Son Ye-jin

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Son Ye-jin
181018 손예진 04 (cropped).jpg
Son in 2018
Son Eon-jin

(1982-01-11) January 11, 1982 (age 38)
Alma materSeoul Institute of the Arts - Film
Years active1999–present
AgentMSTeam Entertainment
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. 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). She has won acting recognition for her versatility in diverse genres, notably in Alone in Love (2006), My Wife Got Married (2008), The Pirates (2014) and the 2016 films The Truth Beneath and The Last Princess.[2] She is also known for her lead roles in romance dramas such as Something in the Rain (2018) and Crash Landing on You (2019–2020).


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,[3] Sun-hee and Jin-hee,[4] and Great Ambition.[5] 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.[6][7]

The biggest success of her early career was in the subsequent films Lovers' Concerto and The Classic.[8][9] 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.[10] 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.[11]

Her next two films also proved to be huge hits in East Asia: A Moment to Remember,[12][13] based on a famous Japanese series, set box office records in Japan and sold over two million tickets in Korea,[14][15] while April Snow in which she co-starred with superstar Bae Yong-joon[16] was also a hit in Japan and China.[17] 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.[18]

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 (Korean: 연애시대; RR: Yeon-ae Sidae; lit. "Love Generation").[19]

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

Son then cast off her nice girl image in her next projects.[7] She took on the roles of a con artist in The Art of Seduction,[20] an ambitious reporter in Spotlight,[21] a femme fatale in Open City,[22] and a divorcée in the critically acclaimed series Alone in Love.[23][24][25] In 2008, her portrayal of a polyandrous woman in My Wife Got Married[26] bagged her Best Actress honors from the prestigious Blue Dragon Film Awards[27] and other local award-giving bodies.

After filming the dark mystery White Night,[28] Son wanted to do a more fun project, so she chose the romantic comedy series Personal Taste,[29][30] 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.[31][32]

In 2012, Son starred in her first blockbuster The Tower, a remake of the 1974 Hollywood disaster film The Towering Inferno.[33] She returned to television in 2013 in the revenge drama Shark (also known as Don't Look Back: The Legend of Orpheus),[34] then headlined Blood and Ties, a thriller about a daughter who suspects that her father was involved in a kidnap-murder case.[35]

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.[36][37] 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.[38] 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.[39]

2016–present: Critical acclaim[edit]

In 2016, Son reunited with My Wife Got Married co-star Kim Joo-hyuk in The Truth Beneath, a political thriller;[40] where she received acclaim for her performance.[41] 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.[42][43] The film drew positive reviews by critics and went on to become a box office hit, grossing US$40.35 million worldwide. Son was praised by critics for her "outstanding" performance in her portrayal of "the unfathomable depths of the emotional ups and downs of Deokhye"; winning multiple accolades for her performance.[44][45]

In 2018, Son starred alongside So Ji-sub in the romance film Be with You, based on the Japanese novel of the same name.[46][47] The same year, Son returned to the small screen after five years with JTBC's romance drama Something in the Rain.[48][49] The series was a commercial hit and Son received rave reviews for her performance.[50] Son also starred in crime thriller The Negotiation, alongside Hyun Bin, playing a professional negotiator working to save hostages.[51][52]

In 2019, Son reunited with Hyun Bin in the hit romance drama Crash Landing on You as a rich heiress who falls in love with a North Korean commission officer.[53][54] The drama was a huge success and is the third-highest-rated Korean drama in cable television history.[55][56]



Year English title Original title Role Ref.
2000 Secret Tears 비밀
2002 Chi-hwa-seon 취화선 So-woon [6]
Lover's Concerto 연애소설 Shim Soo-in/Gyung-hee [8]
2003 The Classic 클래식 Ji-hye/Joo-hee [9]
First Love Rally 첫사랑 사수 궐기대회 Ju Il-mae [57]
2004 A Moment to Remember 내 머리 속의 지우개 Kim Su-jin [12]
2005 April Snow 외출 Seo-young [16]
The Art of Seduction 작업의 정석 Han Ji-won [20]
2007 Yobi, the Five Tailed Fox 천년여우 여우비 Yobi (voice) [58]
2008 Open City 무방비 도시 Baek Jang-mi [22]
My Wife Got Married 아내가 결혼했다 Joo In-ah [26]
2009 White Night 백야행: 하얀 어둠 속을 걷다 Yoo Mi-ho/Lee Ji-ah [59]
2011 Spellbound 오싹한 연애 Kang Yeo-ri [60]
2012 The Tower 타워 Seo Yoon-hee [61]
2013 Blood and Ties 공범 Jung Da-eun [62]
2014 The Pirates 해적: 바다로 간 산적 Yeo-wol [63]
2015 Bad Guys Always Die 나쁜놈은 반드시 죽는다 Ji-yeon [64]
2016 The Truth Beneath 비밀은 없다 Kim Yeon-hong [65]
The Last Princess 덕혜옹주 Princess Deokhye [66]
2018 Be with You 지금 만나러 갑니다 Soo-ah [67]
The Negotiation 협상 Ha Chae-yoon [68]

Television series[edit]

Year English title Original title Role Network Ref.
2001 Delicious Proposal 맛있는 청혼 Jang Hee-ae MBC [69]
Sun-hee and Jin-hee 선희 진희 Shim Sun-hee [4]
2002 Great Ambition 대망 Choi Dong-hee SBS [5]
2003 Summer Scent 여름향기 Shim Hye-won KBS2 [11]
2006 Alone in Love 연애시대 Yoo Eun-ho SBS [70]
2008 Spotlight 스포트라이트 Seo Woo-jin MBC [21]
2010 Personal Taste 개인의 취향 Park Kae-in
2011 Secret Garden 시크릿 가든 Herself (cameo, episode 20) SBS [71]
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 [72]
2019-2020 Crash Landing on You 사랑의 불시착 Yoon Se-ri tvN [54]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2001 MBC Drama Awards Best New Actress Delicious Proposal Won [73]
2002 22nd Korean Association of Film Critics Awards Lovers' Concerto Won [74]
23rd Blue Dragon Film Awards Nominated
1st Korean Film Awards Nominated
2003 2nd Korean Film Awards The Classic Nominated
40th Grand Bell Awards Won [75]
Popularity Award Won
39th Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actress (Film) Won [76]
24th Blue Dragon Film Awards Popular Star Award Won [77]
KBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress Summer Scent Nominated
2004 9th Moscow International Love Film Festival Best Couple Award with Cho Seung-woo The Classic Won [78]
2005 13th Chunsa Film Art Awards Best Actress April Snow Nominated
26th Blue Dragon Film Awards Nominated
2006 51st Asia Pacific Film Festival Won [79]
15th China Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Film Festival Best Actress in a Foreign Film A Moment to Remember Won [80]
4th Korea International Jewelry & Watch Fair Best Jewelry Lady N/A Won
SBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress Alone in Love Won [81]
Top 10 Stars Won [82]
2007 43rd Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (TV) Won [83]
2nd Asia Model Festival Awards Model Star Award N/A Won [84]
Korea Fashion & Design Awards Fashion Icon Award N/A Won [85]
2008 1st Style Icon Awards Style Icon - Actress N/A Won [86]
Fun Fearless Female N/A Won
1st Korea Jewelry Awards Diamond Award N/A Won
25th Korea Best Dresser Awards Best Dressed - Female Movie Star N/A Won [87]
29th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Actress My Wife Got Married Won
Popular Star Award Won [88]
Best Couple Award with Kim Joo-hyuk Won [89]
4th University Film Festival of Korea Best Actress Won [90]
7th Korean Film Awards Nominated
2009 11th Asian Film Critics Association Awards Nominated
18th Buil Film Awards Nominated
45th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (Film) Won [91]
2010 46th Baeksang Arts Awards InStyle Award N/A Won [92]
5th Asia-Pacific Producer's Network (APN) Awards Award for Figure in Asian Film N/A Won [93]
1st Seoul Arts & Culture Awards Best Actress White Night Won [94][95]
31st Blue Dragon Film Awards Popular Star Award Won [96]
2012 48th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (Film) Spellbound Nominated
2013 KBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress Shark Nominated
Excellence Award, Actress in a Mid-length Drama Nominated
2014 18th Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival Producer's Choice Award N/A Won [97]
Korea Film Actors Association Awards Korean Top Star The Pirates Won [98]
35th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Actress Blood and Ties Nominated
51st Grand Bell Awards The Pirates Won [37]
2015 10th Max Movie Awards Nominated
51st Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (Film) Nominated
4th KOPA & NIKON Press Photo Awards Most Photogenic Actress N/A Won [99]
2016 25th Buil Film Awards Best Actress The Truth Beneath Won [100]
36th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards Won [101]
17th Busan Film Critics Awards Won [102]
17th Women in Film Korea Awards Won [103][104]
3rd Korean Film Producers Association Awards The Truth Beneath, The Last Princess Won [105]
37th Blue Dragon Film Awards The Last Princess Nominated [106]
Popular Star Award Won [107]
53rd Grand Bell Awards Best Actress Won [108]
2017 8th KOFRA Film Awards Won [109]
11th Asian Film Awards Best Actress Nominated [110]
53rd Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (Film) Won [111]
22nd Chunsa Film Art Awards Best Actress The Truth Beneath Won [112]
2018 54th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (Film) Be with You Nominated [113]
2nd The Seoul Awards Best Actress (Film) Won [114]
Popularity Award (Film) Won [115]
Best Actress (Drama) Something in the Rain Nominated [116]
13th Seoul International Drama Awards Outstanding Korean Actress Won [117]
6th APAN Star Awards Grand Prize (Daesang) Nominated [118]
24th Korean Popular Culture & Arts Awards Prime Minister's Commendation N/A Won [119]
2nd Elle Style Awards Super Icon (Female) N/A Won [120]
2019 23rd Asian Television Awards Best Actress Something in the Rain Nominated [121]
Faro Island Film Festival Favorite Actress Be with You Won [122]
2020 56th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (TV) Crash Landing on You Nominated [123]
Popularity Award Won [124]


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  2. ^ "10LINE: Actress Son Ye-jin". 10Asia. 14 May 2010.
  3. ^ "Young, Charming and Innocent ? What More Could You Want?". Korea JoongAng Daily. 12 March 2001.
  4. ^ a b "MBC 史劇 접고 '트렌디'로 승부수…내달 20일 '선희 진희' 첫 방송". KMIB (in Korean). 31 July 2007.
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  6. ^ a b 임권택감독 신작 '취화선' 캐스팅 완료. BNT News (in Korean). 1 June 2001.
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  8. ^ a b <연애소설>, 크랭크업! 손예진은 아쉬움에 눈물까지 글썽. Max Movie (in Korean). 31 January 2002.
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  22. ^ a b "SON Ye-jin as a Criminal Kingpin". Korean Film Council. 26 July 2007.
  23. ^ 손예진 "연애시대 통해 사랑 생각하게 됐다". JoongAng Ilbo (in Korean). 24 April 2007.
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  35. ^ "'Emotional, skirmishing scenes exhausted us': Accomplice actors". The Korea Herald. 27 September 2013.
  36. ^ "Son Ye-jin Jumps into Action in Pirate-Themed Film". The Chosun Ilbo. 9 August 2014.
  37. ^ a b "Roaring Currents Named This Year's Best Film". The Chosun Ilbo. 24 November 2014.
  38. ^ "The Best Selling Films of 2014". 2014.
  39. ^ "SON Ye-jin to Headline China-Korea Co-Production BAD GUYS ALWAYS DIE". Korean Film Biz Zone. 4 February 2015.
  40. ^ "Son Ye-jin to lead in political thriller". Korea JoongAng Daily. 19 August 2014.
  41. ^ "Son Ye-jin reveals her dark side". Korea JoongAng Daily. 20 June 2016.
  42. ^ "Korea's 'Last Princess' comes alive in new film". Korea JoongAng Daily. 29 July 2016.
  43. ^ "Actress Son Ye-jin reveals difficulties in playing historical figure". Yonhap News Agency. 29 June 2016.
  44. ^ Woo Jae-yeon (29 July 2016). "(Movie Review) Life is swept away in historical turmoil in 'The Last Princess'". Yonhap News Agency.
  45. ^ "'Last Princess' is career-defining film, says actress Son Ye-jin". Kpop Herald. 3 August 2016.
  46. ^ "SON Ye-jin and SO Ji-sub Come Together for Melodrama BE WITH YOU". Korean Film Biz Zone. 7 September 2017.
  47. ^ "Son Ye-jin Returns to Her Signature Melodramatic Role in New Film". The Chosun Ilbo. 16 March 2018.
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  49. ^ "Son Ye-jin conquers Korean cinema, TV". The Korea Times. 10 April 2018.
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  51. ^ "Hyun Bin, Son Ye-jin to star in 'Negotiation'". The Korea Herald. 25 May 2017.
  52. ^ "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.
  53. ^ "Hyun Bin and Son Ye-jin Confirm Starring Roles in Park Ji-eun's "Emergency Love Landing"". Hancinema. Sports Donga. 21 May 2019.
  54. ^ a b "Secret love story between Hyun Bin and Son Ye-jin takes place in North Korea". The Korea Herald. December 9, 2019.
  55. ^ "21.7%: 'Crash Landing on You' sets record for tvN drama". The Korea Times. February 17, 2020.
  56. ^ "Son Ye-jin's Latest Show Goes out on a High". The Chosun Ilbo. February 18, 2020.
  57. ^ 문디남녀의 연애학개론,<첫사랑 사수 궐기대회>의 차태현+손예진. Cine21 (in Korean). 18 June 2003.
  58. ^ 손예진 "성인 목소리 나올까봐 걱정했죠". Yonhap News Agency (in Korean). 22 December 2006.
  59. ^ "Son Ye-jin not worried over provocative roles". 10Asia. 21 October 2009.
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  62. ^ "Son Ye-jin to Debut Dark Family Saga". 10Asia. 18 October 2012.
  63. ^ "Pirate's life for Son Ye-jin". Korea JoongAng Daily. 5 August 2014.
  64. ^ "Actress Son Ye-jin hungered for road movie". Yonhap News Agency. 2 October 2015.
  65. ^ "(LEAD) Actress Son Ye-jin calls acting a 'marathon of consuming emotions'". Yonhap News Agency. 8 August 2016.
  66. ^ "(Yonhap Interview) Son Ye-jin says she gave her all as Princess Deokhye". Yonhap News Agency. 29 July 2016.
  67. ^ "'Melodrama queen' back to silver screen with remake of Japanese romance film". Kpop Herald. 11 March 2018.
  68. ^ "Hyunbin and Son Ye-jin collaborate for first time for JK Film's new thriller". Yonhap News Agency. 9 August 2018.
  69. ^ [스타데이트] '탤런트 손예진'. BNT News (in Korean). 15 August 2001.
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  72. ^ "(Yonhap Interview) Son Ye-jin says maturity not necessarily proportional to age". Yonhap News Agency. 28 May 2018.
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  84. ^ "2007 Asia Model Awards Model Star Award Jeong Jun Ho & Son Ye Jin". AMFOC. Archived from the original on 2018-07-23. Retrieved 2018-07-23.
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  92. ^ "Ko Hyun-jung, "Haeundae" win grand prize at PaekSang Arts Awards". Asiae. 29 March 2010.
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  94. ^ "1st Seoul Arts and Culture Award". HanCinema. 23 February 2010.
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  96. ^ ""Secret Reunion" wins best picture at Blue Dragon awards". 10Asia. 29 November 2010.
  97. ^ "Fantastic Film Festival kicks off for 11-day run". The Korea Herald. 17 July 2014.
  98. ^ "Son Ye-jin says she is lucky as actress and will stay close to audience". Hancinema. 19 December 2014.
  99. ^ "[T포토] 손예진 '사진기자가 뽑은 올해의 포토제닉'". TV Report (in Korean). 13 April 2015.
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  103. ^ "Son Ye-jin takes home This Year's Actress Award". HanCinema. The Dong-a Ilbo. 5 December 2016.
  104. ^ "Women in Film Korea Festival Held on December 7". Korean Film Biz Zone. 12 December 2016.
  105. ^ "INSIDE MEN Tops Korean Film Producers Association Awards". Korean Film Biz Zone. 27 December 2016.
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