[K-Star’s Best Character] How Kim Soo Hyun Shook Off the Burden of Starring in His First Historical Drama ‘Moon Embracing the Sun’ with Flawless Performances

Edited by Hwang Hong Sun

Translated by Kim Hoyeun

Credit: CJ Entertainment

Hallyu star Kim Soo Hyun dreamed of becoming an actor while attending an acting academy at the recommendation of his parents, who were worried about his introverted personality.

Kim Soo Hyun made his debut in 2008 with MBC’s Kimchi Cheese Smile and began his career in the entertainment industry. Having gained experience in various TV dramas since then, he played Park Sang Min’s child role in SBS’s Giant in 2010, and gained popularity as Song Sam Dong, a dreamful rural boy, in KBS’s Dream High, aired in 2011.

Credit: MBC

If Kim Soo Hyun was recognized through Dream High, MBC’s Moon Embracing the Sun, which aired in 2012, is the work that let him stand where he stands now. The story of Moon Embracing the Sun takes place when Lee Hwon, the king of Joseon, meets Yeon Woo, his first love whom he thought was dead.

Kim Soo Hyun played Lee Hwon, who built a wall around his heart when he heard that his first love Yeon Woo had died. Although it was his first historical drama, he impressed the viewers with his delicate expressions.

Although Kim Soo Hyun flawlessly performed the role of Lee Hwon, there were still concerns in the corner of his mind. He shouted, “Please believe me,” several times during the press conference, and it was a pledge he made to himself. He spent countless hours capturing Lee Hwon’s charm, and as a result, he led the drama to a huge success.

Credit: MBC

With his passionate performances, Moon Embracing the Sun became the best drama in 2013 with viewership that exceeded 40 percent. Later, Kim Soo Hyun was recognized for his acting prowess by winning the Best Actor Award at the 48th Baeksang Arts Awards. Since then, he became one of the hottest and most sought-after young actors in commercials, and the “Kim Soo Hyun’s era” begun.

After making a hit with Moon Embracing the Sun, Kim Soo Hyun stepped into the big screen with The Thieves and Secretly Greatly. Secretly Greatly, the first film where Kim Soo Hyun played the leading role, set a new box office record on the first day of release, becoming a huge success. In 2013, he turned over a new leaf as a Hallyu star who is much loved in China, going beyond Korea, with his another hit drama You Who Came from the Stars.

After joining the army in 2017, Kim Soo Hyun got discharged a few months ago, and finally returned to the small screen with tvN’s It’s Okay to Not Be Okay.

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