One minute you’re in science class or in the cafeteria having lunch; the next day, your school has become the chaotic epicenter of a veritable zombie outbreak. It’s the storyline of Netflix’s hit Korean drama, we are all dead. There are dozens of characters to remember in this 12-episode series, all of which play important roles in the story. But how are you going to keep them all straight while watching the show? No worries, we’ve got you covered. Below are some of the most important characters to watch for throughout the nearly non-stop action and drama at Hyosan High School, and beyond.
Nam On-jo (Ji-hu Park)
Yes we are all dead has a main character, it’s probably On-jo. She is the voice of calm and reason during the chaos, often offering ingenious suggestions for survival, thanks to her father, who is a paramedic and firefighter. She is also fiercely loyal to her friends and will defend them to the bitter end. lifelong friend Cheong-sun also has a crush on her.
Like much of the cast, Park is relatively new to the scene. Her debut was in an independent coming-of-age film Hummingbird House, and then she will star in a Korean television adaptation of Little woman.
Lee Cheong-san (Yoon Chan-young)
Possibly the co-main character with On-jo, Cheong-san finds himself in many unexpected situations throughout the series and (almost) always manages to think quickly to avoid disaster. On-jo is her main concern, and it’s clear that he would do anything to protect her from harm. Like On-jo, he is fiercely loyal to his friends and does everything he can to keep them safe as well. One of the cutest moments in the series is Cheong-san’s irritation that his mother named her chicken restaurant after him, complete with a cartoon logo of his face.
Yoon was a child actor, with credits including Korean dramas Doctor John and Nobody knows.
Lee Su-hyeok (Solomon Park)
Su-hyeok is On-jo’s aforementioned crush, and it’s easy to see why, since he’s utterly cute. One of the most popular kids in Hyosan High, he has his pick of girls to choose from. However, is it On-jo who catches his eye, or the quiet, studious class president? It’s another love triangle that makes this series’ teen drama so compelling. A reformed bully, he and Cheong-san are often too willing to sacrifice themselves to help save their friends.
Solomon is a relative newcomer to acting, with other roles in K-drama series, To look for and sweet revenge.
Choi Nam-ra (Cho Yi-hyun)
Nam-ra, the class president also known as “Prez” to her classmates, is a serious student who doesn’t interact much with her peers. Despite Su-hyeok’s obvious interest in her, she pushes him away several times – until the zombies start attacking people all around her. As the crisis unfolds, she sheds her shell and becomes a key part of the group’s survival, despite the others’ doubts that she really wants to help them.
Cho is a well-known Korean actress, with a 2021 KBS Theater Award nomination for her role in School 2021. She is also in the hit K-drama series, hospital reading list.
Yoon Gwi-nam (Yoo In-soo)
Gwi-nam is not his group’s chief bully, but he quickly becomes one once the outbreak begins. At first, he’s as scared as everyone else, but before long he becomes ruthless, literally throwing the others at the zombies so he can escape. His betrayal only gets worse from there. He turns into one of the easiest to hate villains you’ll ever see.
Interestingly, according to Netflix, Yoo and Yoon, who plays Cheong-san, are good friends in real life, as in the show they are each other’s nemesis. Yoo appeared in a coming-of-age drama In the distance, spring is green and in season 2 of Foreigner.
Lee Na-yeon (Lee You-mi)
A bit of a snob, Na-yeon is a polarizing figure among the students she’s stuck with in the early episodes. She despises Cheong-san’s best friend, Gyeong-su, because he is on welfare. Every time someone could being infected by the virus, Na-yeon is the first to demand that the person leave the room, even if it means that they will be definitively infected (or even killed) as soon as they set foot outside.
Lee was a fan favorite in Netflix’s other K-drama hit, squid game. She played a big role in the show’s most heartbreaking episode, “Gganbu.”
Jang Ha-ri (Ha Seung-lee)
Ha-ri is, as one character calls it, “so cool”. Captain of the archery team, she has a knack for hitting the bullseye, a skill that comes in very handy when zombies attack. Although Ha-ri has just faced crushing disappointment by not participating in the regional competitions, she quickly redeems herself by saving countless students with her Hawkeye-type lens. She helps lead a group of survivors stuck in a girl’s bathroom away from the main characters stuck in the classroom.
Ha has been acting since she was 4 years old and also stars in another Netflix Korean romantic drama series, The King: Eternal Monarch.
Park Mi-jin (Lee Eun-saem)
Mi-jin has a crush on Ha-ri, once the precise archer takes out an attacking zombie. The two bond after first having a verbal — and then physical — confrontation. Nothing like a life or death situation to make you put aside differences in favor of survival. Mi-jin is one of the funniest characters in this series, cracking jokes that often make you laugh out loud.
Lee’s previous credits include Korean historical drama, The red sleeve.
Yang Dae-Su (Lim Jae-hyuk)
As the comedic successor to the group, Dae-su is a pleasant surprise. Yes, he has some funny lines, including calling his friend “brother-in-law” because he has a huge crush on his older sister, Ha-ri. Besides cracking jokes and making funny facial expressions, Dae-su is also quite a charming singer, and he graces the group with more than one song along the way. He also battles what could be seen as cowardice early on and eventually becomes one of the leaders.
we are all dead is Lim’s first role, and according to a Korean journalist, he still works in construction and as a delivery man.
While students are the focus we are all dead, adults also play a key role in this series. Here are some of the most notable adults helping kids survive the zombie apocalypse.
Sun-hwa Park (Bae Hae-Sun)
Mrs. Park, an English teacher, is the first among the teachers to notice that something important is happening in her school. She escorts the first infected student to the school infirmary and helps save as many students as possible. She is one of the heroes of this series and one of the few teachers who even seem to want to help someone other than themselves.
Bae’s other most recent credits include A year-end potpourri, Joy and A marvelous view.
Lee Byeong-chan (Kim Byong-chul)
Mr. Lee, a science teacher at Hyosan High School, was once a brilliant scientist working for a pharmaceutical company. He is also the unwitting creator of the zombie virus, which he created to help his son fight off bullies. Once he transports an infected hamster to school for further education, a student discovers it, is bitten, and mayhem ensues. To his credit, Mr. Lee was working to try and cure the virus and did everything in his power to stop it from spreading, making him one of the show’s most tragic figures.
Kim also starred in the mega-hit squid game, as well as other K-dramas, including Guardian: The Solitary and Great God, sky castle and Mr Sun.
Nam So-ju (Jeon Bae-soo)
So-ju, On-jo’s paramedic/firefighter father, is another heroic figure in this series. He defies protocol to try to reach his daughter at school and puts his survival skills to work in the process. Along the way, he must make tough decisions, like rescuing a family in a wrecked vehicle or leaving them to fend for themselves so he can rescue On-jo.
Jeon is a veteran actor, best known for his role in Another Survival Story, #Livingas well as The Lamentations and The gangster, the cop, the devil.
All episodes of we are all dead are now streaming on Netflix.
What kids games can we expect to turn deadly this time around?
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