Edited by Seo Hayne
Translated Kim Hoyeun
Kim Seo Hyung became a KBS-affiliated actress in 1994 and began her acting career with minor roles in KBS’s Tomorrow’s Love (1994) and Days of a Rich Family (1994). In the early 2000s, she portrayed a woman who starts a new life after the divorce through Baek Seung Kyung of SBS Lovers in Paris (2004) and Ha Sung Ran of MBC’s Be Strong and Geum-soon! (2005). However, she remained an “unknown actor” for about a decade until she met SBS Temptation of Wife (2008).
Shin Ae Ri from Temptation of Wife is the character that has set the standard for “evil woman” in K-dramas. She does whatever it takes to steal her best friend’s husband and pays dearly for her evil deeds. Throughout this 129-part series, Shin Ae Ri mostly screams and yells at other people. And Kim has completely disappeared into the role that she was dubbed with nicknames like “homewrecker” and “the nation’s mistress.” The ratings for Temptation of Wife rose as high as 37.5%, and Kim was awarded the Excellence Award (Actress in a Serial Drama) at the 2009 SBS Drama Awards.
JTBC’s SKY Castle (2018) presented the second heyday to Kim after ten years. She played Kim Joo Young, a college exam coordinator for the top 0.1% prestigious family, and showed a cold-hearted and controlling character. The line, “You have to believe me completely,” that she says with a low and firm voice became her signature line. According to an interview she had after the series ended, Kim Joo Young was such a tricky character that forced actress Kim Seo Hyung to be stripped down to zero. Also, she added that unlike Temptation of Wife, she worked diligently to satisfy viewers who wished to understand the complexities of a villain rather than simply hating it.
When we talk about Kim Seo Hyung, we cannot leave out her “flawless style.” When she plays a role, her entire appearance, including her outfits, changes. For example, you can check that out in tvN’s The Good Wife (2016), where she plays law firm CEO Seo Myung Hee, JTBC’s SKY Castle, where she plays coordinator Kim Joo Young, and SBS’s Nobody Knows (2020), where she plays detective Cha Young Jin. Plus, when she attended the 70th Cannes Film Festival for her film The Villainess (2017), she caught the attention with a blue suit and half-shaved hairstyle.
In tvN’s Mine, Jung Seo Hyun is a strong woman who shakes off the prejudice of the world and finds what’s really hers. Like the subtitle of episode 8, “How an Elephant Gets Through a Door,” she exerts extreme control like “an elephant trapped in a narrow door.” However, she also reaches out to other women when necessary to protect what is dear to her.
Following her appearance in Whispering Corridors 4: Voice (2005), Kim starred in Whispering Corridors 6: The Humming as Eun Hee. In this upcoming film, she will show a hysterical side of herself as she plays a character plagued by unidentified hallucinations. Kim Seo Hyung has “updated” her heyday multiple times for the past 27 years. And now, she is enjoying another heyday.
Editor Seo Hayne: I like actors as they faithfully lead through their long running-time. I also like idols who accomplish everything on stage within 3 minutes.
Translator Kim Hoyeun: If you are a fan of K-drama, K-movie, and K-pop, I am your guy. I will continue to provide you with up-to-date K-entertainment news.