As far as South Korean TV shows go, 2021 may very well be the year of Vincenzo. The dark revenge thriller is one of the highest-rated dramas in the history of Korean cable television, a feat no doubt achieved thanks to its many plot twists and cliffhangers – and, of course, the stellar cast led by Song Joong-ki.
One of the country’s most prolific actors, Song stars as the titular protagonist alongside fellow Korean entertainment veterans Jeon Yeo-been, Ok Taecyeon and Kim Yeo-jin, among others. But with the series finale attracting 15 per cent of all South Korean households and a second season not yet announced, here’s where you can catch the Vincenzo cast next.
Spoilers for Vincenzo follow.
What happens in the first season of Vincenzo?
Song (Descendants Of The Sun) plays Vincenzo Cassano, a Korean-Italian lawyer who was adopted and raised in Italy by Don Fabio, patriarch of the Cassano mafia family.
In the first episode of the 20-part series, tragedy befalls the consigliere. Don Fabio is dead, and in the resulting power vacuum, Vincenzo’s adoptive brother Paolo tries to kill him. Vincenzo narrowly escapes, and he flees to South Korea.
Vincenzo’s plan is simple: he plans to retrieve a stash of gold he had hidden away for a late Chinese tycoon under a mall in Seoul and live out a life of luxury in Malta. But he hits a hurdle when he realises that the mall, Geumga Plaza, has been illegally claimed by the conglomerate Babel Group, led by series antagonist Jang Han-seok (played by 2PM’s Ok Taecyeon).
Teaming up with feisty young lawyer Hong Cha-young (Jeon Yeo-been) and the tenants of Geumga Plaza, Vincenzo takes on Babel Group in a war to reclaim the mall before the conglomerate can demolish it.
Where is the Vincenzo cast now?
Song Joong-ki (Vincenzo Cassano/Park Joo-hyung)
35-year-old Song Joong-ki is one of South Korea’s most beloved and highest-paid actors. According to South China Morning Post, Song made around ₩200million (roughly £125,000) per episode of Vincenzo.
He became a household name in Korea after appearing in the 2010 historical coming-of-age drama Sungkyunkwan Scandal as a mischievous young scholar. But it wasn’t until his lead roles in Descendants Of The Sun (2016) and Arthdal Chronicles that he shot to international stardom.
Bogota: City Of The Lost
Song is currently filming his next role in Bogota: City Of The Lost as one of two young South Korean men who migrate to Colombia in the ’90s.
Lee Hee-joon (currently starring in tvN’s Mouse) plays the other half of the duo in the upcoming crime thriller. Bogota also stars Jo Hyun-chul (Hotel Del Luna) and Colombian actress Juana Del Rio (Frontera Verde, All For Love).
Directed by Kim Seong-je (Minority Opinion), the highly anticipated film began shooting in Colombia in June 2020, but was temporarily halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Production resumed earlier this year in June. However, an official release date for the film has not been revealed.
Chaebol Family’s Youngest Son
Song has also been confirmed to join JTBC’s 2022 fantasy drama Chaebol Family’s Youngest Son. Directed by Jung Dae-yoon (She Was Pretty, W.) and written by Kim Tae-hee (Sungkyunkwan Scandal), the TV drama is based on the hit web novel of the same name.
Song plays the secretary of the Sunyang Group family, Yoon Hyun-woo, who has been framed for embezzlement and is subsequently murdered by the clan’s youngest son, Jin Do-joon. But through some unexplained magic, Yoon becomes reborn as Jin – although he retains all the memories from his past, original life. And now he’s got his sights set on taking over the Sunyang Group to get his revenge.
Starring opposite Song is veteran actor Lee Sung-min (The Spy Gone North), who will play Jin Yang-chul, the ruthless head of Sunyang Group and the drama’s main antagonist. According to Soompi, actress Shin Hyun-been (Hospital Playlist) and Girls Generation’s Tiffany Young have also been cast in Chaebol Family’s Youngest Son.
Jeon Yeo-been (Hong Cha-young)
In Vincenzo, Jeon Yeo-been plays tenacious young lawyer Hong Cha-young, who begins the series working at the unscrupulous Wusang Law Firm, which is the Babel Group’s attorneys of record.
Following the death of her father Hong Yoo-chan at the hands of Babel Group, she replaces him as CEO of Jipuragi Law Firm and joins hands with Song’s Vincenzo to take down the conglomerate.
The 32-year-old actress rose to prominence in 2018 with her leading role in the mystery film After My Death, in which she plays a high school student struggling to cope with the loss of a friend to suicide. The role won her the Actress Of The Year award at the 2017 Busan International Film Festival and the Independent Star award at the 2017 Seoul Independent Film Festival.
Jeon has been confirmed to star as protagonist Hong Ji-hyo in the upcoming Netflix original series, Glitch. According to Netflix, the new sci-fi series focuses on Jeon’s character, who teams up with members of a UFO club in an attempt to track down her missing boyfriend after he disappears in a mysterious beam of light.
Glitch is written and produced by Gin Han-sai and Studio 329, who previously collaborated on gritty hit teen-crime drama Extracurricular in 2020.
Jeon will be joined by Lee Dong-hwi (The Handmaiden), who plays her character’s boyfriend, as well as idol group After School’s Nana (Oh! Master), as a member of the UFO community, in the upcoming series. Glitch will be released exclusively on Netflix, although an exact premiere date has not been confirmed.
Ok Taecyeon (Jang Jung-woo/Jang Han-seok)
Originally making his debut in the South Korean entertainment industry as a member of boyband 2PM in 2008, Ok Taecyeon took on his first-ever major antagonist role in Vincenzo as Jang Han-seok, chairman of the ruthless Babel Group.
Ok’s character is first introduced in the show as Jang Jung-woo, Hong Cha-young’s naïve and cheerful assistant at Wusang Law Firm. But in a plot twist, the character is revealed to be Jang Han-seok, the true mastermind behind Babel Group’s plot to destroy Geumga Plaza who had gone undercover to keep a close watch on his law firm’s operations.
Ok made his acting debut in 2010 in the K-drama Cinderella’s Sister. The now 32-year-old idol went on to further establish his acting career, appearing in several successful shows across a myriad of genres, such as the star-studded Dream High (2011), horror-comedy Let’s Fight Ghost (2016), and thriller Save Me (2017).
In June 2021, he also reunited with 2PM to release their seventh studio album ‘Must’. The record, which features the single ‘Make It’, marks the boyband’s first release in nearly five years. They released their last album, ‘Gentlemen’s Game’, as a group in 2016 before going on a four-year hiatus as the members completed their mandatory military service.
Tale Of The Secret Royal Inspector And Jo Yi
2021 has been a busy year for Ok, whose next project is due to premiere in late October on tvN. In Tale Of The Secret Royal Inspector And Jo Yi, he plays the male lead Ra Yi-Eon, an intelligent yet lazy civil servant in the Joseon-era government, who teams up with Kim Jo-yi to investigate and arrest corrupt politicians.
Starring alongside him as Jo-yi is actress Kim Hye-yoon, who gained recognition in recent years for her roles in Sky Castle (2018) and Extraordinary You (2019). Her character Jo-yi is a passionate and curious young divorcee whose forward-thinking beliefs clash with those of the patriarchal Joseon Dynasty.
Tale Of The Secret Royal Inspector And Jo Yi is directed by Yoo Jong-sun, who previously worked on hits such as What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim (2018) and Descendants Of The Sun (2016). The forthcoming drama is written by screenwriter Lee Jae-yoon (My Unfortunate Boyfriend, The Undateables).
Kim Yeo-jin (Choi Myung-hee)
In Vincenzo, 49-year-old veteran actress Kim Yeo-jin takes on the role of former prosecutor Choi Myung-hee. Initially introduced as a bubbly and cheerful woman, Choi eventually reveals her dark side when she joins Wusang Law Firm and rises to become Jang Han-seok’s right-hand man.
Kim began her career as a stage actress in What Do Women Live For (1995). Later venturing into the movie and television industry, she is known for her roles in films such as Girls’ Night Out (1998), Peppermint Candy (2000) and Chi-hwa-seon (2002).
Some of Kim’s more recent television roles include Yi-seo’s (Kim Da-mi) mother in Itaewon Class (2020), and juvenile crime detective Lee Hae-gyoung in Extracurricular (2020).
Kim’s next role is as policewoman Park Jung-sook in the upcoming action-thriller film Drive, where she reunites with former Extracurricular co-star Park Ju-hyun, who plays the lead character Han Yu-na. Yu-na is a livestreamer whose schtick is performing dangerous stunts for cash. And Jung-sook has to come to her aid after her latest stunt – attempting to escape from the boot of a speeding car – goes awry.
Other cast members include Kim Do-yoon (The Wailing, Peninsula), who plays the flamboyant PD Choi, and Jung Woong-in as Na Jin-soo (Veteran, Prison Playbook), who exploits Yu-na’s ambition to cut a secret deal.
Drive is set to be the feature film debut of director Park Dong-hee, who described it as a “fast-paced thriller that runs without a break”, per Sports Chosun. The movie began filming earlier this year in June. While Drive is projected to make its premiere sometime in 2021, an official release date has yet to be revealed at the time of writing.
Kwak Dong-yeon (Jang Han-seo)
Kwak’s Jang Han-seo might be one of the most memorable characters for many Vincenzo fans. Initially introduced as the arrogant chairman of Babel Group, he is later revealed to be a meek and innocent young man who is a mere puppet to his manipulative half-brother, Jang Han-seok. His character later develops respect for Vincenzo – many fans of the series have dubbed his character “Vincenzo’s biggest fanboy” – and secretly allies with the consigliere against Han-seok.
The 24-year-old actor made his debut in the 2012 KBS television drama My Husband Got A Family, for which he earned the Best Young Actor award at the Korea Drama Awards that same year.
Kwak is also well known for his roles in the historical romance drama Love In The Moonlight (2016), and the small-screen adaptation of Naver WEBTOON series Gangnam Beauty (2018). Additionally, he made a short but memorable cameo in the 2020 hit drama It’s Okay Not To Be Okay as Kwon Ki-do, the son of an assemblyman who ends up in the psychiatric ward to treat his mania.
It’s looking like a big 2022 for Kwak, who has numerous roles – starring and supporting – to his name next year.
Kwak is set to star in the 2022 comedy film 6/45. Helmed by director Park Gyu-tae (Hi! Dharma!, Bunt), the film revolves around a group of North and South Korean soldiers vying for a winning lotto ticket that ends up being blown into the Korean Demilitarised Zone by a strong gust of wind.
The upcoming film stars Go Kyung-pyo (Reply 1988, Chicago Typewriter) as the lead character, a South Korean sergeant who is the original owner of the lost lotto ticket. 6/45 revolves around his efforts to recover the ticket in order to live a comfortable life after being discharged from the military.
Comedic actor Lee Yi-kyung (Welcome To Waikiki) has also been cast as Yong-ho, a young soldier who hopes to change his life after accidentally acquiring the lotto ticket. Meanwhile, Kwak joins the film’s cast as Man-cheol, an observer belonging to the South Korean forces.
Kwak has also been cast in the forthcoming TVING original horror series Monstrous. The series follows a team of archaeologists who investigate mysterious incidents that plague a small village, Jinyang-gun, as the consequence of an ancient curse.
According to Zapzee, he plays Kwak Yong-joo, the village troublemaker. The rebellious young man is described to have a sullen attitude, taking sadistic pleasure at the village’s ordeals.
The cast of Monstrous also stars Koo Kyu-hwan (Peninsula, Kingdom: Ashin Of The North) as eccentric archaeologist Jung Ki-hoon, tasked to investigate supernatural phenomena.
Joining Kwak is Shin Hyun-bin (Hospital Playlist), who plays his character’s ex-wife Lee Soo-jin. A genius pattern interpreter, Soo-jin leaves her successful life behind and heads to Jinyang-gun after losing her daughter in a terrible disaster. Notably, Shin is also set to star in Song Joong-ki’s upcoming project, Chaebol Family’s Youngest Son next year.
Due to air on TVING in the first half of 2022, Monstrous is directed by Yeon Sang-ho. The forthcoming series is the latest in the critically acclaimed director and screenwriter’s growing body of Korean horror films, which includes the record-breaking Train To Busan (2016), its sequel Peninsula (2020), and occult drama The Cursed (2020).
Kwak has also been cast in Netflix’s upcoming original series, Hunting Dogs. Adapted from the Naver WEBTOON comic of the same name, the action-thriller tells the story of three men, deeply in debt, whose lives intersect as they embark on a chase for cash.
Starring alongside Kwak in the other lead role is Lee Do-hyun, who recently rose to prominence for his roles in 18 Again (2020), Sweet Home (2020), and Hotel Del Luna (2019).
Hunting Dogs is directed by Kim Ju-hwan, who previously worked on movies such as action-horror film The Divine Fury (2019) and action-comedy movie Midnight Runners (2017). According to Soompi, there are eight episodes in the series.
Netflix has yet to confirm the release date for Hunting Dogs, but we can expect the series to premiere at the start of 2022.
Kim Sung-cheol (Hwang Min-sung)
While not part of the main cast of Vincenzo, Kim Sung-cheol left a lasting impression on viewers as CEO Hwang Min-sung of Shinkwang Bank, which pursues a partnership with Babel Group. He is later humiliated by Vincenzo, leading him to have a public breakdown and undermining the relationship between the two conglomerates.
The 29-year-old actor made his small-screen debut in Prison Playbook (2017) as Kim Young-cheol, nicknamed “Jailbird”, a young man who lives a life of petty crime. Other highlights from his career include an appearance in Arthdal Chronicles (2019), which was led by Song, and in Sweet Home (2020).
Our Beloved Summer
Kim’s next role is in the comic-of-age romantic comedy series Our Beloved Summer, which is slated to premiere on SBS TV at the end of 2021. Led by Choi Woo-sik (Parasite, Train to Busan) and Kim Da-mi (Itaewon Class), the series tells the story of a couple who are forcibly brought back together a decade after their breakup when a documentary they had filmed in their high school days suddenly goes viral.
According to OSEN, Kim will be playing the role of Kim Ji-woong, a documentary director whose life changes after he is tasked with shooting a second “reminder” documentary for the reunited couple.
Our Beloved Summer is directed by Kim Yoon-jin, who previously produced It’s Okay Not To Be Okay. Joining her is screenwriter Lee Na-eun, who worked on the youth romance drama Failing In Love (2019).
Yoo Jae-myung (Hong Yoo-chan)
48-year-old actor Yoo Jae-myung shows off his range in Vincenzo as Hong Yoo-chan, the upstanding father of Hong Cha-young who takes it upon himself to expose the Babel Group’s criminal activities. But the conglomerate orders a hit on him, and one carefully plotted traffic ‘accident’ later, Yoo-chan is dead. Devastated and suspecting foul play, Cha-young resigns from Wusang Law Firm and turns ally to Vincenzo.
Yoo made his debut in a bit part in the film The Last Witness (2001), then took on supporting roles in movies and television dramas for most of his career.
It was not until 2015’s critically acclaimed Reply 1988 – still one of the highest-rated dramas in Korean cable television history – that he rose in popularity. Yoo joined the show’s ensemble cast as Ryu Jae-myung, the father of neighbourhood clown Dong-ryong (Lee Dong-hwi) and dean of the boy’s school at the heart of the series.
He also recently garnered attention for his portrayal of tycoon Jang Dae-hee in Itaewon Class (2020), a ruthless self-made businessman who clashes with main character Park Saeroyi (Park Seo-joon).
In his next project, Yoo takes on the lead role of tvN’s upcoming mystery-thriller drama Hometown. He plays Choi Hyung-in, a violent crime detective who loses his wife in a horrific terrorist attack 10 years prior to the beginning of the series. Set in 1999, Hometown revolves around his investigation of a bizarre murder case which occurs in his small, rural town.
Uhm Tae-goo (Save Me 2, Coin Locker Girl) plays Jo Kyung-ho, the terrorist responsible for the death of Hyung-in’s wife. Kyung-ho has a daughter, Jae-young (played by Lee Re), who goes missing shortly after the strange murder. The timing of the disappearance attracts the attention of Hyung-in, who has a hunch that the murder case is related to the terrorist attack that claimed his wife.
Han Ye-re (Age Of Youth) co-stars as Jo Jung-hyun, sister to Kyung-ho and guardian to Jae-young; she teams up with Hyung-in to search for her niece.
Hometown is directed by Park Hyun-suk, whose previous hit was the 2016 romantic-comedy series Uncontrollably Fond. The series is scheduled to begin airing this September.
Additional reporting by Yoke Ming Chong