Son Ye-jin made her onscreen film debut in Painted Fire (2002) by renowned director Im Kwon-taek and headlined by Korean film icon Choi Min-sik. Screened at the Cannes Film Festival and nominated for the Palmes d’Or, it was an auspicious start to a career that would go on to span over 30 films and dramas in just 20 years.
Birthday: January 11, 1982
It isn’t easy for Korean actresses to make a name for themselves in both films and dramas, much less to achieve both critical acclaim and mainstream popularity at the same time, but Son Ye-jin has done just that. Her growing collection of 50 trophies--a mix of acting and popularity awards for her work on both the big and small screen--is unmatched in her age group.
The accolades are no doubt a product of her talent and relentless work ethic, starring in as many as three projects in a single year and earning for her the nickname “So” (Cow) Ye-jin.
Son Ye-jin first gained popularity in melodramas like Summer Scent (2003), The Classic (2003), and A Moment to Remember (2004), and was dubbed the “Nation’s First Love,” but was quick to shed her ingenue image. She took on risky choices early in her career, playing a mistress in the movie April Snow (2005), then a young divorcee in the drama Alone in Love (2006), for which she won her second Baeksang acting award.
Although she is called the “Queen of Melodrama” and is best known by k-drama fans for the romances Personal Taste (2010), Something in the Rain (2018), and global phenomenon Crash Landing on You (2019), her long, diverse filmography includes multiple genres, especially when it comes to her work on the big screen.
A bankable movie star, Son Ye-jin has successfully taken on adventure (The Pirates, 2014), action (Bad Guys Always Die, 2015), comedy/horror (Spellbound, 2011), and several crime/suspense/political thrillers (White Night, 2009; Blood and Ties, 2013; The Truth Beneath, 2016; The Negotiation, 2018). Her most acclaimed film work is for the historical drama The Last Princess (2016), which earned her Baeksang and Grand Bell trophies, among others.
On March 31, 2022, the day her latest drama Thirty Nine aired its finale, Son married her Crash Landing On You co-star Hyun Bin in one of the most celebrated Hallyu marriages. She is currently on hiatus as she takes care of their first-born child.