Son Ye-jin

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Son Ye-jin
210809 손언진.png
Son Ye-jin in 2021
Son Eon-jin

(1982-01-11) January 11, 1982 (age 39)
Suseong District, Daegu, South Korea
EducationSeoul Institute of the Arts – Film
Years active1999–present
Korean name
Revised RomanizationSon Ye-jin
McCune–ReischauerSon Yejin
Birth name
Revised RomanizationSon Eon-jin
McCune–ReischauerSon Ŏnjin

Son Ye-jin (born Son Eon-jin on January 11, 1982) is a South Korean actress.[1] She rose to fame in romance-themed films and television series such as The Classic (2003), Summer Scent (2003), A Moment to Remember (2004), and April Snow (2005) for which she was given the title "Nation's First Love".[2] She has won acting recognition for her versatility in diverse genres, notably in Alone in Love (2006), My Wife Got Married (2008), Personal Taste (2010), The Pirates (2014) and the 2016 films The Truth Beneath and The Last Princess.[3] She is also known for her lead roles in romance dramas such as Something in the Rain (2018) and Crash Landing on You (2019).[4] She is included in Forbes Korea Power Celebrity 40 for three consecutive years 2019-21.[5][6][7]


2000–2005: Beginnings and East Asia stardom[edit]

Son Ye-jin was the voice of Jung Mi-jo in Park Ki-hyung's film Secret Tears in 2000, and then went on to take the leading role in television dramas such as Delicious Proposal,[8] Sun-hee and Jin-hee,[9] and Great Ambition.[10] Her first high-profile role in cinema was in Im Kwon-taek's Chi-hwa-seon, which screened at Cannes and took home a Best Director award in 2002.[11][12]

The biggest success of her early career was in the subsequent films Lovers' Concerto and The Classic.[13][14] Both were solid mid-level hits in Korea, and The Classic in particular — being a work of My Sassy Girl director Kwak Jae-yong — received wide exposure in regions such as Hong Kong and mainland China, and launched Son into East Asia stardom.[15] Son further solidified her status as a Hallyu (Korean Wave) star in 2003 by taking the lead in TV drama Summer Scent, the third installment of season-themed tetralogy Endless Love drama series directed by Yoon Seok-ho.[16]

Her next films also gained massive popularity in East Asia particularly in Japan: A Moment to Remember,[17][18] based on a famous Japanese series, set box office records in Japan and sold over two million tickets in Korea,[19][20] and April Snow in which she co-starred with superstar Bae Yong-joon[21] was also a hit in Japan and China.[22] Son, who adorned a pure and innocent image in her films The Classic and A Moment to Remember, was given the title of the "Nation's First Love" in Korea.[23]

In 2006, she became the highest-paid Korean actress in Korean television series when she was guaranteed a talent fee of KRW 50 million (plus incentive) per episode for her lead role in SBS drama Alone in Love.[24]

2006–2015: Film roles in diverse genres[edit]

Son then cast off her nice girl image in her next projects.[12] She took on the roles of a con artist in The Art of Seduction,[25] an ambitious reporter in Spotlight,[26] a femme fatale in Open City,[27] and a divorcée in the critically acclaimed series Alone in Love.[28][29][30] In 2008, her portrayal of a polyandrous woman in My Wife Got Married[31] bagged her Best Actress honors from the prestigious Blue Dragon Film Awards[32] and other local award-giving bodies.

After filming the dark mystery White Night,[33] Son wanted to do a more fun project, so she chose the romantic comedy series Personal Taste,[34][35] followed by the horror-romantic comedy film Spellbound which became one of the top-grossing films in 2011 and by far the most successful Korean romantic comedy movie in recent years.[36][37]

In 2012, Son starred in her first blockbuster The Tower, a remake of the 1974 Hollywood disaster film The Towering Inferno.[38] She returned to television in 2013 in the revenge drama Shark (also known as Don't Look Back: The Legend of Orpheus),[39] then headlined Blood and Ties, a thriller about a daughter who suspects that her father was involved in a kidnap-murder case.[40]

Son reunited with Shark costar Kim Nam-gil in the 2014 period adventure film The Pirates, which received mixed reviews but was a commercial hit with more than 8.6 million admissions at the end of its theatre run and won Son the Best Actress award at the Grand Bell Awards.[41][42] The Pirates is one of the highest-grossing films in Korea of all time, along with other Son Ye Jin's movies, The Tower and The Last Princess.[43] Son next starred in the black comedy Bad Guys Always Die opposite Taiwanese actor Chen Bolin, a Chinese-Korean co-production that was filmed on Jeju Island.[44]

2016–present: Critical acclaim and global recognition[edit]

In 2016, Son reunited with My Wife Got Married co-star Kim Joo-hyuk in The Truth Beneath, a political thriller;[45] where she received acclaim for her performance.[46] She won Best Actress at the 25th Buil Film Awards and 17th Busan Film Critics Awards for her performance. She then played Princess Deokhye in the biopic The Last Princess, helmed by April Snow director Hur Jin-ho.[47][48] The film drew positive reviews by critics and went on to become a box office hit, grossing US$40.35 million worldwide. Sung So-young of the Korea JoongAng Daily praised the film for being "interesting enough to hold the audience's interest from beginning to end", even though she felt the screenwriter's (Hur) imagination went too far in several scenes. She said major events from Princess Deokhye's life were portrayed well, and the film's biggest virtue was how it made audiences want to know more about her.[49] Rumy Doo of The Korea Herald said the film was a "refreshing change from typical dramas about the Japanese occupation of Korea, which are usually intent on delivering a message of patriotism, and tend to be heavy-handed in their emotional arcs". Doo appreciated Hur's "muted approach" in his handling of the character's emotions, and praised the performances of the two leads, saying Son Ye-jin proved herself a "sensitive and technically refined performer."[50] Son was praised by critics for her "outstanding" performance in her portrayal of "the unfathomable depths on the emotional ups and downs of Deokhye"; winning multiple accolades for her performance.[51][52]

In 2018, Son starred alongside So Ji-sub in the romance film Be with You, based on the Japanese novel of the same name.[53][54] The same year, Son returned to the small screen after five years with JTBC's romance drama Something in the Rain.[55][56] The series received high viewership ratings and achieved a commercial popularity, and Son received rave reviews for her performance.[57][58] Son also starred in crime thriller The Negotiation, alongside Hyun Bin, playing a professional negotiator working to save hostages.[59][60]

In 2019, Son reunited with Hyun Bin in the globally hit romance drama Crash Landing on You as a rich heiress who falls in love with a North Korean commission officer.[61][62] The drama was a huge success and is the third-highest-rated Korean drama in cable television history.[63][64]

Son is set to have her Hollywood debut in 2022 as she stars opposite Sam Worthington in filmmaker Andrew Niccol's upcoming work The Cross. Shooting for the film is planned to take place beginning April 2021 in Hwaseong City, South Korea.[65]

Personal life[edit]

On January 1, 2021, it was confirmed that Son is in a relationship with actor Hyun Bin, her co-star in The Negotiation (2018) and Crash Landing on You (2020).[66][67]


Films that have not yet been released Denotes films that have not yet been released


Year English title Original title Role Ref.
2000 Secret Tears 비밀 Jung Mi-jo (voice)
2002 Chi-hwa-seon 취화선 So-woon [11]
Lover's Concerto 연애소설 Shim Soo-in/Gyung-hee [13]
2003 The Classic 클래식 Ji-hye/Joo-hee [14]
First Love Rally 첫사랑 사수 궐기대회 Ju Il-mae [68]
2004 A Moment to Remember 내 머리 속의 지우개 Kim Su-jin [17]
2005 April Snow 외출 Seo-young [21]
The Art of Seduction 작업의 정석 Han Ji-won [25]
2007 Yobi, the Five Tailed Fox 천년여우 여우비 Yobi (voice) [69]
2008 Open City 무방비 도시 Baek Jang-mi [27]
My Wife Got Married 아내가 결혼했다 Joo In-ah [31]
2009 White Night 백야행: 하얀 어둠 속을 걷다 Yoo Mi-ho/Lee Ji-ah [70]
2011 Spellbound 오싹한 연애 Kang Yeo-ri [71]
2012 The Tower 타워 Seo Yoon-hee [72]
2013 Blood and Ties 공범 Jung Da-eun [73]
2014 The Pirates 해적: 바다로 간 산적 Yeo-wol [74]
2015 Bad Guys Always Die 나쁜놈은 반드시 죽는다 Ji-yeon [75]
2016 The Truth Beneath 비밀은 없다 Kim Yeon-hong [76]
The Last Princess 덕혜옹주 Princess Deokhye [77]
2018 Be with You 지금 만나러 갑니다 Im Soo-ah [78]
The Negotiation 협상 Ha Chae-yoon [79]
TBA Cross Film has yet to be released Vera [80][81][65]

Television series[edit]

Year English title Original title Role Network Ref.
2001 Delicious Proposal 맛있는 청혼 Jang Hee-ae MBC [82]
Sun-hee and Jin-hee 선희 진희 Shim Sun-hee [9]
2002 Great Ambition 대망 Choi Dong-hee SBS [10]
2003 Summer Scent 여름향기 Shim Hye-won KBS2 [16]
2006 Alone in Love 연애시대 Yoo Eun-ho SBS [83]
2008 Spotlight 스포트라이트 Seo Woo-jin MBC [26]
2010 Personal Taste 개인의 취향 Park Kae-in
2011 Secret Garden 시크릿 가든 Herself (cameo, episode 20) SBS [84]
2013 Don't Look Back: The Legend of Orpheus 상어 Jo Hae-woo KBS2
2018 Something in the Rain 밥 잘 사주는 예쁜 누나 Yoon Jin-ah JTBC [85]
2019–2020 Crash Landing on You 사랑의 불시착 Yoon Se-ri tvN [62]
2022 Thirty-Nine Film has yet to be released 서른 아홉 Cha Mi-jo JTBC [86]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Son has been the recipient of many awards throughout her career. She currently has won a total of 51 awards out of 72 nominations.


  1. ^ "Son Ye Jin Biography". December 21, 2015. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
  2. ^ "Korean stars dubbed Nation's first love". Kpop Herald. June 10, 2016.
  3. ^ "10LINE: Actress Son Ye-jin". 10Asia. May 14, 2010.
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ "[POWER CELEBRITY] 파워 셀럽 40인은 누구?". 중앙시사매거진. 2019-04-23. Retrieved 2021-08-01.
  6. ^ "[2020 POWER CELEBRITY] 2020 포브스코리아 선정 파워 셀럽 40". 중앙시사매거진. 2020-04-23. Retrieved 2021-08-01.
  7. ^ "2021 포브스코리아 선정 파워 셀럽 40". 중앙시사매거진. 2021-04-23. Retrieved 2021-08-01.
  8. ^ "Young, Charming and Innocent ? What More Could You Want?". Korea JoongAng Daily. March 12, 2001.
  9. ^ a b "MBC 史劇 접고 '트렌디'로 승부수…내달 20일 '선희 진희' 첫 방송". KMIB (in Korean). July 31, 2007.
  10. ^ a b "'대망' 남장여인 손예진 "어색"지적". The Korea Times. October 31, 2002.
  11. ^ a b 임권택감독 신작 '취화선' 캐스팅 완료. BNT News (in Korean). June 1, 2001.
  12. ^ a b "Actors and Actresses of Korean Cinema: Son Ye-jin" Archived May 21, 2015, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
  13. ^ a b <연애소설>, 크랭크업! 손예진은 아쉬움에 눈물까지 글썽. Max Movie (in Korean). January 31, 2002.
  14. ^ a b <클래식>의 손예진, 빗속에서 7시간,영화를 깨치다. Cine21 (in Korean). January 15, 2003.
  15. ^ 손예진 "서툰 첫사랑의 손길, 제가 봐도 예쁘던걸요". Hankook Ilbo (in Korean). March 20, 2018.
  16. ^ a b "Love and Destiny, New TV Series Set to Lure Chinese Audience". The Donga Ilbo. June 10, 2003.
  17. ^ a b [영화가 단신] <내 머리속의 지우개> 크랭크 업 外. Cine21 (in Korean). August 19, 2004.
  18. ^ ‘내 머리속의 지우개’ 정우성과 손예진. Hankook Ilbo (in Korean). October 26, 2004.
  19. ^ "The Best Selling Films of 2004". Retrieved August 8, 2013.
  20. ^ "A Moment to Remember breaks Japanese record". Korean Film Council. December 14, 2005. Archived from the original on September 17, 2017. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
  21. ^ a b "Son Ye-jin to Star Alongside Bae Yong-joon in New Film". Korean Film Council. Archived from the original on September 17, 2017. Retrieved December 24, 2004.
  22. ^ "Films Starring Sohn Ye-jin Attract 10 Mil. Viewers in Korea, Japan". KBS Global. December 28, 2005.
  23. ^ "Korean stars dubbed 'Nation's first love'". Kpop Herald. June 10, 2016.
  24. ^ "'참한' 손예진 드라마 1회당 5,000만원". Korea news department. January 6, 2006.
  25. ^ a b 손예진 "왜 이제야!". Hankook Ilbo (in Korean). December 19, 2005.
  26. ^ a b "Spotlight Shows Lives of Reporters". The Korea Times. May 13, 2008.
  27. ^ a b "SON Ye-jin as a Criminal Kingpin". Korean Film Council. July 26, 2007. Archived from the original on September 17, 2017. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
  28. ^ 손예진 "연애시대 통해 사랑 생각하게 됐다". JoongAng Ilbo (in Korean). April 24, 2007.
  29. ^ "Alone in Love Review". Twitch Film. September 1, 2006. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014.
  30. ^ "Actress Son Ye-jin's Movie Picks". 10Asia. December 23, 2011.
  31. ^ a b "SON Ye-jin puts a new spin on marriage". Korean Film Council. February 11, 2008. Archived from the original on September 17, 2017. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
  32. ^ "Blue Dragon Award Goes to Sports Drama". The Chosun Ilbo. November 21, 2008. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  33. ^ "Son Ye-jin, Ko Soo to Bring Mystery Romance". The Korea Times. October 21, 21, 2009.
  34. ^ ""Personal Taste" will gain flavor, says Son Ye-jin – Part 1". 10Asia. April 16, 2010.
  35. ^ ""Personal Taste" will gain flavor, says Son Ye-jin – Part 2". 10Asia. April 16, 2010.
  36. ^ "Son Ye-jin casts her spell over new romantic comedy" Archived March 5, 2017, at the Wayback Machine. Korea JoongAng Daily. December 2, 2011.
  37. ^ "The Best Selling Films of 2011". Korean Film Org. 2011.
  38. ^ "Queen of romance returns in disaster flick". The Korea Herald. December 17, 2012.
  39. ^ "Son Ye-jin returns to the small screen". Korea JoongAng Daily. March 27, 2013.
  40. ^ "'Emotional, skirmishing scenes exhausted us': Accomplice actors". The Korea Herald. September 27, 2013.
  41. ^ "Son Ye-jin Jumps into Action in Pirate-Themed Film". The Chosun Ilbo. August 9, 2014.
  42. ^ "Roaring Currents Named This Year's Best Film". The Chosun Ilbo. November 24, 2014.
  43. ^ "The Best Selling Films of 2014". 2014.
  44. ^ "SON Ye-jin to Headline China-Korea Co-Production BAD GUYS ALWAYS DIE". Korean Film Biz Zone. February 4, 2015.
  45. ^ "Son Ye-jin to lead in political thriller". Korea JoongAng Daily. August 19, 2014.
  46. ^ "Son Ye-jin reveals her dark side". Korea JoongAng Daily. June 20, 2016.
  47. ^ "Korea's 'Last Princess' comes alive in new film". Korea JoongAng Daily. July 29, 2016.
  48. ^ "Actress Son Ye-jin reveals difficulties in playing historical figure". Yonhap News Agency. June 29, 2016.
  49. ^ "Korea's 'Last Princess' comes alive in new film". Retrieved 2021-08-01.
  50. ^ 이우영 (2016-07-31). "[Herald Review] 'The Last Princess' a refreshing historical drama". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2021-08-01.
  51. ^ Woo Jae-yeon (July 29, 2016). "(Movie Review) Life is swept away in historical turmoil in 'The Last Princess'". Yonhap News Agency.
  52. ^ "'Last Princess' is career-defining film, says actress Son Ye-jin". Kpop Herald. August 3, 2016.
  53. ^ "SON Ye-jin and SO Ji-sub Come Together for Melodrama BE WITH YOU". Korean Film Biz Zone. September 7, 2017.
  54. ^ "Son Ye-jin Returns to Her Signature Melodramatic Role in New Film". The Chosun Ilbo. March 16, 2018.
  55. ^ "Actress Son Ye-jin to return to small screen". The Korea Herald. January 10, 2018.
  56. ^ "Son Ye-jin conquers Korean cinema, TV". The Korea Times. April 10, 2018.
  57. ^ "Son Ye-jin shows why she is queen of romance". Kpop Herald. May 28, 2018.
  58. ^ ""Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food" Cast And Crew To Go On Reward Vacation". Soompi. 2018-05-20. Retrieved 2021-08-01.
  59. ^ "Hyun Bin, Son Ye-jin to star in 'Negotiation'". The Korea Herald. May 25, 2017.
  60. ^ "Son Ye-jin focuses on the little things: For 'The Negotiation,' the actor played an active part in every detail of her character". Korea JoongAng Daily. September 28, 2018.
  61. ^ "Hyun Bin and Son Ye-jin Confirm Starring Roles in Park Ji-eun's "Emergency Love Landing"". Hancinema. Sports Donga. May 21, 2019.
  62. ^ a b "Secret love story between Hyun Bin and Son Ye-jin takes place in North Korea". The Korea Herald. December 9, 2019.
  63. ^ "21.7%: 'Crash Landing on You' sets record for tvN drama". The Korea Times. February 17, 2020.
  64. ^ "Son Ye-jin's Latest Show Goes out on a High". The Chosun Ilbo. February 18, 2020.
  65. ^ a b (화성)김문기 (August 21, 2020). "화성시, BTC 프로덕션과 영화 제작지원 위한 양해각서 체결". Retrieved September 19, 2020.
  66. ^ Zhangxin Zheng (January 1, 2021). "Crash Landing on You stars Hyun Bin & Son Ye-jin are dating".
  67. ^ [공식] 현빈♥손예진 열애 인정 "'사랑의 불시착' 종영 후 연인으로 발전" [[Official] Hyun Bin ♥ Son Ye-jin admitted to devotees "Developing as a lover after the end of 'Crash Landing of Love'"]. Seoul Economic Daily (in Korean). January 1, 2021.
  68. ^ 문디남녀의 연애학개론,<첫사랑 사수 궐기대회>의 차태현+손예진. Cine21 (in Korean). June 18, 2003.
  69. ^ 손예진 "성인 목소리 나올까봐 걱정했죠". Yonhap News Agency (in Korean). December 22, 2006.
  70. ^ "Son Ye-jin not worried over provocative roles". 10Asia. October 21, 2009.
  71. ^ "Son Ye-jin Eyeing Melodrama After 'Chilling Romance'". The Chosun Ilbo. December 1, 2011.
  72. ^ "Son Ye-jin a pillar of support in 'The Tower'". Korea JoongAng Daily. December 27, 2012.
  73. ^ "Son Ye-jin to Debut Dark Family Saga". 10Asia. October 18, 2012.
  74. ^ "Pirate's life for Son Ye-jin". Korea JoongAng Daily. August 5, 2014.
  75. ^ "Actress Son Ye-jin hungered for road movie". Yonhap News Agency. October 2, 2015.
  76. ^ "(LEAD) Actress Son Ye-jin calls acting a 'marathon of consuming emotions'". Yonhap News Agency. August 8, 2016.
  77. ^ "(Yonhap Interview) Son Ye-jin says she gave her all as Princess Deokhye". Yonhap News Agency. July 29, 2016.
  78. ^ "'Melodrama queen' back to silver screen with remake of Japanese romance film". Kpop Herald. March 11, 2018.
  79. ^ "Hyunbin and Son Ye-jin collaborate for first time for JK Film's new thriller". Yonhap News Agency. August 9, 2018.
  80. ^ "Son Ye-jin Poised for Hollywood Debut @ HanCinema :: The Korean Movie and Drama Database". Retrieved September 19, 2020.
  81. ^ "Son Ye-jin and Lee Sun-kyun in final talks to join Hollywood film". koreatimes. July 6, 2020. Retrieved September 19, 2020.
  82. ^ [스타데이트] '탤런트 손예진'. BNT News (in Korean). August 15, 2001.
  83. ^ 손예진 "대본 보고 이런 게 사랑이라 생각했죠". Yonhap News Agency (in Korean). March 9, 2006.
  84. ^ 손예진, '시크릿가든' 마지막회서 톱여배우 '손예진' 역할. The Chosun Ilbo (in Korean). January 15, 2011.
  85. ^ "(Yonhap Interview) Son Ye-jin says maturity not necessarily proportional to age". Yonhap News Agency. May 28, 2018.
  86. ^ Kim Myung-mi (June 30, 2021). "손예진 '서른, 아홉' 출연확정, 3년만 JTBC 드라마 복귀(공식입장)". Newsen (in Korean). Naver. Retrieved June 30, 2021.

External links[edit]