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K-rush of the Week: Kim Hye-yoon

Kim Hye-yoon’s breakout performance as a villainous overachieving student in the 2019 megahit drama SKY Castle was so convincing that it was hard to imagine her in any cute or romantic roles afterwards.

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Kim Hye-yoon

Photo from Kpopn / sidusHQ


As Lovely Runner wraps up its successful run as this year's biggest sleeper hit, we take a look at its delightful leading lady’s career highlights.


 

SKY Castle (2018)

Available on Disney+, Netflix, Prime Video, Viki, Viu (territories and periods vary)

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Kim Hye-yoon in "SKY Castle"

Over five years since it aired, SKY Castle remains the fourth highest-rated cable TV k-drama of all time. In this satirical high-society takedown, Kim Hye-yoon plays high school student Kang Ye-seo, who is hellbent on getting into Seoul National University’s medical school to follow in her father’s footsteps. Even if it means following the tyrannical ways of elite tutor Coach Kim (Kim Seo-hyung).


Kim brought the fiercely competitive and driven but also pampered and extremely bratty Ye-seo to life so well that she won the Baeksang Best New Actress Award for her performance.


Extraordinary You (2019)

Available on Netflix, Viki, Viu (territories and periods vary)

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Kim Hye-yoon in "Extraordinary You"

Based on a popular webtoon, Extraordinary You is a fun and unique k-drama that will have viewers laughing, as it makes fun of the most used tropes and stereotypes found in rom-com manhwas (Korean comic books).


The stage is set when Eun Dan-oh (Kim Hye-yoon) enters the story. She’s pretty, rich, popular and engaged to Baek Kyung (Lee Jae-wook). She takes being a manhwa character all in stride... until she realizes that she's not the main lead! In denial about the story the writer has planned for her, Dan-oh vows to change her fate with the help of another supporting character, Ha-ru (Rowoon). But along the way, Dan-oh and Ha-ru discover that their story does not begin and end in just one book. The chemistry between the leads and the meta-level humor definitely make this a series an easy binge.


Secret Royal Inspector & Joy (2021)

Available on Netflix, Viki, Viu (territories and periods vary)

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Kim Hye-yoon in "Secret Royal Inspector & Joy"

In her first lead role in a historical romance comedy series, Kim Hye-yoon plays Kim Joy, an independent-minded Joseon woman with progressive views on divorce. She finds herself working alongside Ra Yi-eon (2PM’s Ok Taec-yeon), a nobleman who dreams of only a simple life of cooking but is forced to become a secret royal inspector instead.


Together, the unlikely conduct investigations to uncover government corruption and expose the truth.


Snowdrop (2021)

Available on Disney+ (territories and periods vary)

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Kim Hye-yoon in "Snowdrop"

Led by Jung Hae-in and Blackpink's Jisoo in her first lead role, this romance drama set in 1987 draws inspiration from the handwritten notes of a man who escaped a North Korean political prison. The story starts when a bloodied Im Su-ho (Jung Hae-In), a graduate from Germany, rushes into a women's university. Eun Young-ro (Jisoo), a freshman at the university, finds him and takes care of him, despite the dangerous situation.


Kim Hye-yoon earned widespread praise for her multi-layered portrayal of the drama’s opportunistic antagonist, Gye Bun-ok.


Lovely Runner (2024)

Available on Viki, Viu (territories and periods vary)

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Kim Hye-yoon in "Lovely Runner"

Kim Hye-yoon has just gained an even bigger fan following thanks to her endearing portrayal of Im Sol, a woman who travels back in time to 2008 to save the life of her idol Ryu Sun-jae (Byeon Woo-seok), who turns out to be her next door neighbor. In changing the course of events leading to Sun-Jae's tragic death, she finds love along the way.


A certified hit, the time-slip romance Lovely Runner is based on Kim Bbang’s web novel, The Best of Tomorrow.

 

Which of her roles is your favorite?


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