Yoona at H:Connect event in October 2015
May 30, 1990
Seoul, South Korea
|Revised Romanization||Im Yun-a|
Im Yoona (born May 30, 1990) is a South Korean singer and actress. She is a member of South Korean girl group Girls' Generation and has participated in various television dramas such as You Are My Destiny (2008), Love Rain (2012) and Prime Minister and I (2013).
Life and career
1990–2007: Early life and career beginnings
Im Yoona was born on May 30, 1990 in Seoul, South Korea. Her family consists of her father and an older sister. While growing up, she listened to girl group S.E.S and dreamed of becoming a singer. In 2002, she was cast in the SM Saturday Open Casting Audition and spent five years "doing nothing but constant training" in singing, dancing and acting. During her trainee days, she had low self-esteem about her low voice, and once thought of giving up singing in order to pursue an acting career. An SM choreographer persuaded her to continue, saying it would be "a waste to give up becoming a singer" with her "outstanding dancing skills". He also considered her as the best female dancer within the agency. Prior to debuting, Yoona was introduced to the public through various appearances in music videos and commercials; she first appeared in TVXQ's "Magic Castle" music video in 2005. She made her official debut as a member of Girls' Generation in August 2007, becoming the "center" of the group. The group gained significant popularity with the release of their hit single "Gee" in 2009. That same year, Yoona graduated from Daeyoung High School.
2008–present: Television roles
Aside from Girls' Generation's activities, Yoona has acted in several television dramas. Her acting career began in 2007 with a minor role in MBC's drama, Two Outs in the Ninth Inning. She then appeared in MBC's Woman of Matchless Beauty (2008), and was complimented by veteran actress Bae Jong-ok for her cameo performance.
In May 2008, Yoona landed her first leading role in KBS's drama You Are My Destiny, playing the character Jang Sae-byuk. The drama achieved viewer ratings of up to 41.5%, and Yoona became known for her character. She considered the role a turning point in her career, and won two "Best New Actress" awards at the 2008 KBS Drama Awards and 45th Baeksang Arts Awards.
In March 2012, Yoona was announced to play the a lead role alongside Jang Geun Suk in KBS2's drama Love Rain, a fantasy drama about fate where the offspring of an ill-fated couple who met in the 1970s, met and fell in love with each other in the modern era. Yoona played two characters in the drama: Yun-hee of the 70s and Ha-na of modern times. Although the drama lacked in domestic viewership and was criticized for its failure to relate to the viewers, Yoona's acting received positive reviews. Yoon Ga-ee of OSEN wrote: "The speed at which her acting is improving is blinding. She has matured to the point where you want to ask, 'When did her acting get so good?' The criticism that trailed behind her during Cinderella Man is now nowhere to be found." Choi In-kyung of Hankook Ilbo said her acting was continuously improving and "Yoona is completely immersed in her character and has now become 'Hana' herself." The drama garnered much positive overseas interest and was sold to Japan for $10 million, the second highest price for a KBS drama at the time, partly due to Yoona's popularity.
In December 2013, Yoona starred alongside Lee Beom-soo in KBS2's romantic comedy drama Prime Minister and I. Loosely based on the musical film The Sound of Music, Yoona played Nam Da-jung, a young and stubborn reporter who falls in love with the prime minister. The drama received low ratings, but Yoona was still noted for her acting ability. Lee Beom-soo praised her, saying "Acting has to go by logic, only when one understands can the audience understand too, Yoona is smart and did very well. I am anticipating her path down as an actress; at the same time, I want to give her applause". She won an Excellence Award at the 2013 KBS Drama Awards for the role.
In 2014, Yoona was announced to be making her big screen debut in the Korean-Chinese film Goodbye Ani, playing the lead female role of Ani. The following year, Yoona started filming for the Chinese period drama Wu Shen Zhao Zi Long. The drama is set to be released later in the year. In November 2015, Yoona was announced to join Hyun Bin in action film, Cooperation, playing the role of Park Min-young.
Yoona has been called a "CF queen" due to her many television commercial films, and has been a spokesperson for various brands. CNN credited her as "one of the household names in the Asia-Pacific region" which has helped Korean beauty brands become popular in China. In 2010, she became the first idol to endorse S-Oil, a large South Korean petroleum and refinery company. In 2012, she appeared in at least 20 commercials and was ranked fifth among celebrities with the most commercial appearances by TVCF, South Korea's largest advertisement information site. In 2013, she became the first overseas endorser for Alcon Taiwan. Yoona has been endorsing Amor Pacific's comestic brand Innisfree for six years, since 2009. An Innisfree representative expressed: “Among the Asian countries that Innisfree advanced in, YoonA is the model that overseas customers wanted to see most.”
In September 2013, Yoona began dating South Korean singer-actor Lee Seung-gi. On August 13, 2015, the two agencies confirmed that they ended their relationship because of their busy schedules.
In February 2015, Yoona graduated from Dongguk University, receiving a lifetime achievement award at the graduation ceremony. Her fellow Girls' Generation member, Seohyun, attended the same university.
|"Haptic Motion"||2008||Haptic Motion|
|I AM.||2012||Herself||Biographical film of SM Town|
|SMTown The Stage||2015||Herself||Documentary film of SM Town |
|Cooperation||2016||Park Min Young||Supporting Role |
|Goodbye Ani||2016||Ani||Lead Role |
|Two Outs in the Ninth Inning||2007||MBC||Shin Joo-young||Supporting role|
|Unstoppable Marriage||2008||KBS2||Bulgwang-dong's Seven Princesses Gang||Cameo|
|Woman of Matchless Beauty, Park Jung-geum||MBC||Mi-ae||Cameo|
|You Are My Destiny||KBS1||Jang Sae-byuk||Lead role|
|Cinderella Man||2009||MBC||Seo Yoo-jin||Lead role|
|Love Rain||2012||KBS2||Kim Yoon-hee/Jung Ha-na||Lead role|
|Prime Minister and I||2013||KBS2||Nam Da-jung||Lead role|
|Chinese Hero Zhao Zi Long||2015||Hunan TV||Xiahou Qing Yi||Lead role|
|Because It's The First Time||OnStyle||Im Yoona||Cameo|
|2010||Family Outing 2||SBS||Regular Cast|
|2011||Running Man||Guest||Episode 39|
|Episode 63 & 64|
Awards and nominations
|2008||2nd Korea Drama Awards||Netizen Popularity Award||You Are My Destiny||Won|||
|KBS Drama Awards||Best New Actress||Won|||
|2009||45th Baeksang Arts Awards||Best New Actress (TV)||Won|||
|Most Popular Actress (TV)||Won|
|2010||46th Baeksang Arts Awards||Cinderella Man||Won|
|2012||6th Mnet 20's Choice Awards||20's Female Drama Star||Love Rain||Nominated|
|KBS Drama Awards||Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries||Nominated|
|2013||49th Baeksang Arts Awards||Most Popular Actress (TV)||Nominated|
|KBS Drama Awards||Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries||Prime Minister and I||Won|||
|Best Couple Award with Lee Beom-soo||Won|||
|2014||50th Baeksang Arts Awards||Most Popular Actress (TV)||Nominated|
|16th Seoul International Youth Film Festival||Best Young Actress||Nominated|
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