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Actor Spotlight: Jun Ji-hyun

This week’s Actor in the Spotlight is about one of my OG’s, she has given life to amazing and charming characters that had the public flabbergasted and in awe. Today’s feature is the one and only Jun Ji-hyun.


Starting off in the industry as a model in 1997, Jun Ji-hyun (aka. Gianna Jun) had her first shot in the acting industry in the 1998 drama ‘Fascinate My Heart’ in a supporting role. Ji-hyun got her first leading role the following year in the movie ‘White Valentine’ which was followed by her participation in the drama ‘Happy Together’.

Her role in the movie ‘My Sassy Girl’ was Gianna Jun’s breakout role, her popularity grew not just in South Korea but also in the rest of Asia and she was given the title of “Nation’s First Love”, her popularity solidified her status as an actress. She won the Best Actress award at the 2002 Grand Bell Awards.

MainStream and Hollywood debut

Following the success of ‘My Sassy Girl’, Ji-hyun was featured in the films ‘The Uninvited’ (2003), ‘Windstruck’ (2004), ‘Daisy’ (2006), ‘A Man who was Superman’ (2008), among many brand endorsements she had during this time.

In 2009 she made her Hollywood debut with the film ‘Blood: The Last Vampire’, this one was followed by ‘Snow Flower and the Secret Fan’ in 2011.

One of my favourite roles by Jun Ji-hyun is in the movie ‘The Thieves’, besides having fantastic chemistry with her co-stars she also left one of the most infamous and amazing escape scenes I had seen in a movie. Check it below.

Her chemistry with Kim Soo-Hyun in the movie ‘The Thieves’ came back to the small screen in the well-known classic ‘My Love from the Star’, with this drama Gianna Jun returned to the dramas world after thirteen years since her last drama appearance. 

My Love from the Star’ is well known and very much loved by K-drama lovers around the glove, Jy-hyun’s character wasn’t just funny and charismatic, but also strong and relatable at times, check the trailer below. 

Present and Future

After the success of ‘My Love from the Star’, Gianna Jun took part in the movies ‘The Berlin File’ and ‘Assassination’. After a short hiatus she came back to the small screen in 2016 with the drama ‘The Legend of the Blue Sea’ co-starring Lee Min-ho, this drama was well-received by the public and had a good viewership.

Jun Ji-hyun had a brief appearance in the second season of the Netflix horror drama ‘Kingdom’, and it is scheduled to take part in the upcoming television series ‘Cliffhanger’ and the the spin off of ‘Kingdom’, ‘Kingdom: Ashin of the North’, focused on the story of the role she played. 

To find out more about Jun Ji-hyun work, check her website here

K-Beauty enthusiast, Drama Lover, Melophile and Foodie, writing about her faves on a daily basis.