From “Penthouse” Cheon Seo Jin to “The Glory” Park Yeon Jin: A history of iconic K-drama female villains 

These K-drama female villains are loved for the actresses’ brilliant acting transformation and attractive visuals. 

There are multiple K-drama villains that radiate their own charm beyond making the main characters shine. Even though they play the antagonists, they are still loved thanks to the actors’ acting skills and captivating visuals. Let’s take a look at four representative female villains of K-dramas who created a syndrome with their roles.

Lee Yu Ri’s Yeon Min Jung

The “mean girl” character Yeon Min Jung played by Lee Yu Ri in the 2014 MBC drama “Jang Bo Ri Is Here!” is called the “Queen of villains” that is still talked about to this day. Yeon Min Jung is a spiteful woman who commits all sorts of evil deeds, such as abandoning her own daughter for her own success.

During her appearance on an entertainment program, Lee Yu Ri said, “I did a lot of bad things when I played Yeon Min Jung for 52 episodes.” In an interview with OSEN, Lee Yu Ri said, “If you look at the script, there are various things written in there (about my character’s emotions) such as sarcastic, ridiculing, and intimidating. I studied those in various directions,” explaining how hard she worked to nail the character.

Lee Yu-ri

At the time, “Jang Bo Ri Is Here!” recorded a nationwide viewership rating of 37.3% (according to Nielsen Korea) thanks to Lee Yu Ri’s passionate villain portrayal. 

Lee Yu Ri’s acting was so good that she was dubbed the “nation’s villain” and won a Daesang at the MBC Drama Awards at the end of 2014.

It was not easy for Lee Yu Ri to move past her villain image that stuck to the viewers’ mind, but since then, she has continued to show a good performance by transforming into different characters through steady efforts based on her solid acting skills.

Kim So Yeon’s Cheon Seo Jin 

Cheon Seo Jin, played by Kim So Yeon, one of the main antagonists of SBS’s “Penthouse”, created much buzz when the drama was broadcast.

About 20 years after MBC’s “All About Eve”, Kim So Yeon brought back the “female villain syndrome” by playing a villain again with her sharp, charismatic eyes, and passionate acting. In particular, Cheon Seo Jin gave viewers goosebumps with not only her cruel acts but also how she can go all out as a villain. She even eats a SIM chip to destroy evidence. Cheon Seo Jin isn’t called Kim So Yeon’s “character of a lifetime” for nothing. 

kim so yeon

In order to bring her character to life in the best way, Kim So Yeon showed strong efforts in not only acting, but also fashion and visuals. She deservedly won Leading Actress in the TV category at the 57th Baeksang Arts Awards.

Kim So Yeon has taken on villain roles twice in her career, but people often ask, “Doesn’t she play a villain many times?” This shows Kim So Yeon’s ability to pull off a villain role. 

The biggest twist is that Kim So Yeon is an angel who is 180 degrees different from Cheon Seo Jin in real life. Many people have talked about her good personality and praised her kindness.

“Park Yeon Jin” Lim Ji Yeon

Park Yeon Jin is the wicked woman who opened the door to 2023. Along with OTT’s influence expansion, Netflix’s original series “The Glory” (written by Kim Eun Sook, directed by Ahn Gil Ho) became a hot topic. Unlike the previous two characters, Park Yeon Jin impressed viewers around the world as a villain character who is the mastermind behind school violence.

Park Yeon Jin is a leading figure in school violence against the main character since childhood. Born in a rich family, she does whatever she wants and commits violence without hesitation. Since there is no punishment or record, she bullies her victims viciously, causing viewers’ anger and sadness. She lives smoothly like that, then gradually loses control and explodes as she faces the victim’s bloody revenge. Nevertheless, she is an evil and terrible character. We do not need to have any sympathy.

Lim Ji-yeon the glory

Lim Ji Yeon, who played such a Park Yeon Jin, led to rediscovery as an actress with more amplitude than the intensity of her debut film “Obsessed”, which made her name known at once. Lim Ji Yeon successfully played a vicious and hateful villain with an unfamiliar face that had never been seen before, from lines, gestures to small smiles.

Park Yeon Jin and “The Glory” will be considered Lim Ji Yeon’s role of a lifetime and representative work, respectively.

“Young Park Yeon Jin” Shin Ye Eun

Along with Lim Ji Yeon, the actress who has been re-examined side by side is Shin Ye Eun, who played young Park Yeon Jin. Shin Ye Eun played Park Yeon Jin during school days and properly saved viewers’ immersion level at the beginning of the drama.

In the work, Shin Ye Eun portrayed Park Yeon Jin’s evil deeds more directly than Lim Ji Yeon. Terrible scenes such as scorching the victim’s arm with a flat iron and leaving scars that cannot be erased for life.

Shin Ye-eun the glory

Young Park Yeon Jin was born with everything including wealth and beauty. However, her ability to care and sympathize with others is at the bottom. This seems to be in contrast to Shin Ye Eun’s bright and lovely face. Shin Ye Eun, who has been loved as an innocent goddess since her debut in the 2018 web drama “A-Teen”, showed a completely different acting.

Source: Naver

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