Song Hye-kyo born November 22, 1986 is a South Korean actress. She gained international popularity through her leading roles in the television dramasAutumn in My Heart (2000), All In (2003), Full House (2004), That Winter, the Wind Blows (2013), Descendants of the Sun (2016), and Encounter (2018). Her film work includes Hwang Jin Yi (2007), The Grandmaster (2013), My Brilliant Life (2014), and The Queens (2015).
Early life and education
When Song was born, she was so ill that her parents and doctors thought that she would not survive. Upon her recovery, Song’s parents registered her birth on February 26, 1982 (instead of her actual birthdate, November 22, 1981).
Song’s parents divorced when she was a young girl, after which she was raised by her mother. They moved from her birthplace in Daegu to the Gangnam District in Seoul, where she trained as a figure skater in elementary school but quit when she was in the eighth grade. Song considered herself shy and introverted, but when she attended Ewha Girls’ High School she was described by her high school teacher as having a “cheerful character, she mixed well with her friends and was always in a bright mood.” Song Hye-kyo attended Sejong University, where she majored in Film Arts.
1996–2004: Debut, breakthrough, and international fame
In 1996, the fourteen-year-old Song, then a third-year junior high school student, won first place in the SunKyung Smart Model Contest, and made her entertainment debut as a model for the school uniform company. This led to her being cast in a small role in her first television drama, First Love. She would continue to appear in a string of dramas and sitcoms, most notably Soonpoong Clinic .But it was not until the KBS drama Autumn in My Heart in 2000 with Song Seung-heon and Won Bin that she rose to fame in Korea and throughout Asia The romantic melodrama series was a ratings success, pioneering a trend in Korean melodramatic series and launching a trend that is commonly referred to as the “Korean Wave” and leading to Song becoming a Hallyu star.
In 2003, her popularity continued to climb as she played a leading role alongside Lee Byung-hun in the gambling drama All In, which drew solid viewership ratings nationwide throughout its run with a peak viewer rating of 47.7 percent. The following year, she co-starred with singer Rain in the hit romantic comedy series Full House. The drama achieved pan-Asian success and established Song as one of the best-known Korean actresses in Asia.
2005–2012: Film debut and overseas ventures
Early 2005, Song went to San Francisco to study English, and later traveled to Seattle. She took time off to recharge herself after the successful Asia drama Full House. “I have had a good rest. It was a good opportunity to reflect on myself,” said Song. Song returned to Korea on March 5, 2005. The same year, Song made her big-screen debut in My Girl and I (a Korean remake of Crying Out Love in the Center of the World), which was panned by audiences and critics alike. Vocal about her dissatisfaction with typecasting in the roles she was being offered, Song proved in the following year that she could play different roles.In October 2008
She returned to the big screen in 2007 as the titular gisaeng in the film adaptation of Hwang Jin Yi. Because they found Song’s image “too cute,” Jun Ji-hyun and Soo Ae were the producers’ original choices for the role, but Song went on a rigorous diet and surprised them with her will and desire to be Hwang Jini. A year later, she made her American debut in the Hollywood indie Make Yourself at Home (formerly titled Fetish), a psychological thriller about a girl who was born to a shaman mother and tries to flee her fate by becoming an immigrant bride in the US. Despite Song’s attempts to challenge herself, both films underwhelmed the box office.
She made her TV comeback in late 2008 with The World That They Live In (also known as Worlds Within), a series set at a broadcast station in which Song and Hyun Bin played drama PDs who work together and fall in love.
In 2010, she starred in Camellia, an omnibus film made up of three short films directed by three Asian directors. Each episode is set in the past, present, and future of the city of Busan. In the film’s final segment, Love for Sale, Song and Kang Dong-won played former lovers who forget their memories about each other, which later leads them to a fatal destiny.
Considered one of Korea’s most beautiful women, in early 2011 Song released the photo-book Song Hye-kyo’s Moment, which was shot by top photographers in Atlanta, New York City, Buenos Aires, Patagonia, Paris, the Netherlands and Brazil. Proceeds from the sales of the photo book was donated to a children’s foundation.
Song next played a documentary filmmaker who finds the strength to forgive the seventeen-year-old boy who killed her fiancé but instead of redemption finds only greater tragedy in A Reason to Live (Korean title: Today), which after several delays was released in October 2011. Song was a huge fan of director Lee Jeong-hyang and had actively sought her out, and though she had difficulty getting into character, Song said she fell in love with the script and felt her acting had matured. She considers the film “a turning point” in her life.
In 2011, she became the first Asian actress to sign a contract with French global agency Effigies, paving the way for her possible entry into the European market. She released a photo-essay book in 2012 titled It’s Time for Hye-kyo