The days of women waiting around for a knight in shining armour to come and save them are long gone and we’re here for it. K-drama female leads are stronger than ever, defying the odds against them and taking matters into their own hands (quite literally).
Fall in love with these 5 fearless K-drama stars that have come to serve action, attitude, and a whole lot of ass-kicking.
Han So-hee as Jiwoo — My Name
Han So-hee stars in the action noir series My Name as Jiwoo, a revenge-driven woman looking to avenge her father after he was killed outside of their home. She sacrifices everything to find her father’s killer — including her name. Jiwoo joins the largest crime syndicate in Korea and goes undercover as a police officer in order to find her father’s killer.
To perform the intense action scenes in the series, Han So-hee dedicated herself to attending action school daily, honing her techniques in not just bare fist fighting, but also combat involving knives, guns, and batons used by the police.
My Nameis now streaming on Netflix.
Lee Si-young as Seo Yi-kyung — Sweet Home
Lee Si-young stars as former firefighter Seo Yi-kyung in the apocalyptic drama Sweet Home.
Yi-kyung becomes a pivotal character in the series as she sacrifices herself to protect the residents of the apartment complex from savage monsters despite her personal circumstances.
One of Yi-kyung’s most impressive moments is when she’s fighting the spider monster in the vents. Si-young attended action school for six months before filming began and even kept to a strict diet to cut down her body fat to 8% for the role (now we know what it takes to get abs!).
Sweet Home is now streaming on Netflix.
Gianna Jun as Ashin — Kingdom: Ashin of the North
Gianna Jun is Ashin in Kingdom: Ashin of the North, a girl who discovers the powers of the resurrection plant that caused such a calamity throughout Joseon. We get to know more about her childhood and life prior to the undead plague that ravaged the kingdom and finds out that Ashin is also a victim when her family and everyone she knew is massacred by the Pajeowi tribe.
Director Kim Seong-hun praises Jun for masterfully performing not only the action scenes but also the unspoken inner pain and rage the character harbours. Archery was an important part of the character so Jun prepared for the role by taking up the sport.
Kingdom: Ashin of the North is now streaming on Netflix.
Kim Se-jeong as Do Ha-na — The Uncanny Counter
Kim Se-jeong stars in the fantasy K-drama The Uncanny Counter as Do Ha-na, a tough Counter who can sense evil spirits and has insane super strength. The series features a group of demon hunters who go through leaps and bounds to save innocent people from evil spirits.
Se-jeong prepared for the fight scenes by going to action school and she even memorised all the choreography to deliver the impressive jam-packed action on screen.
The Uncanny Counter is now streaming on Netflix.
Park Shin-hye as Gang Seo-hae — Sisyphus
Park Shin-hye plays Gang Seo-hae in Sisyphus as an elite warrior living in a war-torn future. The sci-fi drama tells the story of a genius engineer who tries to uncover the secrets behind his older brother’s death and a mysterious woman who travels back in time to help him save the world from imminent danger.
Seo-hae exhibits close combat fighting and a variety of shooting skills. Shin-hye prepared for the physically demanding role by enrolling in acting school for a month and a half prior to filming where she learned everything from how to hold a gun, to every aspect of staging an action scene.
Sisyphus is now streaming on Netflix.