Edited by Hwang Hong Sun
Translated by Jeon Gyeong Ju
Im Soo Jung is one of the most baby-faced actors in the Korean entertainment industry. Unlike her young face, however, she spent a long time in obscurity. She early made her debut in show business as a fashion model in her late teens, but didn’t get many opportunities. She failed auditions so often and hardly drew much attention from the public, even when she was luckily cast as some roles.
Im Soo Jung’s career changed entirely after starring in A Tale of Two Sisters. A Tale of Two Sisters, the 2003 horror movie about the two sisters who experience bizarre happenings after they meet with their stepmother, gained huge popularity for Kim Jee Woon’s thrilling direction and twist-and-turn story. It was released in the summer of 2003 and attracted more than 3.14 million moviegoers nationwide, the highest box office record for all-time Korean horror films.
Im played the role of Soomi, an older one of the two sisters, who leads the narrative of A Tale of Two Sisters. Soomi tries to protect her younger sister Sooyeon, who is bullied by their stepmother, and shed light on the strange events happening inside the house. Feeling very complicated emotions due to a lot of factors, Soomi was a difficult character for a new actor to portray easily. Nevertheless, Im Soo Jung made the viewers get immersed in the film by her delicate acting. As a result, the actor swept through many Best New Actress trophies in various awards, including the 24th Blue Dragon Film Awards held in the end of 2003, and escaped from her long obscurity.
Since the movie, Im met with another work that would also change her acting life on the small screen in the following year. That was KBS’s 2004 series I’m Sorry, I Love You, which received a lot of love from its loyal fans so-called “Misa Crock (Misa is short for the drama’s Korean original title).”
I’m Sorry, I Love You depicts a man, who’s dreamed of revenge against his parents for abandoning himself, and his further story after he runs into an unexpected love. Im Soo Jung was cast as Eun Chae, a heroine of the series, and performed with So Ji Sub in the mournful melodrama. In particular, Im’s innocent appearance and tears looked outstanding as she got fully immersed in the sad story of I’m Sorry, I Love You.
Thanks to such an enthusiastic performance, the viewers explosively reacted to the drama when it aired on the small screen. Whenever the show was over, the captured images of many scenes, on which Im Soo Jung and So Ji Sub appeared together, were uploaded on the Internet. Meanwhile, the two lead actors’ outfits in the drama became so popular. At the 18th KBS Drama Awards held in the end of 2004, Im realized her own incredible popularity as she won four awards including the Best New Actress, the Netizen, the Popularity and the Best Couple. A Tale of Two Sisters made the public discover her potential, and I’m Sorry, I Love You raised Im Soo Jung to her current position.
Im Soo Jung, who’s become so beloved through I’m Sorry, I Love You, has steadily continued her career with various works. Unlike her anti-aging appearance, her acting skill has increasingly strengthened over time. Having a break since the end of tvN’s 2019 series Search: WWW, Im Soo Jung will soon return to her fans with a good piece of work.