Written by: Frances Nito
Known as South Korea’s Queen of Romantic Comedy, you may have discovered Gong Hyo Jin as the lovely Dongbaek in her recent drama, When the Camellia Blooms. Or you may have been a long-time fan and has been watching her dramas since her chef days in Pasta.
No matter where you’ve seen or watched Gong Hyo Jin, you’re bound to always remember her for her quirky, unconventional characters and beautiful and equally interesting fashion wardrobe.
Gong Hyo Jin was born on April 4, 1980, from Sinwol-dong, Seoul, South Korea. She is a Roman Catholic and attended high school at John Paul College in Brisbane, Australia when she moved there with her mother and brother. They later came back to Korea in 1997.
She initially wanted to become a model, so she took on modeling jobs prior to becoming an actress. Though she is a full-time actress now, her fashion sense and height (around 5’8) propelled her to build a luxurious career in the modeling industry.
She has graced the covers of several prominent magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Vogue, and many more.
Her supporting role in the 1999 horror film, “Memento Mori” was her debut as an actress, even though she didn’t like how she looked on the big screen.
Pursued by agencies, Hyo Jin decided to take on a different set of roles, from a quick-tempered, rebellious youth in Family Ties (2006) to a blushing high school teacher in Crush and Blush (2008).
Eventually, these roles prepared her and her acting skills as she played and took on a more diverse range of characters in her Korean dramas.
Some of the best K-dramas Gong Hyo Jin starred in are the following:
Pasta (2010 | 20 episodes)
Starring: Gong Hyo Jin, Lee Sun Gyun, Lee Ha Nee, and Alex
Plot: Working as a kitchen assistant for three years at the Italian restaurant, La Sfera, Seo Yoo Kyung (Gong Hyo Jin) decided to grab the opportunity when the role of assistant pasta chef opened up.
However, the talented and extremely biased new head chef Choi Hyun Wook (Lee Sun Kyun) comes along and decides that the kitchen is no place for a woman like Yoo Kyung.
The Greatest Love (2011 | 16 episodes)
Starring: Cha Seung Won, Gong Hyo Jin, Yoon Kye Sang, and Yoo In Na
Plot: In order to make ends meet, unsuccessful former pop idol Gu Ae Jung tries to maintain her career by appearing on any TV or radio show that is willing to have her as their guest.
Through a series of mishaps and blackmailing, she forms a hilarious and sweet relationship with the top celebrity, Cha Seung Won (Dokko Jin).
The Master’s Sun (2013 | 17 episodes)
Starring: So Ji-Sub, Gong Hyo Jin, Seo In Guk, Kim Yoo Ri
Plot: After she miraculously survived an accident, Tae Gong Sil (Gong Hyo Jin) woke up from her long coma with an ability to see and hear ghosts.
However, Gong Sil who is terrified of ghosts, was unable to live a normal life until she met CEO Joo Joong Won (So Ji Sub). When she touches Joong Won, the ghosts who hover around her will disappear. Because of this, she decided to stick to him from then on.
It’s Ok, That’s Love (2014 | 16 episodes)
Starring: Jo In Sung, Gong Hyo Jin, Sung Dong Il, Lee Kwang Soo, Lee Sung Kyo, Do Kyung Soo
Plot: Jang Jae Yeol (Jo In Sung) is a famous radio DJ and a ghostwriter. When he met psychiatrist Ji Hae Soo (Gong Hyo Jin) in a talk show, they immediately vibrated negative energy towards each other.
However, due to unforeseen circumstances, he and Hae Soo ended up as roommates which gave them the opportunity to know more about one another and help each other heal from the scars of their past.
The Producers (2015 | 12 episodes + 1 special)
Starring: Kim Soo Hyun, Gong Hyo Jin, Cha Tae Hyun, IU
Plot: Set in the backstage of the broadcasting industry, Baek Sung Chan (Kim Soo Hyun) is a rookie producer who wishes to create a career in the broadcasting industry primarily because of his secret love.
He meets veteran producers who either have started out as innocent and bright like him but have turned sharp and mean (Gong Hyo Jin) because of work competition or those who still haven’t made a name for themselves despite working in the industry for so long (Cha Tae Hyun).
Don’t Dare to Dream (2016 | 24 episodes)
Starring: Jo Jung Suk, Gong Hyo Jin, Go Kyung Pyo
Plot: Lee Hwa Shin (Jo Jung Suk) is a famous and notable journalist. However, as luck would have it, he was diagnosed with breast cancer rarely found in men.
In order to maintain his highly coveted position as a journalist, he undergoes the operation with the persuasion of his subordinate and long-time fan, Pyo Na Ri (Gong Hyo Jin).
When the Camellia Blooms (2019 | 20 episodes)
Starring: Gong Hye Jin, Kang Ha Neul, Kim Ji Suk
Plot: Single mother, Dongbaek (Gong Hye Jin), struggles to make ends meet as she single-handedly raises her son and runs her bar/restaurant at the same time in the small town of Ongsan.
However, her life and luck started to change when she captured the heart of a local police officer, Hwang Yong Shik (Kang Ha Neul), and the attention of a notorious serial killer.
Through her unconventional characters in her dramas and amazing modeling gigs, Gong Hyo Jin has proven that she is indeed worthy of her title as the Queen of Romantic Comedy.
Which of these dramas have you watched, and which are your favorite? Let us know below!
Follow Gong Hyo Jin on Instagram for more of her life updates @rovvxhyo.