Before making his name known as a movie star, Ryu Seungryong performed on stage as a member of nonverbal performance Nanta and enjoyed popularity. After that, Ryu entered Korean cinema with Director Jang Jin’s films and continued his career as a supporting actor to be recognized for his acting skills. His first major role was in the horror film Possessed (2009). He appeared as a detective who had to solve mysterious situations. Since then, Ryu has expanded his acting scope to thriller, comedy, historical drama, action, melodrama, and crime movie. War of the Arrows (2011), in which the actor appeared in his 40s, topped the Korean box office that year and won Ryu the Best Supporting Actor at the Blue Dragon Award for playing the villain character perfectly.
After that, Ryu Seungryong walks down the royal road. In All About My Wife (2012), he portrayed the so-called ‘dirty sexy’ charm with his unique sense of humor. Casanova Sungki, the cheesy, imposing, and romantic character, presented the actor with the Best Supporting Actor at the Blue Dragon Award. Also, through Masquerade (2012), his first movie that recorded 10 million viewers, Ryu won the Best Supporting Actor at the Grand Bell Awards. In these three films, which he won the Best Supporting Actor, Ryu showed his potentials as the top-level supporting actor by dictating the tone and flow of the films.
While he often played charismatic characters, Miracle in Cell No. 7 (2013) served as a turning point. Ryu took the first lone main character in his career, and the film became his major work, drawing over 10 million audiences. In the film, which is called the Korean version of I Am Sam (2001), Ryu Seungryong played the role of a mentally challenged father with a great love for his daughter, winning the Best Actor at the Grand Bell Awards and the Grand Prize at the Baeksang Arts Awards. In Roaring Currents (2014), the most successful Korean film of all time, the actor also appeared as Kurushima Michifusa, the enemy of General Lee Soonshin. In Extreme Job (2019), he appeared as the chief of the homicide squad, showing the character who pretended to be solemn but couldn’t hide his comedy instinct, marking the fourth 10-million-viewer film.
Although he is excellent at character performance in typical genre films, Ryu often challenges himself into the films with a unique tone such as Possessed and The Piper (2015). Also, with his exact diction and signature deep, low voice, Ryu Seungryong participated in five animations including Captain Harlock (2014) and Seoul Station (2016). KIM Hyungseok