. Age. For the youth obsessed audience riding the hallyu wave, these stereotypical roles have fueled some ridiculous shows, but there are plenty of women who have commanded some excellent acting and stories with those type of characters. Check out these women and dramas that I have admired and enjoyed:
Twenty Again 두번째 스무살
ACTRESS: Choi Ji Woo 1975
Also known as: Second 20s, Second Time Twenty Years Old
Genre: Romance, comedy
Broadcast network: tvN
Broadcast period: 2015-Aug-28 to 2015-Oct-17
Choi Ji Woo started acting in 1995 and is still as active as ever. Her role as a future divorcee/college student/mother in Twenty Again does have age appropriate romantic pairings, but one cannot help her possibly being a noona crush for some of the college boys she interacts with. Can we talk about how great No Young Hak has been as her senior classman? We can later. I’m sure he’ll pop up again here soon. Luckily they have played these interactions more sweetly rather than scandalously.
Watch Twenty Again on DRAMAFEVER.
With an 11 year age difference between Kim Sun Ah and Lee Jang Woo, this drama had one of the bigger age differences between and older woman and younger man*. I found the noona love story to lose some momentum, but Sun Ah tends to have great chemistry with her co-stars and she definitely has it with Jang Woo. He was adorable as the fumbly new worker who gets a chance to work at a big company. He also ends up being the baby daddy to Sun Ah’s fashion shoe director character. I mean, what is not to like? Shoes, cute, and Sun Ah!
Watch I Do, I Do on DRAMAFEVER.
This was a remake of the Taiwanese hit My Queen. The age difference between with that drama was only 8 years, but the Korean version boasted a 14 year difference! Add in that Uhm Jung Hwa is 19 years older than her co-star Park Seo Joon in real life and you have the ultimate noona romance fantasy. Let’s face it, Jung Hwa is still gorgeous after all these years and this drama was so fun to watch. It takes a lot of the queues from My Queen so that helps.
Watch A Witch’s Love on VIKI.
While Sung Joon was playing a character a few years older than his age, the romance had a bit more conflict at first because it was sibling-like friendship. Eventually that would grow into more, but it was not an easy road since Kim So Yeon’s character was a career minded woman hurt by love and relationships. Of all the I Need Romance series (1,2), this was my favorite because of her. Sung Joon helped a little. And maybe looking at Nam Goong Min. Just a little though. Okay, maybe a lot. Just look at them and tell me So Yeon wasn’t a lucky woman.
Watch I Need Romance 3 on DRAMAFEVER.
Any older actresses you like? Comment below or tweet me @cherylfornia!
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*NOTE – There has been some larger gaps between some young actresses and older men. Another story. Another day.