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K-rush of the Week: Shin Se-kyung (신세경)

Updated: Mar 2

Her stunning face may not show it, but Shin Se-kyung has been a fixture in South Korea's entertainment industry for over two decades.

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Shin Se-kyung

Born on July 29, 1990, in Seoul, South Korea, Shin Se-kyung began her career in the spotlight early on. Her foray into the industry started as a child actress, with her first appearance in the popular children’s show Ppo Ppo Ppo in 1998. The experience laid the foundation for what would become a thriving acting career.

The leap from child star to adult actress can be challenging, but Shin transitioned gracefully. One of her breakout roles came with the SBS drama High Kick Through The Roof (2009), where she played a high school student with dreams of becoming a successful writer. This role gained immense popularity and even won her the Best New Actress award at the SBS Entertainment Awards.

From there, she ventured into many projects, each as different as the last. Shin displayed her range as a dexterous palace transcriber in the historical drama Tree with Deep Roots (2011). Her role in The Girl Who Sees Smells (2015) showcased her capability to tackle crime and romance genres in one fell swoop. She also gave remarkable performances in dramas like Six Flying Dragons (2015-2016), The Bride of Habaek (2017), and most recently, Run On (2020-2021), Arthdal Chronicles 2 (2023), and Captivating the King (2024).

Over the years, Shin Se-kyung has received numerous accolades and nominations for her outstanding performances. She has also appeared in various music videos and has engaged in charitable work, mainly focusing on children's welfare. Her talent and striking beauty have made her a prominent figure in the South Korean entertainment industry, and there’s no doubt her star will soar even higher in the future.

Some of her works include:

Tree with Deep Roots (2011)

Watch on Viki

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Shin Se-kyung in "Tree with Deep Roots"

Shin Se-kyung played So-yi, a skilled and intelligent artisan known for her exceptional talent in creating beautiful and intricate drawings and paintings. Her artistic abilities make her a sought-after figure among scholars and officials. However, her life takes a dramatic turn when she becomes a key figure in the life of King Sejong (played by Han Suk-kyu), who is determined to create a new Korean script, Hangul, to replace the Chinese-based script used at the time. Despite her initial reluctance, she eventually becomes involved in the king's efforts to create a new writing system for the Korean language.

As the story unfolds, So-yi develops a close relationship with King Sejong, who recognizes her intelligence and values her opinions. Her knowledge of the inner workings of the palace and her close relationship with King Sejong make her a target for those who wish to undermine the king's rule.

Six Flying Dragons (2015)

Watch on Netflix, Prime Video, Viki

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Shin Se-kyung in "Six Flying Dragons"

Shin Se-kyung portrayed the character Boon-yi, a young woman who becomes entangled in the political and historical events of the Goryeo period.

Boon-yi is a skilled archer and the daughter of a former slave. Her life takes a dramatic turn when her family is brutally murdered, and she is left as the sole survivor. She then encounters Yi Bang-won, who later becomes King Taejong of Joseon (played by Yoo Ah-in), and despite the difference in their statuses, they form a deep connection.

Boon-yi then becomes embroiled in the time's power struggles and political machinations. She became a crucial figure in the founding of the Joseon Dynasty and the struggles for the throne. Her relationship with Yi Bang-won also plays a significant role in the unfolding events.

The Girl Who Sees Smells (2015)

Watch on Viki

Shin Se-kyung played Oh Cho-rim, a young woman who gains the extraordinary ability to see smells as colorful, animated shapes and figures, which allows her to detect scents and odors in a highly visual and sensory manner. This ability becomes crucial in solving crimes, particularly murder cases, as she can see and identify scents left behind at crime scenes.

She collaborates with a detective named Choi Moo-gak (played by Park Yoo-chun), who has his own unique sensory ability to solve various cases, including the mystery surrounding her own past.

Run On (2021)

Watch on Netflix

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Shin Se-kyung in "Run On" (photo of Im Si-wan and Shin Se-kyung"

Shin Se-kyung portrays Oh Mi-joo, a subtitle translator. She is passionate about her work and strives to provide accurate translations for various projects. She gets involved with Ki Seon-gyeom (played by Im Si-wan), a former sprinter working to become a sports agent. The series explores the unconventional dynamics of their growing relationship as they try to connect with each other in their own languages.

The Bride of Habaek / The Bride of the Water God (2017)

Watch on AppleTV, iQIYI, Netflix, Viki

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Shin Se-kyung in "The Bride of Habaek" (photo of Nam Joo-hyuk and Shin Se-kyung)

Shin Se-kyung is the titular bride in the fantasy romance The Bride of Habaek (also known as The Bride of the Water God). As So-ah, she plays a pragmatic and hardworking neuropsychiatrist who is struggling with financial difficulties.

So-ah's life takes an unexpected turn when she encounters Ha-baek, the Water God (played by Nam Joo-hyuk), who arrives on Earth in search of three stones that will help him claim his rightful throne. Ha-baek believes So-ah is the servant destined to help him find the stone. Throughout the drama, Yoon So-ah's life is turned upside down as she is drawn into the world of gods and water, which she had previously been unaware of. She also encounters other deities, including the god of the Land of the Sky, Bi-ryeom (Gong Myung), the goddess of the Land of Water, Mu-ra (Krystal Jung), and the demigod Hu-ye (Lim Ju-hwan).

Arthdal Chronicles: The Sword of Aramun / Arthdal Chronicles 2 (2023)

Watch on Disney+

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Shin Se-kyung in "Arthdal Chronicles 2"

Shin Se-kyung takes on the role of Tanya, a member of the Wahan tribe and the love interest of Eunsom, played by Lee Joon-gi. She possesses a unique power that allows her to communicate with animals, making her a valuable asset to her tribe.

As the series progresses, Tanya finds herself at the center of the power struggles between the various factions in Arthdal. Her unique abilities and connection to Eunsom make her a target for those seeking to control or destroy her.

Captivating the King (2024)

Watch on Netflix

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Shin Se-kyung in "Captivating the King" (photo of Jo Jung-suk and Shin Se-kyung)

Shin Se-kyung is Kang Hee-soo, a talented baduk (Korean strategy board game) gambler who captures the eye of Crown Prince Lee In destined to become king, portrayed by Jo Jung-suk. A noblewoman disguised as a man, she uses her strategic thinking skills to achieve her goals, even if that means going against the most powerful in Joseon. However, the King is also a skilled baduk player, and one wrong move could result in her death. Who will win in this deadly battle of the mind?

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