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the girl who!

Kim Nam Joo 김남주

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* Queen of Small Screen * [ Queen Of Housewives , Queen Of Reversals ]



Name: 김남주/ Kim Nam Joo

Profession: Actress

Birthdate: 1971-May-10

Birthplace: South Korea

Height: 169cm

Weight: 47kg

Star sign: Taurus

Blood type: AB

Married with actor Kim Seung Woo :



Queen of Reversals (MBC, 2010)

Queen of Housewives (MBC, 2009)

Her House (MBC, 2001)

Crystal (SBS, 1999)

The Boss (MBC, 1999)

Steal My Heart (SBS, 1998)

Model (SBS, 1997)


Voice of Murderer (2007)

I Love You (2001)


Kim Nam Joo’s House



2010 MBC Drama Awards: Daesang (Grand Prize) (Queen of Reversals)

2010 46th Baeksang Arts Awards: Best TV Actress Award (Queen of Housewives)

2009 MBC Drama Awards: Top Excellence Award - Actress (Queen of Housewives)

*still under construction*

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Queen of Reversals, Queen of Housewives, Queen of the Small Screen Kim Nam-joo models Elie Tahari for Elle, looking amAzing, with legs for miles and a saucy attitude to boot. Seriously, Universe, we’re not even going to pretend to be fair, eh?

I love everything about the first shot, because she looks gorgeous AND surly. I liked her Queen of Reversals character best when she was hilariously haughty like that, and more high-powered businesswoman, less ajumma-in-midlife-crisis. Also, imma need those shoes, like yesterday.

She’s married to Kim Seung-woo, she got to makeout with Park Shi-hoo, she’s got two kids, and she’s turning 40 this year…but looks like that. I think she wins at life.

Okay, I’ll stop being jealous, but only because I love her. You go girl.


source : Dramabeans

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Kim Nam Joo, the Queen of Reversals, Throws Herself into ‘Concept Korea’ with Enthusiasm


The third Concept Korea will be held at the David Rubenstein Atrium, Lincoln Center, New York on the coming 15th (local time). The event takes place during the New York Fashion Week season featuring four groups of designers from Korea sponsored by the Korean government to represent the exceptional fashions of Korea. As an upgraded version of the past two Concept Koreas, this time a wide range of additional events supporting promotion will be offered.

New York Fashion Week is one of the four major international fashion collections leading the world fashion industry. It is more a commercial-oriented fashion show, featuring merchandisable fashion to lead the market than boldly experimenting with trends. This year the week runs from February 10th to 17th at the Lincoln Center; and ‘CONCEPT KOREA, Cultural Treasures 2011’ brings the fashion designs of Korea to the international stage, where all leading figures of the fashion market gather to enjoy the season. The project, accompanying various promotional marketing activities, is sponsored by the Republic of Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST), Daegu Metropolitan City, the Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA), and the Korean Research Institute for Fashion Industry (KRIFI) to advance the Korean fashion industry into the world market.

When such efforts can successfully support Korean designers to create global brands joining the international fashion market with other world-renowned labels, the national competitiveness of Korea can be enhanced while acknowledged for its original fashion trends. Promotion is necessary for those talented designers to join the market; however it is difficult for many full-time designers to put much effort into marketing and promotion. Thus with support from government and private sectors, the Korean fashion can move a step closer to win more opportunities introducing its original trend of fashion to the world.

Indigo Blue Spreads into New York

This year’s theme for Concept Korea is ‘Cultural Treasures,’ planning to feature designs inspired by traditional Korean cultures by four designer groups, DO HO, Lie Snag Bong, Steve J & Yoni P and Choi Bum Suk. The profound and mysterious indigo blue of the celadon porcelain will be transferred to the garments and the showroom portraying the graceful sensibilities of Korea. The indigo of the celadon may enchant the eyes of the West with its elegant and sophisticated beauty from the East, Korea.

The designers have prepared about forty pieces of work for the collection and the Concept Korea staffs prepared additional events to better promote Korean culture. This was planned from feedbacks on the past two Concept Koreas, which did not fully explore the resources and opportunities ending the event with a single show.

After the forty-minute length fashion show, a list of interesting events with reception introducing Korean food, music, performance, and IT is held. Visitors can relax and get better understandings on Korea while enjoying fusion Korean food provided as part of the ‘Taste of Korea’ project led by the Korean Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. An internationally recognized chef Tom Colicchio has prepared a special fusion Korean dish and makgeolli (Korean rice wine) for this occasion expected to attract more attention from the Western people.


Designers of Concept Korea Ⅲ: Choi Bum Suk, Yoni P, Steve J, Lie Sang Bong, and DO HO (from left to right)

Reaching out for New Business Opportunities

As the primary mission of the event is for the Korean fashion industry to enter the global market, a room showcasing the collections for potential business partners was arranged. In Chelsea Meatpacking district a public showroom was set up for ten days starting from February 14th to 23rd. Here the four designer groups from Korea shows each fifty pieces of their design welcoming foreign buyers. Especially, bringing Korea’s IT technology to the space, the showroom is ready to surprise the visitors and buyers from the entrance spot winning local attention among other designers participating the New York Fashion Week.

National and international promotion is a significant key to win success paying back the long efforts put into. Kim Nam Joo, the Korean fashion icon celebrity was commissioned as honorary ambassador for Concept Korea Ⅲ and fashion magazines including Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar and influential American presses such as CNN, New York Times, New York Daily News will report the third Concept Korea stage.

Smart Phone applications providing information on Concept Korea Ⅲ will be distributed and SNS marketing will be actively developed. Twitter and Facebook contents (serviced in English) and appointed fashion reporters will introduce the New York fashion week agenda, events and selected designers followed by additional services. Thanks to such supports you would be well informed about the show without a need to fly to New York.

Let’s hope the fashion show to end as a great success promoting talented Korean designers on world stage and further work as a stepping stone for the Korean fashion industry advancing into the international market.

source : Eyes in Korea

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Shinhwa’s Eric Wants to Get Married Soon


Shinhwa’s Eric said he wants to get married at 36 years old on today’s KBS “Entertainment Relay.” He turned 32 last February.

Appearing in an exclusive interview, Eric was asked, “It’s been quite a while since you turned 30. When do you plan on getting married?” His answer was, “I would really like to get married before 36 or 37.”

He was later asked of his ideal woman type, to which he responded, “I’ve said this for a long time since my debut—I want to get married to someone like (actress) Kim Nam Joo.”

Meanwhile, Eric has turned into a producer through new girl group Stellar’s new album. He wrote some of their songs and has also made a special guest appearance on their MV.

source : Soompi News

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February 20, 2012

Kim Nam Joo Goes On Blind Date in 'My Husband Got A Family'

Writer: TV Report Copyright ⓒ KBS & KBSi

Actress Kim Nam Joo will become a "queen of blind dates" in the KBS 2TV new weekend drama "My Husband Got A Family" (written by Park Ji Eun and directed by Kim Hyung Seok) that will air its first episode on February 25. Kim Nam Joo will play a passionate and capable career woman named Cha Yoon Hee. Cha Yoon Hee is enthusiastic in her work, but she has already announced that she will not marry a man unless he has no family members. She has come to have this thought because of her mother and her female friends who have been going through difficulties due to their husbands' family members. So she goes on blind date hundreds of times to find her Mr.Right who is a capable orphan who has no family.


Kim Nam Joo attracted attention with her perfect acting while playing the old single woman Cha Yoon Hee on blind dates. She came to her blind dates with an innocent appearance, but suddenly presented daring and cunning facial expressions. She also presented cute and pretty facial expressions depending on her partners during the blind dates. Her various appearances with completely different looks reportedly drew a laugh on the film set.

In particular, Kim Nam Joo's stylish and neat fashion attracted attention. Kim brought several costumes to a cafe on February 7 to film the scene in which she has to come to several blind dates with different partners. She brought those different costumes to film those scenes on the same day. Her series of blind dates to find her perfect husband in the drama is raising curiosity how her appearance will be portrayed and how she will finally meet her ideal man Yoo Joon Sang in the drama.

The production staff member said, "It will be a story that any single woman who has been dreaming about her perfect man will easily sympathize with, and Kim Nam Joo's perfect acting will add more fun to the story. I want you to pay attention to 'My Husband Got A Family.'" Writer Park Ji Eun, who wrote the dramas "Butcher Oh Soo Jeong," "My Wife Is A Superwoman," and "Queen of Reversals," and director Kim Hyung Seok, who produced the drama special "Stone" and "Youngdeok Women' Ssireum Team" and the drama "Matchmaker's Lover" will produce the drama together. "My Husband Got A Family" will air its first episode on February 25 at 7:55pm as a follow-up drama to "Ojakgyo Family."

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February 22, 2012

Kim Nam-joo’s new work promises to resonate with modern-day women

By Jean Oh (oh_jean@heraldm.com) koreaherald.com

Actress plays career woman who dreads mother-in-law and must face her fears

Weekend family dramas are an iconic fixture of South Korean television.

At times laugh-out-loud funny or downright melodramatic, these twice-a-week installments voice the underlying concerns we face on a day-to-day basis, acting as companion and cathartic outlet for our anxieties, generally through the lens of an epic, ginormous extended family.

At first glance, the set-up might appear incredibly archaic, impervious to change. After all, how many urban-bound families can still afford to live together in a sprawling hanok-style house?

Yet, the truth is that though the household setting itself may have changed over time, the basic fears, conflicts and happiness filling it have not, which is why these weekend series tend to reel in top viewer ratings and attract legions of devoted viewers.

KBS has long held onto a strong track record in the realm of weekend family fare and its newest series, “You Tumbled Into My Life,” bears the trappings of yet another success.


KBS’ “You Tumbled Into My Life” stars Kim Nam-joo (right) and Yu Jun-sang attend the drama’s press conference

at the Imperial Palace Hotel in Seoul on Tuesday. (Park Hae-mook/The Korea Herald)

Though this is her first family drama, scriptwriter Park Ji-eun is well-versed in whipping out dialogue that resonates with modern-day women, as proven with her tongue-in-cheek, home run series, “My Wife is a Superwoman.”

Actress Kim Nam-joo was point-on in the show, which inevitably led to the teaming up of the two again for the less successful spin-off, “Queen of Reversal.”

Though Kim balks at the thought of partnering up again for a fourth work (“Again? I don’t think viewers will like it,” was her take on the proposal), the two are attempting the marital genre for a third, and, possibly, final time.

In the upcoming series, the heroine, played by Kim, is a successful drama production company producer who marries an orphaned doctor (veteran actor Yu Jun-sang) and thereby acquires the supposed, ultimate career woman’s dream ― accomplished husband minus the in-laws. Her marital bliss is shattered when her husband finds his birth parents and she realizes she has married more than she has bargained for. Once again, the stage is set for a butting of the heads between daughter-and-mother-in-law.

As with most standard family dramas, this allows viewers a full view of both the wife’s and husband’s siblings’ and parents’ lives, giving the writer a wide expanse of characters to work with.

Scriptwriter Park’s creative prowess will be put to the test with a 19-member ensemble that features characters running the gauntlet from playboy (CNBLUE’s Kang Min-hyuk), rich rogue (“Wild Romance” actor Lee Hee-joon) to a cosmetic surgery employee looking for perks on the job (“Baby-faced Beauty” actress Oh Yeon-seo). With so many characters to flesh out, Park could fall prey to stereotypes especially when dealing with such sensitive subject matter as cosmetic surgery, but Oh assured reporters that her role will not feed into negative stereotypes about the practice at the drama’s press conference Tuesday.

At the press event, “You Tumbled Into My Life” director Kim Hyung-suk voiced confidence in both the crew and ensemble to keep the narrative from falling flat. “What differentiates our drama from other series is that it reveals a lot from the get-go,” said Kim. With each episode moving the plot forward quickly, “it will be fun to watch at every turn,” he added. Furthermore, the new series also promises to shy away from trying to present neatly packaged solutions to the challenges of married life.

According to actress Kim, her role does not seek to solve concerns regarding the daughter-and-mother-in-law relationship so much as portray and represent them. “Women can really relate to it,” Kim, 40, said. “Even if you have stellar in-laws that are very good to you it is still stressful,” Kim, who is married to actor Kim Seung-woo, admitted that even she is not exempt from a little in-law-related anxiety.

“I really relate to this role,” she said, stressing that the script takes a comedic approach to the trials and tribulations of her character, affording viewers the opportunity to find the humor in stressful situations. “One of scriptwriter Park’s strong points is that she is able to take a double-edged approach to her subject matter,” Kim elaborated. “The tone is both comical and serious, without getting too skewed to one side.”

“You Tumbled Into My Life” starts airing Saturdays and Sundays at 7:55 p.m. on KBS 2 TV Feb. 25.

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/ soompi


A dramatic reversal in this drama occurs when, for the husband, his forgotten family and for the wife, her in-laws, comprising her husband's grandmother, parents-in-law and three sisters-in-law, appeared suddenly before them.

Hong Yun-hi, the wife and the protagonist in this drama, is a woman who had grown up in a family in tussles everyday due to conflicts between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law.

Before her wedding, she didn't want to marry as she did not want to have another family, the husband's family. At last she encountered a perfectly promising man who was adopted into a family of a Korean businessman in the U.S., graduated from Johns Hopkins University medical school and is now working at a general hospital in Seoul.

He is well-mannered, gentle and sweet and has a sense of humor. All her friends envied her for the smart man, saying that she had good fortune in her later days. Furthermore, the husband's house is far off in New York and the parents-in-law, who brought five adopted sons in addition to the husband, are known to be on the journey in a remote area and hardly communicated with the family.

In such a condition, the couple could have a dreamlike honeymoon.

By a strange twist of a fate, however, an incident broke out. The husband's family has been found! Unbelievably, the husband's house is just in front of the wife's house. The next-door neighbors have always been in quarrels with her on problems involving waste disposal, parking and stairs cleaning.

It was quite exciting news to appear in the newspaper. (Actually several reporters came to the wife to have interviews, but the wife denied.)

The wife didn't always see eye to eye with the people, who are the husband's family and now her own family, on too many issues.

The husband's grandmother is fastidious, robust and suspicious, the mother-in-law meddlesome and the sister-in-laws have foul tempers.

She doesn't want to live like her mother, but she now may have to go through a more hard life than her mother. She regretted she did not stop her husband from moving to this village shortly after their wedding.

However, looking at the sleeping husband, who has been living for more than 30 years without knowing even the faces of his biological parents, she feels compassion for him and changes her mind.

But the life with the husband's parents and in-laws is wearisome.

This program features raucous and cheerful stories about an unordinary and peculiar family-making of a couple.

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February 27, 2012

Kim Nam Joo and Yoo Joon Sang Kiss in 'My Husband Got A Family'

Writer: KBS Media Park Jae Hwan News Article Copyright ⓒ KBS & KBSi

The married couple Kim Nam Joo and Yoo Joon Sang in the KBS drama "My Husband Got A Family" (written by Park Ji Eun, directed by Kim Hyung Seok, and produced by Logos Film) presented a romantic kiss scene under a streetlight, which drew attention. Kim Nam Joo and Yoo Joon Sang will make a transformation in the new drama by playing a passionate and capable career woman named Cha Yoon Hee and a surgeon in a general hospital named Bang Gui Nam, respectively. Kim and Yoo will play newly married couple and present sweet and romantic scenes in a friendly atmosphere. In particular, Yoo Joon Sang's romantic acting to present his affection towards Kim Nam Joo appears very realistic. And as time goes by, the two actors are becoming closer and successfully presenting natural romantic acting.


Kim and Yoo go out very late at night and spend a sweet moment in a street restaurant while having a date, and the perfect husband is making food for his wife who holds her husband from behind, which looks like a typical newly married couple. Their kiss scene under the streetlight was reportedly filmed in a friendly atmosphere thanks to the two actor's excellent harmony while acting.

The kiss scene was filmed at a backstreet of a residential area in Seoul on February 18. Kim Nam Joo and Yoo Joon Sang took a walk around the neighborhood and went back home together. Their appearance seems to be that of friendly married couple. Despite the cold weather and below zero temperatures, the two actors presented natural acting. They kissed on an ordinary backstreet, but their kiss scene looked more romantic than any other kiss scene. In particular, the two actors looked into each other's eyes and kissed while leaning on a lamp post. Actress Yoon Yeo Jeong, who plays Um Cheong Ae in the drama as a landlord, witnessed their kiss on the street and ran away in surprise, which drew a laugh. Um Cheong Ae (Yoon Yeo Jeong) and Bang Gui Nam (Yoo Joon Sang) meet as a landlord and a tenant, but actually they are a mother and son who were separated 30 years ago. Their fateful relationship will be unveiled soon and Um Cheong Ae and Cha Yoon Hee (Kim Nam Joo) will have a war of nerves, which will become one of the exciting and funny elements of the drama.


A production staff member said, "Kim Nam Joo and Yoo Joon Sang are presenting natural acting as if they were a real couple, and their perfect acting is creating an exciting atmosphere on the film set. As actors and staff members are filming this drama with excellent harmony, we are anticipating presenting a good drama to viewers."

In addition, "My Husband Got A Family" is a story of career woman Cha Yoon Hee, who has wanted to marry an orphan to avoid conflict with the husband's family members and finally married perfect surgeon Bang Gui Nam (Yoo Joon Sang), and she will have unexpected episodes with the her husband’s new family members.

Writer Park Ji Eun, who wrote the dramas "Butcher Oh Soo Jeong," "My Wife Is A Superwoman," and "Queen of Reversals," and director Kim Hyung Seok, who produced the drama special "Stone" and "Youngdeok Women' Ssireum Team" and the drama "Matchmaker's Lover," will produce the drama together. "My Husband Got A Family" aired its first episode on February 25 at 7:55pm.

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March 2, 2012

New Weekend Drama Off to Promising Start

Writer: KBS Media Park Jae-hwan Copyright ⓒ KBS & KBS Media

The new KBS2 weekend drama “My Husband Got a Family” has begun with an auspicious start, with viewer ratings of some 30 percent only after two episodes were aired. Starring Kim Nam-joo and Yoo Joon-sang along with other renowned veteran actors, the drama has drawn attention with down-to-earth storylines, causing viewers to easily sympathize with its characters.


Among them are Cha Yun-hui (Kim Nam-joo), a producer working in a film production company who did not want to get married until she found a man without a family so that she would not have any in-laws to cause trouble -- and she has found one: a Korean-American adoptee who is a doctor; and Eom Cheong-ae (Yoon Yeo-jeong), a housewife who has to live with her difficult mother-in-law for over 30 years.

One particular draw of the show is vivid dialogue that strikes a chord with viewers. Here are some of them featured in the first two episodes that aired on February 24 and 25.


▶ In the first episode

Cha Yun-hui says to herself when she hears her friends complain about their in-laws, “What have I always said to you? I would rather not marry than deal with in-laws. I have never even had coffee with a man who has to take care of his parents as a responsible son or has many brothers or sisters.”

Cha Yun-hui answers when asked by an actress if she is happy to be married, “It depends on who you marry. You should not just fall for a man who is rich and nice to you but you have to see his family. Marriage is not just a union of a man and woman but of the two entire families.”

A teacher of a singing class for middle-aged women that Eom Cheong-ae attends tells his class, “You are suffering menopausal symptoms. You feel depressed. You are sad because even an operation would not make your wrinkled neck better. You are tired of the gray hair that doesn’t go away no matter how many times you dye it. Your child is no longer obedient and dear to you, and your aging husband is becoming a burden to you as he spends more time at home and bothers you. But you are not the only one. Everybody has the same problems, because that’s the way life is. So just laugh. You don’t laugh because you are happy, but you are happy because you laugh.”

Cha Yun-hui tells her landlord when the landlord raised her lease deposits, “What? You need to raise the lease deposits by 100 million won (100,000 dollars) at once? You must be kidding. I know the lease deposits are skyrocketing, but it seems it’s way too much. Please show me some consideration and lower the increase to some extent.”

Cha Yun-hui tells her husband on their way to look for a new house, “How come house leases can be so exorbitant? I heard it’s skyrocketing, but didn’t expect it has become out of control. I’m not renting a castle or a penthouse, am I?”


▶ In the second episode

Eom Yi-sook (Yoo Ji-in) tells her sister Eom Sam-sook (Yang Hee-kyung) when she asks her to buy a fur coat, “Do you know how many animals have to be killed to produce a fur coat? It’s 70. And do you have any idea how miserably they die? You should know good consumerism is a trend these days.”

Bang Jeong-bae (Kim Sang-ho) tells his wife when they see household items Cha Yun-hui has disposed of, “Benjamin Franklin said that ‘Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.’ The new neighbor [Yun-hui] proves Franklin is right. She needs to keep an eye on little expenses; otherwise, she will see a small leak sink her ship.”

A staffer at the production company said that the cast’s realistic performances make the dialogue more engaging and impressive. Since the show has just started, it will become more entertaining with time, amid continuous support from viewers, he added.

“My Husband Got a Family” airs on Saturdays and Sundays at 7:55 p.m. on KBS2.

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March 12, 2012

"My Husband Got a Family" Achieves 30% Ratings Faster Than Expected

by: hazelnutthursdays at soompi.com


KBS’s weekend drama “My Husband Got a Family” (also known as “Unexpected You”) follows the strong showing of its predecessor “Ojakgyo Brothers” with a 30% audience share rating. According to reports from local news agencies, AGB Nielsen ratings show that “My Husband Got a Family” posted a 32.8% rating for the episode aired on March 10, which was only the drama’s sixth show.

“My Husband Got a Family” got a boost from the performances of its leads Kim Nam Joo (“Queen of Reversals”) and Yoo Joon Sang, who play the married couple at the center of the drama. Veteran actress Yoon Yeo Jung (“The Housemaid”) plays the unreasonable mother-in-law.

The drama is planned for 50 episodes and will feature many cast members yet to be introduced. CN Blue drummer Kang Min Hyuk is slated to appear as Kim Nam Joo’s younger brother. “We Got Married” and M4’s Kim Won Joon is also in the cast.

The achievement of more than 30% ratings on its sixth episode was reportedly more than what the drama’s production staff expected. Meanwhile, the drama’s boards on its official site are indicating viewers’ increasing interest in “My Husband Got a Family.”

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April 9, 2012

Kim Nam Joo and Lee Hee Joon Transform into Couple

Writer: Jeon Ji Young Copyright ⓒ KBS & KBSmedia

Actress Kim Nam Joo and actor Lee Hee Joon transformed into a couple for the movie "In the Mood for Love," in which actress Jang Man Ok and actor Yang Jo Wi appear. On the 13th episode of "My Husband Got a Family" (written by Park Ji Eun and directed by Kim Hyung Seok) that aired on April 7, Kim Nam Joo and Lee Hee Joon presented an erotic bedroom scene in the imagination of her husband's sister Lee Sook (Jo Yoon Hee). Kim Nam Joo appeared in a sexy red dress while holding a gold fan in her hand on which she wore a racing glove. Lee Hee Joon, who displayed a chic appearance on his face, and Kim Nam Joo presented a perfectly good scene just like a movie poster. Lee Sook misunderstood the relationship between Yoon Hee (Kim Nam Joo) and Jae Yong (Lee Hee Joon) after watching a scene in which they held each other to say good-bye. And she accidentally heard Jae Yong's phone call and came to believe that they were having an affair. She visualized the erotic scene of the two people like the couple of Jang Man Ok and Yang Jo Wi in "In the Mood for Love."


The scene was filmed at an office building located in Yeoyuido on April 1. When Kim Nam Joon, who dressed like a sexy woman surpassing Jang Man Ok, and Lee Hee Joon, who dressed like Yang Jo Wi in a comical way, appeared on the film set, a huge exclamation and laughter were reportedly provoked on the set. But the two actors seriously participated in filming the scene in front of the camera and they started to laugh after finishing shooting due to their ridiculous postures in the bedroom scene. In particular, when they filmed the scene in a small elevator, the elevator unexpectedly went up and all the lights equipped inside the elevator were turned off. But Kim Nam Joo and Lee Hee Joon, who must have been surprised by the accident, comforted the staff members who worried about two actors, which created a friendly atmosphere. Kim Nam Joo perfectly presented a delicate woman whom Jang Man Ok played in "In the Mood for Love." In addition, she showed a different side by expressing love more actively in the episode.

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I found this clip

Is this the same Kim Nam Joo? Looks like her to me.

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April 18, 2012

In with the old, out with the new

By Kim Hyo-eun [so@joongang.co.kr]


Actresses in their 20s, who once dominated K-dramas, are hard to come by on the small screen, as of late. Experienced actresses in their 30s,

40s and even 50s have held on to the spotlight, reversing a trend that dictated casting for decades. Above left, Kim Hee-ae, 45, plays a lead role

in JTBC’s “A Wife’s Credentials” and above right, Kim Nam-joo, 41, plays a lead role in KBS2’s “You Who Rolled In Unexpectedly.” [JoongAng Ilbo]

Back in the 1980s and ‘90s, Korean dramas adopted the principle “the younger, the better” when casting heroines. Heartthrob actors in their 40s were often coupled with youthful beauties in their early 20s, at the expense of more experienced actresses.

But as of late, the trend has been reversed, with the average age of star actresses on the small screen shooting up to 33.4, according to a JoongAng Ilbo analysis of 20 drama series on national network and cable channels. Only five shows cast a lead actress in her 20s, while the other 15 feature actresses in their 30s and 40s.

Ten years ago, the scene was starkly different. Many veterans such as Kim Hye-ja (“Since We Met” from 2002) expressed disappointment in switching to supporting roles - typically playing mothers or aunts - as younger, less experienced actresses stole the spotlight.

Familiar names today including Kim Hee-sun, Jun Ji-hyun, Song Hye-kyo, Son Ye-jin, Kim Min-hee and Kong Hyo-jin all debuted in this era when they were in their early 20s. But today, now established actresses, they are holding on tight to their stardom.

“Dramas that portray the lives of working women in their 30s and 40s are getting more attention from viewers,” said Kim Sung-geun, a chief producer of “You Who Rolled In Unexpectedly,” which is one of the most popular drama series today, claiming a 30-to-35-percent share of the audience on average.

The hit drama centers on a working woman named Cha Yoon-hee (played by Kim Nam-joo) as her husband, who was put up for international adoption, reunites with his biological parents. With a new family right next to her, Yoon-hee faces an unexpected burden stemming from her new relationship with her in-laws.

According to experts, the shift represents a larger trend in Korean culture, mainly a reflection of women marrying at a later age and working more in their 20s.

But another catalyst can be found in so-called pretty boy craze that was sparked by the 2009 massive hit series “Boys over Flower.” While younger actresses are hard to come by on the small screen, many rising young actors are replacing their predecessors. “The main target audience of these drama series is made up of women, which means there are more of pretty and handsome male characters to entice female viewers,” said drama critic Gong Hee-jeong.

Lee Seung-gi, 25; Yu Ah-in, 26; and Kim Soo-hyun, 24, are just a few of the up-and-coming actors taking K-dramas by storm. Recent series such as “Flower Boy Ramen Shop,” “Shut Up Flower Boy Band,” “The Moon Embracing the Sun” and “Rooftop Prince” have all featured a majority of male characters.

These competing trends have often matched up actresses in their 30s with younger men in their 20s, couples seldom seen on Korean television two decades ago. Lee Seung-gi from “The King 2 Hearts” is nine years younger than his counterpart Ha Ji-won, while another couple from “Rooftop Prince” is comprised of Park Yoo-chun, who is four years younger than actress Han Ji-min.

In addition to the pretty boy craze, structural changes have pressured the prevalence of veteran actresses on screen.

“Each broadcaster used to have a teen drama back in the ’80s where newbies could make a name for themselves, but this no longer exists,” Kim from “You Who Rolled In Unexpectedly” said. “I think it is part of the reason why we don’t see that many young actresses.”

The emergence of idol singers in K-dramas has also taken away opportunities for younger actresses. Yoona, Yuri, Eun-jeong and Uee, all are members of different K-pop girl groups, have dominated recent drama series.

“Most idol singers learn how to sing, dance and act before they debut,” said an official from a major entertainment company. “Production companies also want them to be part of drama series due to the recent Korean Wave craze.”

Featuring K-pop singers has provided a major boost to drama ratings, according to industry insiders. Rising actresses, however, are getting the short end of the stick.

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July 11, 2012

Kim Nam-joo and Kim Seung-woo for Marie Claireby girlfriday dramabeans.com
I know I say this a lot, but damn does this couple take a good picture. Here’s my favorite power couple, Kim Nam-joo and Kim Seung-woo, in a spread for Marie Claire being gorgeous and stunning as per usual. In the article featuring Kim Nam-joo, she describes herself as a person who can’t turn off her thoughts–she thinks about her kids at work and thinks about work at home. She still calls Kim Seung-woo “oppa,” and says that dating was great, early marriage was hard, and that they’ve come back around to a really happy place, as each other’s best friends.

The queen of housewives, reversals, and ratings has another runaway hit drama currently airing on the weekends, the cumbersomely-titled You Who Rolled Into My Life, lately hovering near the 40% mark. She says, “When I was young I thought about what my life would be like at this age. I thought that I wouldn’t still be working. I thought I’d be pushed out of leading roles, and that my immature pride wouldn’t endure that. But like flowing water, I’ve come to where I am now.”
She brags freely about what a good husband and father Kim Seung-woo is, which isn’t a surprise, given the fact that they’re known for being that uber-supportive couple who cameos in each other’s dramas and talk shows at every opportunity. She says that they’ve had rough patches and had a harsh transition as newlyweds when she got pregnant early on, but have developed a support system in each other by sharing their problems over a drink and cheering each other on.
Seung-woo: “I think we do one of these shoots about once a year or so. When I look at my wife wearing such fancy clothes and makeup, I feel like I’m looking at a celebrity. (Laughs.) But at home I’m looking at my woman.” Nam-joo: “At home he’s a reliable dad. That dependability shows through directly. But this Kim Seung-woo-sshi here is a natural actor. Even if it’s a photo shoot I can feel him acting. I really want to act in a project with him someday.”
She’s comfortable calling herself an ajumma and talking about her two children, and the difficulty of having to split her time as a working mom. “It’s so hard. When I don’t have a project and I’m just with my kids at home, I feel nervous. I think, ‘Can I just be here like this?’ But then when I start a project I feel like I’m not properly taking care of my children. When I go here I think of there, and when I’m there I worry about here.”
While Wife has been the reigning queen of dramaland, Hubby has developed a full-fledged variety persona in recent years, changing it up from Stoic Actor to Talk Show MC, and most recently on 1 Night 2 Days, to Hilarious Petty Ajusshi and a warm father figure who isn’t afraid to be ribbed for his age. Seung-woo: “I think showing an easygoing side of myself isn’t a bad thing at my age. Truthfully many people around me told me not to [join 1N2D]. But an adventure and a challenge are happy things. … If I continue to work hard as an actor, I think I can be a young father. Physically I’m old but at heart I’m a young dad.”
When asked about their relationship, Seung-woo said, “I want things to be exactly as they are now. But do you know that that’s a really big dream? Time continues to flow but wanting this moment not to change can be a selfish thing. So that means I have to work just as hard to keep it.” Nam-joo: “I want my husband to always think of me as a friend like he does now — to be the first person he thinks of when he wants to confide in someone.”
Via Marie Claire

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October 4, 2012

"You Who Rolled In Unexpectedly" Dominates At Korea Drama Awards
KBS Global


It was not unexpected at all that "You Who Rolled In Unexpectedly" swept up six awards at the 2012 Korea Drama Awards.

The awards ceremony was held October 2nd, with the hit drama having received the Grand Award (or "Daesang") for its lead actress Kim Nam-joo. The remaining five awards were for Best Work Of Art, Best Writer Award, Best Child Actor Award for Kwak Dong-yeon's performance, Male Excellence Award for Lee Hee-joon's performance, and the Special Award for acting.

Some other dramas that got nods were "Deep-Rooted Tree", "Chaser", "Rooftop Prince", "Phantom", and "Golden Time".

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December 25, 2012
G-Dragon Voted Best-Dressed Celebrity of the Year
Source: The ChosunIlbo
Pop star G-Dragon was the best-dressed celebrity of 2012. The Chosun Ilbo asked 25 fashion designers and stylists who they felt were the leading trendsetters of the year. The top 15 advanced to the second round of voting, where the top 10 were decided.
G-Dragon of K-pop group Big Bang came first with 10 votes. He established himself as a fashionista early in his career with a wide range of styles from street fashion to luxury and is said to be capable of making any piece of clothing his own. 
Actress Ko Joon-hee came second with six votes for being sophisticated and bold. The experts said she makes clothes look more beautiful because of her well-proportioned body, and she knows how to create her own style without depending on her stylists.
Actor Song Joong-ki and actress Kim Nam-joo shared third place with five votes each. Song looked neat and trim in the film "A Werewolf Boy" and TV drama "The Innocent Man," and that worked perfectly with his natural and subtly edgy image. 
When Kim appeared in KBS soap "My Husband Got a Family," all of the clothes Kim wore became instant hits. The experts praised her improved fashion sense and attention to detail when matching her clothes to the occasion
Actress Ko So-young, who still appears in commercials for cosmetics, clothing and fashion accessories after childbirth, and actress Jung Ryeo-won, who looked natural in unique outfits on TV drama, shared fifth place with four votes each. Both pay a lot of attention to matching accessories and bags to their body shape and clothes. 
Actors Gong Yoo and Yu A-in, who both love trying on different clothes and know what suits them, both received three votes and came seventh. 
Ninth place was shared by rapper Psy and actors Ryoo Seung-bum and Jang Dong-gun. According to the experts, Psy "is the only male celebrity who know what to do with tuxedoes," Ryoo knows how to maintain his own style in both the public and private sphere, and Jang is versatile.

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January 1, 2013

Winners of the 2012 KBS Drama Awards

KBS Global

The 2012 KBS Drama Awards was held on December 31st to celebrate the best of the best from the drama realm this past year.

The winners were as follows:


Daesang: Kim Nam-joo ("Unexpected You")

Best Excellence Award: Song Joong-ki, Yoo Joon-sang, Moon Chae-won

Excellence Award (For Long Series): Joo Won, Yoon Yeo-jung

Excellence Award (For Medium Series): Um Tae-woong, Lee Bo-young

Excellence Award (For Mini Series): Shin Hyun-joong, Jang Nara

Excellence Award (Daily Series): Dong-wan, Kim Young-chul, Kim Ye-ryeong, Seo Ji-hye

Netizen Award: Song Joong-ki, Moon Chae-won, Girls Generation's Yoona

Producer's Choice Actor Award: Um Tae-woong

Supporting Character Award: Jo Yoon-hee, Kim Sang-ho, Park Ki-woong

Rookie Award: Jin Se-yeon, Oh Yeon-seo, Lee Hee-joon, Lee Jong-suk

Popularity Award: Joo Won, miss A’s Suzy

Best Couple Award: Song Joong-ki & Moon Chae-won, Lee Sang-yoon & Lee Bo-young, Lee Hee-joon & Jo Yoon-hee, Yoo Joon-sang & Kim Nam-joo

Young Acting Award: No Young-hak, Nam Ji-hyun

One-Act Play Award: Yeon Woo-jin, Sung Joon, Yoo Da-in, Park Shin-hye

Writer Award: Writer Park Ji-eun

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June 14, 2013
Kdrama Actresses Still Scoring Great Roles In Their 40s And 50s
by Joan MacDonald KDramaStars.com

Turning 40 and even 50 no longer means retirement or only mom roles for glamorous kdrama actresses.
In decades past, actresses often retired when they married or aged out of leading lady roles, but some of kdrama's most beautiful older actresses are changing all that.
Several kdrama actresses over 40 continue to score great roles. A few do play moms or wicked prospective mother-in-laws, but others also take leading roles as wives and love interests.
There's no rule that says women always look better in their 20s than they do in their 40s. For example, many would say that Kim Sung Ryung is even more attractive now than she was when she began acting. The 46-year-old actress was just cast in the upcoming drama, "The Heirs" with Lee Min Ho and Park Shin Hye. The actress works consistently, having recently appeared as Baek Do In Kyung "Yawang," Seo Ji Soo in "The Chaser," Oh Eun Hee in "Syndrome" and Ji Na's mom in "Padam Padam: The Sound Of His and Her Heartbeats." She won a KBS Excellence in Acting award for her role in "The Chaser."
Lee Mi Sook, 53, was a top actress in the 80s. She appeared in several films, most notably "Whale Hunting," "The Winter That Was Warm," and "Wanderer in Winter." She retired from acting in 1987 when she married but returned a decade later in the film, "An Affair." She played a good mom in "Love Rain" and a bad mom in "Cinderella's Sister" but she also did a gorgeous fashion spread in Elle Korea in 2010, playing the older woman having an affair with BigBang's TOP. She is currently playing glamorous actress Song Mi Ryung in "You're The Best Lee Soon Shin."
Kim Hye Soo, 43, recently starred in "God of the Workplace" as super-temp Miss Kim. She will appear in a film this year, titled "The Face Reader." Kim has acted since she was a high school student and her career shows no sign of slowing down. She became known as a femme fatale for her roles in "Hypnotized," "The Red Shoes" and Tazza" and she is just as glamorous today as she was then. Her dramatic red carpet looks continue to contribute to her sultry movie star appeal.
Kim Nam Joo, 42, appeared as Cha Hoon Yee, a working woman with annoying in-laws in last year's weekend drama hit "My Husband Got A Family." The drama earned ratings over 50 percent and its popularity was attributed to the to the relatable family problems it realistically portrayed. Kim, who has won several best actress, couple and style awards, looks amazing.
Hopefully, these talented actresses have many more drama roles in their futures.

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