1. Lee Da Hae
I've never understood the Lee Da Hae hate. I remember how everyone loved her around the My Girl era (and for good reason too- she was pure awesomeness in that drama. It's still my favorite.). Everybody hates her now- what happened? I mean, sure, she acted like a diva in East of Eden and she did that little Filipino accent imitation, but she apologized, right?
In any case, she's going to be in this new show... Iris 2. I didn't watch Iris, and despite my infatuation with her, I really don't think I'll be watching this one either. She will be co-starring with Jang Hyuk- again. This is their third project together now. First was the lackluster Robbers. Then came the historical Chuno. Now, another drama together? I didn't watch any of their shared projects, so I can only assume they have awesome chemistry.
My favorite shows from Lee Da Hae are My Girl and Hello Miss!. I feel that her brand of acting- that is, exaggerated shudders, gasps, etc.- fits the tone of a rom-com best. It was really cute whenever she did them in those shows- when she did them in Miss Ripley, it felt a little... awkward? Forced? In any case, she's my favorite Korean actress.
It's weird that her face keeps changing, though. I barely recognized her in Love, Actually!
2. Shin Min Ah
I'm not a fan of Rain, so I have nothing to offer in the way of A Love to Kill. However, I will say that Shin Min Ah rocks the rom-com genre. So far, I've seen her play supernatural beings in My Girlfriend is a Gumiho and Arang and the Magistrate. In both cases, she played her part admirably, although I felt that everything about the former was superior to the latter.
She's also very pretty. I don't feel like she's the plastic kind of pretty- she seems more natural to me. Anyway, she's been called a CF Queen, although they throw that title around so much it sort of discredits it, in my opinion.
3. Ko Hyun Jung
If this was based purely on skills, Ko would be at the top of the list. Undoubtedly one of the greatest actresses that Korea has seen in the last twenty years, Ko is extremely flexible. In What's Up Fox, she shows that she can act her ass off as the lead female. In Queen Seon Deok, she chose to play the villainous Mishil, and outshone the lead actress. Ratings dropped after Ko's character died- she was the centerpiece of that drama.
Ko was runner up in a Miss Korea pageant sometime between the 80's and the 90's, but I never really thought she was that pretty. as a matter of fact, I personally feel that she is the least attractive one on this list. It doesn't matter though- her acting totally compensates for her lack in any other department.
4. Ha Ji Won
Ha Ji Won is just awesome. Not only can she act, but she can consistently chose awesome projects. Hwang Jin Yi, King2Hearts, Damo- I enjoy most of the dramas that she has done. I even like Secret Garden, against my better judgement. Maybe because of her badassery? All of her roles are awesome in some way.
And she doesn't look plasticized! She's very, very pretty, yet she doesn't resemble every other korean actress on the planet! I don't know what anyone else thinks, but I feel that a majority of Korean girls look identical. Ha Ji Won is instantly recognizable, unlike many others. (I'm looking at you, Lee Da Hae.)
5. Han Ye Seul
Of all the actresses on this list, Han Ye Seul is the least impressive. Her acting can range from awesome to wooden, depending on the drama. Her roles in Couple of Fantasy and Myung Wol really endeared her to me, though. She does fine in comedy.
Her greatest assets- apart from her looks- is her English. She's quite proficient (which isn't surprising given that she was born and raised in L.A.). Of all the actresses on this list, only her and Lee Da Hae can speak English that isn't cringe worthy. The other actresses... are embarrassments in this department.
Another parallel between her and Da Hae is that they both get a lot of hate. In Han's case, it's because she walked off the set of Myung Wol when they overworked and mistreated her. She must have known of the possible backlash, the repercussions but she chose to do so anyway. And I admire her for that.