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Jang Young-nam (장영남)

Updated: Oct 23, 2023

GwenchaNoona | Actor's Profile: Jang Young-nam

Photo from HanCinema

Birthday: November 25, 1973

Instagram: jang.youngnam

Jang Young-nam is one of those actresses whose impressive filmography in both the big and small screen is surpassed only by her performances in theatre. She debuted as Juliet in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in 1995. Having played in two other productions of Romeo and Juliet and in Hamlet, she is as at home in classics as she is with more modern plays such as The Vagina Monologues and Dressing Room for which she won a Baeksang for Best New Actress in Theater in 2001.

Film fans will recognize her for her supporting roles in The Negotiation (2018), Confidential Assignment (2017), and 2012’s A Werewolf Boy, which earned her a Best Supporting Actress in the Buil Film Awards and the Grand Bell Awards. Her first leading role in 2013’s Azooma as a mother who takes revenge into her own hands when her daughter is sexually abused, won her a Best Actress award in the Busan International Film Awards.

K-drama fans probably know her best for her riveting performances in Glamorous Temptation (2015), as Dowager Queen struggling to hold on to her power in The Crowned Clown (2019), as the nurse with the mysterious past in It’s Okay to Not Be Okay (2020), and the ambitious former prosecutor in The Devil Judge (2021). Her latest role sees her as a cheerleader's mother in Cheer Up (2022).

She is reported to have said, “Opportunities always come to actors. It might be too late to dream of becoming a star, but if I look at becoming an actress, there is a lot of time.” Wise words indeed from someone who has been in show business for a long time—and cares more about the art than the business.

*Jang has appeared in the Song Kang-ho starrer Cobweb. Read our review here.

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