Too many times in K-dramas, we see these recognizable extras popping out quite often. Ahn Nae Sang is one of those who has a ubiquitous presence in several notable dramas. Even with supporting roles, he has brought to life a lot of notable characters.
As an artist, Ahn Nae Sang has starred in several films and dramas, as he remains to be active in his career at 56. This is the reason why, if you’ve seen a good amount of dramas, he is a recognizable face.
As a veteran in the industry, he has played a number of roles under his belt. But he doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon. Ahn Nae Sang seems to be starring in a lot of recently released K-dramas, that even newbies would find him quite familiar already. If you haven’t caught up with these dramas yet, here are eight series this ahjussi starred in that you might want to add to your watchlist!
Royal Secret Agent
Set in Korea’s antiquated Joseon era, “Royal Secret Agent” is a comic mystery drama that shows how corrupt officials are brought to justice by secret royal inspectors. Among them is Jang Tae Seung (Ahn Nae Sang) as the Chief Royal Secretary. However, the story revolves around Sung Yi Kyum (Kim Myung Soo), who initially worked at Hongmungwan’s Administration and Research Department after finishing first place in the state examination. With no ambition or life goals, he betrays his intelligence and strays from the successful path he was destined for. Things turned for the worse when he got demoted to work as a Secret Royal Inspector after getting caught in gambling. It was there that he met his two fellow workers, inspector Hong Da In (Kwon Na-ra) and Park Choon Sam (Lee Yi-kyung). The three of them work together to uncover corrupt public officials while working on their personal relationships.
L.U.C.A.: The Beginning
This drama is about a man who has a secret power which makes him a target of a big company who is interested in what he can do. Zi O (Kim Rae-won) harbors this secret and he has no idea who he really is. With all these mysterious individuals after him, he is also on the run to find answers to all these questions about his true nature. In this drama, Ahn Nae-sang stars as Ryu Joong-kwon, the director of Human Tech. He is also the scientist who oversaw the only successful subject in the L.U.C.A. project. With this particular subject on the loose, he is under immense stress to bring him back to the facility. Ryu Joong-kwon’s past was not an easy one either. He had been forced out of the academy for defying research ethics in “artificial human enhancement”. He was subsequently imprisoned for embezzlement of research funds.
The mystery-thriller drama takes place in a world where advanced technology exists and a DNA test can already identify psychopaths even while they are still a fetus in their mother’s womb. The story centers on Jung Ba-reum (Lee Seung-gi), a rookie police officer who is passionate in seeking justice. But his life takes a full turn when he comes face to face with a psychopathic serial killer. Ahn Nae-sang stars as Park Du-seok, the Head of the Military Manpower Administration Evidence Storage Team. He was a successful homicide detective, but a word he said to the killer headhunter during the 1995 “headhunter serial murder” dropped was the start of his downfall. He had to step down to take care of his sick wife, and was appointed as the team leader of the first new evidence storage team in Korea forming a team with Jung Ba-reum. Go Moo-chi rounds out the team, and he is a tough detective who is out to avenge his parents who were murdered when he was young.
Ahn Nae-sang’s role as Seo Byung-ju is central to the plotline. At the beginning of the series, an incident happened at Hanguk Law School when one of their professors and also former chief prosecutor, Seo Byung-ju was found dead. The police and prosecutor were quick to react and pin the crime to Professor Yang Jong-hoon (Kim Myung-min) because he was known to have a rift with the deceased. Even the dead professor’s nephew and his fellow classmates in law school were subjected to investigation. Caught in hot water, the person’s embroiled in this mess had to work together to reveal the truth behind Professor Seo’s death and prove their innocence.
This 2021 sports drama is about a middle school badminton team at Haenam Seo Middle School, which is in bad shape. It relates the story of how it faces challenges to develop sixteen young boys and girls into national level badminton players. And how they grow as they participate in a junior athletic championship. Ra Yeong Ja (Oh Na-ra), a legendary badminton player, now coaches those 16 boys and girls, who dream of becoming badminton idols. Ahn Nae-sang plays the role of Coach Fang of the National Team. However, in one of the episodes of this drama, one line by Coach Fang expressing dismay about the lodging facilities and training grounds by the Indonesian committee placed the entire show in trouble. But apologies have been made and this drama went on to become a well-recieved series that encapsulated the burning passion of young athletes in achieving great things together.
The Devil Judge
This is a drama set in an alternate universe, or a dystopian version of Korea where the entire nation participates in a broadcasted trial in a courtroom show. Ji Sung plays a dashing judge chosen as the main protagonist in a live courtroom show that nationally televised all its high-profile cases. But behind that celebrity status, he also maintains a mysterious background and conceals his true motivations and ambitions. He is surrounded by a cast of slick miscreants and Ahn Nae-sang’s character is one of them. He plays Supreme Court justice Min Jung Ho who harbors a dislike for Kang Yo Han. As the story progresses, he’s turning out to be a rather sketchy character that is manipulative and dangerous.
My Country: The New Age
This 2019 sageuk is set during the transitional period between the end of the Goryeo dynasty and dawn of the Joseon era. The main thrust of the drama was about two close friends named, Yang Se-jong (Seo Hwi) and Nam Seon-ho (Woo Do-hwan), who were torn apart by personal ambitions, political differences, and by love for the same girl. They’ve had an upbeat friendship since childhood, but they are often pitted against each other by family members, or by royal competitions. Raised to be competitive, time and circumstance led them to raise their swords against each other. Ahn Nae-sang plays Nam Seon-ho’s father, Nam Jeon, whose decision turned the Goryeo Dynasty upside down. He was in conflict with a lot of characters, including his son. However, what’s so striking about him is his unrelenting need to fulfill his ambition regardless of who gets trampled along the way. Unfortunately, for him, this rabid appetite for power only left him miserable.
This drama is about Jung Da-jung (Kim Ha-neul), a middle aged man who is married to his high school sweetheart Hong Dae-young (Yoon Sang-hyun) and a father to twins. At first, the couple were perfectly happy, but as the realities of married life wore on them, the cracks in their marriage started to show. By some weird twist of fate, Da-jung’s wish to go back in time was granted only that it was his body that made a major throwback as he transformed into his teenage self. Feeling totally abandoned by her husband, Dae-young decided to go back to work and was accepted at JBC News. This is where she meets Moon Sang Hwi (Ahn Nae Sang), the director of JBC News and a prejudiced senior. He wasn’t too pleased at all that Jung Da-jung passed the blind test and has been accepted as an intern despite being a mother in her thirties, and a teenage mother at that. He made it difficult for Da-jung in the office so that she would quit the internship during her probation period. But he becomes fond of her due to the skills and talent she manifests at work. He later regrets his prejudice against Da-jung after she left the company.
Which among these dramas do you think you’d be interested to watch? Love him or hate him, Ahn Nae Sang sure made impressive transformations in each one of these series.