Choi Ji-woo

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This is a Korean name; the family name is Choi.
Choi Ji-woo
Born Choi Mi-hyang
(1975-06-11) June 11, 1975 (age 39)
Paju, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea
Education Pusan Women's College - Aerobic Dance
Occupation Actress
Years active 1994–present
Agent YG Entertainment
Korean name
Hangul
Hanja
Revised Romanization Choe Ji-u
McCune–Reischauer Ch'oe Chiu
Birth name
Hangul 최미향
Revised Romanization Choe Mi-hyang
McCune–Reischauer Ch'oe Mihyang

Choi Ji-woo (born Choi Mi-hyang on June 11, 1975) is a South Korean actress. She is most famous for starring in the television melodramas Winter Sonata, Beautiful Days and Stairway to Heaven.

Career[edit]

Choi Mi-hyang was first discovered when she won a talent audition organized by MBC in 1994, then made her acting debut in an MBC Best Theater episode in 1995. Afterwards, she adopted the stage name "Choi Ji-woo."

She was cast in her first major role in 1996 film The Gate of Destiny, but due to her limited acting skills, she was replaced in the middle of filming.[1] In the next couple of years Choi continued to star in both TV dramas and films, including The Hole (a Korean remake of Hollywood thriller Hush), as well as the romantic comedies First Kiss with Ahn Jae-wook and The Romantic President with Ahn Sung-ki. But it was her portrayals on TV of tragic heroines with a pure and innocent image -- notably in Truth opposite Ryu Shi-won and Beautiful Days opposite Lee Byung-hun -- that boosted her rising popularity.

In 2002, she reunited onscreen with Bae Yong-joon (she previously had a supporting role in his 1996 drama First Love) that she would star in her most famous, iconic role. Directed by Yoon Seok-ho as the second installment of his "season dramas,"[2] Winter Sonata became a phenomenal hit throughout Asia and has been credited as one of the initiators of the Korean Wave.[3] As a result Choi gained wide pan-Asian recognition, especially a huge following in Japan where she acquired the nickname Ji-woo Hime ("Princess Ji-woo").[4] In 2009 she and Bae reprised their roles as voice actors for Winter Sonata Anime.[5][6][7] She continues to be a lucrative star and brand in Japan, fetching high licensing/broadcasting rights for her dramas and selling out concerts and merchandise (tvN's E News compiled a list of the top Hallyu stars in Japan based on their approximate gross incomes for the first half of 2011, and Choi was #5 with approximately US$2 million).

After the success of her 2003 melodrama Stairway to Heaven with Kwon Sang-woo, Choi again attempted to break into film. She played a terminally ill heroine in Now and Forever,[8][9] and a more risque character in sex comedy Everybody Has Secrets (a Korean remake of Irish film About Adam).[10][11] Both films were poorly received by critics and audiences in South Korea, but performed well at the Japanese box office.

Choi then spent the next few years overseas, shooting the Chinese drama 101st Proposal with Sun Xing, and the Japanese drama RONDO opposite Yutaka Takenouchi.[12][13][14] She returned to Korean television in 2007 in Air City alongside Lee Jung-jae; her role was the Chief Operating Officer of Incheon Airport.[15]

In 2009, she starred opposite Yoo Ji-tae in the drama Star's Lover, playing a top actress who falls in love with an ordinary man.[16][17] Choi received ₩48 million per episode, the highest salary for a Korean actress at the time (her record was later broken by Go Hyun-jung's ₩55 million for the 2010 drama Daemul).[18][19]

That same year, she set up her own management agency called C,JW Company with her brother as CEO.[20][21] She also joined the ensemble cast of semi-improvisational mockumentary Actresses, arguably her most significant film yet.[22][23]

During the press conference for the 2011 series, Can't Lose, co-starring Yoon Sang-hyun, featuring a lawyer couple facing their own divorce suit, she was asked if she worried about shedding her pure and innocent image. Choi said, "I've had the same image for 15 years. Isn't it time for me to break out? I was a melodrama queen and now I want the title of romantic comedy queen." She added that she had gained more fans after showing her cheerful, easygoing side as a guest on the reality show 2 Days & 1 Night.[24][25]

In 2012, Choi was cast in the Chinese drama City Lovers, in which she portrays the CEO at an event management company opposite Qin Hao, a newly employed businessman at her firm.[26][27][28]

Later that year, she became the host of Choi Ji-woo's Delicious Korea on food lifestyle cable channel O'live TV alongside fashion designer Jung Kuho. The 5-episode show, which aired from November 23 to December 21, 2012, aimed to promote Korean cuisine and culture to the world, and the two hosts traveled through South Korea and introduced little-known regional food to the viewers.[29][30]

She next headlined the 2013 remake of hit 2011 Japanese drama Kaseifu no Mita. In The Suspicious Housekeeper, Choi played the titular character, an icy and stoic yet amazingly capable housekeeper who comes to work for a recently widowed father and his four children.[31][32] Despite the difficulty of not being able to react to her costars, Choi said she chose the role because she "was really charmed by the way the heroine refrains from letting her emotions show."[33][34]

In February 2014, Choi signed with the talent agency YG Entertainment.[35][36][37][38] She then reunited with previous costar Kwon Sang-woo in Temptation; she played a rich woman who makes a dangerous offer to a married man.[39]

Personal life[edit]

Choi majored in aerobic dance at Pusan Women's College. She later enrolled in Hanyang University's Department of Theater and Film and completed her first year; however she had to withdraw from college studies due to her hectic work schedule.

Filmography[edit]

Television drama[edit]

Year Title Role Network
1995 MBC Best Theater "사랑, 그 하나만으로도" MBC
1996 First Love Kang Seok-hee KBS2
Three Guys and Three Girls (guest appearance) MBC
1997 Happiness Is in Our Hearts SBS
1998 Love Yoo Ji-young MBC
1999 Love In 3 Colors Eun Ji-soo KBS2
Love Story "Message" SBS
2000 Truth Lee Ja-young MBC
Mr. Duke Jang Soo-jin MBC
2001 Beautiful Days Kim Yeon-soo SBS
2002 We Are Dating Now (cameo, ep 15) SBS
Winter Sonata Jeong Yoo-jin KBS2
2003 Stairway to Heaven Han Jung-seo SBS
2004 Full House Herself (cameo, ep 3) KBS2
101st Proposal Li Shao Rong BTV
2006 RONDO Choi Yoon-ah TBS
2007 Air City Han Do-kyung MBC
2008 Star's Lover Lee Ma-ri SBS
2009 Winter Sonata Anime Jeong Yoo-jin (voice) SKY PerfecTV!
2011 Fuyu no Sakura Inaba Tatsuki's Korean girlfriend (cameo, ep 2)[40] TBS
Can't Lose Lee Eun-jae MBC
2012 City Lovers AHTV
2013 The Suspicious Housekeeper Park Bok-nyeo/Park Eun-soo SBS
2014 Temptation Yoo Se-young SBS

Film[edit]

Year Title Role
1996 The Adventures of Mrs Park Eun-jin
1997 Hallelujah Bar madam (bit part)
The Hole Su-jin
1998 Alien Kim's daughter (voice)
First Kiss Song Yeon-hwa
1999 Nowhere to Hide Kim Ju-yeon
2002 The Romantic President Choi Eun-soo
2004 Everybody Has Secrets Han Sun-young
2005 Shadowless Sword Female martial arts gosu (cameo)
2006 Now and Forever Han Hye-won
2009 Actresses Herself

Music video[edit]

Year Song Title Artist
1996 무한지애 (Endless Love) Kim Jung-min
1998 풍경 Goo Bon-seung and Jang Dong-gun
Na Na Na Yoo Seung-jun
1999 For Your Soul Jo Sungmo
2003 별을 사랑한 어린 왕자의 꿈 (The Young Prince's Dream) Cha Tae-hyun
2013 지우개 (Ziugae)[41] ALi

Variety show[edit]

Year Title Role Network
2004 Hanamaru Market Guest TBS
SMAPxSMAP - Bistro SMAP Guest Fuji TV
2005 SMAPxSMAP skit "Old Maid" Guest Fuji TV
2006 Masahiro Nakai's SMAP Friday Guest TBS
The Tunnels' Thanks to Everyone Guest Fuji TV
2007 Sanma no Manma Guest Fuji TV
Infinite Challenge Guest MBC
2008 Line to the Law Center VTR appearance NTV
2011 2 Days & 1 Night Guest ("Actress Special") KBS2
Saturday Across Generations Guest KBS2
Healing Camp, Aren't You Happy Guest SBS
2012 Choi Ji-woo's Delicious Korea Host O'live TV
Running Man Guest (ep 126-127) SBS
2013 MBC Human Documentary - Love Narration MBC

Awards[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Ref.
1995 Korea's Isabelle Adjani Contest Winner
1998 34th Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actress The Hole
21st Golden Cinematography Awards Best New Actress The Hole
1999 14th Golden Disk Awards Golden Video Best Actress For Your Soul
2000 MBC Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress Mr. Duke
2001 SBS Drama Awards Popularity Award Beautiful Days
Excellence Award, Actress
2002 38th Baeksang Arts Awards Popularity Award (TV) Winter Sonata
Model Line Best Dresser Awards Swan Award
KBS Drama Awards Popularity Award Winter Sonata
Top Excellence Award, Actress
2003 Andre Kim Best Star Awards Female Star Award [42]
26th Golden Cinematography Awards Most Popular Actress
SBS Drama Awards Top 10 Stars Stairway to Heaven
Excellence Award, Actress in a Drama Special
2004 40th Baeksang Arts Awards Popularity Award (TV) Stairway to Heaven
4th Proud Korean Awards
(Journalists Federation of Korea)
Recipient
2005 41st Baeksang Arts Awards Hallyu Special Award
The Motion Pictures Association of Korea Hallyu Special Award
2006 Dior Timeless Beauty Awards Recipient [43]
2009 International Cultural Industry Exchange Foundation Awards Recipient
Seoul International Drama Awards Inducted into the Star Hall of Fame [44][45]
36th Tourism Day Presidential Commendation [46]
2010 World Tourism Cities Forum Top Popularity Award
2012 7th Asia Model Festival Awards Asia Star Award [47][48]
Seoul International Social Work Conference Social Welfare Award [49]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Choi Ji-woo talks being replaced". Korea JoongAng Daily. 27 December 2011. 
  2. ^ "Producer Yun Seok-ho, the creator of Yonsama and the hallyu frenzy". KBS Global. 17 January 2005.
  3. ^ "Is it all over already? Gloomy signs overshadow rosy statistics of Hallyu". The Korea Herald via Hancinema. 11 July 2005. 
  4. ^ "Pure Love: Tear-Jerking Love Stories Enthrall Japanese Women". Web Japan. 14 October 2004.
  5. ^ "Bae, Choi to Voice Winter Sonata Cartoon". The Korea Times. 30 May 2008. 
  6. ^ "A reunion in 7 years: Yonsama and Jiwoohime". 10Asia. 29 September 2009. 
  7. ^ "Bae Yong-joon, Choi Ji-woo reunite for Winter Sonata anime". 10Asia. 2 February 2010. 
  8. ^ "Love Letter Starring Choi Ji-woo and Cho Han-sung to Open Next Year". KBS Global. 5 August 2005. 
  9. ^ "Yeonriji ("Now and Forever") Depends Heavily on Ji-woo Hime". The Korea Times via Hancinema. 13 April 2006.
  10. ^ "Sexy Secret Has Little to Tell". The Korea Times. 29 July 2004.
  11. ^ "Sex and Laughter in a Game of Love". The Dong-a Ilbo. 29 July 2004.
  12. ^ "Choi Ji-woo to Co-Star with Takenouchi Yutaka". KBS Global. 4 July 2005. 
  13. ^ "Actress Choi Ji-woo Stars in Joint Korean-Japanese TV Drama". KBS Global. 20 December 2005. 
  14. ^ "TV Drama Rondo Starring Choi Ji-woo Suffers Low Viewer Ratings". KBS Global. 24 February 2006. 
  15. ^ "This is Who I am". W Korea (in Korean). June 2007.
  16. ^ "Celebrity's Sweetheart Knocks on Viewers Hearts". The Korea Times. 2 December 2008. 
  17. ^ "Mega drama duo signals hot winter". The Korea Herald. 1 December 2008. 
  18. ^ "Koh Hyun-jung, highest paid Korean actress". The Korea Times. 12 April 2011.
  19. ^ "Ko Hyun-jung Sets New Soap Opera Earnings Record". The Chosun Ilbo. 12 April 2011.
  20. ^ http://www.cjwcompany.co.kr/
  21. ^ "Actresses Choosing To Be Managed By Family". KBS World. 10 December 2010. 
  22. ^ "Actresses is a miracle achieved, says Koh (Part 1)". 10Asia. 23 November 2009.
  23. ^ "Actresses is a miracle achieved, says Koh (Part 2)". 10Asia. 23 November 2009.
  24. ^ "Choi Ji-woo Can't Lose in romantic comedy". The Korea Times. 23 August 2011.
  25. ^ "Choi Ji-woo Thrilled About Shaking Off Old Image". The Chosun Ilbo. 25 August 2011.
  26. ^ "Choi Ji-woo to return to Chinese TV series in 9 years, teaming up with Qin Hao". 10Asia. 27 June 2012. 
  27. ^ "Choi Ji Woo Stars in Her First Chinese Drama in Nine Years". enewsWorld. 27 June 2012. 
  28. ^ "Choi Ji-woo returns to Chinese drama". Korea JoongAng Daily. 28 June 2012. 
  29. ^ "Choi Ji-woo Will Introduce Korean Food as TV Host". 10Asia. 30 October 2012. 
  30. ^ "Choi Ji Woo to Look Far and Wide for Delicious Korean Foods in a Documentary". enewsWorld. 3 November 2012. 
  31. ^ "Choi Ji-woo to Play Housekeeper in an Upcoming Drama". 10Asia. 31 July 2013. 
  32. ^ "Choi Ji-woo to Play Housemaid in a New Drama". The Chosun Ilbo. 10 August 2013. 
  33. ^ "Choi Ji-woo to play modern-day Mary Poppins". The Korea Herald. 16 September 2013. 
  34. ^ "Suspicious role challenged Choi". Korea JoongAng Daily. 5 December 2013. 
  35. ^ "Choi Ji Woo Signs with YG Entertainment". enewsWorld. 26 February 2014. 
  36. ^ "Actress Choi Ji-woo joins YG Entertainment". The Korea Herald. 27 February 2014. 
  37. ^ "Actress Choi Ji-woo Joins YG Entertainment". 10Asia. 26 February 2014. 
  38. ^ "Hallyu icon joins YG Family". Korea JoongAng Daily. 27 February 2014. 
  39. ^ "Choi Ji Woo and Kwon Sang Woo Cast as Leads in New Drama". enewsWorld. 9 June 2014. 
  40. ^ "Choi Ji Woo to make a guest appearance in winter drama, Fuyu no Sakura". Tokyo Hive. 9 January 2011. 
  41. ^ "Choi Ji-woo Takes Lead in ALI's New Music Video". 10Asia. 31 January 2013. 
  42. ^ "Top Stars Win Andre Kim Awards". The Korea Times. 1 May 2007. 
  43. ^ "Choi Ji-woo Named Korea's Greatest Acting Beauty". The Chosun Ilbo. 7 August 2006. 
  44. ^ "Star Hall of Fame Celebrates Choi Ji-woo". The Chosun Ilbo. 20 August 2009.
  45. ^ "Dramas, Stars to Compete at Seoul Intl Drama Awards". The Korea Times. 25 August 2009. 
  46. ^ "Actress Choi Ji-woo to receive President's honor". 10Asia. 24 September 2009. 
  47. ^ "Asia Model Awards". KBS World. 18 January 2012.
  48. ^ "Choi Ji-woo, Kara win Asia Star at 2012 Asia Model Awards". The Korea Herald. 19 January 2012.
  49. ^ "Choi Ji Woo receives Seoul City Social Welfare Award". StarN News. 7 September 2012. 

External links[edit]