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Actor You Need to Know: Han So-hee

Han is a rising South Korean actress who transcends romance, thrillers, drama, comedy, and every other genre imaginable

Debashree Dutta Jun 13, 2022

Photo: Courtesy of JTBC

Despite the fact that this native South Korean beauty hasn’t had a long career in the Korean entertainment industry, Han So-hee has earned the right to brag about her incredible acting skills. The actress and model is a true emerging star whose on-screen performances are exceptional, without a doubt. Han shines in all her roles, whether playing a femme fatale, a struggling high-schooler, a fighter, or just a girl next door.

Before breaking out as a lead actress, the 27-year-old was seen in supporting roles in television K-dramas such as Money Flower (2017), 100 Days My Prince (2018) and Abyss (2019), until the release of The World of the Married in 2020. Dubbed the highest-rated drama in Korean cable television history, this series (based on Mike Bartlett’s drama series Doctor Foster) chronicles the lives of a married couple whose breach of trust leads to mayhem. In it, Han played Yeo Da-kyung, a young girl having an affair with the married man in question. A winner of multiple accolades, the drama earned her international fame. As much as she was hated for the character, she also gathered love for the precision with which she played her part.

Since then, the actress has enjoyed a string of memorable roles. She established herself as a fine artist right from her breakthrough in Reunited Worlds (2017) and her presence in After the Rain (2018). Her professional journey, however, was sparked by her involvement in SHINee’s music video for “Tell Me What to Do” (2016) – a stunning song about anxiety and despair in the midst of a turbulent relationship. You can check out the same in our essential list of 12 K-pop music videos featuring K-drama actors.

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In addition to this, Han made an appearance in a few more notable music videos like “That Girl” (2017) by Jung Yong-hwa (feat. Loco), Roy Kim’s “The Hardest Part” (2018), and “You&I” (2019) by MeloMance.

Coming back to The World of the Married, its huge success led Han to 2021’s atypical passionate romance drama, Nevertheless, in which she co-starred with Song Kang as Yoo Na-bi. In the narrative, Yoo and Park Jae-yeon (Song) are in an open relationship. They are not in love but there’s an intense attraction that keeps them longing for each other. The drama became a topic of discussion for its bold sequences, and both Han and Song drew a lot of admiration for their seasoned acting abilities.

The list of badass K-drama heroines is quite lengthy. Plenty of Korean actresses have continually pushed their limits and excelled in action films and dramas. Han added her name to this list with her portrayal of Yoon Ji-woo in My Name (2021). Jiwoo is a tough girl whose world is turned upside down when her father is killed. She joins forces with a crime lord and cops to hunt down the murderer. Her bereavement and anguish are a result of the emotional turmoil she experiences before and after her father’s death. But she is a fighter. Although humiliated and mistreated, she rises from the ashes like a phoenix. Jiwoo’s encounters with the evil men are terrifying; the violence portrayed pales in comparison to what Jiwoo displays. Reportedly, Han spent months training for the action scenes and performed the stunts herself to bring the role to life.

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Diametrically opposite to Jiwoo’s character is that of Lee Eun-soo, a lively, beautiful young woman. The latter is a struggling lyricist played by Han alongside Park Hyung-shik in Soundtrack #1 (2022) – a romantic musical web series about two long-time friends who fall in love while staying together and collaborating on music. Both actors nailed it once again in this mini-series of four episodes. For me, Han came across as a surprise. As Eun-soo, Han’s role was a shift from the kind of character she usually portrays. Her reactions to not comprehending her best friend’s (Park as Han Seon-woo) feelings for her and then later realizing it, together with her pangs of pain when she finds him drifting away, are all brilliantly portrayed.

Han has always demonstrated her capacity to seamlessly glide into the skin of a character. Her versatility knows no limits. As I already mentioned, she can be anything – adorable, aggressive, sensual, and villainous. In fact, she is a complete entertainer, and Han’s next with Park Seo-joon, Gyeongseong Creature, is sure to add more quality to her repertoire. Gyeongseong Creature is said to be a period horror, following the protagonists as they solve the inexplicable disappearances of people and uncover a gruesome truth in the process. The release date of the drama is yet to be disclosed.

Photo: Courtesy of HanCinema

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