Ha Ji Won’s 2009 Success
Ha Ji Won was undoubtedly the box office actress of the year with the successes of Haeundae and My Love By My Side, selling 15 million tickets. There were expectations for a big year on the awards circuit as well, but the Grand Bell Awards were surprising missing her name from the nomination list. There are still a lot of awards left, including the Blue Dragon Awards, so I wouldn’t be too worried.
She recently took some photos for a CF, so I thought we would take a look down memory lane at her career.
She started with small parts in kdramas starting in 1995, until she received her big break being cast as the female lead in Truth Game (1990) with Ahn Sung Ki (Simildo, Radio Star). Her role as a 17 year old student earned her the New Actress Jaejong Awards. Following, she starred in The Nightmare (1990) and Phone (1992), being coined the Queen of horror.
Her first non-horror box office success was in Sex is Zero, which sold over 4 million tickets. It also paired her up with Director Yoon Jae Kyun for the first time. She’s turned into quite a favorite of his, starring in multiple Yoon films, including a reunion with Sex is Zero costar Im Chang Jung in Miracle on 1st Street and the 2009 blockbuster Haeundae. Along the way, she also starred in Duelist with Kang Dong Wan, a stunningly beautiful movie.
Over on the small screen, Ha Ji Won also excelled. She took on one of the first female leading sageuk, Damo (2003) and continued onto the hit Something Happened in Bali with So Ji Sub and Jo In Sung. In 2006, she started in her last kdrama, Hwang Jini, the famous 16th century gisaeng. This beautiful sageuk won her the KBS dae-sang (highest actor) award.
Her next project is again a Yoon Jae Kyun film, Block 7 [제7광구], about a oil drilling ship facing life or death struggles against an alien life form. (Title is not final.) The movie is scheduled to be filmed with an American staff and with Western actors. The details are still in the works. It sounds like it can go the way of Abyss or Armageddon. If it’s the latter, it would be a disaster.
I really like Ha Ji Won and think she’s a solid actress. I’m a bit alarmed by her selecting another blockbuster film after Haeundae, but hoping that she’ll pick a smaller well written project next. I recently caught the “Family Outing” episode with her as the guest, and found her to be sweet and down to earth, even a little dim (but in a cute way).
Here are a few more photos, including an interesting Vogue spread playing Gulliver.