Love Like a K-drama: Where you’ve seen the male contestants before

Gabriela Silva
Song Ji-hyuk, Lee Tae-gyun, Kim Won-shik, and Kim Dong-kyu in Love Like a K-drama.

Netflix’s newest dating reality series adds some needed drama as four Korean male actors and four Japanese female actors audition for a K-drama lead role and love – but where have you seen the contestants before?

Despite the language barrier, the contestants of the dating series have two things in common. One is hoping to land a leading role in a K-drama as rising actors, with the other thing to have open-mindedness to find love in the process.

Included in the cast are Song Ji-hyuk (36), Kim Won-shik (29), Lee Tae-gyun (27), and Kim Dong-kyu (28). So far, they have shown their impressive acting techniques during each episode’s storyline.

For K-drama fans, the concept is a dream come true with some of the male contestants looking familiar. Here are some of the roles they have had so far in their careers.

Song Ji-hyuk

Song Ji-hyuk is the oldest of the contestants and has more experience as an actor compared to the others. When he was introduced to Love Like a K-drama, he shocked the female contestants with his impressive Japanese skills. It turned out he had done a lot of acting work in Japan.

But what about his K-drama credentials? According to My Drama List, he has yet to have a leading role. He played guest roles in Voice, Bachelor’s Vegetable Store, Girls’ Love Story, and The Game: Towards Zero. In 2020, he played a supporting role as a police officer in the fantasy mystery Alice.

His most recent role was in 2023 in the supporting role of Choi Jong-soo in the historical mystery romance The Secret Romantic Guesthouse.

Kim Won-shik

Love Like a K-drama hasn’t been too favorable for male contestant Kim Won-shik. So far, he has been picked once to lead a K-drama episode in the series. But K-drama fans will have to look deeply into one of Netflix’s biggest hits to spot him.

In 2020, Won-shik played a guest role as Ji Woo-hyeon in Episode 4 of the popular teen romance K-drama True Beauty. Two years later he played an unknown role in Netflix’s global hit fantasy K-drama Alchemy of Souls. Interestingly, his acting credentials include works in the Philippines. One is a remake of the popular romance K-drama What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim and Pag-ibig Na Kaya?

Kim Dong-kyu

Like his other co-stars, Kim Dong-kyu is a rising actor still making a name for himself. He has impressed judges and fans so far in Love Like a K-drama and was even described as having a perfect K-drama look. He’s only appeared in TV specials and one drama.

In 2018, he played a main role in Something Between Us, Comic Book Cafe, and Wind Blowing in Jeju. For the 2019 youth K-drama Dating Class, he played one of the leading roles as Jo Tae-jin.

Lee Tae-gyun

It may be hard to find acting credentials for Love Like a K-drama male contestant Lee Tae-gyun. In reality, he’s new to the acting scene and made his mark in the fashion industry. He’s worked as a model gracing magazines such as Vogue Korea, Arena Korea, and GQ Korea.

Read more K-drama news here, details about Single’s Inferno Season 3 here, and Physical: 100 Season 2 here.

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About The Author

Gabriela is a Senior TV and Movies Writer for Dexerto covering Netflix, Disney+, K-Dramas and everything in between. She has a bachelor's degree in Journalism from Fordham, and was previously a TV Writer for Showbiz Cheatsheet and List Witer for Screenrant. You can contact Gabriela at