Nam Gyu Ri’s Personal Life
Nam Gyu Ri is the third child out of 4 siblings. She has two sisters and one younger brother. Even though Nam was born in Seoul, she spent her childhood in Suncheon, Jeollanam-do. Her childhood was rough because of her father’s debt and she had to live with her grandmother. Before becoming a singer, she did some part time work including becoming telemarketer and waitress at a coffee shop. Eventually, the actress worked as a singer and actor to support her family and help her sister that works hard. Nam trained for 8 years until she debuted at the age of 21. After working as a singer, she got 350,000 won as her first paycheck and began shedding tears. For college, originally Nam studied practical music at Myongji University. But, she got expelled because of too many absences. Then, she applied for Department of Theater and Film at Kyunghee University and passed.
Nam Gyu Ri’s Career
Nam debuted in 2006 as a singer in the group SeeYa under Mnet Media. Their branding is as a female group of SG Wannabe, a male vocal group. The other membera are Kim Yeon Ji and Lee Bo Ram. Nam’s position in the group is vocalist. Her beautiful face raised attention from people and loved as ‘visual vocals’ along with Davichi’s Kang Min Kyung.
Right after they released their first album, they garnered success. Their success in the music industry continued until 2008. After they released a single Hot Girl, netizens started to speculate that her agency at that time, CCM (Core Content Media), showed discrimination between Nam and two other members. The discrimination was showed through their stage clothes. The group even got nickname “Nam Gyu Ri and other two” because Nam always got spotlight.
In the interview with Joy News 24, Nam said, “If I don’t have members, I won’t be there. I want to help each other and fill the gap within each other.”
Kim Yeon Ji and Lee Bo Reum also agreed with her. For them, they wanted to focus on the group with great vocals.
However, as far as April 2009, Nam is not participating in the group activities anymore. Nam’s lawyer stated that her contract with the agency is over, but CCM denied this and took legal action against her. The issue caused huge impact in the entertainment industry. Kim Yeon Ji and Lee Boram even shed tears in press conference. The reason her departure from the group was because she wanted to focus on an acting career and decided to make a new start with signing to other company. While Nam was in the contract controversy, she contributed in singer Ivy’s album as a songwriter. In January 2010, both sides had agreed to terminate her contract.
Other than as a singer, Nam also become an actress. She made her debut in 2008 with the horror movie Death Bell. Her appearance in the movie as a schoolgirl, showed a stable performance and received great response. After that, she kept her potential for acting with the drama Life is Beautiful that received many awards. Her other famous drama is 49 Days that also starring other famous actor, such as Lee Yeon Hee and Jung Il Woo.
In an interview with TV Report, Nam revealed her thoughts about picking a role. The moment for choosing role is a period of stagnation for her. She didn’t feel dilemma with the role that she wants to challenge and the role that she wants to get. At this time, she feels weak, depressed, with low self esteem because she is the kind of person who can’t work if she didn’t get enthused and that’s her weakness. When work comes to her mind, her ideas starts to become vague and she postpones the idea again. But, now, Nam already changed her mind into a positive mindset and accepted reality.
Her new project, is a movie, Deja Vu. This movie marks as her comeback into acting project after 4 years. Deja Vu is a thriller-mystery movie and tells about victim’s hallucination after killing a person with a car. Nam got into accident with her fiance (played by actor Lee Gyu Han) and suffered from delirium and hallucination. Her comeback is the result of her determination to act more in front of camera.
Other than working on CF, Nam also became an ambassador for several times. Here’s the list.
2011: Promotion Ambassador for Making Country Without Atopy
2011: Busan Contents Market Promoter
2012: Hope Seoul Ambassador
2014: Busan Contents Market 2014 Ambassador
2014: Korea UHD Contents Ambassador
2015: Electro Dash Seoul Ambassador
2017: Ferdinand Korea Public Relation Ambassador