Han Hyo-joo

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This is a Korean name; the family name is Han.
Han Hyo-joo
160718 한효주 이종석 W 제작발표회 (1).jpg
Born (1987-02-22) February 22, 1987 (age 29)
Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province, South Korea
Education Dongguk University - Theater and Film[1]
Occupation Actress
Years active 2003–present
Agent BH Entertainment (South Korea)
FlaMme (Japan)
Korean name
Hangul 한효주
Revised Romanization Han Hyo-ju
McCune–Reischauer Han Hyo-ju

Han Hyo-joo (born February 22, 1987) is a South Korean actress. She is best known for her leading roles in the television dramas Brilliant Legacy (2009), Dong Yi (2010) and W - Two Worlds (2016), as well as the film Cold Eyes (2013) for which she won Best Actress at the 34th Blue Dragon Film Awards.

Early life[edit]

Han Hyo-joo was born in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province.[1] Her mother was an elementary school teacher before becoming an inspector for public schools, and her father was an air force officer. As a child, she was good in sports, particularly track and field. In her sophomore year of high school, she moved to Seoul and attended Bulgok High School, despite the objections of her strict and conservative father. She then entered Dongguk University, where she joined the theater and film department.



Han was first discovered in a teenage beauty pageant organized by food corporation Binggrae in 2003. She began her acting career in the sitcom Nonstop 5 and the gangster comedy film My Boss, My Teacher. Han later raised her profile by starring in Spring Waltz, the fourth and final installment of TV director Yoon Seok-ho's "season drama" series.[2]

In 2006, director Lee Yoon-ki cast Han in the starring role in his low-budget independent film Ad-lib Night, which follows a young woman who rediscovers herself through an eerie overnight encounter with strangers. She won the Best New Actress awards at the Korean Association of Film Critics Awards and Singapore International Film Festival for her performance.

Breakthrough roles and overseas popularity[edit]

Han then starred in two highly successful TV projects and rose to fame - KBS daily drama Like Land and Sky with Park Hae-jin in 2007,[3] and SBS masked-adventurer series Iljimae with Lee Joon-gi in 2008. Both dramas drew solid viewership ratings nationwide throughout its run with high viewer ratings and launched Han into a household name. Afterwards, she was cast in another indie film, Ride Away, which debuted at the 2008 Jeonju International Film Festival.

Han then filmed the Korean-Japanese telecinema co-production Heaven's Postman, which also featured pop star Jaejoong from TVXQ (now JYJ).[4] After several postponements, it was released in theaters in late 2009, and broadcast on TV in 2010.

Han's breakthrough came in Brilliant Legacy costarring Lee Seung-gi, which became a massive hit in 2009, reaching a peak viewership rating of 47.1%.[5][6][7] It catapulted Han to stardom, and after the drama's conclusion, she experienced a sharp rise in endorsement deals and media requests for interviews, as well as increased pan-Asian popularity.[8] Later that year Han wrapped up her starring role in the musical drama Soul Special, which aired on KBS Joy.

In 2010, Han took on the titular character in MBC's 49th anniversary project Dong Yi,[9][10][11][12] The series became a hit during its run both domestically and across Asia, catapulting Han into Korean Wave stardom. Han won several acting awards for her portrayal of Choi Suk-bin, including the Daesang (Grand Prize) award at MBC Drama Awards and the coveted Best Actress award at Baeksang Arts Awards, cementing her status as a top actress.

Venture into films[edit]

In 2011, Han played a blind telemarketer opposite So Ji-sub's ex-boxer in the melodrama film Always.[13] Helmed by director Song Il-gon, it premiered as the opening film of the 2011 Busan International Film Festival.[14][15][16][17][18][19][20] Han later contributed voice narration to the "barrier-free" version of Japanese film My Back Page, which features descriptive audio and subtitles for people with hearing or visual impairments.[21]

Han then played the queen to Lee Byung-hun's Gwanghae in the 2012 blockbuster period film Masquerade,[22][23] which became one of the highest-grossing Korean films of all time. She followed that with Love 911, an unlikely romance between a doctor and a firefighter (Go Soo).[24][25][26][27]

Han Hyo-joo in November 2013

In 2013, Han starred opposite Sol Kyung-gu and Jung Woo-sung in the action thriller Cold Eyes,[28][29] a remake of the 2007 Hong Kong film Eye in the Sky. The film dominated the box office after its release and became one of the biggest domestic hits of 2013.[30] Han received acting recognition for her performance, winning Best Actress from the Blue Dragon Film Awards and Buil Film Awards.

In 2014, Han and Love 911 costar Go Soo reunited in Myohyangsangwan ("View of Mount Myohyang"), which depicts the rendezvous of a South Korean painter and a North Korean waitress in a North Korean restaurant. The short film is a collaboration by contemporary artists Moon Kyung-won and Jeon Joon-ho, and combined a theatrical plot, experimental imagery, dance and performance art.[31][32]

She then ventured into the overseas market by starring in her first Japanese film, Isshin Inudo's Miracle: Debikuro-kun no Koi to Maho ("Miracle Devil Claus' Love and Magic"). Set during the Christmas season, the film is a love story about a kind bookstore employee (played by Masaki Aiba from J-pop boyband Arashi) who meets three women.[33][34]

In 2015, Han starred in the musical biopic C'est Si Bon, which depicted the ups and downs of the folk music group Twin Folio, which was active from the 1960s to 80s. Famous for its live performances, C'est Si Bon was the name of a popular music lounge located in Mugyo-dong in the 1970s, where Twin Folio got its start; Han played the group's muse.[35] This was followed by romantic comedy film The Beauty Inside, where Han's character falls in love with a man who changes to different people every day.[36][37][38]

Later that year, Han got together with Yoo Yeon-seok and Chun Woo-hee, both of her co-stars in The Beauty Inside, again for Love, Lies, a movie which depicts the last story of gisaeng during the Japanese occupation in the 1940s.[39][40]

In 2016, Han returns to the small screen with MBC's fantasy thriller drama series W alongside Lee Jong-suk. Helmed by director Jung Dae-yoon who directed She Was Pretty and writer Song Jae-jung whose previous works include Nine: Nine Time Travels and Queen In-hyun's Man, expectations rises when this also marks Han's small screen comeback after 6 years.[41][42][43] She won the Top Excellence award at the 5th APAN Star Awards for her performance in W.

In 2017, Han will star in the film Golden Slumber alongside Kang Dong-won.[44][45]


In November 2013, the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office indicted Han's ex-manager from her former agency Fantom Entertainment attempted extortion. According to police, the ex-manager surnamed Lee illegally transferred 16 photos of Han and her ex-boyfriend from her digital camera to his mobile phone. Lee then threatened to publish the compromising photos unless he and his two accomplices were paid ₩400 million; Han's father paid them ₩10 million. In a press release, Han's agency BH Entertainment said the actress did not engage in any activities that deserve public criticism and threatened "strong measures" to deal with blackmail.[46][47]

In September 2014, the South Korean media reported that a petition was being circulated to boycott Han's appearance in TV commercials.[48] The petition stemmed from Han's younger brother allegedly bullying a fellow airman while both were in mandatory military service that resulted in the latter's suicide. The negative publicity was exacerbated by Han herself having once been appointed as a goodwill ambassador for the Republic of Korea Air Force.[49]



Year Title Role Notes
2006 My Boss, My Teacher Yoo Mi-jung
Ad-lib Night Bo-kyung independent film
2008 Ride Away Im Ha-jung independent film
My Dear Enemy Woman at the bus stop/
Voice on the phone
2009 Heaven's Postman Jo Hana / Saki Tele Cinema
(also aired on SBS)
2011 Always Ha Jeong-hwa
2012 Masquerade Queen Consort
Love 911 Mi-soo
2013 Cold Eyes Ha Yoon-ju
2014 Miracle Devil Claus' Love and Magic So-yeon Japanese film
View of Mount Myohyang Oh Yeong-ran short film
2015 C'est Si Bon Min Ja-young (20s)
The Beauty Inside Yi-soo
2016 Love, Lies Jung So-yul
2017 Golden Slumber Sun-young

Television series[edit]

Year Title Role Network
2005 Nonstop 5 Han Hyo-joo MBC
2006 Spring Waltz Seo/Park Eun-young KBS2
2007 Like Land and Sky Suk Ji-soo KBS1
2008 Iljimae Eun-chae SBS
2009 Brilliant Legacy Go Eun-sung
Soul Special Jin Mi-ah KBS Joy
2010 Dong Yi Choi Dong-yi (later Choi Suk-bin) MBC
2016 W - Two Worlds Oh Yeon-joo

Music video[edit]

Year Song Title Artist
2004 "I Love You" Simply Sunday
2005 "You Just Being in This World" Position
"Paris" Epik High
2006 "Farewell is..." U
"Tree" Kwon Jin-won
2009 "They Are Men" Lee Woo-sang
"Because I Couldn't Say that I Love You" K.Will
"Are You Serious?" Rumble Fish
2010 "Don't You Know" Han Hyo-joo feat. No Reply
2012 "I Choose to Love You" Hyorin
"I Love You" Han Hyo-joo feat. Sweet Sorrow
"Hide and Seek" Han Hyo-joo feat. Broccoli, You Too?

Variety show[edit]

Year Title Network Notes
2005 Love Letter SBS Guest - Episodes 26-27, 30-31, 34-35
X-Man SBS Guest - Episodes 110-111, 114-115
2005-2006 Inkigayo (Popular Music) SBS MC
2006 Come To Play MBC Guest - Episode 82
2007 Golden Fishery MBC Guest - Episode 27
Are You Ready KBS2 Guest - Episode 1
Ya Shim Man Man SBS Guest - Episode 204
2008 Park Kyung-lim's
Wonderful Outing
MBC Guest - Episode 24
Star N The City XTM Road Trip to USA
2009 Ya Shim Man Man SBS Guest - Brilliant Legacy Special
Girls on Top Season 2 SBS MTV Guest
Sunday Sunday Night - Danbi MBC Guest - Episode 3
2010 You Hee-yeol's Sketchbook KBS2 Guest - Episode 71
2012 Running Man SBS Guest - Episodes 123-124
Cultwo Show SBS Guest - Episode 828
2013 Running Man SBS Guest - Episodes 151-152
2016 2 Days & 1 Night Season 3 KBS Guest - Episodes 118 - 120


Year Song Title Artist From the Album
2005 "It's the First Time" Han Hyo-joo Nonstop 5 OST
2008 "Ride Away" Han Hyo-joo Ride Away OST
2009 "Sudden Burst of Tears" Gan-D feat. Han Hyo-joo Soul Special OST
"바람이 불어... 널 이별해 (Prologue)" Narration by Han Hyo-joo Love Tonic
2010 "Oh Seoul" My-Q feat. Han Hyo-joo For This, I Was Born
"Don't You Know" No Reply feat. Han Hyo-joo Grand Mint Festival 2010[50]
2011 "You" Browneyed Soul feat. Han Hyo-joo Brown Eyed Soul
"8 A.M." My-Q feat. Han Hyo-joo Ready For The World
"Alone in Love" Lee Seung-gi feat. Ra.D
(narration by Han Hyo-joo)
2012 "I Love You" Han Hyo-joo feat. Sweet Sorrow LG Su:m37 5th Anniversary CF song
"Hide and Seek"[51] Han Hyo-joo feat. Broccoli, You Too?
2015 "Let us forget" Han Hyo-joo C'est Si Bon OST
"I'll Give It All To You" Han Hyo-joo feat. Jung Woo
2016 "Love, Lies" Han Hyo-joo Love, Lies OST
"Spring lady" Han Hyo-joo feat. Chun Woo-hee


Year Product Notes
2005 Anti-Smoking campaign
Pizza Hut with Lee Yeon-hee
Crencia (2005-2006) with Jo In-sung
CYOU Soju (2005-2006)
2006 Ensure Traffic Order campaign
Green Time Green Tea with Ju Ji-hoon
Enprani Cosmetics (2006-2007)
2008 Maxim Coffee with Jo In-sung
Korean Air
Samchuly (2008-2011)
2009 Save the Penguins campaign
Sweetest Love campaign by Vogue Korea
Nongshim Natural Snacks
Kia Soul
Samsung Camera VLUU series
verygoodtour.com (2009-2010)
Jambangee Jeans (2009-2010) with Chung Lim (2009)
and 2AM (2010)
LG Su:m37 (2009-2015)
Viki Numerous (2009-2014)
2010 Grand Mint Festival Lady
Yoplait Yogurt
Mr. Pizza (2010-2011)
Lotte Card (2010-2012)
Samsung NX series (2010-2012)
2011 HEAD Sports with Park Yu-hwan
Samsung Mirror Pop MV800 (2011-2012) with Lee Je-hoon
2012 Korea Cable TV Association (KCTA) - Digital Cable TV with Yang Joon-hyuk
and Choi Hyo-jong
Oksusu Corn Silk Tea
Black Yak (2012-2014) with Jo In-sung
2013 Acuvue (2013-2014) with Song Joong-ki
Daum Communications - 'Art and Shake' application
Good Downloader campaign
2014 Givenchy eyewear
Hankook Tire (2014-2015)
SSG.com with Lee Byung-hun
and Ryu Seung-ryong
2015–present LG Sooryehan
2016–present LG The Saga of 秀
Daebang Construction
LG ReEn Hair Care
Folli Follie
2017- present Basic House

Goodwill ambassador[edit]

Year Title Notes
2007 Goodwill Ambassador for Chungbuk National Education
Goodwill Ambassador for Republic of Korea Air Force with Go Joo-won
2010 Honorary Ambassador for Population and Housing Census with Ji Jin-hee
Goodwill Ambassador for Grand Mint Festival
Goodwill Ambassador for Design Korea
Honorary Ambassador for G-20 Seoul Summit with Kim Yuna and Park Ji-sung
2011 Honorary Ambassador for National Tax Service with Hwang Jung-min
Honorary Ambassador for UN Foundation Nets GO
2012 Goodwill Ambassador for Barrier Free Movie
2013 Goodwill Ambassador for Incheon Asian Para Games
2014 Honorary Ambassador for Dongguk University's Creative Mindful Leadership Program (CMLP) with Son Na-eun

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award[52] Category Nominated work Result
2003 9th Miss Binggrae Smile Pageant Grand Prize N/A Won
2006 26th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards Best New Actress Ad-lib Night Won
KBS Drama Awards Best New Actress Spring Waltz Nominated
2007 20th Singapore International Film Festival[53] Best Actress Ad-lib Night Won
24th Korea Best Dressed Swan Awards Best Dressed N/A Won
KBS Drama Awards Best Couple Award with Park Hae-jin Like Land and Sky Won
Popularity Award Won
Best New Actress Nominated
Excellence Award, Actress in a Daily Drama Nominated
2008 1st Korea Jewelry Awards Pearl Award N/A Won
SBS Drama Awards New Star Award Iljimae Won
2009 4th Andre Kim Best Star Awards Star Award N/A Won
3rd Mnet 20's Choice Awards[54] Hot Female Drama Star Brilliant Legacy Won
SBS Drama Awards Best Couple Award with Lee Seung-gi Won
Top 10 Stars Won
Excellence Award, Actress in a Special Planning Drama Won
2010 46th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (TV) Nominated
5th Seoul International Drama Awards Outstanding Korean Actress Won
3rd Korea Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress Dong Yi Won
MBC Drama Awards Daesang (Grand Prize) Won
Top Excellence Award, Actress Nominated
Popularity Award Won
2011 1st Hong Kong Cable TV Awards[55] Best Actress Won
47th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (TV) Won
45th Taxpayers' Day
(given by Ministry of Strategy and Finance)[56]
Presidential Commendation as Honest Taxpayer N/A Won
2012 CETV Asia's Top 10 Popular Star Awards[57] Hallyu Star Prize N/A Won
2013 49th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (Film) Love 911 Nominated
22nd Buil Film Awards Best Actress Cold Eyes Won
33rd Korean Association of Film Critics Awards Best Actress Nominated
34th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Actress Won
2014 8th Asian Film Awards Best Actress Nominated
2015 52nd Grand Bell Awards Best Actress The Beauty Inside Nominated
36th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Actress Nominated
Korea Film Actors’ Association Awards[58] Top Star Award Won
2016 11th Max Movie Awards[59] Best Actress Nominated
52nd Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (Film) Nominated
25th Buil Film Awards Best Actress Nominated
5th APAN Star Awards Daesang (Grand Prize) W - Two Worlds Nominated
Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Won
Best Couple Award with Lee Jong-suk Nominated
4th BIFF with Marie Claire Asia Star Awards Asia Star Award Love, Lies Won
1st Asia Artist Awards [60] Best Artist Award, Actress W - Two Worlds Nominated
MBC Drama Awards Daesang (Grand Prize) Nominated
Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Won
Best Couple Award with Lee Jong-suk Won


  1. ^ a b 한효주. Nate (in Korean). Retrieved October 28, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Han reserves seat as next Jiwoohime". The Korea Herald via Hancinema. January 30, 2006. 
  3. ^ "I want to try out for more extreme roles". The Dong-a Ilbo. April 5, 2007. 
  4. ^ "TVXQ Hero hopes Postman will be assurance to fans". 10Asia. November 10, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Light-hearted romance joins weekend lineup". The Korea Herald. April 24, 2009. 
  6. ^ Brilliant drama leaving its own legacy. Korea JoongAng Daily. July 16, 2009.
  7. ^ "Han Hyo-joo: 'Good People Deserve to be Happy'". KBS Global. June 5, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Lee, Han Picked as Rising Ad Models". The Korea Times. September 24, 2009. 
  9. ^ "Will Dong-yi Become Next Jewel in the Palace?". The Korea Times. March 21, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Upbeat rom-com vs. court romance". The Korea Herald. March 22, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Han Hyo-joo Changes Tack in Costume Drama". The Chosun Ilbo. April 13, 2010. 
  12. ^ Han Hyo-joo says she "hold fast" to her role in Dong Yi. 10Asia. May 7, 2010.
  13. ^ So Ji-sub, Han Hyo-joo start filming new pic. 10Asia. April 4, 2011.
  14. ^ Song Il Gon: 'So Ji Seob and Han Hyo Joo Are Excellent Actors'. KBS Global. September 21, 2011.
  15. ^ Song Il-gon hopes Always will be a reminder of true value of love. 10Asia. October 6, 2011.
  16. ^ Han Hyo Joo: 'My Best Decision Ever Is Becoming Actress'. KBS Global. October 10, 2011.
  17. ^ Han Hyo-joo Seeking More Challenging Roles in Movies. The Chosun Ilbo. October 15, 2011.
  18. ^ Interview: Actress Han Hyo-joo - Part 1. 10Asia. October 28, 2011.
  19. ^ Interview: Actress Han Hyo-joo - Part 2. 10Asia. October 28, 2011.
  20. ^ "Actress Han Hyo-joo Movie Picks". 10Asia. November 11, 2011. 
  21. ^ "Han Hyo-Ju, an honorary ambassador of Barrier Free Movie, for deaf-blinds". Innolife. November 13, 2012. 
  22. ^ Han Hyo-joo to join Lee Byung-hun in historical film. 10Asia. January 4, 2012.
  23. ^ "Interview: Han Hyo Joo Says Lee Byung Hun was the Best Actor She′s Met". enewsWorld. October 3, 2012. 
  24. ^ Finecut dials up Love 911. Korean Film Council. March 14, 2012.
  25. ^ Ko Soo, Han Hyo-joo's Romance Movie Cranks Up. 10Asia. September 13, 2012.
  26. ^ "Go Soo, Han Hyo Joo's Movie, Band Aid to Premiere on December 19". enewsWorld. October 25, 2012. 
  27. ^ "Ko Soo, Han Hyo-joo Ask to Dial Love 911". 10Asia. November 22, 2012. 
  28. ^ "Police Are Hot in Pursuit of a Kingpin in COLD EYES". Korean Film Council. February 8, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Cold Eyes is a story of firsts for the cast". Korea JoongAng Daily. June 6, 2013. 
  30. ^ "Han Hyo-joo Celebrates Cold Eyes Records". 10Asia. July 30, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Mergers with pop culture good for art business". Korea JoongAng Daily. January 16, 2014. 
  32. ^ "Myohyangsangwan". News From Nowhere. Retrieved August 22, 2014. 
  33. ^ "HAN Hyo-joo to Take Lead Role in Japanese Film". Korean Film Council. December 27, 2013. 
  34. ^ "Will Han Hyo-joo win Japanese fans?". The Korea Times. December 2, 2015. 
  35. ^ "KIM Yun-seok, HAN Hyo-joo Board Music Biopic". Korean Film Council. March 11, 2014. 
  36. ^ "Actresses lead Korean film industry this summer". Yonhap. July 29, 2015. 
  37. ^ "Actress Han stars opposite 21 men". Korea JoongAng Daily. August 14, 2015. 
  38. ^ "Herald Interview: Han Hyo-joo: Beauty Inside is chance of a lifetime". The Korea Herald. August 23, 2015. 
  39. ^ "'Love, Lies' portrays gisaeng's life in 1940s". The Korea Times. April 5, 2016. 
  40. ^ "Actress goes all in with 'Love, Lies'". Korea JoongAng Daily. April 26, 2016. 
  41. ^ "Han Hyo-joo to return to TV after 6 years". The Korea Times. Retrieved 7 April 2016. 
  42. ^ "Lee Jong-suk and Han Hyo-joo in new drama 'W'". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 7 April 2016. 
  43. ^ "Han Hyo Joo Confirms Her Comeback to the Small Screens in July". BNT News. BNT News International. Retrieved 7 April 2016. 
  44. ^ "[단독] 강동원·한효주·김성균·김대명·김의성, '골든슬럼버' 꿈의 라인업 완성". Retrieved 2016-12-22. 
  45. ^ "강동원X한효주, '골든슬럼버' 호흡…"내년 초 크랭크인"". 디스패치 | 뉴스는 팩트다!. 2016-12-22. Retrieved 2016-12-22. 
  46. ^ "Ex-Manager Charged with Blackmailing Han Hyo-joo". The Chosun Ilbo. November 26, 2013. 
  47. ^ "Han Hyo-joo subject of blackmail plot". Korea JoongAng Daily. November 26, 2013. 
  48. ^ 한효주 광고 중지해주세요, 요청 쇄도..이병헌 사건에 남동생 문제까지 불똥 [Stop using Han Hyo-joo in commercials. Requests Flooded]. Seoul En (in Korean). September 20, 2014. 
  49. ^ '홍보대사'의 두 얼굴, '모범 납세자 송혜교·법무부 박봄·병무청 상추...' [Honorary Ambassadors with Two Faces]. Ilgan Sports (in Korean). August 19, 2014. 
  50. ^ "Actress Han Hyo-joo Song Picks". 10Asia. October 27, 2010. 
  51. ^ "Korean Starlets Fall in Love with Indie Musicians". 10Asia. November 21, 2012. 
  52. ^ Han Hyo-joo's Profile. BH Entertainment. May 22, 2012.
  53. ^ Actress Han Hyo-ju Honored at Singapore Film Festival. KBS Global. May 2, 2007.
  54. ^ "Winners at the 3rd Mnet 20's Choice – 2PM and 2NE1 are hot male and female idols". K Bites. 2009-08-28. Retrieved 2016-11-16. 
  55. ^ 한효주-배수빈, 홍콩 '베스트 드라마 시상식' 인기상 수상. Chosun News (in Korean). January 10, 2011.
  56. ^ Han Hyo-joo Given Honest Taxpayer Award. The Chosun Ilbo. March 3, 2011
  57. ^ "Yoon Si Yoon receives Popular Star Prize in China". Korea.com. December 9, 2012. 
  58. ^ "LEE Byung-hun, YOO Ah-in and HAN Hyo-joo Take Top Star Awards". www.koreanfilm.or.kr. Retrieved 2016-11-16. 
  59. ^ "2016 맥스무비 최고의 영화상". maxaward.maxmovie.com. Retrieved 2016-11-16. 
  60. ^ "Check out the Winners of the '2016 Asia Artist Awards'! | allkpop.com". allkpop. Retrieved 2016-11-16. 

External links[edit]