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Kim Ji-won (김지원)

Updated: Oct 29, 2023

There must be a lot of pressure when you are dubbed the “Little Kim Tae-hee”—considered by many to be Korea’s most beautiful actress—when you debut in commercials at 19. But Kim Ji-won seemed to take it all in stride.

Photo from Salt Entertainment

Birthday: October 19, 1992

Instagram: geewonii

Originally trained in singing and acting, Kim Ji-won actually appeared as a backup vocalist in the singer Younha’s music video Gossip Boy in 2008. But she soon realized that in her own words "I was sure that I did not have a talent in singing” and enrolled in Theater at Dongguk University.

In 2008 she debuted in the drama Mrs. Saigon and followed this up with minor roles in What’s Up (2011), To the Beautiful You (2012), The Heirs (2013) and Hidden Identity (2015). But she really gained worldwide attention when she took on the supporting role of the gruff army doctor in love in 2016’s hit Descendants of the Sun along with Song Joong-ki and Song Hye-kyo.

Her breakout role soon led to her becoming a lead in Fight for My Way (2016) with Park Seo-joon, Arthdal Chronicles (2019) which reunited her with Song Joong-ki, and more recently Lovestruck in the City (2020-21) with Ji Chang-wook.

In 2019's Arthdal Chronicles, Kim Ji-won plays the character Tanya, who is a descendant of the Wahan Tribe's spiritual leader. Set in the mythical land of Arth, this series explores the lives, politics, and struggles of various tribes and their leaders. Tanya's character is pivotal to the story as she evolves from being a member of a small, peaceful tribe to a key figure entangled in the political and spiritual complexities of Arthdal.

Kim Ji-won is far from reaching her peak, and slowly and surely, she’s making a name for herself as more than just a “little” version of someone else. Her latest role in My Liberation Notes (2022) earned her a Best Actress nomination in the APAN Star Awards.

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