Moon Geun-young

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Moon Geun-young
Moon Geun-young on December 31 2010 (4) (Cropped).jpg
Moon Geun-young at the 2010 KBS Drama Awards
Born (1987-05-06) May 6, 1987 (age 26)
Gwangju, South Korea
Nationality South Korean
Occupation Actress
Years active 1997–present
Agent Namoo Actors
Korean name
Hangul 문근영
Hanja
Revised Romanization Mun Geun-yeong
McCune–Reischauer Mun Kŭnyŏng

Moon Geun-young (born May 6, 1987) is a South Korean actress. Affectionately called "the nation's little sister," Moon began modeling at the age of 12, then made her acting debut in 1999 as a child actress. She first rose to stardom through her role as the young Eun-suh in the hugely popular television drama series Autumn in My Heart (2000), followed by a well-received turn in Kim Ji-woon's critically acclaimed horror film A Tale of Two Sisters (2003). Moon solidified her star status by headlining the box-office hits My Little Bride in 2004 and Innocent Steps in 2005. In 2008, she became the youngest recipient of a Grand Prize ("Daesang") which she won for the period drama Painter of the Wind.[1]

Career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Before her acting debut on a television drama series, Moon filmed several commercials and modeled for various magazines. She started modeling at the age of 12, and first appeared onscreen on the 1999 documentary drama On the Road directed by Choi Jae-eun. In 2000, Moon became the biggest teen star in the country at the age of 13 when she played a school girl in sentimental TV drama Autumn in My Heart. It was a hit in Korea and won over viewers in other parts of Asia. She won the Best Young Actor/Actress award at the 2000 KBS Drama Awards for her role, together with costar Choi Woo-hyuk.[2]

Following her early success, she returned to the screen in 2001 as the young Empress Myeongseong (Lee Mi-yeon played the adult version) on the popular historical drama Empress Myeongseong. During that year, she also made a guest appearance in the SBS medical drama Medical Center.

Moon's film debut was in a supporting role as Cha Tae-hyun's younger sister, Lee Ji-yoon, in Lovers' Concerto (2002).

Stardom[edit]

She was launched as a major star with her role in Kim Ji-woon's critically acclaimed horror film A Tale of Two Sisters (2003), in which she played the younger sister Su-yeon. A Tale of Two Sisters ranks among the highest-grossing Korean horror films and was the first to be screened in American theaters.

In 2004, Moon headlined the romantic comedy film My Little Bride. It was the second most popular Korean film of the year, behind the blockbuster hit Taegukgi. In the film, Seo Bo-eun is an ordinary high school girl who worries about grades and has a crush on her school's baseball team ace, Jung-woo. One day, Bo-eun's grandfather orders her to marry Sang-min (Kim Rae-won) because of a pact he made with Sang-min's grandfather during the Korean War. Despite the grandchildren's opposition, they are forced to marry because it was Bo-eun's grandfather's wish to see them married before he died. So, Bo-eun's undercover married life begins: She pretends that she doesn't have a husband and starts dating Jung-woo. Boeun believes that she can manage both men and live a double life. Everything goes smoothly until Sang-min is assigned to work at Bo-eun's high school as a student teacher.[3][4]

Following the release of My Little Bride, the press gave her the title "the nation's little sister" (Gukmin yeo-dong-saeng), brought on by her cute, girlish younger-than-her-age looks, sweet and innocent image, quality acting, exemplary school record, and charitable deeds.[5][6]

In 2005, Moon starred in her subsequent film Innocent Steps where she played the role of Jang Chae-rin, an ethnic Korean living in China, who finds herself to be a complete fish out of water after moving to South Korea.[7] When her sister bows out of a dummy marriage to a champion dance instructor, Chae-rin decides to travel to Seoul herself and impersonate her sister. Once in South Korea, she meets Na Young-sae (Park Gun-hyung), who has agreed to the sham marriage for the sole purpose of locating a new dance partner. But when Chae-rin's secret and her lack of dancing experience is revealed, Young-sae wants to send his new bride back. Eventually, however, he has second thoughts and decides that his only hope is to train this wide-eyed novice himself. Of course, the practices start off as purely professional, but as Chae-rin begins to dedicate herself to the art of dancing, a connection between the newlyweds begin to take shape. Chae-rin's youthful exuberance and folksy way of speaking eventually charms Young-sae's hardened heart.

Innocent Steps was a hit, and its success along with My Little Bride established Moon as a genuine box office draw. In 2005, Moon ranked first on the star power list among actresses in the Korean film industry, who can mobilize the greatest number of fans, and sell tickets on the sole basis of the actor's name alone.[8] Moon and actor Jo Seung-woo also received the 2005 Good Model Award from the Korea Advertisers Association; 200 members voted for the winners based on how much they contributed to boosting the sales of products and enhancing the image of advertisers.[9]

In 2006, Moon starred in the movie Love Me Not, a Korean big-screen remake of popular Japanese TV drama Ai nante iranee yo, natsu ("I Don't Need Love, Summer"), where she played the character of Ryu Min, a cold-hearted blind heiress.[10] Min slowly opens up herself to Julian (played by Kim Joo-hyuk), a con artist pretending to be her long-lost brother, as he, too, falls for her. However, Julian owes his creditor millions of won in debt and Min's illness that took her eyesight as a child relapses, threatening her life. Later that year, Moon and veteran actor Ahn Sung-ki hosted the 2006 Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF), the biggest international film festival in South Korea.[11]

Acting acclaim[edit]

In 2008, Moon returned to television in the period epic Painter of the Wind, in which she played the lead role of Shin Yun-bok, a painter who disguises herself as a man and becomes mentored by the master Kim Hong-do (played by Park Shin-yang).[12] Shin was a real-life historical figure, a painter who lived during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) and was known for his realistic and delicate depictions of daily life.[13] Moon won acting acclaim for her performance, including Best Actress at the 2008 Grimae Awards (presented by the Korean Broadcasting Directors Association), Best TV Actress at the 2009 Baeksang Arts Awards, and the Daesang ("Grand Prize") at the 2008 SBS Drama Awards, making her the youngest recipient of a Daesang in the drama awards history of all three networks.

In 2010, Moon played a young woman running a makgeolli brewery in Cinderella's Sister, a modern fairy tale retelling of the contentious relationship between two stepsisters (opposite Seo Woo).[14][15][16][17] Later in the year, she starred in the romantic comedy Mary Stayed Out All Night (also known as Marry Me, Mary!), in which she played Wi Mae-ri, a girl who enters into a fake marriage contract with a Hongdae indie rocker (played by Jang Keun-suk).[18][19]

2010 also marked the year she made her theater debut, in the Korean staging of Patrick Marber's play Closer.[20] She caused a stir as the strip dancing, promiscuous Alice, opposite Um Ki-joon's Dan.[21][22]

She then played a struggling young designer who decides that success will more easily be attained if she seduces a second-generation chaebol (played by Park Si-hoo) into marriage, in the TV drama Cheongdam-dong Alice (2012).[23][24]

Moon recently starred in Goddess of Fire (2013), in which she plays Yoo Jung, a character based on Baek Pa-sun, the first female potter and porcelain artist of the Joseon Dynasty. This is her second time to do a historical drama (or sageuk) five years after Painter of the Wind.[25][26]

Personal life[edit]

Moon's grandfather is Ryu Nak-jin, a teacher-turned-political prisoner. Ryu was a pro-North Korea guerrilla fighter operating around Gwangju, a traditional progressive stronghold, before he was jailed at the end of the Korean War. He was released but imprisoned again on charges of spying for North Korea in 1971 when then authoritarian government of Park Chung-hee apprehended more than 150 such suspected spies. He was released on a special amnesty in 1999, and died of old age in 2005.[27]

Moon read the eulogy during the funeral of actress Lee Eun-joo on February 22, 2005. Moon belonged to the same management agency as Lee.[28]

Moon graduated from Gwangju Gukje High School in February 2006. In March 2006, she entered Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul. Moon is known for being a diligent student and has a solid attendance record, a rarity among Korean celebrities in college.[29] She is currently on her final semester majoring in Korean Language and Literature.[30][31]

Their agencies confirmed in November 2013 that Moon is currently dating her Goddess of Fire co-star Kim Bum since October 2013.[32][33]

Charity[edit]

Morning Reading[edit]

Moon donated close to ₩100 million to Morning Reading, a non-profit organization that promotes reading books.[34] She gave ₩4.3 million in 2005, ₩4 million in 2006 and ₩70 million in 2007. Moon made the contributions secretly through her mother, Ryu Seon-young, but her good deeds became known when Morning Reading revealed its 2007 account information online.

Haenam Children's Center[edit]

Moon donated about ₩300 million in 2006 to a learning center for poor children in Haenam County, South Jeolla Province, near her hometown of Gwangju.[35] Bae Yo-seop opened an after-school study room for children from poor or single-parent families to study there for free in 2002. The program was facing closure in October 2006 when the landlord told Bae that the house would be sold. A new building, equipped with library, computer room, bathhouse and dining room was built on the land. The ₩200 million expense was also covered by Moon. Moon also paid an unannounced visit to their classrooms.

Community Chest of Korea[edit]

Moon donated more than ₩850 million over the last ten years to the Community Chest of Korea, a nationwide network of 16 nonprofit fundraising organizations, becoming the biggest individual donor. Moon had wanted to remain an anonymous donor, but the organization was pressured by a media frenzy to identify her.[36] Her donations were used to build children's libraries and subsidize hospital costs for children suffering from leukemia or cancer. Apart from the Community Chest of Korea, Moon has also given several hundred millions of won to scholarship foundations.[37]

Because of her charitable activities, particularly for the Community Chest of Korea, Moon was selected among 100 people that "lit up the world" in 2008 in a survey conducted by the Korea Green Foundation.[38]

Hangeul Library in Sydney[edit]

Moon again showed her generosity by building a Korean library for young Korean expatriates in Australia. Working with the Lindfield Korean School in Sydney, the actress donated ₩100 million towards construction of a permanent Korean library (called the Hangeul Library) and also donated 10,000 books to over 40 Korean schools scattered across the city. Moon has been donating books with her own money since 2006, when she saw during a visit to her relatives in Australia how young Korean students there did not have enough books or places to learn Korean.[39]

Donated Haenam Children's Center to NGO Group[edit]

In April 2009, Moon donated the Haenam Children's Center to be used as a study room for poor students to the NGO group Good People, an international charity group of UN UCOSCO special consultative status aiming to improve self-sustainability and eradicate extreme poverty through restoration of self-esteem using the principles of human dignity and equality at a global level.[40][41]

Filmography[edit]

Films
Year Title Role Notes
1999 On The Way Documentary film
2002 Lovers' Concerto Lee Ji-yoon On DVD and Blu-ray
2003 A Tale of Two Sisters Bae Su-yeon On DVD and Blu-ray
2004 My Little Bride Seo Bo-eun On DVD and Blu-ray
2005 Innocent Steps Jang Chae-rin On DVD and Blu-ray
2006 Love Me Not Ryu Min On DVD and Blu-ray
Television series
Year Title Role Network
1999 Burnt Rice Teacher and Seven Potatoes Han Mi-soo KBS
2000 Autumn in My Heart young Yoon/Choi Eun-suh KBS2
Medical Center dying young singer
(guest appearance, episode 15)
SBS
2001 Empress Myeongseong Min Ja-yeong
(young Empress Myeongseong)
KBS2
Life is Beautiful young Yoo Hee-jung KBS2
2003 Wife Han Min-ju KBS2
2008 Painter of the Wind Shin Yun-bok SBS
2010 Cinderella's Sister Go Eun-jo/Song Eun-jo KBS2
Mary Stayed Out All Night Wi Mae-ri KBS2
2012 Cheongdam-dong Alice Han Se-kyung SBS
2013 Goddess of Fire Yoo Jung MBC
Stage Play
Year Title Role Notes
2010 Closer Alice
Variety show appearances
Year Title Network Notes
1997 TV Brings Love KBS with Lee Min-woo, Park Jae-hong, Park Yong-woo
2000-2001 Music Camp MBC VJ
Gwangju Broadcasting Station Quiz Champ KBC Woo-san Junior High School episode
2000 Free Saturday KBS with Choi Woo-hyuk
Jung Euna's Good Morning SBS
2001 Son Chang-min & Kim Won-hee's 3 Days of Love iTV
2003 Fairytale World Dreams KBS MC
2004 Park Soo-hong & Yoon Jung-soo's Love House MBC Jinju Joong-ang High School episode
Golden Bell Challenge KBS Gwangju International High School episode
2005 Yashimanman SBS Interview with Jang Keun-suk
Yashimanman SBS with Park Gun-hyung
e-learning Championship Final iTV guest MC
2006 Yashimanman SBS with Kim Joo-hyuk
2009 SBS Drama Awards SBS Co-host
2010 Happy Together Season 3 KBS2 episodes 142-143 with Chun Jung-myung, Taecyeon, Seo Woo
2011 Hong Eun-hee's Music Town Radio
2012 Running Man SBS episodes 114-115
Commercials/Ambassador
Year Product/Event Role Notes
2003-2005 Petitzel Spokesmodel
2003 Gwangju Kimchi Festival Ambassador
2003-2004 Gwangju International Film Festival Ambassador
2004 Korean e-Learning Initiative Ambassador
Young Voter's Campaign Ambassador
2004-2005 Empas Spokesmodel
Ivy Club Spokesmodel
2004-2006 VOV Cosmetics Spokesmodel
2005 2% Water Spokesmodel
National Election Commission Ambassador
2005-2006 Viki Spokesmodel
2005-2009 Mr. Pizza Spokesmodel
2007-2009 Pink Ribbon (Breast cancer awareness) Ambassador
Innisfree Spokesmodel
2009 Bulgaris Yogurt Spokesmodel
2009-2010 Love Tree Project Ambassador
2010-2011 Basic House Korea and China Spokesmodel with Won Bin
2012 Vita 500 Spokesmodel

Awards[edit]

Awards
Year Award Category Nominated work
1999 Edubox Kones Award
2000 KBS Drama Awards Best Young Actress Autumn in My Heart
2004 41st Grand Bell Awards Best New Actress My Little Bride
Popularity Award
12th Chunsa Film Art Awards Best New Actress My Little Bride
25th Blue Dragon Film Awards Popularity Award My Little Bride
2005 42nd Grand Bell Awards Popularity Award Innocent Steps
26th Blue Dragon Film Awards Popularity Award Innocent Steps
2006 29th Golden Cinematography Awards Best Actress Innocent Steps
2008 Grimae Awards Best Actress in a TV series Painter of the Wind
SBS Drama Awards Daesang/Grand Prize Painter of the Wind
Top 10 Stars
Best Couple Award with Moon Chae-won
2009 4th Seoul International Drama Awards Popularity Award Painter of the Wind
45th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress for TV Painter of the Wind
2010 Golden Ticket Award Closer
Yahoo! Asia Buzz Awards Female Buzz Star Award Mary Stayed Out All Night
KBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress Cinderella's Sister
Popularity Award
Best Couple Award with Jang Keun-suk Mary Stayed Out All Night
2011 6th Seoul International Drama Awards Outstanding Korean Actress Mary Stayed Out All Night
47th Baeksang Arts Awards Popularity Award for TV Cinderella's Sister

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kang Myoung-seok (30 April 2010). "10LINE: Actress Moon Geun-young". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  2. ^ Jon Herskovitz (26 December 2006). "South Korea's little sister just wants to grow up". Reuters. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  3. ^ Joon Soh (1 April 2004). "Marriage Is Child's Play in Bride". The Korea Times via Hancinema. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  4. ^ Yang Sung-jin (16 November 2004). "Young-teen actresses strut innocent looks on screen". The Korea Herald via Hancinema. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  5. ^ "Moon Geun-young's Bid to Grow Up Hits World Headlines". The Chosun Ilbo. 17 January 2007. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  6. ^ Yang Sung-hee (15 November 2008). "Younger sister of the people". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  7. ^ Kim Tae-jong (18 February 2005). "Actress Moon Shines as Dancer". The Korea Times via Hancinema. Retrieved 2012-11-30. 
  8. ^ "Jang Dong-gun Voted Korea's Most Bankable Star". The Chosun Ilbo. 20 October 2005. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  9. ^ "Moon Geun-young, Cho Seung-woo Advertisers' Favorite". The Chosun Ilbo. 21 September 2005. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  10. ^ "Need Love? No". The Dong-a Ilbo. 26 October 2006. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  11. ^ "Pusan Film Festival opener sells out in 3 minutes". The Hankyoreh. 21 September 2006. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  12. ^ Kwon Mee-yoo (11 January 2008). "Moon Returns to TV Screen". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  13. ^ Han Sang-hee. "Korea's Sweetheart Moon Becomes Mysterious Artist". The Korea Times. Retrieved 23 September 2008. 
  14. ^ "Moon to Play Villain in TV Drama". The Korea Times. 16 December 2009. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  15. ^ Han Sang-hee (8 February 2010). "Top Actresses Heading Toward Small Screen". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  16. ^ Jessica Kim (25 March 2010). "Cinderella is not quite the fairy tale, says Taecyeon (1)". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  17. ^ Jessica Kim (25 March 2010). "Cinderella is not quite the fairy tale, says Taecyeon (2)". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  18. ^ Jessica Kim (13 September 2010). "Moon Geun-young joins Jang Keun-suk for new drama". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  19. ^ Jean Oh (4 November 2010). "Actress Moon juggles two men on screen". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  20. ^ "Moon Geun-young to Star in Theater Debut". The Chosun Ilbo. 10 July 2010. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  21. ^ Chung Ah-young (13 July 2013). "Um, Moon to perform in Closer". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  22. ^ Jang, Kyung-jin (21 July 2010). "Moon Geun-young says "trying to be less friendly"". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  23. ^ Carla Sunwoo (24 August 2012). "Moon Geun-young lands role in drama". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  24. ^ Lee Hyun-jae (28 November 2012). "Rising hallyu star Park Si-hoo to take on 'loser' role". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  25. ^ Lee Sun-min (16 April 2013). "Moon Geun-young to star in drama". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  26. ^ Son Bo-kyung (28 June 2013). "Moon Geun Young Compares Goddess of Fire Jeongi to Painter of the Wind". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  27. ^ Kim Hyun (19 November 2008). "Donations by S. Korea's 'little sister' raise specter of Red Scare". Yonhap. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  28. ^ "Entertainment World Says Goodbye to Lee Eun-ju". The Chosun Ilbo. 24 February 2005. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  29. ^ "Teen Actress Prioritizes Study Over Stardom". The Chosun Ilbo. 14 April 2006. Retrieved 2013-07-05. 
  30. ^ "Korea's Little Sister to Major in Literature". The Chosun Ilbo. 7 February 2007. Retrieved 2013-07-05. 
  31. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (1 March 2012). "Moon Geun-young goes back to school". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2013-07-05. 
  32. ^ Lee, Cory (1 November 2013). "Kim Beom, Moon Geun-young Admit to Dating". 10Asia. Retrieved 2014-04-10. 
  33. ^ "Moon Geun-young, Kim Bum Dating". The Korea Times. 3 November 2013. Retrieved 2014-04-10. 
  34. ^ Lee Hyo-won (27 March 2008). "Actress Donates Money to Promote Book Reading". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  35. ^ Son Eun-soo (16 August 2009). "문근영 기증, '해남 땅끝 그룹홈' 기공식". Dailian (in Korean). Retrieved 2013-05-12. 
  36. ^ "True Spirit of Sharing: Young Actress Revealed as No.1 Individual Donor". The Korea Times. 14 November 2008. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  37. ^ "Moon Geun-young's Quiet Charity Revealed". The Chosun Ilbo. 15 November 2008. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  38. ^ Bae Ji-sook (29 December 2008). "People Lighting Up World in 2008". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  39. ^ "Moon Geun-young Sponsors Korean Library in Oz". The Chosun Ilbo. 4 September 2009. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  40. ^ Bae Ji-sook (23 April 2009). "Actress Moon Donates Study Facility to Charity". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  41. ^ "Moon saves study center from closure with charitable funding". Korea JoongAng Daily. 24 April 2009. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 

External links[edit]