They often say that great age comes with great experience. Well, it’s not the case for the young promising actress, Kim So-hyun. She’s only 21 years old but she has an enormous body work under her belt. She started with playing the child counterparts of drama leading ladies but she has now emerged as one of Korea’s most bankable lead actresses.
Born in Australia and raised in South Korea, Kim So-hyun is known for her stellar acting and great chemistry with almost every actor she has worked with despite the age gap. Dubbed as the “Nation’s Little Sister” and “Queen of Child Actors,” she started getting the interest of the public eye in 2012 through the smash hit Moon Embracing the Sun, followed by her iconic role as a rape victim abandoned by her first love in Missing You. Aside from acting, she also has a talent for hosting as she used to appear in the MBC music program Music Core and survival reality show Under Nineteen in 2019.
Ahjummamshies, the wait is over! Let’s welcome, KIM SO-HYUN!
Drama City: Ten Minute Minor (KBS2 / 2006) – Supporting role
She made her debut as a child actress in the 2006 Drama City special called Ten Minute Minor.
Que Sera Sera (MBC / 2007) – Han Eun-soo (young)
Her official first appearance in a major drama was through her cameo in MBC’s Que Sera Sera as the younger version of Jung Yu-mi’s character Eun-soo.
A Happy Woman (KBS2 / 2007) – Lee Ji-yeon (young)
She appeared in another full length drama that year in A Happy Woman as the young Ji-yeon, later on portrayed by Yoon Jung-hee. The drama was about a jewelry designer who ended up in a love triangle with her sophisticated husband and a lonely detective.
Korean Ghost Stories (KBS2 / 2008) – Yeon-hwa (Ep.2 “Baby, Let’s Go to Cheong Mountain”)
She had major role in the second episode of the Korean horror classic series Korean Ghost Stories (aka Hometown Legends). She was cast as the sick daughter of a noblewoman, who was told by a sorceress that her child needs to eat a baby’s liver to survive.
Ja Myung-go (SBS / 2009) – Myo-ri
She made a cameo in the SBS fantasy historical drama Ja Myung-go (topbilled by Jung Ryeo-won, Jung Kyung-ho, and Park Min-young) as Myo-ri, a young girl who died after being poisoned with snake venom.
Becoming a Billionaire (KBS2 / 2010) – Lee Shin-mi
Continuing her streak in playing the younger versions of drama heroines, she appeared in the 2010 series Becoming a Billionaire as the young Lee Bo-young.
Baker King Kim Tak-gu (KBS2 / 2010) – Koo Ja-rim (young)
One her most prominent childhood roles was in the hit drama Baker King Kim Tak-gu wherein she appeared as one of the wealthy kids of the Gu household, Ja-rim, who was later on portrayed by Choi Yoon-young.
Man of Vendetta (2010) – Joo Hye-rin
She debuted in the big screen through the movie Man of Vendetta as Joo Hye-rin, the kidnapped daughter of a devoted pastor who began to question his faith after the unfortunate event.
Sin of a Family (2011) – Jung Myung-hee
Kim So-hyun was cast in 2011 crime film Sin of a Family as Jeong Myeong-heui, the daughter of a family involved in the case of a missing boy with autism. The movie revolved around a detective who investigated the circumstances surrounding the young autistic boy’s death.
Spy Papa (2011) – Soon-bok
The family comedy Spy Papa revolves around the unlikely tandem of a commie father and an anti-communist daughter. Kim Soo-hyun portrays the character of the daughter, Soon-bok, an 11-year-old fourth grader who advocates anti-communism and catches spies after receiving commendation for crime prevention. Unbeknownst to her, her father used to be a spy himself and was dispatched in North Korea for 14 years!
The Duo (MBC / 2011) – Geum-ok (young)
She was cast as the young Geum-ok (portrayed later on by Lee Seol-ah) in the MBC historical drama The Duo. It was topbilled by Chun Jung-myung, Lee Sang-yoon, Han Ji-hye and Seo Hyun-jin.
The Thorn Birds (KBS2 / 2011) – Seo Jung-Eun (young)
She appeared as the younger version of Han Hye-jin’s character Jung-eun in the KBS2 drama The Thorn Birds.
Padam Padam (JTBC / 2011-2012) – Jung Ji-na (teen)
One the inaugural dramas on the then-newly launched cable channel JTBC, fantasy series Padam Padam was written by acclaimed writer Noh Hee-kyung. Kim So-hyun took on the role of teenage Ji-na, the female lead who was later on portrayed by Han Ji-min.
I am the King (2012) – Sol-bi
Starring alongside Ju Ji-hoon in the 2012 historical comedy film I am the King, she managed to bag a minor role as a commoner named Sol-bi.
The Moon Embracing The Sun (MBC / 2012) – Yoon Bo-kyung (teen)
She gained popularity while appearing in the massive hit Moon Embracing the Sun as the younger version of the antagonist Kim Min-seo. The drama gave her the title “Korea’s little sister” during that time.
Rooftop Prince (SBS / 2012) – Hong Se-na / Crown Princess Hwa-yong (child)
Returning to villain roles on that same year, she was cast as the young Se-na, the evil stepsister of the female lead, in the fantasy romantic comedy Rooftop Prince.
Love Again (JTBC / 2012) – Jung Yoo-ri (Ji-hyun’s daughter)
She was then cast as Kim Ji-soo’s daughter in the JTBC drama Love Again, which was a remake of a Japanese series.
Ma Boy (Tooniverse / 2012) – Jang Geu-rim
She bagged her first ever drama lead role in the mini-series Ma Boy. The teen webdrama was about a high school student named Jang Geu-rim, who dreams of becoming a singer while unknowingly being roommates with a K-pop idol disguised as a female student.
Missing You (MBC / 2012-2013) – Lee Soo-yeon (young)
This drama gave her massive public attention and numerous acting recognitions because of her excellent portrayal of the young Yoon Eun-hye’s traumatic back story.
IRIS 2 (KBS2 / 2013) – Ji Soo-yeon (teen)
She takes on another character named Soo-yeon as the younger Lee Da-hae in the KBS2TV drama IRIS 2.
Killer Toon (2013) – Mi-sook (young)
She worked in the horror film Killer Toon about a famous webtoon artist whose publisher died in a manner which coincidentally mirrored the images in her latest comic.
Secret of the Birth (SBS / 2013) – Jung Yi-hyun (young)
One of her melodrama appearances was the weekend series Secret of the Birth wherein she played as the younger version of Sung Yu-ri, a genius girl with amnesia.
I Can Hear Your Voice (SBS / 2013) – Jang Hye-sung (young)
This drama is one of her most memorable portrayals because she appeared as the teenage version of Lee Bo-young.
The Suspicious Housekeeper (SBS / 2013) – Eun Han-gyeol (Sang-Chul’s first daughter)
Her transition into playing main roles and not just younger counterparts of lead stars began when she was cast in The Suspicious Housekeeper, the Korean remake Japanese drama, Kaseifu no Mita, as the troubled first daughter of a widower
Triangle (MBC / 2014) – Hwang Shin-Hye (young)
In 2014, Kim played as the young Oh Yeon-su in Triangle, a drama about three brothers who were separated in childhood by unfortunate circumstances and then met twenty years later.
Reset (OCN / 2014) – Seung-hee (Woo-jin’s first love) / Jo Eun-bi
Kim So-hyun’s first dual role was in the 10-episode thriller Reset, wherein she played both as a murdered girl from the past who’s also the first love of the male lead and as a high school student in the present.
Drama Special: We All Cry Differently (KBS2 / 2014) – Ryu Ji-hye
She also led the KBS2 Drama Special titled We All Cry Differently which won the 2013 KBS Screenplay Contest.
A Girl Who Sees Smells (SBS / 2015) – Choi Eun-seol (Moo-Gak’s younger sister)
In 2015, she made a special appearance as Park Yoo-chun’s sister in A Girl Who Sees Smells. This was her third project with Yoo-chun after Rooftop Prince and Missing You.
Who Are You: School 2015 (KBS2 / 2015) – Lee Eun-bi / Go Eun-byeol
Taking on the challenge of portraying another dual role, she topbilled the hit drama Who Are You: School 2015 as twins Lee Eun-bi and Go Eun-byul, who were polar opposites. This drama gave her the “Star of the Year” recognition at the 8th Korea Drama Awards. It was also popular for its second lead syndrome, which also gave her and Yook Sung-jae the Best Couple Award in the 2015 KBS Drama Awards.
Unforgettable/Pure Love (2016) – Soo-ok
She returned to Chungmuro through the youth romance movie Unforgettable, working alongside Do Kyung-so. She portrayed DO’s first love who suffers from a leg injury.
Nightmare High (Naver TV / 2016) – Kang Ye-rim
In 2016, she was cast in a mystery-school web drama Nightmare Teacher as a class president who discovers mysterious secrets of her school.
Page Turner (KBS2 / 2016) – Yoon Yoo-seul
She then led the KBS2 three-episode drama special, Page Turner as the blind piano genius Yoo-seul.
The Last Princess (2016) – Princess Deokhye (young)
She received much praise for her portrayal as the young Son Ye-jin in the period film Princess Deokhye, the last princess of the Joseon Dynasty.
Bring it on, Ghost (tvN / 2016) – Kim Hyun-ji
In 2016, she starred in the popular webtoon adaptation of Bring it on, Ghost with Ok Taec-yeon and Kwon Yul.
Goblin (tvN / 2016-2017) – Queen (special appearance)
She made a big impact in the global phenomenon Goblin in her recurring guest role as Gong Yoo’s younger sister and the young Queen in the drama.
The Emperor: Owner of the Mask (MBC / 2017) – Han Ga-eun
She returned to the sageuk genre as Ga-eun in highly-rated drama The Emperor: Owner of the Mask alongside Yoo Seung-ho.
While You Were Sleeping (SBS / 2017) – Park So-yoon (cameo)
She showed her support for scriptwriter Park Hae-ryun, who she worked with on KBS’s Page Turner, by appearing in another cameo, this time for the SBS fantasy romance While You Were Sleeping.
Radio Romance (KBS2 / 2018) – Song Geu-rim
She worked alongside Yoon Doo-joon in the 2018 romance drama Radio Romance as a radio scriptwriter Song Geu-rim.
Love Alarm (Netflix / 2019) – Kim Jo-jo
In 2019, she led the Netflix adaptation of the webcomic Love Alarm as the bright and carefree high school student Kim Jo-jo who has a painful family background. The drama tells Kim Jo-jo’s adventure in using a mobile app that lets its users know when someone within a 10-meter radius has feelings for them.
The Tale of Nokdu (KBS2 / 2019) – Dong Dong-ju
She starred in another period drama set in the Joseon dynasty titled Tale of Nokdu. Her role was a clumsy and hot-tempered gisaeng trainee who wanted to avenge against those who wronged her family.
River Where The Moon Rises (KBS2 / 2021) – Queen Yeon / Pyeong-gang
She reunites with his Page Turner co-star Ji Soo in River Where The Moon Rises, a modern retelling of the classic Goguryeo folktale about Princess Pyeonggang and On Dal.
Love Alarm Season 2 (Netflix / 2019) – Kim Jo-jo
She will reprise her role as Kim Jo-jo in the hit Netflix drama Love Alarm, which will be set four years after the creation of the mobile app Joalarm.