This article was first published on April 2020.
It's been years since Reply 1988 ended and the five families brought along their bittersweet memories as they parted ways and left behind their neighbourhood of Ssangmun-dong. But if it's any consolation for you who laughed and ugly cried along with virtually every single one of the characters in this coming-of-age family drama, their beautiful friendship extends to real life. Going beyond the director's "cut!", the Reply 1988 cast members continue to be as tight as they were on screen.
In 2020, Lee Dong Hwi and Go Kyung Pyo, who played the hilarious Ryu Dong Ryong and smart Sung Sun Woo respectively, posted photos of their reunion with some of the Reply 1988 cast on their IG accounts. We see them hanging out with Hyeri, Park Bo Gum, and Ryu Hye Young — just short of two people to complete our fave group of kids from the tiny Seoul neighbourhood.
If seeing how different each of them looked in their mini-reunion made you wonder how they're doing now, well, we've done all the digging for you. Here's what's up with the core Reply 1988 cast this 2023.
The former Girl's Day member received critical acclaim after her portrayal of Reply 1988's protagonist. As the teenage Song Duk Seon in the '80s, she definitely made us root for her as she went through the trials and tribulations of being a middle child. Not to mention, she definitely made us guess who'd end up being her husband the entire time. After her stint on the series, she continued to take on female lead roles in TV dramas like Entertainer and Two Cops, eventually making her big-screen debut with the historical action film Monstrum.
In 2020, appeared as a regular cast member of the weekly variety show DoReMi Market. In 2021, she starred in the rom-com hit My Roomate Is A Gumiho and appeared in several dramas and films in both 2021 and 2022.
Park Bo Gum
모두의 건강한 일상을 위해 노력하시는 의료진, 자원봉사자, 방역 관계자분들께 감사드립니다! 여러분 덕분에 가능한 우리의 일상처럼 여러분의 오늘도 건강하고 안전하기를 소망합니다. pic.twitter.com/HHqCDsPr9P— 박보검 (@BOGUMMY) May 5, 2020
Of course, there's also Park Bo Gum, whose career was spurred to greater heights when he starred as the innocent Go player Choi Taek. After Reply 1988, he took on the role of the crown prince in the period romance Love in the Moonlight, which earned him nominations and awards at the Baeksang Arts Awards and KBS Drama Awards. In 2018, he starred alongside Song Hye Kyo in Encounter. This was followed by his 2020 drama Record Of Youth where he played the lead opposite Parasite's Park So-Dam.
After two years of being gone from the limelight following his military enlistment, Bogummy is slated to appear in the 2023 drama Thank You For Your Hard Work, though no other details about the drama are available yet as of writing.
Ryo Jun Yeol
Meanwhile, Ryo Jun Yeol, who perfectly portrayed the tough and reserved Jung Hwan, seemed to focus more on film projects after the tvN series aired. After Reply 1988, the only TV drama in his repertoire is his lead role in rom-com Lucky Romance. Constantly challenging himself, he keeps honing his acting skills by taking on a variety of roles on the big screen. He's worked on different genres, from the coming-of-age One Way Trip to biopics like A Taxi Driver and even action thrillers such as Believer, among many others.
In between 2021 and 2022, he starred in two dramas and two movies, the most notable being the film Alienoid which also starred Kim Tae-Ri, Kim Woo-Bin, and So Ji-Sub.
P.S. if you were ardently rooting for him to end up with Duk Seon in Reply 1988, you should know that it appears his relationship with Hyeri IRL is staying strong.
Go Kyung Pyo
Go Kyung Pyo showed us his charm as the gentle and dependable Sun Woo, but his roles after the 2015 drama further proved there's more to his good looks. He went on to star as a chaebol in Jealousy Incarnate, and later on as a ghostwriter in fantasy romance Chicago Typewriter with Yoo Ah In and Im Soo Jung. He finally got his much-deserved lead role in Strongest Delivery Man, where he starred alongside Chae Soo Bin in 2017. He also took the spotlight on the medical thriller Cross.
After coming back from military service in 2020, the actor immediately got busy with several acting projects, the most noteworthy being his mini-reunion with Lee Hye-Ri in My Roommate Is A Gumiho in 2021, as well as his starring role in the 2022 rom-com, Love In Contract.
Lee Dong Hwi
What's Lee Dong Hwi, who we know and love for his role as the funny troublemaker in the group, up to these days? As Dong Ryong, his antics always left everyone in stitches, but he also surprisingly offered nuggets of wisdom to his friends when they faced troubles. Even after the show, he continues to make us laugh with his roles. Last year, he starred in TV comedy Pegasus Market as the manager of the titular mart. He was also in the film Extreme Job, where he played one of the detectives who took up work in a chicken restaurant undercover.
Since then, the actor had several stints in a number of dramas and movies including Disney+'s Big Bet Season 1 and 2. The series was inspired by true events about a casino operator in the Philippines. In 2023, Dong Hwi will also star in a movie titled Possession, a comedy-mystery about a duo who runs a YouTube channel featuring fake exorcisms they perform.
Reading all this just made you want to re-watch the whole series for the nth time? We totally feel you. Thankfully, it's readily available on Netflix for our nostalgic bingeing this week.
(Cover photo from: Netflix)
Aside from their shows, look forward to these K-dramas airing this year as well.
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