Kim Go-eun – Wikipedia
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Kim Go-eun – Wikipedia

This article is about the actress. For the pop singer of the same name, see Byul.

Kim Go-eun (born July 2, 1991) is a South Korean actress. She debuted in the film A Muse (2012) where she won several Best New Actress awards in South Korea. She is also known for her role in the television series Cheese in the Trap (2016), Guardian: The Lonely and Great God (2016), and The King: Eternal Monarch (2020).[2]

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Early life and education[edit]

Kim was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1991 and in 1994, at the age of three, she moved with her family to Beijing, China. She lived there for 10 years which led to her becoming fluent in Mandarin.[3] After watching Chen Kaige’s Together many times, Kim decided she wanted to become a filmmaker, and was led to theater by chance. Upon returning to South Korea, she attended Kaywon High School of the Arts, and went on to study Drama at the Korea National University of Arts.[4][5]

Director Jung Ji-woo commented on Kim, saying, “She is naturally curious and brave. She’s strong in a sense that she isn’t influenced easily. She doesn’t do things just because everyone else does it.”[6]


2012: A Muse and critical acclaim[edit]

In 2012, Kim was catapulted from obscurity to the center of much media buzz when she was cast as Eun-gyo, a 17-year-old high school student who awakens the lust of two men, in A Muse.[7][8][9][10] Her performance swept the Best New Actress awards that year.

Xem thêm: Cách làm muối ớt thơm cay, chấm gì cũng ngon

The 21-year-old had never appeared in a film or TV drama before, not even in a minor role; she had only previously acted in student productions or school plays. She met A Muse director Jung Ji-woo through a circle of friends and was not even aware that auditions for the film were being held.[2] “I ended up having an audition after chatting with the director. There wasn’t even any time for me to prepare,” Kim recalled. She was chosen among some 300 actresses who auditioned for the part.[11] Apart from its provocative theme, the film featured two graphic sex scenes, which Kim admitted to feeling anxious and embarrassed about before filming, but when the cameras started, she said she became totally immersed in the character.[4] Jung said Kim grew up through the film, saying, “Her facial expressions in the last few scenes of the film are strikingly different from the ones in the beginning. I wanted to capture the moments when she realizes how precious she is to herself and to others,” adding that she showed off qualities that can only be found in someone who is unaware of her own beauty and what she is capable of.[6]

Describing her feelings about her profession, Kim said, “When I stood on the stage for the first time, I was so nervous that I thought it would be so hard if I had to do this for the rest of my life. But from my second performance, I felt ecstatic, as if I had wings on my back, and I never wanted to step off the stage. I keep on acting because I want to hold on to that feeling.”[4] Regarding her decision to limit her appearance in advertisements, she said, “I never thought about my image or potential endorsement deals when choosing the next film project. What worries me is what impact my appearance in commercials would have on my roles.”[12]

2013–2015: Hiatus and return to film[edit]

Despite many offers following A Muse, Kim decided to take a break from acting for two years, going back to college to complete her degree. She returned to the screen in 2014, showcasing her versatility in the thriller Monster where she played a developmentally disabled woman whose younger sister is murdered by a ruthless serial killer; her grief and rage drives her almost psychotic, and she plans her revenge.[13][14][15][16]

In 2015, she and Kim Hye-soo were cast in Coin Locker Girl, a female-driven thriller based on 1980 Japanese novel Coin Locker Babies. She was invited to the 2015 Festival de Cannes with the director and cast for this film, her first time there.[17][18] Kim next starred in martial arts period drama Memories of the Sword, in which she acted opposite her longtime role model, actress Jeon Do-yeon.[19][20][21] This was followed by courtroom film The Advocate: A Missing Body, where she played an aggressive prosecutor;[22] and family film Canola, about a reunion between a girl and her grandmother alongside veteran actress Youn Yuh-jung.[23][24]

2016–present: Television debut and rising popularity[edit]

Kim made her television debut in the hit cable series Cheese in the Trap, based on the webtoon of the same title.[25][26][27] She also contributed her vocals in the track “Attraction” by Tearliner for the drama’s OST.[28] Kim won the Baeksang Arts Award for Best New Actress Television for her performance.[29] Later in 2016, she co-starred in Kim Eun-sook’s megahit fantasy drama Guardian: The Lonely and Great God.[30] The drama was a pan-Asia hit, and received critical acclaim, becoming a cultural phenomenon in South Korea.[31] It was also the first Korean cable drama to surpass 20% in ratings, and as of June 2021, it is the fifth-highest rated Korean drama in cable television history. Kim remains close friends with her Guardian co-stars.[32]

In 2018, Kim starred in the drama film Sunset in My Hometown directed by Lee Joon-ik. For her role as a wild country girl, Kim gained 8 kg and learned a regional dialect.[33][34][35] The same year, she was cast in the period romance film Tune in for Love.[36] Tune in for Love set a box office record for the most admissions for a romance film upon its opening day of August 28, 2019 with 173,562 admissions, and was also the number one film in the South Korean box office during the week of September 1, 2019.[37][38]

In 2019, Kim was cast in the fantasy drama The King: Eternal Monarch alongside Lee Min-ho.[39] The series hailed as one of the most anticipated series in the first half of 2020 due to its ensemble cast, renowned screenwriter, extensive publicity and more than 30 billion Won (US$25 million) production budget,[40][41] setting a record on its first episode for SBS’s highest Friday-Saturday drama premiere ratings and maintaining the No.1 spot on the weekly Wavve drama chart for eight consecutive weeks,[42][43] but receiving criticisms for its screenplay, direction and performances leading to lower-than-expected domestic popularity in Korea compared to previous works by Kim Eun-sook.[44][45][46]

The same year she was cast in South Korea’s first ever musical film Hero, which is based on the hit musical Youngwoong. The film is based on the life of activist An Jung-geun following the assassination of Itō Hirobumi, and Kim plays the role of a former Gungnyeo turned Geisha who becomes a part of the Korean independence movement.[47][48] The movie was originally scheduled to premiere in July 2020, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Xem thêm: 15 mẹo chăm sóc da và bản thân năm 2021

In 2021, she is appearing in psychological, romantic drama Yumi’s Cells, a tvN TV series based on eponymous webtoon.[49]


Ambassador Roles[edit]

In 2019, Kim was named as a Chanel ambassador for South Korea, and was later selected to be one of the seven faces for Chanel’s “J12 Turns 20” campaign in 2020.[50]

In 2019, Kim Go Eun has been appointed as an honorary ambassador for the Ministry of Environment’s Resource Circulation held at the Korea Press Center on August 30th 2019. Kim Go Eun actively paid attention to social contribution and environmental protection activities such as donating to wildfire victims in Gangwon area and removing plastic in the seas with their “NO Plastic Challenge”. [51]


In late February 2020, the Korean NGO Good Neighbors published that Kim had made a donation of 100 million won (approx. US$82,640) to provide 40,000 masks for low-income families in South Korea amidst the Coronavirus pandemic.[52] In honor of Korean national children’s day, She donated 50 million won ($44,000) to the Children’s Hospital of the Seoul National University Hospital on May 5, 2021.



Television series[edit]

Variety show[edit]


Awards and nominations[edit]



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External links[edit]

Kim Go-eun - Wikipedia Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kim Go-eun.
  • Kim Go-eun at HanCinema
  • Kim Go-eun at the Korean Movie Database
  • Kim Go-eun at IMDb

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