Moon Chae-won

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This is a Korean name; the family name is Moon.
Moon Chae-won
Moon Chae-won at The Princess' Man poster shooting 164.jpg
Born (1986-11-13) November 13, 1986 (age 27)
Daegu, South Korea
Nationality South Korean
Occupation Actress
Years active 2007–present
Agent MSTeam Entertainment (Korea)
IMX Inc. (Japan)
Korean name
Hangul 문채원
Revised Romanization Moon Chae-won
McCune–Reischauer Moon Ch'aewŏn

Moon Chae-won (born November 13, 1986) is a South Korean actress. Moon first attracted attention in 2008 in her supporting role as a gisaeng in Painter of the Wind. She was next cast in Brilliant Legacy, one of the top-rated Korean dramas of 2009. 2011 marked Moon's career breakthrough, with leading roles in the television period drama The Princess' Man and the action blockbuster War of the Arrows; both were critical and commercial hits, with Arrows as the highest grossing Korean film of the year. For her performance in the latter, Moon won Best New Actress at the Grand Bell Awards and the Blue Dragon Film Awards. Moon's other notable television series include the revenge melodrama The Innocent Man (2012) and the humanistic medical drama Good Doctor (2013).

Early life[edit]

Moon Chae-won was born in Daegu, South Korea. When she was in sixth grade, her family moved to Seoul.[1] She studied Western Painting at the Chugye University for the Arts, but dropped out in 2006 to pursue acting.


2007-2010: Beginnings[edit]

Moon Chae-won at the Golden Disk Awards 2008

Moon made her acting debut in 2007 in Mackerel Run, alongside fellow newcomer Lee Min-ho; they were among 60 actors who auditioned for the teen sitcom. Moon and Lee also appeared in the 2008 comedy film Our School's E.T..[2]

But it was with 2008 period drama Painter of the Wind that Moon began her rise to stardom. In the adaptation of Lee Jung-myung's historical fiction novel, she played a beautiful gisaeng who falls for Shin Yun-bok (played by Moon Geun-young), a female painter passing herself off as a man.[3] Such was the positive reception to their onscreen chemistry and the homoerotic subtext of their characters' relationship, that they received the most votes in the Best Couple poll at the 2008 SBS Drama Awards. It was the first time in Korean drama history that two actresses won the Best Couple Award, despite the sexual conservatism of Korean network television.

Moon's profile was further raised with Brilliant Legacy, in which she played a privileged girl who alternately antagonizes and pities her stepsister.[4] Brilliant Legacy became one of the top-rated Korean dramas of 2009, with a peak viewership rating of 47.1%.[5] Another supporting role followed in My Fair Lady, where she played an upbeat shoe designer who lives next door to her crush, a butler.[6] She also made a cameo appearance in the last episode of Korean War series Road No. 1 as an army doctor.

In October 2010, she signed with talent agency Barunson Entertainment (later renamed MSTeam). Afterwards, Moon landed her first leading role in It's Okay, Daddy's Girl, as an immature daughter who transforms into a mature professional woman after a family tragedy.

2011: Career breakthrough[edit]

Moon Chae-won at a photoshoot for The Princess' Man

In 2011, Moon was offered the sole female role in War of the Arrows, an action blockbuster set during the Second Manchu invasion of Korea. Along with her male costars Park Hae-il and Ryu Seung-ryong, Moon underwent serious archery and horse riding lessons. Upon its release, War of the Arrows became the highest grossing Korean film of 2011, with 7.48 million admissions. Moon was praised for her portrayal of a feminine yet feisty woman abducted by a foreign army on her wedding day, yet who isn't a typical damsel in distress and instead survives by her wits and sheer will; she later won Best New Actress at the Grand Bell Awards and the Blue Dragon Film Awards for her performance.[7][8][9]

Right after she finished filming War of the Arrows, Moon returned to the small screen in the Joseon-era drama The Princess' Man, about a fictional forbidden romance between the daughter of Grand Prince Suyang and the son of Kim Jongseo (played by Park Si-hoo), whose fathers were real-life political enemies.[10] The Princess' Man was well-received critically and commercially, and though initially criticized for her acting, Moon won viewers over as the series went on, eventually bagging a Top Excellence Award at the year-end KBS Drama Awards.[11][12] She also received a Best Dressed nod from the Korea Lifestyle Awards for giving a boost to the hanbok fashion industry via her two period projects, and was named Honorary Prosecutor by the Supreme Prosecutors' Office.[13]


In 2012, Moon starred in the Lee Kyung-hee-penned melodrama The Innocent Man opposite Song Joong-ki. She drew praise for her performance as a cold, cynical woman groomed to take over her father's conglomerate, who later reverts to helpless innocence after losing her memory. Ratings for The Innocent Man topped its timeslot during its run, and the critical acclaim led to Moon winning a Top Excellence Award at the KBS Drama Awards for the second year in a row.[14][15][16][17]

This was followed by the 2013 medical drama Good Doctor revolving around an autistic savant resident (played by Joo Won).[18] To prepare for her role as pediatric surgeon, Moon met with real-life doctors in a hospital setting, familiarizing herself with medical terms and observing surgeries first-hand.[19][20][21]

She next starred in Awaiting (in Korean, The Day Min-woo Arrives), a short film directed by Kang Je-gyu.[22] Moon played a woman separated from her husband (played by Go Soo) for sixty years by the division of North and South Korea. Awaiting was one of the four short films comprising Beautiful 2014, an omnibus project that premiered at the 38th Hong Kong International Film Festival.[23]

Moon returns to the big screen in an upcoming romantic comedy directed by Park Jin-pyo. In She Who Is Loved by Three Men, three male friends fall for Moon's character, a weather forecaster.[24]


Television drama[edit]

Year Title Role Network Notes
2007 Reconstruction of Love young Hwang Hyo-eun Dramax episode 2: "살까지 뺐는데!"
Mackerel Run Min Yoon-seo SBS
2008 Painter of the Wind Jung-hyang SBS
2009 Brilliant Legacy Yoo Seung-mi SBS
My Fair Lady Yeo Eui-joo KBS2
2010 Road No. 1 Min Young-jin MBC cameo, episode 20
It's Okay, Daddy's Girl Eun Chae-ryung SBS
2011 The Princess' Man Lee Se-ryung KBS2
2012 The Innocent Man Seo Eun-gi KBS2
2013 Good Doctor Cha Yoon-seo KBS2


Year Title Role Notes
2008 Our School's E.T. Lee Eun-shil
2011 War of the Arrows Choi Ja-in
2014 Awaiting Yeon-hee short film from Beautiful 2014
She Who Is Loved by Three Men

Music video[edit]

Year Song title Artist
2008 "Parting Once Again" Sung Si-kyung


Year Song title Notes
2011 "Clementine" Track from It's Okay, Daddy's Girl OST


Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2008 16th Korean Culture and Entertainment Awards Best New Actress (TV) Painter of the Wind Won
SBS Drama Awards Best Couple Award with Moon Geun-young Won
New Star Award Won
2009 45th Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actress (TV) Nominated
2011 48th Grand Bell Awards Best New Actress War of the Arrows Won
32nd Blue Dragon Film Awards Best New Actress Won
9th Korea Lifestyle Awards Best Dressed of the Year N/A Won
3rd Asian Jewelry Awards Diamond Award, Actress category N/A Won
27th Korea Best Dressed Swan Awards Best Dressed, TV Actress category N/A Won
19th Korean Culture and Entertainment Awards Excellence Award, Actress (Film) War of the Arrows Won
Top Excellence Award, Actress (TV) The Princess' Man Won
KBS Drama Awards Best Couple Award with Park Si-hoo Won
Popularity Award, Actress Won
Excellence Award, Actress in a Mid-length Drama Nominated
Top Excellence Award, Actress Won
2012 48th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (TV) Nominated
KBS Drama Awards Best Couple Award with Song Joong-ki The Innocent Man Won
Netizen's Award Won
Excellence Award, Actress in a Mid-length Drama Nominated
Top Excellence Award, Actress Won
2013 53rd Monte-Carlo Television Festival Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series The Princess' Man Nominated
8th Seoul International Drama Awards Outstanding Korean Actress The Innocent Man Nominated
21st Korean Culture and Entertainment Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress (TV) Good Doctor Won
6th Korea Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress Nominated
2nd APAN Star Awards Excellence Award, Actress Nominated
KBS Drama Awards Best Couple Award with Joo Won Won
Popularity Award, Actress Won
Excellence Award, Actress in a Mid-length Drama Won
Top Excellence Award, Actress Nominated


  1. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (6 January 2012). "Moon Chae-won lonely no more". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-06-17. 
  2. ^ "10LINE: Lee Min-ho". 10Asia. 21 October 2009. Retrieved 2014-06-17. 
  3. ^ Han, Sang-hee (23 September 2008). "Korea's Sweetheart Moon Becomes Mysterious Artist". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2014-06-17. 
  4. ^ Han, Sang-hee (3 August 2009). "Supporting Roles Stealing Spotlight". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2014-06-17. 
  5. ^ Park, Sun-young. "Brilliant drama leaving its own legacy". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-06-17date=16 July 2009. 
  6. ^ Oh, Jean (19 August 2009). "Riches-meets-rags in new drama". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2014-06-17. 
  7. ^ Lee, Hyo-won (4 August 2011). "Arrow aims for new horizons". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2014-06-17. 
  8. ^ "The Front Line top winner at Korea's Grand Bell Awards". Korean Film Biz Zone. 19 October 2011. Retrieved 2014-06-17. 
  9. ^ Lee, Claire (27 November 2011). "The Unjust best picture at Blue Dragon Awards". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2014-06-17. 
  10. ^ "Moon Chae Won: "Impressions of The Princess' Man Still Lingers in My Mind"". KBS Global. 25 October 2011. Retrieved 2014-06-17. 
  11. ^ "Moon Chae-won Reveals Alluring Charms". The Chosun Ilbo. 10 September 2011. Retrieved 2014-06-17. 
  12. ^ Im, Ju-ri (28 October 2011). "Moon Chae-won finds meaning in her work". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-06-17. 
  13. ^ Sung, So-young (4 January 2012). "Actors named celebrity prosecutors". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-06-17. 
  14. ^ Lee, Hye-ji (22 August 2012). "Moon Chae-won, Park Si-yeon fight for Song Joong-ki's love in new TV series". 10Asia. Retrieved 2014-06-17. 
  15. ^ Jeon, Ji-young (4 October 2012). "Seo Eun-gi Conquers Both Work and Love". KBS Global. Retrieved 2014-06-17. 
  16. ^ "Innocent Man Mun Chae-Won "I sincerely loved Eun-Gi"". Innolife. 17 November 2012. Retrieved 2014-06-17. 
  17. ^ "Moon Chae-won: "Seo Eun-gi is a pleasant challenge"". 4 December 2012. Retrieved 2014-06-17. 
  18. ^ Kim, Gwang-kuk (5 August 2013). "PREVIEW: KBS Mon/Tue Drama Good Doctor". TenAsia. Retrieved 2013-08-06. 
  19. ^ "Moon Chae Won visits surgery department, actively prepares for new role". 14 June 2013. Retrieved 2014-06-17. 
  20. ^ Choi, Eun-hwa (3 August 2013). "Moon Chae Won Says She Aims to be More Professional Than Pretty". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2014-06-17. 
  21. ^ "Moon Chae-won Scores Another Hit with Medical Drama". The Chosun Ilbo. 25 October 2013. Retrieved 2014-06-17. 
  22. ^ Lee, Mi-ji (19 December 2013). "Moon Chae Won to cast in director Kang Je Gyu's The Day Min Woo Comes". StarN News. Retrieved 2014-06-17. 
  23. ^ Tsui, Clarence (25 March 2014). "Beautiful 2014 (Mei Ho 2014/Mei Hao 2014): Filmart Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2014-06-17. 
  24. ^ Kim, Hee-eun (4 March 2014). "Moon Chae-won comes back to the big screen". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-06-17. 

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