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Female antagonists of K-dramas in the 2000s then and now (ft. Kim So Yeon, Kim Tae Hee, and more)

How are the actresses who were once hated by the audience for their antagonist portrayals doing now? 

The 2000s was the beginning of Korean dramas spreading its impact across Asia. The female lead in dramas released around this time often have a kind, innocent and angelic image. In order to “buff” the female leads and spark drama, Korean screenwriters often came up with cunning and mean second female leads. Here are 6 most memorable female antagonists of the 2000s, let’s see how they are doing now.

Kim So Yeon (All About Eve) 

Kim So Yeon
Kim So Yeon

All About Eve is a famous drama released in 2000, in which Kim So Yeon leaves a strong impression on viewers with her portrayal of the cunning character Heo Young Mi alongside with the other female lead who is smart, pretty and kind. 

Heo Young Mi of All About Eve is filled with intrigues and ambitions to steal all good things from Jin Sun Mi (Chae Rim). Jealousy causes her to eventually pay the price for what she did to harm others. 

Kim So Yeon

Among the cast of All About Eve, Kim So Yeon is the most hardworking actress up to now. Although she is married, she stars in new works frequently, constantly boosting her popularity while her former co-stars have been taking a break from the screen for a long time.

20 years after the success of the role in All About Eve, Kim So Yeon had an astonishing comeback at the age of 40 in an iconic villain role, Cheon Seo Jin of The Penthouse: War In Life. In 3 seasons of SBS’s hit mystery thriller drama, Kim So Yeon flawlessly portrays an evil and ambitious woman with complex emotions and inexplicable struggles. However, don’t get confused between the actress and her characters. In real life, Kim So Yeon is cute and soft as ever. 

Kim Tae Hee (Stairway to Heaven)

Kim Tae Hee
Kim Tae Hee

Entering the entertainment industry in the early 2000s, Kim Tae Hee delivered an unforgettable performance in the role of evil, guileful stepsister Han Yoo Ri, who always looks for ways to hurt the female lead Han Jung Suh (Choi Ji Woo) in Stairway to Heaven

After the success of Stairway to Heaven, Kim Tae Hee quickly made a name for herself and became a sought-after A-lister. She continuously took on the female lead role in subsequent dramas. However, the villain role in Stairway to Heaven remains her most iconic character. 

Kim Tae Hee

After nearly 20 years, Kim Tae Hee is still a goddess in the hearts of the Korean public thanks to her unrivaled gorgeous beauty. Although her acting is not considered excellent, viewers still appreciate Kim Tae Hee’s transformation of image through each role. As for her personal life, Kim Tae Hee is enjoying a fulfilled life with her husband Rain and their two daughters. 

Park Sol Mi (Winter Sonata)

Park Sol Mi
Park Sol Mi

Not exactly a villain, but Park Sol Mi‘s character Oh Chae Rin in Winter Sonata is a jealous girl who likes to fight for things that don’t belong to her and always holds grudges against the female lead Jung Yoo Jin (Choi Ji Woo). Chae Rin‘s mean personality and delusion make viewers unable to sympathize with her. 

Although she got herself a memorable role in a hit drama, Park Sol Mi could not become a top actress in the industry. She later had more supporting roles with barely any impact. Despite her outstanding beauty, perhaps Park Sol Mi is not meant to play the female lead. 

Park Sol Mi

Regarding her personal life, Park Sol Mi got married to Han Jae Suk, who is also an actor who truly treasures and understands Park Sol Mi. Because Han Jae Suk is a chaebol son, after the two tied the knot, Park Sol Mi ceased entertainment activities to take care of her family. 

Kim Seo Hyung (Temptation Of A Wife)

Kim Seo Hyung
Kim Seo Hyung

Temptation Of A Wife is one of the most successful family blockbusters among Korean films released in the 2000s. Kim Seo Hyung‘s villain Go Ae Ri has been labeled a “character”  most hated female in Korea.  She did not only have an affair with her best friend’s husband, but also joined hands to make her best friend almost die, so viewers hated and criticized the character Ae Ri a lot.  This is also the highlight of Kim Seo Hyung‘s career when she was young.

Kim Seo Hyung is very hardworking and dedicated to her career.  Even though she only played supporting roles for many years, she never gave up or got discouraged.  In 2018, she played the villain Kim Joo Young in SKY Castle, and as a result, the actress’ career took a new turn at the age of 40.

Kim Seo Hyung

Since then, people have remembered her with a more luxurious and powerful image.  In 2021, Kim Seo Hyung returns to the small screen with a TV series called Mine.  Although it cannot be said to be a resounding success, this drama is still enough to help Kim Seo Hyung‘s name get wider coverage.  Despite being 48 years old, she is still a charming beauty of showbiz.

Park Shi Yeon (My Girl)

Park Shi Yeon
Park Shi Yeon

In 2004 when participating in My Girl, Park Shi Yeon was still a fairly new face, who had participated in the Miss Korea contest.  The role of Kim Se Hyun in My Girl was the first big role in Park Shi Yeon‘s acting career, but she performed quite well, and made an impression on the public. This character isn’t exactly evil but she’s the one who constantly tries to break the relationship between the male and female leads. 

Park Shi Yeon

After this supporting role, Park Shi Yeon has achieved some success in her career.  She had subsequent notable roles, even the lead role.  However, it was Park Shi Yeon who put herself in a difficult position when she was constantly entangled in scandals, causing her image to collapse and her career to die. In 2021, the actress continued to be in trouble and was fined when participating in traffic.

Han Da Gam (Full House)

Han Da Gam
Han Da Gam

Han Da Gam or formerly Han Eun Jung was once very popular because she was Song Hye Kyo‘s rival in Full House.  Her character Kang Hye Won is a charming, successful woman yet doesn’t know how to appreciate love.

This character is in stark contrast to the female lead played by Song Hye Kyo, both in appearance and personality, which also brings discomfort to viewers.  However, this is the character that helped Han Eun Jung get a lot of attention. 

Han Da Gam

Unfortunately, Han Eun Jung‘s career did not progress much after Full House. Recently, she changed her name to Han Da Gam. Han Da Gam is still extremely attractive and confident at the age of 41, but her chance to become an A-list star appears to have passed her by.

Among the actresses mentioned above, Kim Seo Hyung and Kim So Yeon stand out the most for their acting. Kim Tae Hee is the most enviable star because not only does she have an amazing career, she also has a loving husband and beautiful children. 

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