8 Things To Know About Song Hye-Kyo
Song Hye-kyo is a household name in her native South Korea and is one of Asia's biggest stars. Ask anyone about Hallyu and you'll most likely hear her name on their lips. She's particularly well-known for helping spread the Korean Wave in the region, no doubt, in part with her notable roles in various dramas and movies such as My Girl And I (2005) and Full House (2004) which catapulted her to superstar status.
But for those who have only heard about the actress and are interested in learning more, you've come to the right place. Here are eight things to know about Song Hye-kyo, one of Asia's buzziest starts.
1/8 She started modeling at age 14
Growing up, Song wanted to be an athlete, not a movie star, and she was training to become a figure skater. But in 1996, when she was a 14-year-old high school student, her parents entered her in the SunKyung modeling contest, and she won. Soon after, Song landed supporting roles on television variety shows, including One of a Pair (1997) and First Love (1996–1997).
2/8 She got her first big break in 2000
Four years later, she nabbed the leading role in the television drama series Autumn in My Heart (2000) which follows a cancer-stricken teen who falls in love with her adopted brother. It was one of the most popular shows that year and helped launch the "Korean Wave," a period of increased global interest in South Korean pop culture, which also launched Song to international stardom.
What solidified her status in Asia is the gambling drama, All In (2003) with Lee Byung-hun and the romantic-comedy, Full House (2004) opposite K-pop star, Rain. She also took on her first big-screen role in My Girl and I (2005) which received a cult following in Asia.
See also: 11 Popular Korean Dramas To Binge-Watch On Netflix In 2021
3/8 She’s a prolific brand ambassador
Song, who’s often touted as one of South Korea’s great beauties, has landed myriad brand sponsorships. She recently added Italian fashion house, Fendi to her ever-growing list of luxury brand endorsements, becoming its first-ever Korean global ambassador. She's also an ambassador for Chaumet, Bottega Veneta and Korean skincare brand, Sulwahsoo.
See also: Fendi Appoints South Korean Actress, Song Hye-Kyo As First Korean Global Ambassador
4/8 She’s an award-winning actress
Throughout her career, Song has proven herself to be an accomplished actress. In 2013, she nabbed her first Grand Prix award, which is the highest accolade for South Korean actors, for her work in the television drama That Winter, the Wind Blows (2013).
She also has three Daesangs (Grand Prize), the highest award in South Korea under her belt, earning them in 2013 for That Winter, the Wind Blows opposite Jo In-sung and Descendants of the Sun (2016) opposite Song Joong-ki. In 2016, she was awarded the President's Award at the 7th Korean Popular Culture & Arts Awards.
5/8 She worked with two Hong Kong directors
Song played a supporting role in Wong Kar-wai's The Grandmaster (2013) where she learned Cantonese and martial arts. After that, she worked on the romantic epic, The Crossing (2014) with director John Woo. The movie was originally announced in 2008 but was cancelled the following year and then was brought back in 2011. But Woo's recovery from a tonsil tumour removal procedure in 2012 delayed the production as well as scheduling conflicts with the cast. The movie eventually began filming in June 2013.
Another movie that Song did overseas is the Chinese movie, The Queens (2015), directed by Taiwanese singer, actress and writer, Annie Yi.
See also: 10 Hong Kong Film Directors You Should Know
6/8 She's making her drama comeback
After the success of Descendents of the Sun, Song took a two-year hiatus and returned to drama with the romantic melodrama, Encounter (2018) alongside Park Bo-gum. Song chose to go on a break after the conclusion of Encounter.
She is set to make her highly-anticipated comeback in Now We're Breaking Up, opposite Jang Ki-yong. The drama is helmed by My Love From Another Star (2013) director, Lee Gil-bok while Je In will be penning the drama as the screenwriter. Song is going to play Ha Young-eun, a trendy and intelligent manager of a fashion label's design team.
See also: 5 Things To Know About Song Hye-Kyo's New Drama, "Now We Are Breaking Up"
7/8 She's a fashion icon
Besides her status as one of Asia's sought-after actresses and one of the highest-paid actresses in South Korea, Song is also a fashion icon in her own right. She's an honouree of Tatler's Asia's Most Stylish 2020 list and fashion brands such as Fendi and Bottega Veneta also chose her as their brand ambassadors thanks to her timeless beauty and fashionable looks.
As an ambassador for Chaumet, Song is also the face of the iconic Joséphine collection, representing sensuality, femininity and playfulness. In an exclusive interview with Tatler, she says, "I really wanted to explore the ways on how we can empower women to be their best selves and how we could celebrate femininity in various ways." "I try to embody the spirit of Joséphine in everything that I do, to be progressive but steadfast in my beliefs and discipline and to be assertive yet elegant. I think this is something that all women should strive to be," she adds.
See also: Song Hye-Kyo On Feminism And Self-Love: "I hope to help all women find their own definition of femininity"
8/8 She's part of the strong trio, "Tae-Hye-Ji"
"Tae-Hye-Ji" is the name given to three of South Korea's most popular actress. In addition to Song, Kim Tae-hee and Jun Ji-hyun are part of the trio—these three actresses brought about the Hallyu wave and spread the popularity of Korean dramas all over Asia.
See also: The Most Iconic Hong Kong Actors And Actresses—Plus The Best Classic Local Movies Of All Time
This article was originally published on July 24, 2019 and was updated on May 3, 2021.