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K-rush of the Week: Kim Tae-ri

Updated: Oct 23, 2023

To be chosen over thousands of young girls auditioning for a difficult role, to win it, and then to work with a director as esteemed and as legendary as Park Chan-wook for your cinematic debut...clearly, Kim Tae-ri was fated to be a star.

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week (Actor Profile): Kim Tae-ri

Since winning various awards for her nuanced portrayal as a naïve maid in the celebrated The Handmaiden, she has only gone from strength to strength, continuing to star in other acclaimed movies such as 1987: When the Day Comes, the adaptation Little Forest, the sci-fi Space Sweepers, and the Joseon-space romp Alienoid.

In unstoppable Tae-ri fashion, she also made her grand debut in k-dramaland by starring in one of its highest-rated shows, Mr. Sunshine, playing the unforgettable noblewoman Go Ae-sin. Her small screen winning streak continued with the coming-of-age hit Twenty-Five Twenty-One, which gave her a Baeksang nod for Best Actress. These days, she’s delivering chills as a possessed young woman in the Disney+’ weekend series, Revenant.

Space Sweepers (2021)

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Kim Tae-ri

Set in 2092, the film stars Song Joong-ki and Kim Tae-ri as the crew of a junk collector ship escaping the destruction of Earth. But they discover an explosive secret during the trade of a humanoid, and suddenly, they have to make difficult choices to save the universe.

Read our review.

Mr. Sunshine (2018)

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Kim Tae-ri in "Mr. Sunshine"

As a noblewoman, Go Ae-shin (Kim Tae-ri) could have stayed quietly on the sidelines while the rest of her country suffered under the looming Japanese occupation of Korea. In the stinging words of Korean Yakuza member Gu Dong-mae (Yoo Yeon-seok), she could have stayed as “just a noble fool who lives in luxury.” But she didn’t. With the blood of patriots running through her veins, she trains as a sniper, disguising herself as a man to work with the guerrilla army fighting the invaders.

Even when questions are raised over the righteousness of the country she is risking her life to protect, her resolve doesn’t waver. Even when love threatens to distract her, she remains focused on the greater goal. Go Ae-shin is a powerful reminder that no matter who we are, regardless of our gender or social standing, we can find it in ourselves to stand up and fight for what is righteous, for the sake of our fellow countrymen.

Twenty-Five Twenty-One (2022)

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Kim Tae-ri in "Twenty-Five Twenty-One"

They met when they were 22 and 18, hurt each other when they were 23 and 19, reconnected at 24 and 20, and finally fell in love at 25 and 21.

Nam Joo-hyuk (Start-up) and Kim Tae-ri star in this 16-episode coming-of-age drama from tvN. Set in 1998, the series relives our youth through their stories about first love, dreams, and growing up (in 90's fashion!). The chemistry between the two is palpable and electric, but it’s Na Hee-do’s (Kim Tae-ri's) determination to make it to the Korean national fencing team that really elevates this drama from mere teenage romcom to a serious and beautiful life journey.

Read our recommendations.

Alienoid (2022-2023)

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Kim Tae-ri in "Alienoid"

This star-studded sci-fi, fantasy action film has received mixed reviews, but—with an all-star cast headed by the likes of Kim Tae-ri, Kim Woo-bin (Black Knight), Ryu Jun-yeol (Reply 1988)—was there, in fact, some kind of genius behind the madness? All we know is that for 142 fast-paced minutes, we were curiously entertained.

Read our movie review.

The Handmaiden (2016), film

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Kim Tae-ri in "The Handmaiden"

Lauded as one of Korea’s best contemporary movies, The Handmaiden (2016) is Park Chan-wook’s award-winning adaptation of Sarah Waters' novel about lust, freedom, and forbidden love. This visually stunning film also marks Kim Tae-ri’s impressive screen debut. As Sook-hee, Kim plays a naive young handmaiden tasked to con the wealthy heiress Lady Hideko (Kim Min-hee).

The Handmaiden has been nominated over a hundred times in different film festivals and impressively won over 60 international film awards, including a BAFTA for Best Film Not in English.

Revenant (2023)

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Kim Tae-ri in "Revenant"

In this 12-episode thriller-mystery-supernatural series, part-time worker Ku San-young (Kim Tae-ri), is possessed by a demon that Yeom Hae-sang, an eccentric folklore professor (Oh Jung-se) can see. Together, they try to figure out the truth behind the mysterious deaths related to five sacred objects, while working to protect their own souls (and sanities).

Which of Kim Tae-ri's roles is your favorite?

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