Go Ara

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Go Ara
Go Ara in Hwarang Promotion in January 2017.png
In January 2017
Born (1990-02-11) February 11, 1990 (age 27)
Jinju, South Korea
Alma mater ChungAng University
(B.A. in Theater)
Occupation Actress, model
Years active 2003–present
Agent Artist Company
Height 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
Korean name
Hangul 고아라
Revised Romanization Go A-ra
McCune–Reischauer Ko A-ra

Go Ara (Hangul고아라; Hanja高雅羅; born February 11, 1990) is a South Korean actress and model. She is best known for starring in the television series Reply 1994 (2013), You're All Surrounded (2014) and Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth (2016).

Early life and training[edit]

Go was born in Jinju, South Gyeongsang, South Korea. At a young age, she constantly moved around Korea because her father was a soldier. When she was in junior high, she was recommended by a friend to audition for the talent agency SM Entertainment. In 2003, she became the winner of the SM Entertainment Teen Model Contest. After joining SM Entertainment, she began to train with the other trainees under the same company in areas of acting, singing, and dancing.



Go was chosen to play the female lead, Lee Ok-rim, in the 2003 KBS teen drama Sharp #1, acting alongside Lee Eun-sung, Kim Shi-hoo, and Yoo Ah-in. She reprised her role in the 2005 sequel Sharp #2, this time starring alongside Super Junior members Kim Kibum and Kim Heechul, both her labelmates, as well as Lee Eun-sung.

In December 2008

Go's breakthrough performance was in the 2006 SBS drama Snow Flower, where she starred alongside Kim Kibum, Kim Hee-ae, and Lee Jae-ryong. Go portrayed the rebellious and ambitious Yoo Da-mi, which won her acting recognition in award ceremonies the following year.

Go's first film was the big-budget Japanese movie Genghis Khan: To the Ends of the Earth and Sea, which was released in Japan in March 2007, and Hong Kong in April 2007. She played Khulan, the mistress of Genghis Khan, after being picked from more than 40,000 auditions. The film was screened at many film festivals, including the Cannes Film Market, the Moscow International Film Festival, the 2007 Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival, and the 5th World Film Festival of Bangkok.

In 2008, she was cast in the MBC drama Who Are You? opposite Yoon Kye-sang. Despite low ratings in Korea, the body swap comedy drew in international fans, increasing her Korean Wave profile. This led to an appearance in the Japanese television drama Karei naru Spy.[1]

In 2009, she was cast in MBC's Heading to the Ground with idol singer Jung Yunho from DBSK. Director Park Sung-soo later said he had wanted her for the role of Kang Hae-bin more than any other actress. The same year, she starred in Dance, Subaru!, a co-production between Japan, China, and Korea.

In 2011, Go made her domestic film debut in Pacemaker, and her co-stars were acclaimed veteran actors Kim Myung-min and Ahn Sung-ki.[2] She then displayed her singing skills in the 2012 multicultural film Papa, with Park Yong-woo. Go received Best New Actress nominations at the Baeksang Arts Awards, the Grand Bell Awards, and the Blue Dragon Film Awards for the two performances.

In 2013, Go's popularity further rose through the nostalgic campus drama Reply 1994. In order to portray Sung Na-jung, she cut her hair short, and gained 18 lbs.[3][4] While many doubted her casting when it was first announced, Go's acting later highly praised. The drama scored big ratings and rejuvenated Go's career. For her performance, Go received Best Actress nomination in Baeksang Art Awards and APAN Star Awards.

She next starred as the sole female rookie detective in the 2014 police drama You're All Surrounded, alongside Lee Seung-gi.[5][6]

In 2015, Go returned to the big screen alongside Yoo Seung-ho in joseon-era romance film, The Magician, where she plays a princess who finds love with a circus magician.[7] This was followed by a leading role in Phantom Detective, a neo-noir action flick starring Lee Je-hoon as the titular Hong Gil-dong. Go plays a sexy femme fatale deeply entrenched in the criminal organization.[8]

In 2016, Go was cast as the female lead opposite Park Seo-joon in youth historical drama Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth.[9] The same year, she left SM Entertainment after 13 years.

In January 2017, Go signed with newly formed management agency Artist Company and became label-mates with Lee Jung-jae and Jung Woo-sung.[10]


Since she entered the entertainment scene, Go has been a popular commercial model. Among the products she's endorsed are SK Telecom, Elite Uniforms, and more recently, cosmetics. Go was the youngest model for Etude House in 2006, and filmed the brand commercial with actor Jang Keun-suk in 2008. In 2011, Go and was chosen as the new muse of Lirikos .[11]



Year Title Role
2007 Genghis Khan: To the Ends of the Earth and Sea Mistress Khulan
2009 Dance, Subaru! Liz Park
2011 Pacemaker Yoo Ji-won
2012 Papa June
2015 Joseon Magician Princess Cheongmyeong
2016 Phantom Detective President Hwang

Television series[edit]

Year Title Role Network
2003 Sharp 1 Lee Ok-rim KBS2
2005 Sharp 2
2006 Snow Flower Yoo Da-mi SBS
2008 Who Are You? Son Young-in MBC
2009 Karei naru Spy Shin Yoon-ah NTV
Heading to the Ground Kang Hae-bin MBC
2013 Reply 1994 Sung Na-jung tvN
2014 You're All Surrounded Eo Soo-sun SBS
2015 The Producers Herself (cameo, episode 8) KBS2
2016 Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth Aro

Variety show[edit]

Year Title Role Notes Network
2012 Strong Heart Guest Episode 111-112 SBS
Happy Together Episode 230 KBS2
Running Man Episode 80 SBS
2013 Episode 139
2014 Three Meals a Day Episode 6 tvN
2016 Running Man Episode 298 SBS

Music video appearances[edit]

Year Title Singer From the Album Ref.
2004 "Hug" TVXQ Tri-Angle [12]
2006 "La'Tale"
2008 "Innocent Blue" Mink [13]
2011 "Before U Go" TVXQ Keep Your Head Down [14]
"Juliette" (Japanese ver) SHINee The First [15]
2015 "A Million Pieces" Cho Kyuhyun Fall, Once Again


Year Title From the Album Ref.
2012 "Now" Papa OST [16]
"Little Girl Dreams" [17]
2013 "Start" Reply 1994 OST [18]


Year Show Note
2005 André Kim Fashion Show with Lee Wan
2008 with Chu Sung-hoon
Jill Stuart
2009 Lanvin F/W Collection


Year Title
2005 Ambassador of Farming and Forestry
2007-2009 Swiss Friend, an ambassador of Switzerland by Switzerland Tourism
2011-2015 Good Neighbors (NGO) Goodwill Ambassador
2014-2015 Seoul Ambassador
2015 Seoul Police Goodwill Ambassador
2015 The Special 70th Anniversary of Seoul's Independence Ambassador

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2003 SM Entertainment's 5th Anniversary Teen Model Contest N/A N/A Won
2004 KBS Drama Awards Best Young Actress Sharp 1 Won
2006 SBS Drama Awards New Star Award Snow Flower Won
2007 43rd Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actress (TV) Won
Mnet 20's Choice Awards Barbie Girl N/A Won
André Kim Best Star Awards New Star Award N/A Won
2008 MBC Drama Awards Best New Actress Who Are You? Nominated
2010 46th Baeksang Arts Awards Most Popular Actress (TV) Heading to the Ground Nominated
2012 48th Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actress (Film) Papa Nominated
21st Buil Film Awards Best New Actress Nominated
49th Grand Bell Awards Pacemaker Nominated
33rd Blue Dragon Film Awards Papa Nominated
2014 50th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (TV) Reply 1994 Nominated
Most Popular Actress (TV) Nominated
7th Style Icon Awards Top 10 Style Icons N/A Won
3rd APAN Star Awards Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Reply 1994 Nominated
SBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress in a Drama Special You're All Surrounded Nominated
2016 tvN10 Awards Made in tvN, Actress in Drama Reply 1994 Nominated
Best Kiss Award, with Jung Woo Nominated


External links[edit]