Who is Han So-hee, the new ‘It Girl’ of K-entertainment?
Who is Han So-hee, the new ‘It Girl’ of K-entertainment? Image Credit: Instagram/Han So-hee

Until a few years ago, no one had heard of her. But, today, Han So-hee is one of South Korea’s leading actresses.

From popular K-dramas such as My Name and The World of the Married, to the BTS’ Jungkook’s new music video, the 28-year-old actress is everywhere.

Recently, she reunited with K-pop idol and actor Cha Eun-woo for an advertisement video for a luxury fashion brand, sending the internet into a meltdown.

The video, which shows the pair taking selfies, lighting firecrackers, and strolling through the woods, became the talk of the town with fans asking for them to be cast together in a K-drama.

The duo’s previous collaboration was for a webtoon promotional video called ‘The Villainess is a Marionette’, in which Han So-hee and Cha Eun-woo portrayed the lead characters, Princess Kayena and Duke Kidreck.

More recently, So-hee was featured in the music video that everyone seems to be playing these days – Jungkook’s solo debut ‘Seven’.

So, what is behind Han So-hee’s sudden rise to fame? And, who is this breakout star of K-drama?

According to multiple South Korean entertainment websites, before she entered the world of Korean entertainment and found fame, So-hee worked part-time at restaurants, bars, and cosmetics stores.

So-hee, who was born in Ulsan, moved to Seoul with her grandmother when she was a third-year student at the Ulsan High School of Arts. There she started working part-time jobs to make ends meet.

In 2016, after a brief stint as a model, she made her first music video appearance in Shinee’s ‘Tell me what to Do’. Her acting debut followed with a minor role in ‘Reunited Worlds’, a 2017 romance drama.

From there, things started picking up for So-hee. That same year, she landed her first role as one of the main cast members in ‘Money Flower’, a business drama that tells the story of people who are driven by the illusion that they can control money, but they are the ones being dominated by greed.

She went on to star in multiple hit dramas such as 100 Days My Prince, After the Rain, and Abyss.

The actress also made an appearance in South Korean singer Roy Kim's music video for his song ‘The Hardest Part’.

Her breakout role came in 2020, when she played the lead role in South Korea’s smash-hit The World of the Married. The show went on to become the highest-rated drama in Korean cable television history.

Following her success, she started to book main roles in new dramas. In 2021, she played the leading female role in the K-drama Nevertheless alongside Song Kang.

So-hee played Yoo Na-bi, a university student majoring in art and was reportedly the only main cast member who did not need to take art lessons before filming. Some of her artwork even appears in the series.

In Soundtrack #1, she was cast alongside Park Hyung-sik and was later seen in the Netflix original crime-action drama My Name.

In the show, she plays a young woman who joins a gang and later infiltrates the police to avenge her father’s death. My Name had its world premiere at the Busan International Film Festival in 2021.

On March 23, 2022, the star who is managed by 9ato Entertainment, was chosen as Balenciaga's First South Korean Global Ambassador. She also stood 28th in Forbes’ Korea Power Celebrity list of 2022.

In a 2022 interview with Allure, an American women's magazine, the actress commented on her rise to fame.

“It’s not that I had a goal but after pursuing the enjoyable work that I liked, I’ve now turned 29 years old [Korean age]. Having people like me is something that happened suddenly, so I feel a lot of pressure and cannot only be excited, because I have to do something to live up to that.”

Han So-hee also explained that contrary to popular belief, she has not received an extraordinary number of casting offers.

She shared, “Honestly, even if there are projects that suit my appearance, I don’t think I have the face to do all types of roles. Breaking out of that is also homework for me. Now, I’m luckily receiving projects that suit me.”