The most intense “rivals” among top Korean actresses: who come out as the victor?

Korean actresses from the same generations, such as Son Ye Jin and Song Hye Kyo, are often compared to each other, making for quite intense “rivals”. But who are coming out on top in these rivalries?

Song Hye Kyo – Son Ye Jin

It is undeniable that Song Hye Kyo and Son Ye Jin stand at the top in regards to their beauty and fame. Despite sharing the same merits and talents, the two actresses seem to go down two opposite roads. If Song Hye Kyo greets her 40s by becoming single again, then  Son Ye Jin opened up a new chapter in her life with her marriage to famous actor Hyun Bin. 

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Previously, the pair’s respective comebacks, Song Hye Kyo with “Now We Are Breaking Up” and Son Ye Jin with “Thirty, Nine”, did not manage to become big hits. Nonetheless, looking at the big picture, Son Ye Jin seems to be winning in life with her extending influence and increasing achievements while Song Hye Kyo is seemingly moving backwards and drowning criticism of being “too safe” with her choice of roles. It is awkward to see Song Hye Kyo still playing melo romances at her age, netizens claimed, especially when her rivals have all switched images. 

Son Ye Jin

Still, if anything, Song Hye Kyo seems to be taking the lead in the fashion and commercial realm. 

Kim Yoo Jung – Kim So Hyun

Both born in 1999 and debuted as child actresses, Kim Yoo Jung and Kim So Hyun are often said to lead similar career trajectories. They even have a knack for period dramas, causing fevers with every historical role they took up. 

kim yoo jung

Despite both being “historical fairies”, however, the two’s roles took on different images. In particular, Kim So Hyun played a much stronger and bold image as the princess protagonist of “River Where the Moon Rises”. On the contrary, Kim Yoo Jung’s role in “Lovers of the Red Sky” is more gentle and calming. In regards to reception, “Lovers of the Red Sky” has a more stable rating while “River Where the Moon Rises” has a slightly better international reception. 

Son Ye-jin Kim So-hyun

While both seem to be at a comfortable pace regarding their careers, a major breakthrough is still in need for them to truly shine. 

Im Yoona – Bae Suzy

When it comes to idols turned actresses, Yoona and Suzy are among the most buzzworthy names. They are gaining more recognition for their acting chops with every new drama out to the public, instead of being criticized like earlier in their career. As of the moment, both Yoona and Suzy have shown efforts and hard work, proving their determination in the acting scene. 

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Suzy seems to be more focused on small screen appearances, and has nailed every single K-dramas she appeared in. Her most recent work, “Anna”, hallmarks Suzy’s success in capturing the audience, earning praise for both her acting and beauty.


On the contrary, Yoona is more invested in the big screen scene. With sheer effort, the actress has pleased fans and earned recognition from the public alike. She improved her acting with every role, evident in her nominations for best actress in multiple award shows. However, she has had much luck on the small screen so far, and her latest series, where she stars alongside Lee Jong Suk, is expected to turn this situation around. 

Park Eun Bin – Lee Se Young

Born in 1992, starting their career as child actresses, the two have found their respective successes after long careers. 

lee se young

Lee Se Young was not memorable in many of her previous works. It was with “The Red Sleeve” could she shine  with her polished and versatile acting. Despite a focus on her male counterpart, the actress still accumulated considerable fame for herself. 

park eun bin

Park Eun Bin is one step ahead compared to Lee Se Young. Following her breakthrough as a woman disguising as a king in “The King’s Affection”, Park Eun Bi generated a sensation with her role in “Extraordinary Attorney Woo”, boosting her worth as an endorser. 

Kim Go Eun – Kim Tae Ri

Korean muses Kim Go Eun and Kim Tae Ri are, by no means, strangers to the public. Starting their career from the big screen, their uniqueness and charm have led to wildy different career paths. 

Kim Go-eun

After grand successes such as “Musé” and “Goblin”, Kim Go Eun seems to be losing her momentum, not able to find any major, attention-grabbing works. Her recent television dramas are not that commercially successful nor buzzworthy in social media, despite her impeccable performances in “The King: Eternal Monarch” or “Yumi’s Cells”. Her big screen career suffers from the same problem. 

kim tae ri

Kim Tae Ri, on the contrary, is becoming the talk of the town in both the big screen and the small screen. Her produced works are success after success. Serial dramas “Mr. Sunshine” and “Twenty Five, Twenty One” are resounding successes, bagging her Baeksang Awards in Best Actress and Most Popular Actress categories. 

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