Introduction to Jun Ji-hyun
Jun Ji-hyun is an actress from South Korea. She rose to fame for her role in the romantic comedy My Sassy Girl (2001), and has acted in other notable films including Windstruck (2004), Daisy (2006), The Thieves (2012) and Assassination (2015). She also starred in the television series My Love From the Star (2013 – 2014) and The Legend of the Blue Sea (2016 – 2017). The success of her films and television series internationally have established her as a top Hallyu star.
In this article, Channel-Korea will tell you about Some of Jun Ji-hyun’s top dramas and movies. So, stay tuned!
Jun Ji-hyun’s Top Dramas
My Love From the Stars
My Love From the Stars is a South Korean romantic/fantasy television series which aired on SBS from December 18, 2013, through February 27, 2014, for a total of 21 episodes. The series starred Jun Ji-hyun, Kim Soo-hyun, Park Hae-jin and Yoo In-na. This series was the second collaboration between Jun Ji-hyun and Kim Soo-hyun after the pair worked together in the film The Thieves. This series also represents Jun Ji-hyun’s small screen comeback after 14 years away.
Jun Ji-hyun played the role of Cheon Song-yi, a top Hallyu star who is very blunt and believes that she is every man’s type until she meets her stoic neighbor, Do Min-joon (Kim Soo-hyun). She soon develops feelings for him and tries to make him fall for her.
The story is about Do Min-joon (Kim Soo-hyun), an alien who landed on Earth in the year 1609 during the Joseon Dynasty. As he tries to help a young girl, Yi-hwa, from falling off a cliff, he misses his trip back to his planet and is stranded on Earth for the next four centuries. He possesses a near-perfect appearance, enhanced physical abilities involving his vision, hearing, and speed, and has a cynical, jaded view regarding human beings. As time goes by, Min-joon is forced to take on a new identity every ten years, as his human appearance never ages.
In the present time, he works as a college professor. With only three months left before his long-awaited departure back to space, he meets Cheon Song-yi (Jun Ji-hyun), a famous Hallyu actress who suddenly becomes his next-door neighbor. Slowly, he finds himself entangled in Song-yi’s crazy and unpredictable situations, and discovers that she looks like the young girl he fell in love with in the Joseon era. Min-joon tries to keep himself away from Song-yi, as he needs to leave the planet, but often finds himself failing to do so. The neighbors end up fall for each other.
The series was given generally positive reviews during its release in South Korea and received several accolades across Asia. Jun Ji-hyun won the Daesang, the highest award for Korean television, at the Baeksang Arts Awards and the SBS Drama Awards.
The Legend of the Blue Sea
The Legend of the Blue Sea is a South Korean romantic/fantasy television series which aired on SBS from November 16, 2016, to January 25, 2017, for 20 regular episodes and 1 special episode. The series was inspired by a classic Joseon legend from Korea’s first collection of unofficial historical tales, about a fisherman who captures and releases a mermaid.
Jun Ji-hyun played the role of Se-hwa/Shim Cheong, a mermaid in the Joseon era, who fell in love with Kim Dam-ryung (Lee Min-ho) as a child after saving him. As they are initially unable to stay together due to his arranged marriage and Se-hwa’s inability to turn her tail into legs before reaching adulthood, she erases his memories. The two meet again and suffer a tragic fate together, beginning the first omen that will tie into their reincarnations. In the modern day, she arrives in Seoul to follow Heo Joon-jae (Lee Min-ho) after having fallen in love with him. He calls her Shim Cheong, which means ‘stupid’, as she is highly ignorant about everyday things up on land. Like her past self, she has super strength and the ability to read and erase one’s memory.
The story revolves around the romantic relationship of Heo Joon-jae (Lee Min-ho), the son of a rich businessman who becomes a handsome and clever con-man after his parents’ divorce, and a mermaid named Shim Cheong (Jun Ji-hyun). Focusing on rebirth, fate, and unrequited love, their tale is juxtaposed with the parallel story of their Joseon-era incarnations, town head Kim Dam-ryeong and the mermaid, Se-hwa.
Due to the fame of Lee Min-ho and Jun Ji-hyun, the series maintained the first place ranking for its time slot and surpassed a 20% viewership ratings. The series also fared well overseas, having been exported to all major regions around the world, including Southeast Asia, the Americas, and Europe. Jun Ji-hyun’s performance as a mermaid also received a lot of praise from critics.
Jun Ji-hyun’s Top Movies
My Sassy Girl
My Sassy Girl is a 2001 South Korean romantic comedy. The film is based on a true story, told in a series of blog posts written by Kim Ho-sik, who later adapted them into a fictional novel. The film was directed by Kwak Jae-yong and starred Jun Ji-hyun and Cha Tae-hyun.
Jun Ji-hyun played The Girl, whose name is never mentioned in the movie. Her mood swings wildly from joyful to downright violent. She likes to be cruel to Gyeon-woo (Cha Tae-hyun) for her amusement, but she actually holds onto a painful past from when she was with her ex-boyfriend.
The story is about the romance between Gyeon-woo (Cha Tae-hyun) and ‘the Girl’ (Jun Ji-hyun). One day, Gyeon-woo met a drunken woman, whom he later has a comically ill-fated relationship with. She likes to be mean to Gyeon-woo, but Gyeon-woo puts up with it and determines to help cure the girl’s pain. Her cruel treatment toward’s Gyeon-woo is her way of showing affection and the two grow closer. However, the Girl’s parents don’t approve of them and they go on with their lives, respectively.
After some time, the two are reunited but, for some unspeakable reason, the Girl decides that it is time for them to part. They each write a letter and bury them in a time capsule, agreeing to meet again after two years. After the two years have passed. Gyeon-woo comes to the promised place but the Girl doesn’t. He opens the time capsule and reads her letter and learns the root of her angst and behavior. A year later, the Girl comes to the promised place and reads his letter. She tries to call Gyeon-woo repeatedly, but is unable to contact him. Later, they meet on a fateful encounter and start their relationship anew.
My Sassy Girl was very successful in South Korea, where it was the highest-grossing comedy of all time and was the second highest-selling Korean film in 2001 after Friends. When the film was released across East Asia, it became a blockbuster in Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. The film has had many remakes and television adaptations in different countries and played a key role in the spread of the Korean Wave.
Windstruck is a 2004 South Korean romantic film. The film released on June 3, and ran at 123 minutes. It was directed by Kwak Jae-yong and starred Jun Ji-hyun and Jang Hyuk.
Jun Ji-hyun played Officer Yeo Kyung-jin, an ambitious young female police officer serving in the Seoul Police department.
The story is about the romance between Officer Yeo Kyung-jin (Jun Ji-hyun) and Go Myung-woo (Jang Hyuk). Their first encounter happens when Kyung-jin accidentally captures Myung-woo and mistakes him for a purse snatcher. The first half of the film, told from Myung-woo’s point of view, details the couple’s growing attraction and love for each other, which climaxes with a trip to the countryside where Myung-woo tells Kyung-jin that if he were ever to die, he would want to come back to earth as the wind.
The film takes a turn into a fantasy genre in its second half, after Myung-woo is accidentally shot and killed by another officer as Kyung-jin chases after a criminal. The situation was such that Kyung-jin thinks that it was her shot that killed him. She then falls into a suicidal depression over his death and attempts to kill herself several times. Soon after, she experiences visitations from Myung-woo, who appears as the wind, sending her messages and, at one point, he even appears in her dreams in order to give her the will to live. Myung-woo and Kyung-jin get to communicate and share one final gesture of love before he moves on to the afterlife. Myung-woo said that he will whisper, and when she hears him whisper in the wind, she will meet someone with a soul like him.
Windstruck shares the same leading actress and director as the other, earlier, popular film, My Sassy Girl, as a result, Windstruck contains several subtle references to the previous film. In My Sassy Girl she says that she had a boyfriend that died before meeting Cha Tae-hyun, and in Windstruck her boyfriend (Myung-woo) died due to hunting a criminal. In My Sassy Girl the reason why he died was never given. As for the reception, the film was ranked the 8th best-selling Korean film of 2004.