Korean students graduate high school at the age of 19, so it stands to reason that most K-Drama actors playing high schoolers must be teenagers too. However, these eight stars were still playing teenagers well into their late 20s and even 30s!
1. Hwang In Yeop
Known for his roles in popular dramas like JTBC‘s 18 Again, Hwang In Yeop is currently 31 years old.
This year, he’s also playing high school student Han Seo-Jun in tvN‘s True Beauty. When the drama started airing, Hwang was already 30 years old.
2. Ryu Jun Yeol
34-year-old Ryu Jun Yeol is best known for his roles in hit movies like The King and Money.
Back in 2015, he also starred in the famous drama Reply 1988 on tvN. Ryu was 30 years old, but that didn’t stop him from acing the role of teenager Kim Jung-Hwan.
3. Eun Ji Won
42-year-old Eun Ji Won has appeared in several movies and dramas, but you may know him best as the leader of first-generation K-Pop group Sechs Kies.
In 2012, he played the role of Do Hak-Chan, a transfer student, on tvN’s Reply 1997. Despite how convincing he was, Eun was a staggering 35 years old at the time.
4. Kim Jung Hyun
Recently best known for his role in tvN’s Crash Landing on You, Kim Jung Hyun is currently 30 years old.
But his breakout role came at the age of 28, when he played high schooler Hyun Tae-Woon in KBS2‘s School 2017.
5. Lee Dong Hwi
Lee Dong Hwi—who is famously friends with Ryu Jun Yeol—is a 35-year-old actor who starred in hit movies like The Handmaiden and Extreme Job.
Like his close friend, he also played a teen (Ryu Dong-Ryong) on tvN’s Reply 1988 at a much older age—31 at the time.
6. So Joo Yeon
While many of the oldest high school actors are male, there are plenty of old actresses who’ve used their youthful looks to score teen roles. Take Dr. Romantic 2‘s So Joo Yeon, for example, who is 29 years old.
This year, she’ll be appearing in the Kakao M web-drama A Love So Beautiful, where she’ll be playing 17-year-old student Sin Sol-Ee.
7. Shin So Yul
35-year-old Shin So Yul has appeared in movies and dramas like Penny Pinchers and MBC‘s SF8.
Her breakthrough role came when she played Mo Yoo-Jung in tvN’s Reply 1997. The character was a high school student, but Shin was 28 years old at the time.
8. Kim Hee Sun
Last but not least is Kim Hee Sun, the 43-year-old actress who has appeared in both Korean and Chinese dramas over the course of her career.
A few years ago, she joined the cast of MBC’s Angry Mom, where she played the role of high schooler Jo Bang-Wool at the age of 39! However, the was a slight catch—she was technically playing a mother who went undercover as a student.