Korean boy band fashion

Korean boy band fashion


  The above names are indexed according to the Korean alphabet. Korean names are generally not transcribed according to one agreed-upon system. Therefore you may find the same person's name spelled in different ways, for example "Jang Jin-young" vs. "Chang Jin-young". The letter "iung" is silent and is followed by a vowel; note that the name "Lee" is actually pronounced "ee" or "yi" in Korean. (To learn more -- it's easier than you think -- visit this introduction to the Korean alphabet)

Ahn Sung-ki Ahn Sung-ki (b. January 1, 1952) is the consummate veteran actor, having starred in close to 70 films at the time of this writing. The local press has even dubbed him with the nickname, "The National Actor". He made his debut back in 1957 in The Twilight Train, a film by cult director Kim Ki-young. Two years later he would win the Best Child Actor Award at the 1960 San Francisco International Film Festival for Teenagers' Rebellion, another film by Kim. His oldest surviving feature is Kim's masterpiece The Housemaid (1960), which continues to amaze audiences to the present day.

As an adult, Ahn's filmography resembles a list of Korean cinema's greatest achievements. First gaining wide notice in Lee Jang-ho's acclaimed Fine Windy Day and Im Kwon-taek's artistic breakthrough Mandala, he also starred in some of the biggest hits of the 1980s by Bae Chang-ho (Whale Hunting, Deep Blue Night, Our Joyful Young Days), and in debut works by acclaimed filmmakers Park Kwang-su (Chilsu and Mansu), Jang Sun-woo (The Age of Success) and Lee Myung-se (Gagman).

In the 1990s he continued to take high-profile roles, such as Jung Ji-young's Vietnam War drama White Badge and the politically-themed North Korea's Southern Army, the smash hit Two Cops by Kang Woo-suk, Park Kwang-su's To the Starry Island, Im Kwon-taek's The Taebaek Mountains and Festival, Lee Kwang-mo's acclaimed Spring in My Hometown, and Lee Myung-Se's Nowhere to Hide.

Ahn also took an active role in supporting Korea's Screen Quota System after the US began to place pressure on Korea to abolish the system in the late 1990s.

The early 2000s has seen Ahn continue to balance more popular works with films by veteran directors. Im Kwon-taek's Strokes of Fire, in which he played a mentor to the lead character, became the first Korean film to win a prize at the Cannes film festival (Best Director). Ahn was also the obvious choice to play the nation's chief executive in the romantic comedy The Romantic President. Meanwhile Kang Woo-suk's big budget Silmido, in which he played a tough but loyal military trainer, became the first film ever to sell 10 million tickets in Korea.

Meanwhile Ryoo Seung-wan's Arahan (2004) presented Ahn with yet another new challenge: wire action. Known for the excellent physical condition he keeps himself, Ahn pulled this off without a hitch and then signed on for a role as a Chosun-era detective in Lee Myung-Se's stylish action/drama Duelist.

Interview excerpts:

What are your criteria for selecting a film? "The quality of the screenplay and the subject matter, particularly the subject matter. I look for something new. Unusual or creative films are good. The script should be somewhat unconventional; that's how I get engaged in a film. I don't like melodramas." [Cine21, #50, Apr 30, 1996]

Partial filmography:

Sector 7 (2011)
The Fair Love (2009)
My New Partner (2008)
May 18 (2007)
Radio Star (2006)
A Battle of Wits [Hong Kong] (2006)
Hanbando (2006)
Duelist (2005)
Arahan (2004)
Silmido (2003)
The Romantic President (2002)
Chihwaseon (2002)
The Last Witness (2001)
Musa (2001)
My Beautiful Girl, Mari (2001, voice)
Kilimanjaro (2000)
Truth or Dare (2000)
Black Hole (1999)
Nowhere to Hide (1999)
Art Museum by the Zoo (1998)
Spring in My Hometown (1998)
The Soul Guardians (1998)
Taekwondo (1998)
Bedroom and Courtroom (1998)
The Adventures of Mrs. Park (1996)
Festival (1996)
Eternal Empire (1995)
The Taebaek Mountains (1994)
To the Starry Island (1993)
Two Cops (1993)
The Blue In You (1992)
White Badge (1992)
The Dream (1990)
North Korea's Southern Army (1990)
Chilsu and Mansu (1988)
Gagman (1988)
The Age of Success (1988)
Our Sweet Days of Youth (1987)
A Wanderer in Winter (1986)
Hwang Jin-yi (1986)
Eunuch (1986)
Deep Blue Night (1985)
Eo-Woo-Dong (1985)
Whale Hunting (1984)
Warm Winter Was Gone (1984)
Between the Knees (1984)
People in a Slum (1982)
Misty Village (1982)
Mandala (1981)
A Small Ball Shot by a Dwarf (1981)
Fine Windy Day (1980)
The Apron (1964)
The Housemaid (1960)
Teenagers' Rebellion (1959)
The Twilight Train (1957)

Shim Eun-ha Shim Eun-ha (b. September 23, 1972) debuted in 1994 in the basketball-themed TV drama The Last Match, and quickly became the nation's most popular and talked-about star. After acting in three more television dramas and two lesser-known films (including Born To Kill with Jung Woo-sung), she made a permanent mark in the film industry with her performance in Hur Jin-ho's modern-day classic Christmas in August (1998). Later that year Art Museum by the Zoo, which presented a more down-to-earth side of the actress, saw her win over more critical praise for her acting abilities. Throughout this period, Shim consistently topped magazine polls as the most popular actress in the film industry.

In Tell Me Something, her star power combined with Han Seok-kyu to create one of the most highly anticipated works in Korean film history (though most viewers ultimately expressed disappointment at the film's convoluted narrative). The following year she appeared in Korea's first Dogme film Interview, which would end up being her last appearance.

In 2002, after rumors surfaced of an engagement which was later called off, Shim decided to give up her entertainment career. In the ensuing years, despite periodic rumors that she would resume her film career, Shim has tried her best to remain out of the public eye, studying in France and taking up painting. However despite (or perhaps because of) her long absence, she remains the undisputedly most popular actress of the last decade. In October 2005 she was married to a professor from Yonsei University, and at the time she re-affirmed that she will not return to acting.

Interview excerpts:

What kind of film would you most like to make? "Something provocative and urban, with a decadent feel to it. A film featuring great female attraction. Something like Beatrice Dalle in Betty Blue, perhaps. Is there anything that can compare to that film?" [Cine21, #182, Dec 1998]

Complete filmography:

Interview (2000)
Tell Me Something (1999)
The Uprising (1999)
Art Museum by the Zoo (1998)
Christmas in August (1998)
Born to Kill (1996)
My Old Sweetheart (1995)


Han Seok-kyu Han Seok-kyu (b. August 17, 1964) began his career in the early 1990's as a dubbing artist, before being cast in the TV drama Moon Over Seoul. By the late 90s he had become one of the most popular actors in Korea, starring in a series of both highly acclaimed and extremely popular films including Lee Chang-dong's debut film Green Fish, the groundbreaking gangster comedy No. 3, the hugely popular internet romance The Contact, Hur Jin-ho's classic Christmas in August, and the film that officially kicked off Korea's modern-day commercial boom, Kang Je-kyu's Swiri. At this time, Han was receiving a higher guaranteed salary for his films than any other actor (0,000 in 1999).

From 1999 until early 2003, however, Han took an extended leave of absence from filmmaking, only appearing occasionally on TV commercials. By the time of his return in the film Double Agent -- a spy film in which he stars with Ko So-young, which was a disappointment at the box-office -- he had lost his status as the most popular actor in the Korean film industry. The following year, his appearance in The Scarlet Letter with now-deceased actress Lee Eun-ju opened well, but failed to make a big impression with audiences.

Han's appearance in Im Sang-soo's political bombshell The President's Last Bang marked an impressive return to form, however, and even if it didn't translate into success at the box office, it showed that Han remained at the top of his form. For his next project Han discards his serious image to play a stay-at-home dad who dresses up as a woman in order to enter a TV quiz show for housewives.

Interview excerpts:

People say that you have benefitted from your voice. Do you think this is true? "I think so. When I first started acting on TV, people criticized me, saying I spoke like a 1960s movie star. Now I know how to control my voice. My experiences as a dubbing artist and a singer in high school taught me pronunciation and better control over the language." [Cine 21, #174, Nov. 3, 1998]

Complete filmography:

Villain & Widow (2010)
White Night (2009)
Eye For An Eye (2008)
Solace (2006)
A Bloody Aria (2006)
Forbidden Quest (2006)
Mr. Housewife (2005)
The President's Last Bang (2005)
The Scarlet Letter (2004)
Double Agent (2003)
Tell Me Something (1999)
Swiri (1999)
Christmas in August (1998)
The Contact (1997)
No. 3 (1997)
Green Fish (1997)
The Gingko Bed (1996)
Dr. Bong (1995)
Mommy, the Star, and the Sea Anemone (1995, cameo)

Jeon Do-yeon Jeon Do-yeon (b. February 11, 1973) spent five years starring in television dramas before achieving instant star status with her film debut opposite Han Seok-kyu in The Contact. She went on to establish a reputation as a "chameleon" who can take on a wide variety of roles, from her performance as a doctor in the hit melodrama A Promise, to that of a schoolgirl in Harmonium in My Memory to that of a wife having an adulterous affair in Happy End. In 1999 and 2000 she received a Best Actress award from both the Blue Dragon and the Grand Bell awards for her role in Harmonium in My Memory.

In 2001 she very skillfully played a very ordinary bank teller in Park Heung-sik's debut I Wish I Had a Wife. After starring as the tough-talking "Sunglasses" in Ryoo Seung-wan's No Blood No Tears, Jeon spent time acting in a TV drama titled "Shoot for the Stars." In 2003 she found box-office success in E J-yong's Untold Scandal, based on the famous French novel Dangerous Liasions. The following year she re-united with director Park Heung-sik in a dual role for the time-bending melodrama My Mother, the Mermaid.

In 2005 Jeon burst back into the limelight playing a prostitute who contracts AIDS in Park Jin-pyo's hard-hitting melodrama You're My Sunshine. The performance helped turn the film into a box-office hit (3 million+ admissions), and also won her yet more additions to her collection of local acting awards.

But it was her role in Lee Chang-dong's Secret Sunshine in 2007 that would see her emerge in full glory. Although the film itself, which debuted at Cannes, evoked widely differing assessments from international critics, Jeon's performance was universally praised, and indeed she was presented with a Best Actress award by the Cannes jury -- the first Korean ever to receive an acting award at Cannes.

Although not as broadly popular with audiences as some other stars, Jeon is widely respected for her acting abilities, and many young actresses cite her as a role model.

Interview excerpts:

"I enjoy acting a great deal, so I feel no need or desire to be called a great actor. This is partly my personality, but also the fact that I get so absorbed in acting, to where I can't see or think of anything else. I can't tell you what great acting is, but for me, it is to give everything you have with honesty, sincerity and persistence." [Kino, #56, October 1999]

Complete filmography:

The Housemaid (2010)
My Dear Enemy (2008)
Secret Sunshine (2007)
You're My Sunshine (2005)
My Mother, the Mermaid (2004)
Untold Scandal (2003)
No Blood No Tears (2002)
I Wish I Had a Wife (2001)
Happy End (1999)
Harmonium in My Memory (1999)
A Promise (1998)
The Contact (1997)

Choi Min-shik Choi Min-sik (b. 1963) first made a name for himself in theater before breaking into the film world with roles in Park Chong-won's early films Kuro Arirang and the acclaimed Our Twisted Hero. In the mid-nineties he continued to act in theater productions as well as in several TV dramas, including Moon Over Seoul with Han Seok-kyu.

1997 marked his return to motion pictures, with a role as a tough-talking police investigator in Song Neung-han's No. 3. After a turn in Kim Jee-woon's debut film The Quiet Family, Choi's breakthrough would come in 1999, when he was cast in the record-breaking Swiri. His portrayal of a North Korean agent garnered him much praise and a Best Actor Award from the 1999 domestic Grand Bell Awards. After starring in a theater production of Hamlet in spring of 1999, Choi took on his first lead role as a husband who discovers his wife's infidelity in Happy End, and in early 2001 starred as a third-rate gangster opposite Hong Kong actress Cecilia Cheung in the cult melodrama Failan.

In 2002, Choi took on his most high-profile role yet in Im Kwon-taek's Strokes of fire, where he played the famous nineteenth-century Korean painter Jang Seung-up. The film won a Best Director prize at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival. Two years later, Choi would be back at Cannes with Old Boy, Park Chan-wook's Grand Prix-winning story of a man locked up for 15 years without knowing the reason why. Choi's impassioned and cool acting in Old Boy caused his popularity in Korea to soar, and made his name known to many overseas viewers.

More recent efforts from Choi include the role of a trumpet player who agrees to teach a school music class in Springtime, and that of a down-and-out former boxer who struggles to put his life back together in Ryoo Seung-wan's Crying Fist. Together with Song Kang-ho and Sul Kyung-gu, Choi is now considered among the very top echelon of Korean actors in terms of presence and talent.

Complete filmography:

I Saw The Devil (2010)
Himalaya, Where the Wind Dwells (2009)
Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005)
Crying Fist (2005)
Sping time (2004)
Taegukgi: Brotherhood Of War (cameo) (2004)
Old Boy (2003)
Strokes of fire (2002)
Failan (2001)
Happy End (1999)
Swiri (1999)
The Quiet Family (1998)
No. 3 (1997)
Sea Anemone,'Mom, the Star and the Sea Anemone' (1994)
Sarah Is Guilty (1993)
Our Twisted Hero (1992)
May Our Love Stay This Way (1992)
That Which Falls Has Wings (1989)
Kuro Arirang (1989)

Jeon Ji-hyun Jun Ji-hyun (b. October 30, 1981) first became well-known as a commercial model and as a TV actress. Although she made her film debut in the little-watched White Valentine in 1999, it was not until later in the year when she was featured in an advertisement for an audio system that she became a popular sensation. The dancing and attitude expressed in the ad made her into an icon for Koreans in their late teens and early twenties.

After continuing her TV and modelling career, Jun made her first well-publicized film appearance in late 2000 with Il Mare. A handsomely-shot melodrama set on Kanghwa Island, the film did respectably well at the box office (despite opening on the same day as Joint Security Area/JSA) and solidified her status as a star.

Jun's breakout film was comedy My Sassy Girl, which became a huge hit both in Korea and throughout Asia with its tale of a gullible college student and his slightly unhinged girlfriend. The film spent two weeks at #1 in Hong Kong, and turned her into Korea's most recognizable star in the Chinese-language market. Two years then passed before she appeared in her next film, an "occult thriller" titled The Uninvited which wowed critics but failed to catch on with viewers. Throughout this time she was a constant presence in TV ads and on billboards in Korea and also in other Asian countries.

2004 saw her return to the big screen in another film by Kwak Jae-yong, the director of My Sassy Girl. Windstruck cast her in the role of a policewoman, but many viewers felt it was too similar to My Sassy Girl. There were also signs that her popularity had started to suffer because of overexposure in advertisements. Nonetheless, Windstruck became the best-performing film ever in Japan, where My Sassy Girl was not as well known.

Jun's next project Daisy teamed her with Jung Woo-sung (who frequently appears together with her in advertisements), and drew attention for its 100% location shooting in the Netherlands, and for using the Hong Kong director Andrew Lau (Infernal Affairs). Nonetheless the film disappointed at the box-office and drew weak appraisals from viewers.

In late 2006 it was announced the Jun would be making her long-predicted jump to Hollywood to take the lead role in Blood: The Last Vampire. The international co-production is the live-action adaptation of a popular Japanese anime.

Complete filmography:

A Man Who Was Superman (2008)
Blood: The Last Vampire (2008)
Daisy (2005)
Windstruck (2004)
The Uninvited (2003)
My Sassy Girl (2001)
Il Mare (2000)
White Valentine (1999)

Song Kang-ho Song Kang-ho (b. January 17, 1967) never professionally trained as an actor, beginning his career in social theatre groups after graduating from Kimhae High School. Later he joined Kee Kuk-seo's influential theatre company with its emphasis on instinctive acting and improvisation which proved Song's training ground. Although regularly approached to act in films, he always turned down the opportunity until taking a role as an extra in Hong Sang-soo's The Day a Pig Fell into the Well (1996).

In the following year, after portraying one of the homeless in Jang Sun-woo's docu-style Bad Movie, he gained cult notoriety for his show-stealing performance in Song Neung-han's No. 3 as a gangster training a group of young recruits, winning his first Best Actor award. Since that time he's been cast in several supporting roles before before his high-profile appearance as Han Seok-kyu's secret agent partner in Kang Je-kyu's blockbuster thriller Swiri.

In early 2000, Song became a star with his first leading role in the box office smash The Foul King, for which he reputedly did most of his own stunts. But it is with his award-winning role as a North Korean sergeant in Joint Security Area/JSA that Song came to the forefront as one of Korea's leading actors. Song also starred in Park Chan-wook's acclaimed followup, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, which centers around a father's pursuit of his daughter's kidnappers.

In 2002 Song starred in another major production by Myung Films, YMCA Baseball Team, about Korea's first baseball team which formed in the early 20th century. The following year he played a leading role in yet another critically-acclaimed smash hit, Memories of Murder from young director Bong Joon-ho.

In 2004 Song starred in a film by debut director Im Charn-sang that imagines the life of South Korean president Park Chung-hee's personal barber. The following year he also took the lead in Antarctic Journal, a big-budget project by debut director Yim Phil-sung, about an expedition in Antarctica that performed weakly at the box-office.

In 2006 Song was thrust back in the spotlight, however, with a leading role in Bong Joon-ho's record-breaking creature movie The Host. The film helped to broaden international awareness of Song's talent, and indeed he beat out several of Asia's best known stars to be named Best Actor at the inaugural Asian Film Awards held in Hong Kong in March 2007.

Upcoming projects for Song include a gangster film from the director of Rules of Dating, Secret Sunshine, the next feature by the acclaimed Lee Chang-dong, and a Western set in Manchuria by Kim Jee-woon.

Complete filmography:

Secret Reunion (2010)
A Little Pond (2009)
Thirst (2008)
The Good, the Bad, the Weird (2008)
Secret Sunshine (2007)
The Show Must Go On (2006)
The Host (2006)
Antarctic Journal (2005)
The President's Barber (2004)
Memories of Murder (2003)
YMCA Baseball Team (2002)
Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002)
Joint Security Area (2000)
The Foul King (2000)
Shiri (1999)
The Quiet Family (1998)
No. 3 (1997)
Bad Movie (1997)
Green Fish (1997)
The Day a Pig Fell into the Well (1996)

Bae Doo-na Bae Doo-na (whose name means "beautiful star") was born on October 11, 1979. In 1998 she was walking along the streets of Apkujong, Seoul when a recruiter approached her about a job in modeling. She soon branched out from modeling into TV dramas (her debut was the KBS drama School), and in 1999 she had her first film appearance as the psychic girl/ghost in The Ring Virus, Korea's remake of the Japanese film Ring.

In 2000 Bae continued to act in TV dramas and also expanded her presence on the screen, starring in the critically-acclaimed Barking Dogs Never Bite and later in Plum Blossom, a well-received film about adolescence and sex. At the time she concurrently studied in Hanyang University's department of Film and Drama.

Bae's 2001 film Take Care of My Cat was highly acclaimed by critics and screened in many festivals including Rotterdam and Berlin. She also starred in Park Chan-wook's grim followup to JSA, the acclaimed Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance. Her next features were more light in tone: Saving My Hubby, about a mother who straps her baby onto her back and goes out to rescue her husband from a band of gangsters, subway action film Tube, and Spring Bears Love, a melodrama by debut director Yong Yi. She also appeared in multiple TV dramas. To date, however, Bae has yet to star in a solid box office hit.

Bae's next film will be a Japanese film by Nobuhiro Yamashita titled Linda Linda Linda, in which she plays a Korean exchange student who joins an all-girl rock band. She is also rumored to have a part in Bong Joon-ho's creature movie The Host.

  Excerpt from an interview with Bong Joon-ho (Barking Dogs Never Bite):

Bae Doo-na is a very beautiful young woman. But in the film you make her look very mundane, dishevelled, with no make-up...    "You're right (laughs). Many actresses in Korea hate to act without make up, they want to look shiny! But Doo-na was great because she had no desire to show off, rather she really threw herself into the character. I was really happy with her." [Interview from Filmfestivals.com]

Complete filmography:

The Host (2006)
Linda Linda Linda (2005, Japan)
Spring Bear's Love (2003)
Tube (2003)
Saving My Hubby (2002)
Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002)
Take Care of My Cat (2001)
Plum Blossom (2000)
Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000)
The Ring Virus (1999)

Sol Kyung-gu Sol Kyung-gu (b. May 1, 1968) studied at Hanyang University Department of Film and Theater, and upon graduation appeared in numerous theatrical productions. In the mid-1990s he began taking on minor roles in feature films, but it was not until 1999 that he made his breakthrough with major roles in The Bird That Stops in the Air, Rainbow Trout, and above all else, Peppermint Candy. The critical acclaim and larger-than-expected popular appeal of this film instantly transformed Sol into one of the most respected young actors in Korea.

After the rather heavy-themed work of his early career, Sol then appeared in a mix of genre movies and more serious work. He starring in the romantic comedy I Wish I Had a Wife with Jeon Do-yeon in 2001, and then acted in a Japanese TV drama produced by NHK.

The year 2002 was huge for Sol, starring in three major films which effectively made him into one of the most popular actors in Korea. As a violent police detective in Public Enemy he won both local acting awards and many new fans as the film drew close to 3 million viewers. In August, he starred in Lee Chang-dong's highly acclaimed third film Oasis, which won the Best Director Award at the Venice Film Festival, and which won him yet more acting awards in Korea. Finally in November, he acted together with Cha Seung-won in the smash hit Jail Breakers by popular director Kim Sang-jin.

Sol continued his hot streak in 2003 when he starred in Silmido directed by Cinema Service founder Kang Woo-suk, which became the first Korean film in history to gross 10 million admissions. His next role was as the title character in Rikidozan, about the legendary ethnic Korean pro wrestler who became a national hero in Japan in the 1950s. Sol gained 20kg for the role and also delivered 95% of his lines in Japanese. Despite winning great praise for his performance, however, the film vastly underperformed on its local release.

In 2005, Sol starred in the sequel to Public Enemy, which ended up outgrossing the original, and also signed on to star in a melodramatic love story together with Song Yoon-ah.

Complete filmography:

Voice of a Murderer (2007)
Cruel Winter Blues (2006)
Lost in Love (2006)
Another Public Enemy (2005)
Rikidozan (2004)
Silmido (2003)
Jail Breakers (2002)
Oasis (2002)
Public Enemy (2002)
I Wish I Had a Wife (2001)
The Legend of Ginkgo (2000)
Peppermint Candy (2000)
Rainbow Trout (1999)
The Bird That Stops in Air (1999)
Phantom the Submarine (1999)
Girls' Night Out (1998)
Love Story (1996)
A Petal (1996)

Kim Yoon-jin Kim Yoon-jin (b. November 7, 1973) grew up in New York City, attending the New York School of Performing Arts as a high school student and later studying acting at Boston University. In order to master Shakespeare, she also spent time at a special acting academy at Oxford University. Kim has remarked that in her zeal to become Americanized quickly, she studied acting, academics and pronunciation with equal intensity.

In 1997, after being cast in numerous Broadway productions and finding minor roles on ABC and MTV, she starred in Splendid Holiday, a Korean TV drama being shot on location in New York. In part due to this experience, Kim decided to return to Korea. She was quickly cast in the TV drama Wedding Dress and was also invited to act in Lee Kwangmo's feature Spring in My Hometown, although she ended up not taking this role. Her breakthrough debut came in the 1999 film Shiri, making her an instant star throughout the country. In November 2000 she continued her association with KangJeGyu Film in the big-budget The Legend of Gingko.

After acting in a Japanese film and a low-profile feature set in Los Angeles, Kim appeared in the big-budget sci-fi feature Yesterday, which ended up bombing spectacularly at the box office. Then in 2002, Kim took the lead role in Ardor, the feature film debut of acclaimed documentarist Byun Young-ju (Habitual Sadness). The film was invited to screen in a non-competitive section at the 2003 Berlin film festival, and Kim's acting earned widespread praise.

After a couple quiet years, in 2004 Kim started appearing in the popular U.S. television series Lost, which introduced her to audiences in the US. Shortly thereafter, she also received an offer to appear opposite Billy Bob Thornton in the Hollywood film Georgia Heat, about a woman who falls in love with an American and moves to the US. At the same time, Kim has agreed to star in the upcoming Korean production Bystanders, a thriller in which she appears together with popular singer/actor Eric.

Complete filmography:

Georgia Heat (2006?)
Bystanders (2005)
Ardor (2002)
Yesterday (2002)
Iron Palm (2002)
Rush! (2001, Japan)
The Legend of Ginkgo (2000)
Shiri (1999)

Lee Byung-heon Lee Byung-heon (b. July 12, 1970) majored in French at Hanyang University before making his television debut on KBS in 1991. A fixture in TV dramas throughout the decade, Lee has continued to work in television even after becoming a major film star. His movie debut came in 1995 as the lead in Who Drives Me Mad?, and he worked off and on in the film industry up until his breakthrough film in 2000, Joint Security Area.

For a long time thought of as just another pretty face, Lee eventually earned great praise for his acting, both for his turn in JSA and especially in Bungee Jumping of Their Own. He also starred in the popular television drama Beautiful Days, which screened in spring 2002 on SBS and would later be exported across Asia.

In 2002, Lee starred with actress Lee Mi-yeon in Addicted, a melodrama about two brothers who fall into a coma on the same day. The following spring he also took the lead role in the highly popular TV drama All In, about a successful gambler.

In 2004, Lee appeared opposite actresses Choi Ji-woo, Choo Sang-mi and Kim Hyo-jin in Everybody Has Secrets, a remake of the Irish comedy About Adam. Also that year, several of Lee's TV dramas began to screen in Japan, and his popularity there started to soar. He eventually became even more popular in Japan than he is in Korea.

Then in 2005, Lee appeared in Kim Jee-woon's highly anticipated action-noir A Bittersweet Life. Although the film ended up performing below expectations in both Korea and Japan, it was selected to screen in the Official Selection (out of competition) at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival, giving Lee the opportunity to "walk the red carpet" for his biggest moment of fame.

Complete filmography:

A Bittersweet Life (2005)
Everybody Has Secrets (2004)
Addicted (2002)
My Beautiful Girl, Mari (2002, voice)
Bungee Jumping of Their Own (2001)
Joint Security Area (2000)
Harmonium in My Memory (1999)
Elegy of the Earth (1997)
Kill the Love (1996)
Armageddon (1996) (voice)
Runaway (1995)
Who Drives Me Mad? (1995)

Links:

http://byunghunlee.pe.kr

Kang Su-yeon From the mid-eighties until the end of the nineties, Kang Su-yeon (b. August 18, 1966) ranked as the best internationally known film star from Korea. After making her debut as a child actor in the 1970s, Kang continued to appear in a variety of low-profile films until her breakthrough with Im Kwon-taek's Surrogate Mother (1986). Her spirited performance in this film led the jury at the 1987 Venice International Film Festival to honor her with a Best Actress award, the first (and only) time a Korean actor had won such an award at one of the "big three" major international festivals. Two years later she would add to her prestige by also winning Best Actress at the Moscow International Film Festival for Im's Buddhist-themed feature Come, Come, Come Upward ("Aje Aje Para Aje").

At the same time, Kang won over younger fans with her appearance in Lee Kyu-hyung's hit film Mimi and Chul-soo's Adolescent Sketch, in which she played opposite Park Joong-hoon. Over the coming years she would appear in a mixture of popular features and works by the leading directors of the so-called Korean New Wave. Her best known films from the 1990s were Jang Sun-woo's acclaimed Road to the Racetrack; box office hit That Woman, That Man by Kim Ui-seok; Lee Myung-se's intense look at adultery Their Last Love Affair (1996); and Im Sang-soo's debut film Girls Night Out (1998).

In all, Kang has acted in over 30 films. From 2001-2002, she also starred in an hugely popular 150-episode TV drama on SBS TV called Ladies in the Palace ("Yeo-in Cheon-ha"), which gave her new visibility among mainstream viewers.

Partial filmography:

The Circle (2003)
Rainbow Trout (1999)
Girls' Night Out (1998)
Blackjack (1997)
Their Last Love Affair (1996)
That Woman, That Man (1993)
Western Avenue (1993)
Blue in You (1991)
Road to the Racetrack (1991)
Berlin Report (1991)
Come, Come, Come Upward (1989)
Mimi and Chul-soo's Adolescent Sketch (1987)
Potato (1987)
Surrogate Mother (1986)
Whale Hunting 2 (1985)
I Confess (1976)
Links:

Interview with Kang Su-yeon

Jang Dong-gun Jang Dong-gun (b. March 7, 1972), who has starred in not one but two record-breaking box office hits, first entered the entertainment world in a talent contest in 1992. He began by acting in TV dramas such as The Last Match, co-starring Shim Eun-ha, and he eventually made his film debut in Repechage (1997) together with Kim Hee-sun.

By the late 1990s he had become quite popular in Korea, but he also became one of the very first Korean stars to garner a fan following in other parts of Asia. Vietnamese audiences in particular fell quickly for Jang after several of his TV dramas were screened there in the late nineties. In 1999, after acting in the critically acclaimed Nowhere to Hide as Park Joong-hoon's younger partner, Jang moved on to star in a feature that was filmed on location in Shanghai. Titled The Anarchists, this tale of five young terrorists from 1930s China helped to elevate his status even further.

Jang's real breakout came in early 2001 in Friend, which smashed the box office record set by Shiri to become the biggest Korean film of all time. After playing the nice guy in almost all his previous roles, this portrayal of a tough-talking gangster from Pusan led him to local stardom. The following year he also starred in the popular action blockbuster 2009 Lost Memories set in a futuristic Great Japan.

After appearing in the low-budget film The Coast Guard by controversial director Kim Ki-duk, Jang then took the lead role in Kang Je-gyu's Taegukgi, an epic film about two brothers set during the Korean War. Sure enough, this film would beat Friend's record with an astounding 11 million tickets sold. By this time, Jang's name had become known widely throughout Asia.

Jang followed this up with two more high-profile roles. The Promise is a million pan-Asian production by Chinese director Chen Kaige in which Jang plays opposite Hong Kong star Cecilia Cheung. Meanwhile, Typhoon by director Kwak Kyung-taek (Friend) set a new record for the highest production budget in Korean film history at million. Jang stars as a modern-day pirate who has been betrayed by both North and South Korea.

Complete filmography:

Typhoon (2005)
The Promise (2005, China)
Taegukgi (2004)
The Coast Guard (2002)
2009 Lost Memories (2002)
Friend (2001)
The Anarchists (2000)
Nowhere to Hide (1999)
Love Wind, Love Song (1999)
Holiday in Seoul (1997)
Repechage (1997)

Links:

http://www.jangdonggun.pe.kr

Lee Eun-ju Lee Eun-ju (b. Dec. 22, 1980) studied piano for much of her youth, without giving much thought to becoming an actress. After finding work as a model, however, she began to be offered roles in various TV dramas, including Start and KAIST. Her film debut came in 1999, when she played the younger sister in Park Chong-wan's award-winning feature Rainbow Trout. Her first lead role came as the title character in acclaimed director Hong Sang-soo's Virgin Stripped Bare by her Bachelors (2000), where she gave one of the most memorable performances in all of Hong's films. Following this, she teamed with actor Lee Byung-heon (JSA) in the 2001 hit film Bungee Jumping of Their Own, and also scored a hit opposite Cha Tae-hyun in the melodrama Lovers' Concerto.

Lee's later career was marked by several turns in films that failed at the box-office, plus a key role in the record-breaking Korean War film Taegukgi. In late 2004 she starred in her last feature, Daniel H. Byun's The Scarlet Letter which screened as the Closing Film at the 2004 Pusan International Film Festival.

Tragically, Lee committed suicide on February 22, 2005 after suffering from depression for over a year. The news of her death prompted a massive outpouring of grief from fellow actors and filmmakers. Lee will be remembered for her talent, intelligence and passion that made her stand out among the actresses of her generation.

Interview Excerpts:

"I'm called a new generation star, but I don't want to be the kind of person who achieves instant fame and then is quickly forgotten. I want to learn step-by-step how to become a good actress, and gradually work my way up. A star achieves brilliance, but is soon forgotten; to become an actress takes more time." [Kino, #60, February 2000]

Complete Filmography:

The Scarlet Letter (2004)
Au Revoir, UFO (2004)
Taegukgi (2004)
The Garden of Heaven (2003)
Unborn But Forgotten (2002)
Lovers Concerto (2002)
Bungee Jumping of Their Own (2001)
Virgin Stripped Bare by Bachelors (2000)
Rainbow Trout (1999)

Park Joong-hoon Park Joong-hoon (b. March 22, 1964) studied film at Joongang University and later received an MFA from New York University. He debuted in 1985 in the little-known film Kkambo. Early standouts for Park include the teen hit Mimi and Chul-soo's Adolescent Sketch (1987) and Park Kwang-su's debut film Chilsu and Mansu (1988). Gradually he achieved fame through his work in both critically-acclaimed films such as My Love, My Bride and the smash hit Two Cops.

Park has commented that after the success of Two Cops he was pigeonholed into purely comic roles, which he has tried to resist in hopes of remaining a more complete actor. In 1999 he turned in one of his best and most famous performances ever as the lead in Lee Myung-Se's action/art film Nowhere to Hide. He followed these up with the role of a crazed attacker in the horror film Say Yes and as the lead in the melodrama A Masterpiece in My Life -- neither of which performed well commercially.

In 2002, following successful screenings of Nowhere to Hide at Sundance, Park took the jump to Hollywood to do a supporting role in Jonathan Demme's The Truth About Charlie, featuring Mark Wahlberg and Thandie Newton. A remake of the old Audrey Hepburn film Charade, the film did poorly at the box-office, but Park received positive encouragement for his acting.

After starring in the highly successful period comedy Once Upon a Time in a Battlefield, Park then starred opposite Cha Tae-hyun in the largely ignored comedy Two Guys, from the director of Love Bakery. His subsequent film Heaven's Soldiers saw him play one of Korea's most famous historical figures, Admiral Lee Soon-shin from the 16th century.

Partial filmography:

Heaven's Soldiers (2005)
Two Guys (2004)
Once Upon a Time in Battlefield (2003)
The Truth About Charlie (2000, USA)
Say Yes (2001)
A Masterpiece in My Life (2000)
Nowhere to Hide (1999)
Hallelujah (1997)
Two Cops 2 (1996)
How to Top My Wife (1994)
Two Cops (1993)
My Love, My Bride (1990)
Black Republic (1990)
The Lovers of Woomook-baemi (1990)
Chilsu and Mansu (1988)
Mimi and Chul-soo's Adolescent Sketch (1987)

Ko So-young Ko So-young (b. October 6, 1972) debuted in the TV drama Love Tomorrow in 1993, and quickly established herself as a representative star of her generation. She made her film debut opposite Jung Woo-sung in The Fox With Nine Tails in 1994, which ranked as the first Korean film ever to use computer-generated images, but which failed to make an impression on audiences or critics.

Ko first achieved wide recognition through her role in Beat (again with Jung Woo-sung), a film that caught the imagination of many Korean high school students. Since then she has acted in a series of successful melodramas, portraying a young model in If the Sun Rises in the West, a Cheju Island tour guide in Love Wind, Love Song, and a Korean American adoptee in Love.

In 2001 Ko teamed up with actor Lee Sung-jae in A Day, about a married couple who have trouble conceiving a child. Her acting in the film was much praised and that year she won a Best Actress prize from the local Grand Bell awards ceremony. Then, after two years off, Ko returned in 2003 opposite Han Suk-kyu in the spy thriller Double Agent, however the film failed to live up to most viewers' and critics' expectations. At present she is scheduled to appear in two films that will shoot in 2006: horror film APT by director Ahn Byung-ki, and a romantic comedy by debut director Jeon Young-gap.

Complete filmography:

APT (2006)
Double Agent (2003)
A Day (2001)
Love (1999)
Love Wind, Love Song (1999)
If the Sun Rises in the West (1998)
Beat (1997)
The Fox With Nine Tails (1994)

Jung Woo-sung Jung Woo-sung was born in Seoul on March 20, 1973. After first finding work as a model, he made his film debut in the 1994 movie The Fox With Nine Tails, together with Ko So-young. He and Ko would go on to act in two more films together.

Jung found widespread fame in Kim Sung-soo's 1997 film Beat, in which he played a high school student who becomes caught up in gang life against his will. Since this film, he became known as one of Korea's top commercial stars. In the subsequent years he portrayed a young boxer in Our Sunny Days, a naval lieutenant in Phantom the Submarine, and a marathoner in Love.

In 2001, Jung took on one of his most high-profile roles in Kim Sung-soo's epic blockbuster Musa. Playing a long-haired slave, he acted opposite Chinese superstar Zhang Ziyi and recieved wide exposure abroad as well as in Korea. After spending time in 2002 directing a series of music videos and appearing in a large number of commercials, Jung took on the eccentric lead role in Mutt Boy, the fifth film by director Kwak Kyung-taek (Friend, Champion).

Jung's next two roles would be in highly romantic roles that played off his established screen image. In the box office hit A Moment To Remember, he plays a construction worker who marries the daughter of a rich family, and in the Netherlands-set Daisy, he plays a hired assassin who falls in love with a street artist played by Jeon Ji-hyun. Upcoming for 2006 is a big-budget martial arts film The Restless (working title).

Complete filmography:

The Restless (2006)
Daisy (2006)
Sad Movie (2005)
A Moment to Remember (2004)
Mutt Boy (2003)
Musa (2001)
Love (1999)
Phantom the Submarine (1999)
City of the Rising Sun (1999)
Motel Cactus (1997)
Beat (1997)
Born to Kill (1996)
The Fox With Nine Tails (1994)

Shin Eun-kyung Shin Eun-kyung (b. February 15, 1973) made her television debut in 1986 on KBS TV. Throughout the late eighties and early nineties she acted in a great number of TV dramas and films, garnering fame for her warm screen presence. In 1997, however, she took on her most daring role as a prostitute in veteran director Im Kwon-taek's Downfallen. The film was a box-office success, leading her to star status.

In 1999 she starred in two films, including the Korean-Japanese coproduction of The Ring Virus, based on the novel by Suzuki Kozi. Her success in this role led to her being cast in a small role for a Japanese film, Uzumaki, directed by a man who calls himself Mr. Higuchinsky. Around this time Shin was also working as an MC for a television game show.

In 2002 Shin starred in her most famous role as a female gang boss in My Wife is a Gangster. The film drew more than 5 million spectators and became a strong hit throughout Asia. This would eventually lead to the far-less successful sequel My Wife Is a Gangster 2, in which her character gets hit in the head, suffers from amnesia, and gets a job in a Chinese restaurant. Other roles Shin starred in around this time were as a detective in Out of Justice, as a "couple manager" in the romantic comedy A Perfect Match, and as a naval officer in the box office bomb Blue.

Shin was married in 2004 and subsequently had a baby. She returned to acting in 2005, and is currently scheduled to appear in three upcoming films.

Partial filmography:

Bystanders (2005)
Mister Housewife (2005)
My Wife Is a Gangster 2 (2003)
Blue (2003)
A Perfect Match (2002)
Out of Justice (2001)
My Wife is a Gangster (2001)
Emergency Room (2000)
Uzumaki (2000, Japan)
The Ring Virus (1999)
Mystery of a Cube (1999)
Downfallen (Ch'ang) (1997)
I Am a Man (1994)
Love Begins Now (1990)

Moon Sung-keun Moon Sung-keun (b. May 28, 1953), in addition to being a prolific actor (20 films to date), has become one of the central figures in the Korean film industry. Moon came to filmmaking late, after spending time working as a businessman in Saudi Arabia. Throughout the 1990s he has worked together with some of the leading directors of the decade, most notably Park Kwang-su (Black Republic, Berlin Report, To the Starry Island, A Single Spark), Jang Sun-woo (Road to the Racetrack, To You From Me, A Petal), and Lee Chang-dong (Green Fish).

In May 2000, appeared in Hong Sang-soo's acclaimed third feature, Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors. The following year he appeared in debut director Park Chan-ok's Jealousy Is My Middle Name in a much-praised portrayal of a self-centered book editor.

Gradually Moon has branched out from his acting to become involved in the Pusan International Film Festival and the movement to protect the Screen Quota System. A gifted administrator, he co-founded a film production company, UniKorea, and also served as Vice Chairman of the Korean Film Commission in 1999. He was the host of a much-watched investigative TV program called I Want To Know until fellow actor Jeong Jin-young took over.

In 2002, Moon become a notable figure in local politics, particularly after he and producer Myung Kay-nam took charge of the online supporters of Roh Moo-hyun's presidential campaign. After Roh won the election and took office, Moon became an influential voice among the supporters of the center-left Uri party.

After two years off from filmmaking, Moon returns in 2005 to star in the directorial debut of actress Pang Eun-jin.

Complete filmography:

Hanbando (2005)
Princess Aurora (2005)
Jealousy is My Middle Name (2003)
Virgin Stripped Bare by Bachelors (2000)
Bedroom and Courtroom (1998)
Killer Story (1998)
Green Fish (1997)
A Petal (1996)
Man (1995)
A Single Spark (1995)
Sunset Into the Neon Lights (1995)
Out to the World (1994)
To You, From Me (1994)
Bitter & Sweet (1994)
To the Starry Island (1993)
No Exit (1993)
The 101st Proposal (1993)
Road to the Racetrack (1991)
I Only Want to Live to Twenty (1991)
Berlin Report (1991)
Our Class Accepts Anyone (1990)
Black Republic (1990)

Choi Jin-shil Choi Jin-shil (b. December 24, 1968) first rose to stardom in the early 1990s after debuting on television in 1988. Her first role was as a partisan soldier in Chung Ji-young's acclaimed North Korea's Southern Army (sometimes called Partisans of South Korea), and later that year she also co-starred with Park Joong-hoon in Lee Myung-Se's innovative piece about marriage, My Love, My Bride.

Throughout much of the 1990s Choi was one of the most popular actresses in Korean film. Coincidentally or not, many of her most famous roles were centered in some way around marriage, motherhood, or the image of a wife. Her most famous role came in the 1997 mega-hit The Letter, which was the highest-grossing Korean film of that year.

In early 2000, Choi touched off a media storm with the announcement of her engagement to popular baseball star Cho Sung-min, who used to play in the Japan League. In the two years to follow, however, the couple's deteriorating relationship and divorce became a staple of the local tabloids.

Choi's last feature to date was as "Bee" in the poorly-received blockbuster The Legend of Ginkgo.

Partial filmography:

The Legend of Gingko (2000)
Mayonnaise (1999)
The Letter (1997)
Baby Sale (1997)
Holiday in Seoul (1997)
Ghost Mama (1996)
Mom's Got a Lover (1995)
Who Drives Me Crazy (1995)
I Wish For What Is Forbidden (1994)
How to Top My Wife (1994)
Girl For Love, Girl For Marriage (1993)
Mister Mamma (1992)
Susan Brink's Arirang (1991)
My Love, My Bride (1990)
North Korea's Southern Army (1990)

Lee Jung-jae Lee Jung-jae (b. March 15, 1973), apart from being a top star in film and TV, also works as a highly successful fashion model. One year after his debut on television in 1993, Lee was cast in his first film, a feature by Bae Chang-ho. His breakthrough would come in late 1998 in the award-winning film An Affair by E-J Yong. This was followed up by another success, Our Sunny Days, for which he received a Best Actor award at the domestic Chungryong Awards ceremony.

After starring in the Korean-Japanese coproduction Asako in Ruby Shoes, released in December 2000, Lee found considerable popular success in a melodrama titled Last Present, where he was cast opposite Lee Young-ae, and in the action/mystery/drama The Last Witness directed by Bae Chang-ho. In 2002 he starred in the melodrama Over the Rainbow with Chang Jin-young. He was also rumored to be cast in an international coproduction to be shot in Korea and directed by Chinese filmmaker Chen Kaige, however this project appears to have never gotten off the ground.

In 2003 he starred opposite Lee Beom-soo in Oh! Brothers, a comic drama about two brothers, one of whom has an unusual disease. The film was one of Lee's biggest hits ever, topping three million admissions at the local box office. Nonetheless he remained out of the limelight for the next couple years. Finally at the end of 2005 he returns in Typhoon, a big-budget action blockbuster by Kwak Kyung-taek, the director of Friend (2001).

Apart from his acting, Lee is also known for having launched a chain of upscale Italian restaurants in Seoul named after his movie Il Mare. Having studied interior design, he himself took responsibility for designing the interiors of his restaurants.

Partial filmography:

Typhoon (2005)
Oh! Brothers (2003)
Over the Rainbow (2002)
The Last Witness (2001)
Last Present (2001)
Asako in Ruby Shoes (2000)
Il Mare (2000)
Interview (2000)
The Uprising (1999)
Our Sunny Days (1999)
An Affair (1998)
Park vs. Park (1997)
I Am a Man (1994)

Shim Hye-jin Shim Hye-jin (b. January 16, 1967) ranks as one of the most visible stars of the 1990's, having starred in many of the highlight films of the decade. It was her second film, Park Kwang-su's Black Republic, that initially brought her widespread acclaim. Her performance as a woman in a mining community who falls in love with a student activist won her a Best Actress Award at the 1992 Nantes International Film Festival.

However her appearance in Kim Ui-seok's Marriage Story (1992) made her into an icon for young generation Korean women. The sex war comedy about a couple whose marriage deteriorates as the wife's career takes off ranked as the third best selling Korean film of all time after its release, and remains a classic of the early 1990s.

Shim would also star in other representative films of that era, such as White Badge, To the Starry Island, and Out to the World. After appearing in another trend-setting box office hit in Kang Je-gyu's The Gingko Bed, she teamed up with director Lee Chang-dong for his acclaimed debut Green Fish (1997).

As she reached her mid-thirties, however, many producers started turning to younger actresses, and Shim went five years without appearing in a single film. In 2003, she made her return with a lead role in Acacia, a horror film by Park Ki-hyung (Whispering Corridors, Secret Tears). After finding some additional success in TV dramas, she returns with a role in Over the Border as a woman who marries a North Korean defector.

Partial filmography:

Over the Border (2006)
Acacia (2003)
Bedroom and Courtroom (1998)
The Man with Flowers (1997)
Green Fish (1997)
Park vs. Park (1996)
The Gingko Bed (1996)
Marriage Story 2 (1995)
Out to the World (1994)
To the Starry Island (1993)
Marriage Story (1992)
White Badge (1992)
Black Republic (1990)

Yoo Oh-sung Throughout the mid-1990's, Yoo Oh-sung complemented a career in television with minor roles in film. With his success playing a young gangster in the hit movie Beat, Yoo's face became familiar to a new generation of moviegoers. The year 1999 was somewhat of a breakthrough, as he took the lead role in the acclaimed comedy The Spy and also starred in the hugely successful comedy Attack the Gas Station.

His career reached its peak in the year 2001, however. Appearing as the co-star in Kwak Kyung-taek's smash hit Friend, which sold an unprecendented 8 million tickets, Yoo won effusive critical praise for his hard-edged performance as a ruthless gangster and enjoyed a tremendous degree of exposure.

This fame would carry over somewhat when he took the lead in director Kwak's fourth feature Champion, a 1980s-set biopic of Korean boxer Kim Deuk-gu. However, even though Yoo was praised for his body makeover and acting skills, the film failed to deliver on the high expectations that preceded it. Later that year, a series of highly public disagreements with Kwak made headlines and served to cool some of the public's interest in the actor.

Yoo's next two films, the melodrama Byul with actress Park Jin-hee and the patriotic/historical drama Thomas Ahn Joong-geun, bombed badly at the box office, with most Koreans seemingly unaware of their very existence. At this stage the future course of Yoo's career seems to be in question.

Partial filmography:

Thomas Ahn Joong-geun (2004)
Byul (2003)
Champion (2002)
Friend (2001)
Attack the Gas Station (1999)
The Spy (1999)
Spring In My Hometown (1998)
Beat (1997)
Kill the Love (1996)
Man (1995)
The Terrorist (1995)
Dr. Bong (1995)
I Wish For What Is Forbidden (1994)

Hwang Shin-hye Hwang Shin-hye (b. 15 December 1963 -- she also sometimes spells her name "Hwang Cine") originally found work as a model while in junior college studying to become a flight attendant. In 1983, while still a student, she debuted in the TV drama Father and Son and quickly gained fame as "the most perfect face in Korea." Her first film was Bae Chang-ho's 1987 melodrama Our Sweet Days of Youth, in which she played a divorcee who marries her true love. She would also go on to star in a large number of films by director Park Chul-soo, beginning with The Woman Who Walks on Water.

Since 1995 she has taken on more diverse roles, including that of a woman with an eating disorder in 301,302, a gynaecologist in Push! Push!, and a wife who sues her husband's company for depriving her of a sex life in Bedroom and Courtroom.

Hwang's last feature to date is a gangster comedy called Family (not to be confused with A Family from 2004), which had her take on the role of a room salon madam. However she also also remained in the public eye for releasing books and videos on health and lifestyle topics, and launched a successful line of women's undergarments named after herself.

Partial filmography:

Family (2002)
Love Bakery (2000)
Bedroom and Courtroom (1998)
Killer Story (1998)
Push! Push! (1997)
301.302 (1995)
Seoul Evita (1991)
Theresa's Lover (1991)
The Dream (1990)
Woman Who Walks on Water (1990)
Gagman (1988)
Our Sweet Days of Youth (1987)

Yoo Ji-tae Yoo Ji-tae (b. April 13, 1976) in a very short time rose to become a major actor in Korean film. In the year 2000, with a series of hit films, widely-seen TV appearances, and a career in modeling, Yoo was more constantly in the limelight than any other actor.

His first brush with fame came in the role of "Paint" in his second feature, the 1999 hit Attack the Gas Station. His sensitive and artistic image in this film and the warm character he displayed as a guest on TV talk shows helped to propel him to stardom. With the surprise success of his third film Ditto in spring 2000, Yoo's star status was secured. He also appeared in the successful firefighting film Libera Me. In this early part of his career, he was known particularly for the wild colors that he would dye his hair (white in Attack the Gas Station, blue in Ditto, blonde in Libera Me).

In 2001, however, he died his hair black and took on a more subdued, serious role in Hur Jin-ho's One Fine Spring Day. Although it wasn't a big hit with audiences, his performance in this film opened many critics' eyes and drew widespread praise, while officially launching the second stage of his career.

For the next two years, Yoo didn't appear in any new films, due to the fact that Natural City took an unusually long time to progress from shooting to a commercial release. He then appeared in three works in 2003: Natural City (which bombed, despite its big budget and special effects), the horror/suspense film Into the Mirror, and Park Chan-wook's acclaimed Old Boy. Yoo's memorable role in the latter film as a wealthy eccentric fixated on revenge would make his face well known to international audiences.

As Yoo's career established itself he began to appear in many high-profile projects, such as in well-known arthouse director Hong Sang-soo's Woman is the Future of Man (which, like Old Boy, screened at Cannes in 2004); Yim Phil-sung's big-budget Antarctic Journal, shot in New Zealand; and the action/noir Running Wild with Kwon Sang-woo.

Complete filmography:

Traces of Love (2006)
Running Wild (2006)
Antarctic Journal (2005)
Woman is the Future of Man (2004)
Old Boy (2003)
Into the Mirror (2003)
Natural City (2003)
One Fine Spring Day (2001)
Libera Me (2000)
A Nightmare (2000)
Ditto (2000)
Attack the Gas Station (1999)
Bye June (1998)

Lee Sung-jae Lee Sung-jae (b. August 23, 1970) in a short period rose to become one of the more versatile and popular actors in Korean cinema. After working for a time on TV (his debut was the MBC drama Love of Two Women), he launched his film career with the romantic comedy Art Museum by the Zoo opposite superstar Shim Eun-ha. The success of this movie gave him considerable attention and led to him being offered many more roles.

After starring in Ghost in Love opposite Kim Hee-sun, Lee played the leader of a small group of thugs in one of the biggest box-office hits in recent years, the smash comedy Attack the Gas Station. Shortly thereafter he took a role in a very different kind of film, the accomplished black comedy Barking Dogs Never Bite, which competed at the San Sebastian Film Festival in late 2000.

In 2001, Lee acted in A Day, a drama about a young married couple who wish to have a baby; and the wildly popular comedy Kick the Moon by Kim Sang-jin, director of Attack the Gas Station. He also had a major role in Public Enemy, a hugely successful film by hit director and Cinema Service founder Kang Woo-suk.

In 2004 Lee portrayed a mountain climber in the big-budget adventure/melodrama Ice Rain, which was shot in the Canadian Rockies. He also starred in the directorial debut of Park Jeong-woo, who wrote the screenplay for many of the recent films by Kim Sang-jin.

Complete filmography:

Holiday (2005)
Daisy (2005)
Shin Suk-ki Blues (2004)
Dance With the Wind (2004)
Ice Rain (2004)
Public Enemy (2002)
Kick the Moon (2001)
A Day (2001)
Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000)
Attack the Gas Station (1999)
Ghost in Love (1999)
Art Museum by the Zoo (1998)

Shin Hyun-june Shin Hyun-june (b. March 24, 1968) was an athletics major at Yonsei University before starting a career in modeling and acting in 1989. His film debut came in veteran director Im Kwon-taek's stylish Son of a General series, set under the Japanese occupation in the 1920s. For the first half of the 1990s he continued working with Im Kwon-taek and also acted in Hwa-om-kyung, Jang Sun-woo's award winning film based on the Avatamska Sutra.

In recent years Shin has turned more towards popular cinema, finding his greatest success in fantasy/sci-fi works such as The Gingko Bed, The Soul Guardians, and the Korean-Chinese coproduction Bichunmoo. In 2001 he starred in the third film by director Jang Jin (Guns & Talks), where he acted opposite TV star Won Bin and Shin Ha-kyun. He drew praise in this film for his acting, and the film went on to become hugely successful at the box-office. His next feature however, submarine drama Blue, proved a disappointment at the box-office. His next film saw him team up with actress Song Yoon-ah.

Partial filmography:

Barefoot Gi-bong (2006)
Shadowless Sword (2005)
Marrying the Mafia 2 (2005)
Face (2004)
Blue (2003)
Guns & Talks (2001)
Siren (2000)
Bichunmoo (2000)
The Soul Guardians (1998)
The Story of a Man (1998)
Maria and the Inn (1997)
Channel 69 (1996)
The Gingko Bed (1996)
The Taebaek Mountains (1994)
Hwa-om-kyung (1993)
Son of a General 3 (1992)
Son of a General 2 (1991)
Son of a General (1990)

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