Kim So Hyun born on 4th June 1999 is a South Korean actress who began her career as a child actress in 2006 and initially gained public attention for playing a villainous young queen-to-be in Moon Embracing the Sun (2012) and a girl who falls into tragedy in Missing You (2013). Kim So Hyun was then affectionately labeled as “Nation’s Little Sister”, “Queen of Child Actor”, and “Goddess of Historical Drama”.
She took on her first leading role in teen drama Who Are You: School 2015 (2015) and since then, has starred in musical Page Turner (2016), historical melodrama The Emperor: Owner of the Mask (2017), romantic comedy Radio Romance (2018) and television dramas based on Naver webtoon, Bring It On, Ghost (2016), Love Alarm (2019) and The Tale of Nokdu (2019). She was the regular host of MBC’s music program Music Core and survival reality show Under Nineteen in 2019.
She has been recognized as the representative of a prolific child-actress who has solidified her acting skills of various works since childhood, and have established herself as the next-generation Hallyu star.
Early life and Education:
Kim So-hyun was born in Australia. She moved to South Korea in 2003 when she was four years old. She has a younger brother.
Kim transferred from Hoe-ryong Elementary School in Gyeonggi-do to Towol Elementary School and graduated in February 2012. Then, she graduated from Yongin Munjung Middle School in 2015. She was home schooled for her secondary education, and passed the high school graduation exam in 2017. The same year, she enrolled at Hanyang University’s Department of Theater, through rolling admission. Kim attended the 79th entrance ceremony held at Hanyang University in Seongdong-gu, Seoul on February 28, 2018.
2006–2011: Beginnings as a child actress
Kim debuted as a child actress playing a supporting role in the 2006 Drama City special titled Ten Minute Minor. Then, she is diligently increasing her appearances from A Happy Woman (2007), Que Sera Sera (2007), Hometown of Legends (2008), My Name Is Pity (2008), Wife and Woman (2009) and Ja Myung Go (2009).
Later, she signed a management contract with Sidus HQ in 2010. Then, she was casted in Becoming a Billionaire (2010) and King of Baking, Kim Takgu (2010). Kim was confirmed to make her big-screen debut in Man of Vendetta (2010) as Joo Hye-rin, a daughter of a well-respected pastor who gets kidnapped. Kim was cast through a fierce competition of 500:1 which she was able to convey expressions without words through her modest facial expressions, which are hard to see for child actors. She continued to portray the child counterparts of the female protagonists in television series such as The Thorn Birds (2011), The Duo (2011) and Sin of a Family (2011). She then starred in a family comedy film, Spy Papa about parents and children’s relationship during inter-Korean relations in 1974.
2012–2014: Rising popularity and teenage roles
In 2012, Kim appeared in six works in the first half of this year. She starred in a romanctic fantasy television series, Padam Padam, and a historical comedy film, I Am the King. She gained public attention when she featured in the fantasy-period drama Moon Embracing the Sun as the younger version of the second female lead. Kim received commend from the audience and the director of how well she portrayed the antagonist’s desire realistically. The drama managed to rank number one in its time slot throughout its run and achieved a peak recorded viewer rating of 42.2 percent thereby earning the “national drama” status. Kim became “Korea’s little sister” at the same time. This was followed by fantasy-comedy, Rooftop Prince as an evil sister, Love Again and a high school student whose roommate is a female idol star in Ma Boy.
Kim was reunited with co-stars from Rooftop Prince, Park Yoo-chun and Moon Embracing the Sun, Yeo Jin-goo in a melodrama Missing You. She was dubbed the “Queen of Child Actor” (아역퀸) by the Korean press. She played the role of Lee Soo-yeon, bullied by her schoolmates and being called ‘the daughter of the murderer’ gets kidnapped and sexually assaulted while trying to save her friend. Kim and Yeo shared the highest best one-minute viewer rating scene of 10.4 percent in the drama. She then becomes the most praised child actresses of her generation. She received her first acting award as “Best Child Actress” at the 1st K-Drama Star Awards for Ma Boy and Missing You.
In 2013, Kim made a surprise appearance on Iris II: New Generation as the childhood counterpart of the female protagonist and starred in The Secret of Birth as a girl with a genius brain. Then, she played the younger version of Lee Bo-young’s character in the popular Korean drama I Can Hear Your Voice. On June 20, Kim co-host MBC’s music program Music Core along with Minho of SHINee and Noh Hong-chul. The three received a lot of attention because of the amazing combination of singers, actors, and broadcasters eventhough they showed a bit of immature progress from the beginning but amplified the expectation of how they expressed their charms despite having different career groups. She then got cast in The Suspicious Housekeeper, a Korean remake of the Japanese hit drama, Kaseifu no Mita.
In 2014, Kim has been cast as a child actress of Oh Yeon-soo in MBC drama, Triangle. Kim challenged her first dual role and first genre through OCN’s new drama Reset. Later, she was cast in KBS2 special drama, We All Cry Differently which won the 2013 KBS Screenplay Contest.
2015–2016: Transition to lead roles and hosting
In 2015, Kim did a special appearance as the sister of the male lead in A Girl Who Sees Smells. In the drama, she reunites with Park Yoo-chun for the third time after Rooftop Prince and Missing You. On April 18, Kim steps down from her Music Core MC posts after two years. Kim starred in KBS’s school series Who Are You: School 2015, playing dual roles as twins Lee Eun-bi and Go Eun-byul. She was awarded “Star of the Year” at the 8th Korea Drama Awards for her performance. On November 21, Kim held her first overseas promotion schedule at Sunshine City, Hong Kong. At the end of the year, Kim became the MC of the 2015 KBS Drama Awards with Jun Hyun-moo and Park Bo-gum.
In 2016, she returned to the big screen in a romance film, Pure Love opposite Do Kyung-soo, playing the heroine of the film who has a beautiful voice but suffers from a leg injury. Kim then starred in a mystery-school web drama Nightmare Teacher alongside Lee Min-hyuk, playing a class president that discovers mysterious secrets of the school. The drama was filmed and featured nine students from Hosan University. The same year, Kim starred in Park Hye-ryun’s three-episode drama special, Page Turner opposite actors Ji Soo and Shin Jae-ha. She played the role of a “piano genius” who lost her sight after an accident. The drama achieved 600,000 views and recorded an unusual number as a one-act play. Kim’s first fan meeting Lovely Day in Taiwan was held at Ming Chuan University on April 9. She was dubbed as the “Korean Wave Fairy” by the Taiwanese media. On June 4, Kim hosted the 2016 Dream Concert with Leeteuk and Hong Jong-Hyun. She then starred in the horror-comedy Bring It On, Ghost with Ok Taec-yeon, and played as the 13 years old Princess Deokhye in the film The Last Princess, for which she was praised by critics and audience for her in-depth emotional acting in the heartbreaking scene before her farewell to her mother, as well as high synchronize rate with Son Ye-jin. Additionally, she was also praised for not only showing the noble and upright character that she should have as the last princess of the Korean Empire but also acted perfectly with the life of a girl during the Korean Empire. She had a recurring guest role in the hit fantasy drama Guardian: The Lonely and Great God. Kim showed an overwhelming presence and increase audience immersion in the early stage of the drama making a big impact as a cameo.
2017–2018: Adult roles and other activities
In 2017, So-hyun participated in Korean dubbing for the character “Mitsuha Miyamizu” in the international hit Japanese animated drama film Your Name. Kim then starred in the historical and political drama The Emperor: Owner of the Mask alongside Yoo Seung-ho which premiered on May 10. This marked her first adult historical drama after five years since Moon Embracing the Sun. The drama eventually became her slump period. Kim expressed how she made efforts to understand her character as a heroine. She felt lost and started losing confidence in herself as an actress. As everybody was praising her acting and visual, she felt embarrassed because she could not come to a full understanding of who her character was.
Kim held her first domestic fan meeting “Lovely Day” on June 3. She made a special appearance in drama While You Were Sleeping to show her support for scriptwriter Park Hae-ryun, who she worked with on KBS’s Page Turner. In August 2017, she ended her contract with her agency Sidus HQ, after seven years in the company. On November 11, Kim So-hyun completed her second Taiwan fan meeting Sweet Dream with Allets. In December, Kim launched her one-person agency, E&T Story Entertainment, in partnership with LOEN Entertainment. The agency is currently led by Park Chan-woo, Kim’s manager in her SidusHQ days.
In 2018, Kim starred in romance drama Radio Romance alongside Yoon Doo-joon, which began airing on January 29. She plays a radio scriptwriter who isn’t exactly talented in writing. On January 24, a photo was shared on the online community saying that Kim was shooting underwater. The photo shows a woman wearing a hanbok in the water on January 21. On this day, the lowest temperature was recorded below minus 16 degrees. During the press conference for the premiere of Radio Romance held on January 25, the drama’s PD addressed online criticism regarding the outdoor water filming, despite the weather warnings. He issued an apology stating that “Kim So Hyun’s outdoor water filming wrapped up on Sunday (Jan 21st). We debated on it a lot, since she would be getting in the water. We ensured safety equipment nearby, as well as a camping car on set, and finished filming in the shortest amount of time possible. Due to time constraints, an action stunt double filmed additional outdoor water scenes yesterday (Jan 24th). It was filmed by an action actor, not Kim So-hyun, wearing a winter suit and shot in a similar situation (Jan 21st). The number of shots was done with one take and protection was taken right away. We apologize for causing concerns with this matter. The filming set is our lives. Naturally, safety is important.” At the press conference, Kim’s hand was visually seen red.
On the same day, she co-hosted the 27th Seoul Music Awards with Kim Heechul and Shin Dong-yup. She held her first Japan fan meeting Kim So Hyun 1st Premium Fanmeeting with 800 people on July 1. After 10 years of debut, Kim starred in her own travel reality show, This is My First Twenty – Kim So-hyun’s YOLO Solo California where she challenged herself and discover her true identity in a foreign country. On October 12, she was named the first 10th generation MCs to host a survival reality show Under Nineteen on MBC. Kim received good comments from the premiere for catching the eyes and ears of viewers with her steady voice and host strength, as well as colorful styling.
2019–present: Acting acclaim
In early 2019, Kim So-hyun were selected for two consecutive years as the MCs for 28th Seoul Music Awards alongside Kim Heechul and Shin Dong-yup. She held her second fan meeting in Korea, Sso.Affirmation.Happiness: Kim So Hyun’s Little & Indeed Happiness ahead of her birthday with an attendance of 300 people. On June 29, she also held her first-anniversary fan meeting in Tokyo, Japan. Kim was starred in Netflix’s original production Love Alarm, based on the popular webtoon of the same name. Kim explained her character is experiencing the emotion of love for the first time, and it reminded of herself. She decided to tap into those feelings as she wanted to portray a living and breathing character with Jo-jo. She was highly praised for showing off her original character, high synchronize rate and rich and stable acting performance in the series. Forbes’s Joan MacDonald citing that Kim fits well with the character Jojo.
The same year, she was cast alongside Jang Dong-yoon in a romantic comedy drama set in the Joseon dynasty, The Tale of Nokdu as a clumsy and hot-tempered Kisaeng trainee. Chon Kye-young and Hye Jin-yang, the author of both webtoons named Kim as their first choice in casting the leading woman. Kim So-hyun’s character was able to mesmerize the viewers because Kim blended so well with her character. Jang Dong-yoon stated, “I was convinced that there would be no better actress to play Dong Joo other than So Hyun, I was very grateful to have met my best partner in her.” The pair were donned the nickname “Manhwa tearing” chemistry by the viewers for capturing everything from laughter to excitement and adding their colours to the original characters. Her role as Dong Joo earned her the Excellence Award at the year end KBS Drama Awards. Kim and Jang Ki-yong was selected by the netizen as ‘Tessa’ and ‘Hardin’ from the movie, After.
On October 1, an official statement from Kakao M revealed that Kim received 815 shares (about 100 million won) of it to resolve issue rights to strengthen solidarity with affiliates and entertainers. Kim is one of many Kakao M-affiliated artists who received stocks from the company, which, according to reports, is preparing to rejoin Korea Exchange through a re-IPO.
On October 29, Netflix confirmed that Kim would reprise her role as Kim Jo-jo in the second season of the drama series Love Alarm.
Kim So-Hyun Biography
|Name||Kim So Hyun|
|Real Name||Kim So-Hyun|
|Nickname||Nation’s Little Sister, Queen of Child Actor, Goddess of Historical Drama|
|Date of Birth||June 4, 1999|
|Height||5′ 5″ (1.65 m)|
|Weight||46kg (101 lbs)|
|School||Munjung Middle School|
|Hobbies||Watching TV, Traveling, Cooking|
|Current City||Seoul, South Korea|
Kim So Hyun Quick Facts:
- She had her first kiss with Yeo Jin Goo for their drama “Missing You”. It was both their first kiss.
- She learned how to play piano from her drama “Page Turner”.
- In December 2015, she launched her own one-person agency, E&T Story Entertainment, in partnership with LOEN Entertainment.
- In January 2018, the Pyeongchang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games chose Kim as the National Representative of Honorary Smile to represent Korea’s smile and kindness along with Yoo Seung-min.
- Kim So-Hyun was born in Australia. She moved to South Korea when she was seven years old.
- She debuted as a child actress in 2006.