Favorite Ahjummas in K-drama that we adore
A good K-drama always has a veteran who knows how to add pizzazz and depth to our favorite series and movies. We can’t help but love these women who have been acting for decades and continue to bring their A+ game to every role they play. Yes, sometimes they get under our skin or make us cry but that is just what makes them great.
Die-hard Kdrama fans know that ahjussis and ahjummas are a must in any drama. If you’re unaware of the term, this basically refers to middle-aged men and women, those who are likely married and have a wealth of experience behind them.
Our love and hate relationship with them depend on their character in each drama. Sometimes we cheer for them, while other times we want them dead – pronto! Here are our favorite ahjummas; let us know which of their characters charmed you!
Lee Il Hwa
Lee Il Hwa has been in the industry for more than two decades. She is most likely to play the stressed-out, complicated mom or ex-wife with too much to handle but loves her children so much. She has been awarded for her supporting roles in Good Manager (2017), Witch’s Court (2017), and Mother’s Third Marriage (2018).
Jang Young Nam
She is not a stranger to the die-hard K-drama fans of the shows like The Devil Judge(2021), It’s Okay to Not Be Okay (2020), Find Me in Your memory (2020), Nobody Knows (2020) and Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo.
She will play the evil villainess who will do anything her way and achieve her ambitions. Sometimes she is the loving mother, and other times she is the mentor in a male-driven career. She has won various awards for best-supporting actress.
She seems to pop up in almost every K-drama when least expected and always brightens up the screen with her fun and lively character. Her character in The Guardians (2017) is both badass and keeps one glued to the screen.
Her roles are complex and hilarious, making one laugh so hard and cry simultaneously. She has won awards for her roles in Kkondae Intern (2020), Backstreet Rookie (2020), Crash Landing on You (2019), and Homemade Love Story (2020), among others.
Nam Gi Ae
She is most likely to play a character that is suspicious and full of secrets. She is exceptionally fancy and handles herself with grace and elegance but beneath all the glamour are nerves of steel.
Her notable roles are in Thirty Nine (2022), Artificial City (2021), Now, We Are Breaking Up (2021), Confession (2019), and Chimera (2021).
She is mostly the sweet lady you wouldn’t want to mess with because she bites when her ego is wounded. She excels at pretending to be chill but will snap at you in a hot minute.
She has appeared in various drama series, including Jinxed at first (2022), Welcome to Wedding Hell (2022), Love Scene Number (2021), The Tale of Nokdu (2019), Abyss (2019), The Birth of a Nation (2021) and Tomorrow (2022), to name a few.
Hwang Young Hee
She is a solid K-drama staple, often playing the no-bullshit ahjumma who scolds you to our face. She has more than 40 drama appearances to her name and has recently appeared in The Law Café (2022), Todays Webtoon (2022), Jinxed at First (2022), Youth of May (2021), When the Camellia Blooms (2019) and The King: Eternal Monarch (2020).
She has been in the industry since 1985 and has taken up the roles of our favourite K-drama on-screen mother through the years. She appears in dramas including Remarriage and Desires (2022), Welcome to Wedding Hell (2022), Forecasting Love and Weather (2022), When I was the Most Beautiful (2020), and What is Love (2020), among others.
If her book, “Mother of Hallyu Stars: Kim Hae-sook’s Story,” is any indication, she deserves the title of Nation’s Mother. She has acted in various mother roles and is well known for always delivering top-tier performance.
K-drama fans may remember her mother’s roles in the drama Start-Up(2020), Autumn in My Heart (2000), Winter Sonata (2002), Summer Scent (2003), Spring waltz(2006), or as the villain queen in Under the Queens Umbrella (2022).
Her roles have not always been motherly; as we can recall her amazing performance in the 2012 movie The Thieves, and her vulgarities as a hardened bandit who was always chewing gum were epic.
Her eyes are the definition of kindness, sincerity, and warmth. Her vulnerability and tenderness were evident in her role as Soo Hong’s mother in Along with the Gods (2018). Her other iconic mother roles in movies and series were in Save the Green Planet (2003), Secret (2009), The Cage (2017), The End of the World (2013), Stranger (2017), The Game: Towards Zero (2020), and Search: WWW (2019), to name a few.
We may have often seen her playing as a judge, a mother, or the next-door aunt; however, the veteran actress Jung-Eun is a versatile talent deserving of a standing ovation.
Her Hallyu fame can be attributed to her role in the award-winning film, Parasite (2019), for which she has received seven awards. She has a unique ability to inject authenticity and familiarity into every role she plays, making her characters relatable.
She is known for her roles in the following films and series for which she has received various awards, The Light in Your Eyes (2019), Hommage (2022), Mr Sunshine (2018), Familiar Wife (2018), Once Again (2020), When the Camellia Blooms (2019), and has been nominated several times for her role in Juvenile Justice (2022).
So there we have it! Our spotlight shining on our favourite Ahjummas in K-dramas. Which ones are your favourites? Let us know in the comments below.