K-Star’s Best Character: How YoonA Became an All-Around Actress Who Rules the Big and Small Screens

SNSD YoonA movie

Edited by Seo Hayne
Translated Cho EK

SNSD YoonA movie Miracle
Credit: Lotte Entertainment

YoonA is one of the most successful idol-turned-actors. Shortly after Yoona debuted as a member of Girls’ Generation in 2007, she began her acting career with MBC Two Outs in the Ninth Inning.

The following year, she starred in the KBS’s daily drama series You Are My Destiny (2008-2009) as Sae Byuk, who moved forward with her life after an unhappy childhood. This work reached a whopping 43.6% in viewership ratings, and Yoona quickly gained public recognition by winning the Best New Actress award at the 2008 KBS Acting Awards and the 2019 Baeksang Arts Awards.

Afterward, she played Seo Yu Jin, a promising student at a famous fashion school, in MBC’s rom-com series Cinderella Man (2009). Plus, in the romantic comedy KBS Prime Minister & I (2013-2014), she played Nam Da Jung, a former entertainment journalist who falls in love with a prime minister.

SNSD YoonA movie
Credit: tvN

YoonA, who mainly played optimistic characters, started to star in on other genres. She showed deep emotional acting in tvN’s action series The K2 (2016) by playing Ko Anna, a girl from a renowned political family who was exiled to a monastery for ten years. In her action film Confidential Assignment (2017), which depicts a joint investigation between North and South Korea, she portrayed a savvy life as the sister-in-law of detective Jin Tae.

The work that further solidified her reputation was the first movie that she led, Exit (2019). The film is about escaping a city covered in toxic gas, so YoonA had to master rock climbing, running, and wire action for her role. She has been praised for remaining relatively cool on screen while solving the crisis and climbing the exterior walls of many buildings. Plus, her comical acting that gave a break in the breathtaking plot received many favorable reviews.

YoonA is keeping herself busy career as an actress. She is now greeting the audience with the movie Miracle: Letters to the President, which is based on a true story. In this work, YoonA plays a lively and candid high schooler, Ra Hee, and shows a fluttering first love story with Park Jung Min. She even said in an interview that Ra Hee is the character that is closest to her in real life. Miracle: Letters to the President will be in CGV theaters in Los Angeles, Buena Park, to meet American audiences.

Coming up next, she will be starring tvN’s Big Mouth as the wife of Lee Jong Suk. Also, she will be starring in the new romance movie Happy New Year and Confidential Assignment’s sequel Confidential Assignment 2: International. Moreover, she recently confirmed her appearance in Exit director Lee Sang Geun’s next movie, 2 O’Clock Date.

It seems like YoonA, who’s been spending her 15th year as an actress, is keeping her words that she previously had said; “I will do my best to take the center among actors as I was in the center of my group”


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 Cho EK: I’m a big fan of Korean dramas and movies.

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