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November 2, 2007

Glamor Girl Kim Hye-soo Shows Off Period Style


The first still photos of the star actress Kim Hye-soo from a new movie called "Modern Boy" helmed by director Jeong Ji-woo have been released. Kim plays Cho Nan-sil in the movie, a 1930s modern girl who wins the heart of Lee Hae-myung, the titular modern boy played by Park Hae-il.

Last year, Kim dazzled audiences with her provocatively glamorous fashions as the femme fatale in "The War of Flower," a gambling drama. This year she returns to the screen as a period trendsetter.

The stills show Kim wearing the revolutionary fashions of the late 1920s and early 1930s, when the young urban working and middle class -- the mobo/moga or modern boys/girls -- abandoned traditional dress in favor of sharp, spivvy fashions in imitation on the styles of Korean dancer Choi Seung-hee and Hollywood stars Louise Brooks and Colleen Moore.

Kim also recorded four songs in three languages for the new movie, after three months of vocal training before the shoot began. "Modern Boy" will be released at the beginning of next year.

Source: englishnews@chosun.com


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NOVEMBER 20, 2007

Kim Hye-soo is Eleventh Mom


A woman with bad health and a broken bank account lived just to pity herself, until she met a young boy who had it worse than she did.

The woman is the 11th mother for the boy, whose stepmothers had come and gone after the death of his real mother. Eleventh Mom, to be released on November 29, is a film about the bonding between a stepmother and stepson, each of whom insists they are more pathetic. The mother is played by actress Kim Hye-soo.

During the filming of The War of Flower, Kim accidentally came across a script that was originally meant for another actress. Kim Jin-seong, director of the movie Eleventh Mom, was brainstorming for a low-budget film under 500 million won at that time, but didn’t have a specific production plan. Kim then politely suggested herself as the female lead even while thinking, “Production won’t be easy.” As luck would have it, she was given the part. Ryu Seung-ryong and Hwang Jeong-min joined the cast, and Kim Yeong-chan, who played Kim Jeong-eun’s young cousin in Lovers in Paris, jumped on board. Investment started rolling in; though the film remains a low-budget movie at 1.8 billion won, it started off with nothing else but hope.

“Hollywood actors don’t always star in blockbusters. It’s just that only the blockbusters are shown here in Korea. A-list stars like Nicole Kidman and Kevin Spacey appear in independent films as well. If I really want to work on something… even if the money’s not that good, good experiences can be just as valuable. And I’m thirsty for some good projects.”

Now that she doesn’t feel the need to be “pretty,” Kim says she needs to broaden her scope as an actress, and that she’s been given her chance. In Shim’s Family, she scratches her head and yawns as a jobless thirty-something woman, and in this movie, she plays an ill woman with a yellowish cast who snatches a food ticket from a boy on welfare and curses as she buys her own food.

“If I get made up I look fabulous, but when I’m at home I’m not like that. If I don’t talk to people, they wouldn’t recognize me. Now that I’ve been in this business for so long, people can notice me by hearing my voice.”

The woman she plays is the lowest of the low, who has let her life rot after being abandoned by everybody. Kim says, “People have loved me and have been interested in me since I was a child. Doing this movie I felt that everybody has their difficulties, but each of us selfishly wants everyone to acknowledge our hardships.” She admitted she knew someone who fit this description.

Kim has played a mother before, but this time her mother role is unique. She says instead of portraying maternal love, she focused on how two alienated people can become closer. “The characters have been neglected for so long that whenever someone shows affection, they become defensive. They desperately want to be loved, but don’t know how to react because they haven’t had any experience with it. They’re also instinctively afraid of being hurt again.” The two main characters in the movie give each other the cold shoulder at first when the other shows interest.

Kim, 37, debuted as a child actress and has now been in the business for 22 years. In contrast with the charisma she exudes on screen, she is at ease these days. She kept repeating throughout the interview, “Maybe it’s because I’ve been in the business for so long.” She has indeed shown herself to the audience for a long time. And now, past her twenties, which she says “oppressed her,” and into her thirties, she is very comfortable in her skin. Even while filming five movies in two years, she has not lost her leisurely air. “A couple of years ago, I didn’t have much confidence. But now if I want to do something, I just do it.”

Source: The Dong-A Ilbo


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November 29, 2007

Actors Keep '11th Mother' Afloat

By Lee Hyo-won

Staff Reporter


Actress Kim Hye-su plays the role of a cynical woman who gets in touch

with her maternal instincts in "My 11th Mother."

When you have a classic storyline and an amazing cast of top-notch actors, what can possibly go wrong? While a movie can go terribly off beam, fine acting can sometimes keep a film from drowning completely.

"My 11th Mother," is a conventional tearjerker. Director Kim Jin-sung ("Surprise Party," 2002) spices up the family genre a bit by throwing in some novel ingredients that work surprisingly well in the beginning. But the rest of the film goes sour ? rather than sweetly heart-wrenching ? and forcibly squeezes out tears.

Jae-su leads a cruel life for an 11-year-old. His father (Ryu Seung-ryong) is an abusive, gambling and jobless wreck of a guy, so the little boy has learned to survive on his own, cooking or carefully spending his food stamps and running a string of part-time jobs.

One day, his father shows up with a woman (Kim Hye-su). Apparently used to the comings and goings of such transient mother figures ? this one being the 11th as the title suggests ? Jae-su says "mom" without a wince.

"Mom? You didn't tell me you had a kid," says the gaudy woman. But her make-up and wig disappear to reveal a hungry, tired and disheveled woman who eats up all the food in the house when she's not in deep hibernation.

Jae-su seems to have dealt with all sorts of women, but this one is the worst by far. War ensues as the two squabble over a bottle of yogurt and such.

But even enemies join forces when a mutual opponent threatens, and Jae-su and the woman bond together against the violent abuse of Jae-su's father.

"Before I met you, I used to think I was the most pitiful person in the world... But no, I'm second and you can take number one," the woman says. She has led a rough life as a bargirl. Ailing and penniless, she was "bought" into a so-called marriage.

But Jae-su opens up her weary heart, and she learns the meaning of family for the first time in her life. The two lonely souls begin to accept each other as kindred spirits, and the deep empathy blooms into familial love.

Just when the two embark on a newfound relationship, unfortunately, time and circumstances separate them forever.

The film actually works pretty well up to the climax, when Jae-su and the woman build their bond. Subtlety reigns tastefully, but then it falls downhill into a contrived mess.

"My 11th Mother" rests too heavily on extremities to force reactions from viewers. It takes it too far as it shows, for example, a lengthy scene of domestic violence, as the father relentlessly hits the boy and woman. The level of violence is a bit too much for a family drama, and the film could have been equally disturbing without showing it all.

And yet, the film doesn't die off completely, as it showcases the stellar performances of some of Korea's finest actors.

Actress Kim Hye-su ("Tazza: The High Rollers," 2006), Korea's ultimate sex symbol, trades in her femme fatale image to play a broken woman. Kim delivers the role most convincingly, with chipped nails and all. And while she demonstrates her ability to handle a role that's far from glamorous, she retains that unwavering sparkle in her eyes that shines through in all her parts.

Kim's young partner, actor Kim Young-chon, is thoroughly impressive. The 13-year-old acts with a natural instinct and innocence that many child actors seem lack these days. Korean cinema has much to expect from the young actor.

Ryu Seung-ryong ("Hwang Jin Yi," 2007) is also unforgettable as a man who, unable to express his affections, tragically falls prey to his own traps as a terrible father. And yet, the cream of the crop would undoubtedly be Hwang Jung-min ("Happiness," 2007), who stars as the pathetic guy next door, who gives the artificial drama a realistic edge.

Credits: hyowlee@koreatimes.co.kr


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January 18, 2008

Actress Kim Hye-soo Denies Rumors

By Kwon Mee-yoo

Staff Reporter


Actress Kim Hye-soo

Actress Kim Hye-soo, 38, denied rumors concerning her relationships.

SidusHQ, Kim's agency, officially rejected rumors of Kim having relationships with a yakuza boss or trot singer Na Hoon-a on Thursday.

Kim is a popular actress who starred in the movies "A Good Day to Have an Affair" and "11th Mother" last year. She won the Best Actress award at Blue Dragon Awards for her role in "Tazza: The High Rollers" in 2006.

Na, 61, is a renowned trot singer who began his singing career in 1960s. He starred in movies in the 1980s and released many hit songs. But he disappeared after canceling a concert March 2007.

Rumor has it that Kim is the mistress of a yakuza boss in Korea and entered into an illicit relationship with Na, which resulted in the yakuzas harming Na.

The rumor spread like a wildfire through the Internet. Kim believed the rumor has damaged her reputation and decided to deny the misunderstandings.

According to the press release, Kim met Na only once when she was hosting a talk show named "Kim Hye-soo Plus You." The program was cancelled in 2000.

Another actress involved in the rumor, Kim Sun-a, 33, also denied her relationship with the trot singer in a telephone interview with an Internet news agency.

The police secretly investigated the yakuza-related rumor and concluded that the rumor was groundless. However, Na's is confirmed to be in Korea.

Credits: meeyoo@koreatimes.co.kr


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January 22, 2008

Local films go for mega flicks in 2008


Far left: Jeong Jae-yeong in “Shingijeon,” and above, Jung Woo-sung

in “The Good, the Bad and the Weird.” [JoongAng Ilbo]

Chungmuro, Korea’s answer to Hollywood, had a gloomy 2007.

Despite major hits such as “D-War” and “May 18” and Jeon Do-youn winning the Best Actress award at the 2007 Cannes International Film Festival, overall revenue dropped significantly.

With the number of people going to the movies decreasing for the first time in 11 years, some commentators claim that the decade-long Chungmuro renaissance is finished.

The JoongAng Ilbo surveyed 25 movie experts, including producers, investors and critics, on movies earmarked for release this year.

Included in the survey were the movie critics Kang Yu-jeong and Jeon Chan-il as well as Jeong Seung-hae, the owner of Achim Productions.

For them, the renaissance is still alive, though not in the first bud of youth.

Two trends describe Korean movies this year: blockbusters and period movies.

According to these 25 movie buffs, the most promising movie for 2008 is “The Good, the Bad and the Weird.”

It’s a Korean-style western set in Manchuria, the historical name of three Chinese provinces: Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaon.

Many Korean freedom fighters made their home there during the Japanese colonial rule in Korea.

The 10 billion won ($10.6 million) blockbuster tells the story of three guys ― a bounty hunter, a hit man and a train hijacker ― who are hunting for the same treasure.

The cast is very strong with Song Gang-ho, Lee Byung-hun and Jung Woo-sung taking the main roles.

Jung plays the cool good guy who pursues criminals for money. Lee plays the miserable bad guy who kills people for money. Song plays the witty weirdo who rides a motorcycle and hijacks trains.

The movie will open in theaters in the summer.

The respondents agreed that Kim Jee-woon, the director of this movie, produces high-quality comedy, horror and film noir.

“He adds a new flavor in each genre he directs,” they said.

Others said, “This movie will be an indicator of how well the Chungmuro industry will fare in 2008” and “Successful movies always have something refreshing in them.”

Another movie many respondents recommend to watch out for is “Modern Boy.”

It’s set in Gyeongseong, the former name of Seoul under Japanese colonial rule.

It’s about a man named Lee Hae-myung who doesn’t care about reality, but only seeks pleasure and romance. Everything changes after Lee meets the mysterious Jo Nan-shil through a college friend at Tokyo University.

The movie is about a dangerous kind of love that transforms a lightheaded womanizer into a fervent freedom fighter.

Director Jeong Ji-woo wanted a charismatic actress to play Jo. He needed to persuade the audience why the leading man was so obsessed with this woman.

“Her character must be so engaging and powerful that even if you believe she’s lying, you just hold her hand and follow her when she asks, ‘Come with me?’”

One of Korea’s top actresses, Kim Hye-soo, is perfectly cast as Jo.

The film buffs we surveyed said this movie is distinguished for its new approach to filming the 1930s and for its great directing.

“The visuals are terrific and the characters intriguing,” one of the respondents said.

Audiences will be able to watch “Modern Boy” in April.

Another period movie also caught the critics’ eye. “He’s Far Away,” still being filmed in Thailand, will open in theaters this summer.

It’s set in the Vietnam War in the 1970s. Many Vietnam War-era movies have been made, but this movie is one of the few that tells the story from a woman’s point of view.

Suni has been living a quiet life, but her world is turned upside down when her husband is drafted to fight in Vietnam. Suni misses him so much that she decides to join an entertainment support unit bound for Vietnam.

“It was refreshing to see the war from a woman’s point of view,” was one response in our survey. “The audience will be able to enjoy the music, a poignant story and the spectacle” was another.

Another promising blockbuster is “Shingijeon,” directed by Kim Yu-jin.

This 10 billion won movie is also a period piece. It goes back much further than the movies mentioned above.

It’s set in the Joseon Dynasty (1392 to 1910). Shingijeon is the name of a weapon that King Sejong, the creator of Hangul, the Korean alphabet, ordered his scientists to develop in the 15th century.

The rocket-propelled weapon fires multiple arrows carrying small bombs over a great range. The production team made the now-defunct weapon using authentic designs from history books.

The movie is filled with epic battle sequences between secret agents assigned to protect the development of this weapon of mass destruction. The Chinese do not want the weapon to be developed.

Possible parallels with the world today and the problem of the proliferation of nuclear weapons?

Ahn Sung-ki plays King Sejong, and Jeong Jae-yeong plays Seol-ju, who falls in love with the daughter of one of the key scientists working on the weapon.

Seol-ju has to protect his love interest from a gang of Chinese agents determined to stop the Koreans and their arms industry. The movie will arrive in theaters in April.

All the movies mentioned so far are mega-budget epics that cost between 7 billion won and 10 billion won. But the more small-scale “Night and Day” also excited the survey participants. Kim Yu-jeong is a painter who runs off to Paris where he falls in love with a Korean student.

But Kim is already married.

Those that participated in the survey agreed that what is most promising about the 2008 releases is their “uniqueness.”

“People don’t want to watch a movie that reminds them of another movie they saw before. They get tired of watching the same stories over and over again,” was a general comment.

“One of the secret weapons of the Korean movie industry over the last five years has been its ability to produce refreshing commercial movies,” said another.

One person criticized the film industry in general. “Rather than blaming illegal downloading of movies and high ticket prices, Chungmuro needs to refresh itself.”

Not everyone agrees on the health of Chungmuro, but we’ll soon know ― when the 2008 movies finally open.

By Lee Hoo-nam JoongAng Ilbo/ Lee Yang-kyoung Staff Reporter [estyle@joongang.co.kr]


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January 29, 2008

KIM Hye-soo transforms Modern Boy PARK Hae-il


Writer/director JUNG Ji-woo wrapped up filming one of the highly anticipated films of this year: Modern Boy, set during the occupation of Korea by Japan. The titular character is played by PARK Hae-il, a superficial young man who only cares about enjoying the fruits of modernization. Things change when he meets the mysterious and multi-talented character played by KIM Hye-soo.

KIM was chosen for the female lead since the character needs to be a very strong woman who has a profound impact on the young man’s life, according to director JUNG’s motivation. KIM has been lavishly praised for her commanding role in Tazza: The High Rollers.

With filming finished, Modern Boy is in the final stages after a development process of three years, including a shooting period of almost seven months in numerous locations spread over the Korean peninsula.

Expectations are high, since Modern Boy promises strong characters, impressive visuals, an interesting recreation of the time’s fashion and urban landscape, and an original take on the modernization of Korea in a controversial time by director JUNG.

JUNG previously helmed the acclaimed Happy End, his feature film debut which screened in the Critics Week Section at the Cannes Film Festival. The film starring CHOI Min-sik and JEON Do-yeon was also a success at the box office. JUNG was also praised for his latest, Blossom Again with KIM Jung-eun in the leading role.

PARK Hae-il portrayed the bitter former student activist in The Host. He also starred in last year’s hit Paradise Murdered. He was also praised for his roles in Memories of Murder, and My Mother the Mermaid.

Yi Ch'ang-ho (KOFIC)


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February 25, 2008

'Sexy actress' Kim Hye-soo selected the best kissable lips along with her perfect body


The film advertisement company, "Cinema Lovers", launched a survey about "Which female stars have the best kissable lips", as a mean of advertising a film "My Blueberry Nights" (starring Norah Jones). From the survey, Kim Hye-soo was ranked 1st with an overwhelming response of 62.42%.

Subsequently, Song Hye-kyo was ranked 2nd (15.92%), followed by Han Ye-seul (14.01%) and Kim Tae-hee (7.74%).

English translation courtesy hancinema.net

Original article at news.media.daum.net

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Guest kdramafanusa

<<<from several months ago>>>

Source: Arirang Showbiz December 12, 2007

Sexy star Kim Hye-soo and handsome Mr. Song Seung-hun are chosen as "the 21st Century's Best-dressed Celebrities"!

An internet site recently posted an open survey for "Best-dressed in the 21st Century" - with five categories to select from: actor/actresses, male/female singers, and sports stars.

Taking first place for the actor/actress category were Song Seung-hun and Kim Hye-soo!

Actress Kim Hye-soo undoubtedly has one of the most voluptuous bodies in Korea, and she manages to show it off with an extravagant, daring wardrobe that's always tastefully sexy.

The public must have agreed because 43 PERCENT chose Kim Hye-soo as Korea's Best-dressed actress!

From the singers category, heading the list were K-pop group, Shinhwa, and songstress, Uhm Jung-hwa.

In sports, the number one vote went to pro-soccer player, Lee Chun-soo.

If you want to see what's hot in fashion - the internet survey says THESE stars are the ones to check out!


21st Century's Best-dressed Stars: Song Seung-hun & Kim Hye-soo!

Modeling agency Modelline's [The 24th Annual Korean Best Dresser Award] will be held on December 10th at Seoul Hyatt Hotel. To commemorate this upcoming event, a 7-day online 'Best Dressed Stars of the 21st Century' survey was conducted by [Auction] (www.auction.co.kr).

Best Dressed Actor, Actress, Male Singer, Female Singer, Athlete (from 2000~)

Chosen from 42 Best Dresser winners from 2001 to 2006

Participants: 9803 Auction members

Voting Period: November 30 ~ December 6


1. Song Seung-hun (18.5%) - 2001 Best Dresser

2. Song Il-kook (14.6%) - 2004 Best Dresser

3. Kwon Sang-woo (12.5%) - 2003 Best Dresser


1. Kim Hye-soo (42.3%) - 2006 Best Dresser

2. Han Chae-young (11.1%) - 2005 Best Dresser

3. Song Yoon-ah (9.4%) - 2002 Best Dresser


1. SHINHWA (27.5%)


1. Uhm Jung-hwa (37%) - 2002 winner

2. Ivy (30.8%) - 2005 winner


1. Lee Chun-soo (18.4%)

Source: Data from Chosun/Edaily/Newsen/Starnews






Photo Credit: As labelled + Yahoo

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