Kim in 2018
July 2, 1991|
Seoul, South Korea
Kaywon High School of Arts|
Korea National University of Arts – Theater
|Revised Romanization||Gim Go-eun|
Early life and education
In 1994 when she was three years old, Kim's family moved to Beijing, China and lived there for 10 years. Director Jung Ji-woo commented on Kim, saying, "She is naturally curious and brave. She's strong in a sense that she isn't influenced easily. She doesn't do things just because everyone else does it."
After watching Chen Kaige's Together many times, crying every time she saw it, Kim decided she wanted to become a filmmaker. But she was led to theater by chance. She entered the School of Drama at Korea National University of Arts.
2012: A Muse and critical acclaim
In 2012, Kim was catapulted from obscurity to the center of much media buzz when she was cast as Eun-gyo, a 17-year-old high school student who awakens the lust of two men, in A Muse. Her performance swept the Best New Actress awards that year.
The 21-year-old had never appeared in a film or TV drama before, not even in a minor role; she had only previously acted in student productions or school plays. She met A Muse director Jung Ji-woo through a circle of friends and was not even aware that auditions for the film were being held. "I ended up having an audition after chatting with the director. There wasn't even any time for me to prepare," Kim recalled. She was chosen among some 300 actresses who auditioned for the part. Apart from its provocative theme, the film featured two graphic sex scenes, which Kim admitted to feeling anxious and embarrassed about before filming, but when the cameras started, she said she became totally immersed in the character. Jung said Kim grew up through the film, saying, "Her facial expressions in the last few scenes of the film are strikingly different from the ones in the beginning. I wanted to capture the moments when she realizes how precious she is to herself and to others," adding that she showed off qualities that can only be found in someone who is unaware of her own beauty and what she is capable of.
Describing her feelings about her profession, Kim said, "When I stood on the stage for the first time, I was so nervous that I thought it would be so hard if I had to do this for the rest of my life. But from my second performance, I felt ecstatic, as if I had wings on my back, and I never wanted to step off the stage. I keep on acting because I want to hold on to that feeling." Regarding her decision to limit her appearance in advertisements, she said, "I never thought about my image or potential endorsement deals when choosing the next film project. What worries me is what impact my appearance in commercials would have on my roles."
2013–2015: Hiatus and return to film
Despite many offers following A Muse, Kim decided to take a break from acting for two years, going back to college to complete her degree. She returned to the screen in 2014, showcasing her versatility in the thriller Monster where she played a developmentally disabled woman whose younger sister is murdered by a ruthless serial killer; her grief and rage drives her almost psychotic, and she plans her revenge.
In 2015, she and Kim Hye-soo were cast in Coin Locker Girl, a female-driven thriller based on 1980 Japanese novel Coin Locker Babies. She was invited to the Festival de Cannes 2015 with the director and cast for this film, her first time there. Kim next starred in martial arts period drama Memories of the Sword, in which she acted opposite her longtime role model, actress Jeon Do-yeon. This was followed by The Advocate: A Missing Body, where she played an aggressive prosecutor; and family film Canola, about a reunion between a girl and her grandmother alongside veteran actress Youn Yuh-jung. She was also mentioned in the Best Actress Category for her lead role in Coinlocker at the 2015 PIFAN Festival.
2016–present: Television debut and rising popularity
Kim made her television debut in the cable series Cheese in the Trap, based on the webtoon of the same title. She also contributed her vocals in the track "Attraction" by Tearliner for the drama's OST. Kim won the Baeksang Arts Award for Best New Actress Television for her performance. Later in 2016, she co-starred in Kim Eun-sook's fantasy drama Guardian: The Lonely and Great God.
In 2018, Kim starred in the drama film Sunset in My Hometown directed by Lee Joon-ik. For her role as a wild country girl, Kim gained 8 kg and learned a regional dialect. The same year, she was cast in the period romance film Yoo Yeol’s Music Album.
|2012||A Muse||Han Eun-gyo|||
|2013||Neverdie Butterfly||Moon Soo-yeon||Special appearance|||
|2015||Memories of the Sword||Seol-hee / Hong-yi|||
|Coin Locker Girl||Il-young|||
|The Advocate: A Missing Body||Jin Sun-mi|||
|2018||Sunset in My Hometown||Sun-mi|||
|2019||Yoo Yeol’s Music Album||Mi-soo|||
|2016||Cheese in the Trap||Hong Seol||tvN|||
|2016–2017||Guardian: The Lonely and Great God||Ji Eun-tak|||
|"Sun, Moon, Stars, And Us" (Shin Seung-hun ft. Kim Go-eun)||2015||—||N/A|
|"Attraction" (Tearliner ft. Kim Go-eun)||2016||—||N/A||Cheese in the Trap OST|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.|
Awards and nominations
|2012||8th Jecheon International Music & Film Festival||Moët Rising Star Award||A Muse||Won|||
|21st Buil Film Awards||Best New Actress||Won|||
|32nd Korean Association of Film Critics Awards||Won|||
|49th Grand Bell Awards||Best Actress||Nominated|||
|Best New Actress||Won|
|33rd Blue Dragon Film Awards||Won|||
|2nd Beautiful Artist Awards
(Shin Young-kyun Arts and Culture Foundation)
|New Artist Award||Won|||
|13th Busan Film Critics Awards||Best New Actress||Won|||
|2013||4th KOFRA Film Awards||Won|||
|49th Baeksang Arts Awards||Best New Actress (Film)||Nominated|||
|12th New York Asian Film Festival||Star Asia Rising Star Award||Won|||
|2015||Korean Film Actors' Guild Awards||Popularity Award||Coin Locker Girl||Won|||
|19th Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival||Fantasia Award||Won|||
|24th Buil Film Awards||Best Actress||Nominated|
|2016||52nd Baeksang Arts Awards||Best New Actress (Television)||Cheese in the Trap||Won|||
|5th APAN Star Awards||Best New Actress||Nominated|
|Style Icon Awards||Amazing Rising Star||N/A||Won|||
|16th Korea Youth Film Festival||Favorite Rookie Actor||N/A||Won|||
|2017||53rd Baeksang Arts Awards||Best Actress (Television)||Guardian: The Lonely and Great God||Nominated|||
|10th Korea Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actress||Nominated|
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- "'치인트' 김고은이 부른 OST '이끌림' 오는 1일 공개". Star News (in Korean). 29 February 2016. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
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- "Gaon Chart". Gaon Chart (in Korean).
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