Jan 2015 VOL.46


  • Young Korean stars March into Asia ②
  • by SHIN Min-kyung / 01.29.2015

    BAE Suzy
    Reminiscent of a younger JUN Ji-hyun, she emits a lively, innocent image. And like her predecessor, she is currently sweeping the Korean advertisement scene as one of the most popular faces to represent various commercial products. Starting her career in 2010 as a member of idol girl group ‘miss A’, she made her acting debut the following year with TV drama Dream High, where she plays a high schooler who dreams of becoming a star. Up to this point, she still retained her idol image rather than being acknowledged as an actress. It was not until she starred in her first film Architecture 101 (2012) that she finally came to be accepted as an actress. Architecture 101 , which shifts between the college days of a man and woman who reunite after 15 years, introduces BAE Suzy as a fresh-faced music school student in her twenties. With her lovely nature and character she shows in the film, BAE Suzy’s acting persona has come to epitomize ‘first love’. With her newfound popularity, she starred in fantasy costume TV drama Gu Family Book , where she plays a young swordswoman. Her latest film work The Hymn (working title) is expected to serve as a turning point for her. This film, in which she plays the first female master singer of Korean traditional opera during the Joseon Dynasty, will expand her realm as a serious actress.

    JOO Won
    JOO Won’s strength lies in his ability to tackle any role that comes his way. On top of his slender build and unique facial features, his vocals refined by his experience in musicals, stable performance and earnest attitude creates synergy for him as an actor. Furthermore, his unfeigned demeanor as the youngest member of popular variety TV show 2 Days & 1 Night added an accessible image of him to the public. Since his debut through TV drama King of Baking, Kim Tak Goo his talents have spanned diverse genres in various fields of film, TV and the musical stage. In the case of film, during a short period of time he created a rather colorful filmography from intense action (S.I.U., 2011), horror (Don’t Click , 2012), romance (Steal My Heart , 2013), to kitschy youth drama (Fashion King ). Nevertheless his career is still moving forward with projects such as Cantabile Tomorrow , the TV remake of Japanese TV drama Nodame Cantabile , where he skillfully gives his rendition of the classical music phenomenon originally played by TAMAKI Hiroshi. The Japanese original version’s cult popularity had skeptics worry of the Korean version falling short. Nevertheless, JOO Won succeeded to rise as a reliable actor through the TV series. He is now recognized as an actor who can dominate the screen with gentle ease.

    PARK Shin-hye
    PARK Shin-hye, an unrivalled rising young Korean actress who is at the height of her career, has continued to churn out a series of hit TV dramas such as The Heirs and Pinocchio , films and even a single album that boasts impressive vocal skills. Celebrating her tenth year in the business, she even held an Asian tour concert last year. PARK Shin-hye first attracted attention by playing the young role of actress CHOI Ji-woo in TV drama Stairway to Heaven . But if her roles as a child actress were focused on unrealistically proper, fresh-faced characters, it was with TV drama You’re Beautiful , where she plays a woman posing as a man, that she began to step away from her child actress image. Her strengths are her lovely image, excellent diction and well-matured acting skills. Her film experience is short compared to her career in TV. Romantic comedy Cyrano Agency (2010), hit melodrama Miracle in Cell No.7 (2013) and the recent costume drama The Royal Tailor are three to name. Her next project is The Beauty Inside (working title), dealing with the story of a man who takes on a different identity regardless of gender each day he wakes up. Here PARK Shin-hye plays one of the twenty identities the male protagonist acquires in the film.

    LEE Jong-suk
    LEE Jong-suk is among the few who have quickly leaped to stardom during the past few years. Already, he has proved his strong commercial power in TV with a series of hits such as School 2013, I Can Hear Your Voice , and his latest work, Pinocchio . After gaining attention with TV drama Secret Garden , a number of quality film roles followed such as As One , where he plays a North Korean table tennis player, and The Face Reader where he plays the son of SONG Kang-ho. LEE Jong-suk, who began his career as a model at the age of 16, earned a reputation as a ‘young pretty faced boy’ with his tall height and Adonis-like looks. The film No Breathing , where he plays a swimming athlete, exploits these merits to the fullest. However, if one were to point out his true appeal, it would be the melancholic sensibility he gives off from his rather cool and arrogant-looking features. This is why his performance often shares a coolness and hot energy at the same time. His latest work Hot Young Bloods, on the other hand, totally breaks away from this image, and as he plays a legendary Casanova high schooler, he proves he is a versatile actor who can adeptly handle comic roles as well.

    PARK Yoo-chun
    Known as South Korean pop group JYJ member ‘Micky Yoochun’, people seem to forget his idol star aura when he is actor PARK Yoo- chun. Perhaps this can be attributed to the unrealistically proper and polite model student image he projects through the characters he plays. Through TV dramas Sungkyunkwan Scandal ’s prim scholar, Miss Ripley ’s major corporate heir, and Rooftop Prince ’s Joseon Dynasty prince, he’s been playing well-mannered, upscale characters. Even in the TV drama Three Days, where he plays a secret service man for the president, he looks smart in suits. During his decade-long career, Haemoo is the sole title counted in his filmography. Here he sheds his well-bred image for a film role as the naïve youngest seaman of a fishing boat setting sail with the dream of returning with a full load but ends up in a tragic turn after helping illegal migrants. PARK Yoo-chun blends well into the ensemble of actors which is a significant aspect of Haemoo thanks to his good-natured looks and down to earth performance. These accomplishments earned him an award for ‘Best New Actor’ at the Blue Dragon Awards. “I am so pleased that our film industry found this outstanding actor” says director BONG Joon-ho who produced Haemoo .
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