Park Shin-hye (Korean: 박신혜), born February 18, 1990 in Gwangju; Alternative names: Park Shin-Hye or Park Shinhye, is a South Korean actress. She is best known for her television roles in various dramas, including You’re Beautiful (2009), in which she played the roles of Go Mi-nam and Go Mi-nyo, and Heartstrings (2011), where she played Lee Gyu Won1,2. Park Shin-hye is a former student of Chung-Ang University, from which she graduated.
She plays two instruments, the piano and the gayageum3.
In 2015, she was ranked 33rd in Forbes Korea Power Celebrity magazine’s list, and 12th in 2017.
She has an older brother, Park Shin-won, who is a guitarist and composer5.
At Hak-Kang Elementary School in Gwangju, Grade 6, Shin-hye auditions for the lead role of a music video, titled Ggot, featuring singer Lee Seung-hwan. She succeeds in obtaining it. She then signed a contract with Lee Seung-hwan, and began her training as a singer at the age of 13.
- 2003 – 2008: its beginnings
She began to be known to the general public in 2003, thanks to the role of Han Jung-suh (young version) in the popular Korean drama Stairway to Heaven7. She continued her acting career by appearing in several television series, notably by playing a rebellious teenage girl in the special drama Very Merry Christmas in 20048.
Park Shin-hye performed her first leading role in the South Korean-Japanese drama series Tree of Heaven (2006), for which she received positive reviews from audiences. The series is also broadcast in Japan, thus giving the actress a certain notoriety abroad.
Shin-hye made her film debut in the film Evil Twin (2007), a horror film in which she played two roles: the main character and the main character’s sister, who haunts her sister after her death. She subsequently played her first antagonistic role in the romantic series Prince Hours, a spin-off of Princess Hours (2006) 12,13, and appeared in the drama Kimcheed Radish Cubes as a leading female role14.
In addition to her career as an actress, she also participated as a singer in the musical television program Fantastic Partner from 2006 to 2007, for which she received the award for “best new recruit” at the MBC Entertainment Awards.
- 2009 – 2012: growing popularity.
She gained popularity after performing the roles of Go Mi-nam and Go Mi-nyo in the series You’re Beautiful (2009) alongside Jang Geun-suk16,17. Despite very average ratings in South Korea, the series is becoming popular in Japan18. In parallel, she performs the songs Lovely Day and Without Words for the soundtrack of this drama.
In 2010, she starred in the low-budget romantic film Cyrano Agency, tackling the subject of a dating agency that helps her clients win the hearts of the people they want. The film was a big hit, gaining 2.7 million admissions nationwide, and becoming the 8th best-selling film of the year21. She won the “Most Popular Actress” award in the film category at the Baeksang Arts Awards22. The same year, she lent her voice to the main character of the animated film Green Days: Dinosaur and I, shown at the 15th Busan International Film Festival, which received positive reviews23,24.
Park Shin-hye landed again a lead role, in the series Heartstrings (2011), broadcast on MBC, alongside singer Jung Yong-hwa25,26. Thanks to You’re Beautiful and Heartstrings, the actress experienced an increase in her popularity in Japan27, and thus signed an exclusive contract with the Japanese agency IMX28. The same year, she starred in a Taiwanese drama, titled Hayate The Combat Butler, based on the Japanese manga of the same name29,30. Thanks to her performance, she received the “Popular Asian Star” award at LeTV Movie and Drama Awards31.
In 2012, the actress was chosen to join the cast of the third season of the KBS series Don’t Worry, I’m a Ghost, which aired on July 1532. Her performance in the drama earned her the “Best Actress” award at the 2012 KBS Drama Awards33. The same year, she joined the musical reality TV show Music and Lyrics, where she collaborated with singer Yoon Gun to compose a song called I Think of You. Subsequently, she starred in the TV series Flower Boys Next Door with actor Yoon Shi-yoon, which aired in January 2013 on tvN.
- 2013 – currently: breakthrough in Asia and internationally
In 2013, Park Shin-hye starred in the drama film Miracle in Cell No. 736, which became one of Korea’s highest-grossing films. She went on to win the award for “Best Actress” at the 33rd Korean Association of Film Critics Awards38. To celebrate her 10th anniversary as an actress, she is hosting a 2013 Park Shin Hye Asia Tour: Kiss Of Angel fanmeet tour in four Asian countries, becoming the first actress to tour Asia39,40. The actress went on to appear in the music video for actor and singer So Ji-sub’s song Eraser, for his album Two’clock … Playground, alongside actor Yoo Seung-ho41. That same year, she starred alongside Lee Min-ho in The Heirs, a teen drama written by Kim Eun-sook42. The series is a huge hit in South Korea and internationally, also with over a billion views on the Chinese streaming website iQiyi43,44. It is thanks to this series that Park Shin-hye is known internationally and thus becomes an emerging star of the Hallyu wave45,46,47. She received the award for “Most Popular Overseas Actress” at the 2013 Anhui TV Drama Awards.
In 2014, she played the role of the queen in the historical film The Royal Tailor49,50. The same year, she joined the cast of the Pinocchio series alongside Lee Jong-suk, playing the heroine of the drama suffering from a chronic symptom called the “Pinocchio complex”, demonstrated by a violent hiccup when she told lies51. The series is a success52, earning approximately US $ 5.62 million in broadcast rights in just one year. The same year, the MBC channel nicknamed her “the little sister of the nation” 54. Due to her performances and her success, the actress received the commendation from the Korean Minister of Culture for her contribution to the Hallyu wave55,56.
In 2016, after a two-year hiatus, Park Shin-hye made her return to the SBS television series Doctor Crush, where she played an outstanding doctor57. The drama was a hit and topped audience ratings and popularity charts during its airing in just ten weeks58,59. The actress subsequently starred in the comedy My Annoying Brother as a judo coach, alongside actor Jo Jung-suk and Do Kyung-soo from the group EXO60,61. The same year, she was chosen as the most influential Korean actress of the Hallyu wave in the United States.
In 2017, she starred in the crime thriller Heart Blackened, a remake of the Hong Kong film Silent Witness, alongside Choi Min-sik63,64.
In 2018, she joined the cast of tvN’s fantasy drama Memories of the Alhambra alongside Hyun Bin, playing two roles simultaneously65. The series is a commercial success and has become one of the highest rated Korean series in television history66.
In 2020, the actress stars in the thriller Call directed by Lee Chung-hyun, telling the story of two women living in different eras but who find themselves connected by a mysterious phone call67,68. That same year, she starred in the disaster film #ALIVE alongside Yoo Ah-in, based on the original screenplay by Hollywood screenwriter Matt Naylor.