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Korean actresses who debuted with a leading role and quickly get successful

While some Korean actors spend a long time playing minor roles before getting leading projects, the case is different with these Korean actresses. 

Many Korean actors and actresses started out with supporting roles to earn recognition, taking years to finally become the main characters. However, some were luckier and nailed a leading role right upon debut, getting more and more successful afterwards. Below are some notable cases:

Jang Na Ra

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Jang Nara had her first focus role in “New Nonstop”, before moving on as the female lead of “Successful Story of a Bright Girl”

Jang Na Ra starred in various children’s musicals at a young age, before participating in commercial films in high school and debuting as an idol. Upon debut, she immediately gained attention for her cute image, and later made a successful branch into the acting industry. 

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Now, Jang Na Ra is among the top actresses on the Korean small screen

In particular, Jang Nara had a focus role in “New Nonstop”, before moving on as the female lead of “Successful Story of a Bright Girl”. The series recorded sky-high ratings, bringing Jang Nara’s name to all over Korea. Slowly but surely, Jang Na Ra built up her repertoire full of hits dramas, from “My Bratty Princess”, “You Are My Destiny”, “My Love Patzzi”, “The Last Empress”, to “VIP”. Even now, she’s among the top actresses on the Korean small screen. 

Gong Hyo Jin 

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Gong Hyo Jin is nicknamed as Korea’s “romcom queen”

Nicknamed as Korea’s “romcom queen”, Gong Hyo Jin is most well known for her commercial K-dramas that belongs to the romance-comedy genre. However, her debut role was actually in the thriller film “Memento Mori”, which earned the actress huge recognition at the age of 19. 

gong hyo jin
Her debut role was actually in the thriller film “Memento Mori”

Not befalling love and support from the audience, Gong Hyo Jin became one of the most capable and successful actresses in Korea. In fact, as long as Gong Hyo Jin’s listed in the cast, the work would be prone to get big. From “Pasta”, “Master’s Sun”, to “My Camellia Blooms”, Gong Hyo Jin still delivers iconic female leads in her 40s. 

Jung So Min

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Jung So Min debuted as one of the female leads in “Bad Guy”

Born in 1989, Jung So Min used to train to become a professional ballerina, before making her acting debut in 2010. Right from her first work  “Bad Guy”, Jung So Min was casted alongside Oh Yeon Soo and Han Ga In, to become the series’ female lead trio. Her excellent portrayal in this series soon drew attention. 

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She them constantly challenges herself with contrasting images

2 years later in “Playful Kiss”, and Jung So Min already got all the spotlight to herself, starring alongside idol-actor Kim Hyun Joong and bringing home a Best New Actress award. Ever since, Jung So Min constantly challenges herself with contrasting images, and her career now is looking super impressive. 

Kim Go Eun

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Kim Go Eun debuted as the female lead of the movie “Musé”

Kim Go Eun, who is famous for her unique mono-lid visual, made a grand debut in the 2012 movie “Musé”. Born in 1991, yet the actress swept through all award ceremonies with her debut, winning 10 acting awards, including the most prestigious ones. She then tried her hands in K-dramas as well, and achieved just as notable accomplishments. 

Kim Go Eun
Kim Go Eun shined on the small screen as well with works like “Goblin” and “Cheese In The Trap”

In 2016, Kim Go Eun’s drama debut earned her a Best New Actress award at Baeksang. In the very same year, she achieved great commercial success via the fantasy series “Goblin”, where she starred alongside actor Gong Yoo. Now, Kim Go Eun is undoubtedly a top-notch actress in Korea, despite her young age. 

Kim Tae Ri

Kim Tae-ri
Kim Tae Ri’s first role was in “The Handmaiden” at the age of 26. 

Kim Tae Ri had a late debut in the acting industry, having surpassed 1,500 others to earn a role in “The Handmaiden” at the age of 26. However, better late than never, and the performance in  “The Handmaiden” has won Kim Tae Ri 10 acting awards, and immediately turned the actress into a movie star. 

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Kim Tae Ri is now one of the most respected Korean actresses

While Kim Tae Ri is not a prolific actress with numerous works, the few projects she has starred in are all masterpieces with huge reception. Her K-dramas “Mr. Sunshine” and “Twenty Five, Twenty One” are both megahits, while her movies are critically acclaimed, making Kim Tae Ri one of the most respected Korean actresses.

Kim Da Mi

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Kim Da Mi made an unforgettable debut with the 2017 movie “The Witch”

Like Kim Tae Ri, Kim Da Mi also made an unforgettable debut with the 2017 movie “The Witch”. At the time, she was only a newbie, but her acting has been super promising, leading to “The Witch” sweeping through various Rookie and New Actress awards.

Kim Da-mi
Kim Da Mi breached into the K-drama world later on 

Similar to Kim Tae Ri and Kim Go Eun, Kim Da Mi also breached into the K-drama world, with 2 works “Itaewon Class” and “Our Beloved Summer” – two completely contrasting images. Through her short but super successful resume, Kim Da Mi has showcased irrefutable acting abilities. 

Park Bo Young

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Park Bo Young made her acting debut in 2006, when she was 16 years old

Born in 1990, Park Bo Young made her acting debut in 2006, when she was 16 years old. Her first role was in “Secret Campus”, which was the kickstarter to her outstanding career. 3 years alter in 2009, and Park Bo Young is already a familiar name at awards ceremonies, with 12 acting prizes after the mad success of her movie “Scandal Makers”.

Park Bo Young
Park Bo Young relentlessly explored different images on both the big and small screen

Ever since her first brush of popularity, Park Bo Young relentlessly explored herself on both the big and small screen. She has played a motherly and naive girl in “A Werewolf Boy”, to a bubbly super-strength girl in “Strong Woman Do Bong Soon”. Her image is also completely clean, making her an “unhateable actress” in Korean showbiz. 

Suzy

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Suzy’s acting debut was in the hit K-drama “Dream High” 

Last but not least is the idol-actress Suzy, who has long drawn eyes with her goddess-like visuals. In particular, Suzy acted as the female lead of the musical K-drama “Dream High” in 2011, which became a big hit, and even stemmed a sequel. 

suzy
Suzy’s acting abilities have improved vastly over time
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