Seohyun in February 2019
June 28, 1991
Seoul, South Korea
|Alma mater||Dongguk University|
|Revised Romanization||Seo Ju-hyeon|
Seo Ju-hyun (born June 28, 1991), known professionally as Seohyun, is a South Korean singer and actress. She debuted as a member of girl group Girls' Generation (and later its subgroup Girls' Generation-TTS) in August 2007, which went on to become one of the best-selling artists in South Korea and one of South Korea's most popular girl groups worldwide. Apart from her group's activities, she has established herself as an actress, notably through her participation in the original and Korean versions of stage musicals including Moon Embracing the Sun, Gone with the Wind and Mamma Mia. She also played a supporting role in the television drama Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo (2016).
In 2017, Seohyun released her first extended play Don't Say No, making her the third Girls' Generation member to debut as a solo artist. Later the same year, although Seohyun remains as a member of Girls' Generation, she left SM Entertainment and joined Namoo Actors in 2019 to focus on her acting career.
Life and career
1991–2011: Early life and career beginnings
Seohyun was born Seo Ju-hyun on June 28, 1991, in Seoul, South Korea, and is the only child in her family. Her mother was a chairman at a piano school and Seohyun was taught how to play piano, as well as violin and traditional Korean drums in her early childhood. She also learned horseback riding and skating as a child. Her parents did not encourage her to become a celebrity, but Seohyun credited them as the ones who helped her choose her career path by letting her experience different things. As a fifth grader, Seohyun was discovered by a talent scout while riding in a subway train. She sang children's songs for her audition at SM Entertainment, and was accepted as a trainee. Seohyun cited BoA, S.E.S and Fin.K.L. as her main influences to become a singer, expressing "I thought it was cool to show and communicate the emotions through songs". In August 2007, Seohyun made her official debut as the youngest member of girl group Girls' Generation. The group gained significant popularity after the release of their hit single "Gee" in 2009.
Seohyun's early solo work mostly involved songs recorded for side projects and original soundtracks. Although they did not achieve much commercial success; her duet titled "JjaLaJaJJa" with veteran singer Joo Hyun-mi earned a "Trot Music of the Year" nomination at the 2009 Mnet Asian Music Awards. In 2010-2011, Seohyun appeared in MBC's variety show We Got Married 2, alongside CNBLUE's Yonghwa. They played a make-believe couple, portraying what life would be like if they were married. In addition, Seohyun was cast as voice actor for the Korean-dubbed version of animated film Despicable Me (2010) and its sequel Despicable Me 2 (2013), together with Taeyeon. She voiced the character Edith, who is known for her rebellious attitude.
2012–2016: TTS and musical acting
In April 2012, a Girls' Generation subgroup named TTS was formed with Seohyun and fellow members Taeyeon and Tiffany. Their debut EP, Twinkle, met with much success and became the 8th highest selling album of the year in South Korea. The subgroup went on to release two more EPs: Holler (2014) and Dear Santa (2015). Besides contributing her vocals to Girls' Generation and TTS songs, Seohyun began to become more active in lyrics writing. She co-wrote the songs "Baby Maybe" and "XYZ" (I Got a Boy, 2013) and was credited as the sole lyricist for "Only U" (Holler, 2014) and "Dear Santa" (Dear Santa, 2015).
In 2013, Seohyun's acting career began when she was cast in a small role in SBS's drama Passionate Love. She played Han Yu-rim, a veterinary student and first love of the male lead character. Director Bae Tae-sub said Seohyun's persona "perfectly paralleled that of her role" and "her understanding and expressiveness of the character exceeds those of a rookie actress".
Seohyun, self-described as someone who likes both singing and acting, began to develop an interest in musical theatre. She named musical actress Ock Joo-hyun, who later became her mentor, as her main influence. Although she had wanted to be in a musical for a long time, she rejected casting offers because she felt unprepared. In January 2014, her wish was fulfilled as she accepted her first musical acting role. Seohyun made her theatrical debut in the musical, Moon Embracing the Sun, which was adapted from the novel of the same name. Seohyun played the lead role, Yeon-woo, the daughter of a noble family who has a love relationship with both the King and his brother.
In January 2015, Seohyun was cast in the role of Scarlett O'Hara in the Korean version of Autant en emporte le vent, a French musical based on Gone with the Wind. She received encouraging review for her performance. Seon Mi-gyeong of OSEN said that while Seohyun's performance cannot surpass that of Bada, who shared the same role, her "fierce voice" complemented and successfully expressed an arrogant Scarlett O'Hara. Kim Hyun-joong of Sports Chosun noted Seohyun's occasional "clumsy" acting, but compared her to Ock Joo-hyun during her rookie days and said that "her ability to bring emotion through song, the most important part of a musical, rivaled that of a veteran actor. Despite a short career, she endlessly showed us various colours and peculiar charms of a woman's life."
From February–June 2016, Seohyun was cast in the Korean version of the musical Mamma Mia. She played a character named Sophie, a 20-year-old bride-to-be, who hopes to find out who her biological father is on her wedding day. Kim Geum-yeong from CNB Journal commented on Seohyun's improvement from her prior musical performances, praising her "natural acting" and "daring side" while Park Jeong-hwan from News1 claimed Seohyun's performance made the musical "all the more entertaining". Seohyun next played supporting roles in Chinese romantic film So I Married An Anti-fan and SBS's historical drama Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo; the latter earned her a Special Acting Award at the 2016 SBS Drama Awards.
2017–present: Solo debut and departure from SM Entertainment
In January 2017, Seohyun became the third Girls' Generation member to release a solo album, with the release of her debut extended play titled Don't Say No. For this record, Seohyun took full initiatives and control of the production process, shaping her own musical style–a fulfillment of what she was unable to do fully being in a larger musical group. Tamar Herman from Billboard noted the album presented a "new maturity" to the singer. Don't Say No debuted atop the South Korean Gaon Album Chart. To accompany her solo release, she held a concert residency titled "Love, Still – Seohyun", part of a series of concerts by SM Entertainment artists.
In March 2019, Seohyun signed with new agency Namoo Actors. In February 2020, she took the lead role as a LGBT character in the short drama Hello Dracula. She is currently playing a lead role in the JTBC crime drama Private Lives as a swindler who has to choose a deceptive path to survive in Korea.
Seohyun graduated from Jeonju Arts High School in February 2010. Until 2011, Seohyun named former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as her life mentor and role model, stating that his book, at one point in time, had helped her endure hard times. She was appointed as the United Nations Pavilion's ambassador at Yeosu Expo, where she was presented with the honor by Ban.
In 2013, as an effort to help less-fortunate students with their studies, she donated 100 million Korean won to Dongguk University. She went on to major in theatre acting and graduated from Dongguk University in August 2014, receiving an achievement award at the graduation ceremony. Her fellow Girls' Generation member, Yoona, attended the same university.
- Don't Say No (2017)
|2010||Despicable Me||Edith (voice)||Korean dub; supporting role|||
|2012||I AM. – SM Town Live World Tour in Madison Square Garden||Herself||Biographical film of SM Town|||
|2013||Despicable Me 2||Edith (voice)||Korean dub; supporting role|||
|2014||My Brilliant Life||Herself||Cameo|||
|2015||SMTown The Stage||Documentary film of SM Town|||
|2016||So I Married An Anti-fan||Irene||Supporting role|||
|2008||Unstoppable Marriage||KBS||Bulgwang-dong's Seven Princesses Gang||Cameo (Ep. 64)|
|2013||Passionate Love||SBS||Han Yoo-rim||Supporting role|||
|2015||The Producers||KBS||Herself||Cameo (Ep. 1)|||
|Warm and Cozy||MBC||Hwang Yoo-ra||Cameo (Ep. 13)|||
|2016||Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo||SBS||Woo-hee||Supporting role|||
|Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo||MBC||Hwan-hee||Cameo (Ep. 12)|||
|2017||Bad Thief, Good Thief||Kang So-joo||Lead role|||
|2020||Hello Dracula||JTBC||Ji Anna|||
|Private Lives||Cha Joo-eun|||
|2017||Ruby Ruby Love||OnStyle, Naver TV||Lee Ruby||Lead role|||
|2010–11||We Got Married: Season 2||MBC||Main Cast||with Yonghwa (Ep. 29-80)|||
|2012–13||Show! Music Core||MBC||Co-host||with Taeyeon and Tiffany|||
|2017||Seohyun Home||OnStyle||Main Host|||
|2014||Moon Embracing the Sun||Heo Yeon-woo||Lead role|||
|2015||Gone with the Wind||Scarlett O'Hara|||
|2016||Mamma Mia!||Sophie Sheridan|||
Awards and nominations
|2009||Mnet Asian Music Awards||Trot Music of the Year||"JjaRaJaJja" (Shared with Joo Hyun-mi)||Nominated|||
|2010||South Korea Ministry of Culture||Recognition Award||N/A||Won|||
|MBC Entertainment Awards||Most Popular Couple||We Got Married (Shared with Jung Yong-hwa)||Won|||
|2011||Mnet 20's Choice Awards||Hot Campus Goddess||N/A||Nominated|||
|Mnet Media Awards||Most Cute and Gorgeous Lady||Nominated|||
|2013||Seoul International Drama Awards||Best Song from a Drama||"I'll Wait for You"||Nominated|||
|2014||Dongguk University||The Lifetime Achievement Award||N/A||Won|||
|2016||SBS Drama Awards||Special Acting Award, Actress in a Fantasy Drama||Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo||Won|||
|2017||Korea Drama Awards||Best New Actress||Bad Thief, Good Thief||Nominated|||
|MBC Drama Awards||Newcomer Award: Best New Actress||Won|||
|Top Excellence Actress (Weekend Drama Category)||Nominated|
|2018||2nd The Seoul Awards||Popularity Award, Actress||Time||Won|||
|2018 Korea Best Star Awards||Best Drama Star||Won|||
|MBC Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Wednesday-Thursday Miniseries||Nominated|
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