Han Hyo-joo (born February 22, 1987) is a South Korean film and television actress. She is best known for her leading roles in television drama series: Spring Waltz (2006); Brilliant Legacy (2009); Dong Yi (2010) and W - Two Worlds (2016); as well as the film Cold Eyes (2013), for which she won Best Actress at the 34th Blue Dragon Film Awards.
Han Hyo-joo was born in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province. Her mother was an elementary school teacher before becoming an inspector for public schools, and her father was an air force officer. As a child, she was good in sports, particularly track and field. In her sophomore year of high school, she moved to Seoul and attended Bulgok High School, despite the objections of her strict and conservative father. She then entered Dongguk University, where she joined the theater and film department.
Han was first discovered in a teenage beauty pageant organized by food corporation Binggrae in 2003. She began her acting career in the sitcom Nonstop 5 and the gangster comedy film My Boss, My Teacher. Han later raised her profile by starring in Spring Waltz, the fourth and final installment of TV director Yoon Seok-ho's "season drama" series.
In 2006, director Lee Yoon-ki cast Han in the starring role in his low-budget independent film Ad-lib Night, which follows a young woman who rediscovers herself through an eerie overnight encounter with strangers. She won the Best New Actress awards at the Korean Association of Film Critics Awards and Singapore International Film Festival for her performance.
Han then starred in two highly successful TV projects and rose to fame - KBS daily drama Like Land and Sky with Park Hae-jin in 2007, and SBS masked-adventurer series Iljimae with Lee Joon-gi in 2008. Both dramas drew solid viewership ratings nationwide throughout its run with high viewer ratings and launched Han into a household name. Afterwards, she was cast in another indie film, Ride Away, which debuted at the 2008 Jeonju International Film Festival.
Han then filmed the Korean-Japanese telecinema co-production Heaven's Postman, which also featured pop star Jaejoong from TVXQ (now JYJ). After several postponements, it was released in theaters in late 2009, and broadcast on TV in 2010.
Han's breakthrough came in Brilliant Legacy costarring Lee Seung-gi, which became a massive hit in 2009, reaching a peak viewership rating of 47.1%. It catapulted Han to stardom, and after the drama's conclusion, she experienced a sharp rise in endorsement deals and media requests for interviews, as well as increased pan-Asian popularity. Later that year Han wrapped up her starring role in the musical drama Soul Special, which aired on KBS Joy.
In 2010, Han took on the titular character in MBC's 49th anniversary project Dong Yi, The series became a hit during its run both domestically and across Asia. Han won several acting awards for her portrayal of Choi Suk-bin, including the Daesang (Grand Prize) award at MBC Drama Awards and the coveted Best Actress award at Baeksang Arts Awards.
In 2011, Han played a blind telemarketer opposite So Ji-sub's ex-boxer in the melodrama film Always. Helmed by director Song Il-gon, it premiered as the opening film of the 2011 Busan International Film Festival. Han later contributed voice narration to the "barrier-free" version of Japanese film My Back Page, which features descriptive audio and subtitles for people with hearing or visual impairments.
Han then played the queen to Lee Byung-hun's Gwanghae in the 2012 blockbuster period film Masquerade, which became one of the highest-grossing Korean films of all time. She followed that with Love 911, an unlikely romance between a doctor and a firefighter (Go Soo).
In 2013, Han starred opposite Sol Kyung-gu and Jung Woo-sung in action thriller Cold Eyes, a remake of the 2007 Hong Kong film Eye in the Sky. The film dominated the box office after its release and became one of the biggest domestic hits of 2013. Han received acting recognition for her performance, winning Best Actress from the Blue Dragon Film Awards and Buil Film Awards.
In 2014, Han and Love 911 costar Go Soo reunited in Myohyangsangwan ("View of Mount Myohyang"), which depicts the rendezvous of a South Korean painter and a North Korean waitress in a North Korean restaurant. The short film is a collaboration by contemporary artists Moon Kyung-won and Jeon Joon-ho, and combined a theatrical plot, experimental imagery, dance and performance art.
She then ventured into the overseas market by starring in her first Japanese film, Isshin Inudo's Miracle: Debikuro-kun no Koi to Maho ("Miracle Devil Claus' Love and Magic"). Set during the Christmas season, the film is a love story about a kind bookstore employee (played by Masaki Aiba from J-pop boyband Arashi) who meets three women.
In 2015, Han starred in the musical biopic C'est Si Bon, which depicted the ups and downs of the folk music group Twin Folio, which was active from the 1960s to 80s. Famous for its live performances, C'est Si Bon was the name of a popular music lounge located in Mugyo-dong in the 1970s, where Twin Folio got its start; Han played the group's muse. This was followed by romantic comedy film The Beauty Inside, where Han's character falls in love with a man who changes to different people every day.
Later that year, Han got together with Yoo Yeon-seok and Chun Woo-hee, both of her co-stars in The Beauty Inside, again for Love, Lies, a movie which depicts the last story of gisaeng during the Japanese occupation in the 1940s.
In 2016, Han returns to the small screen with MBC's fantasy suspense series W alongside Lee Jong-suk. Helmed by director Jung Dae-yoon who directed She Was Pretty and writer Song Jae-jung whose previous works include Nine: Nine Time Travels and Queen In-hyun's Man, expectations rises when this also marks Han's small screen comeback after 6 years. She won the Top Excellence award at the 5th APAN Star Awards and MBC Drama Awards for her performance in W.
In 2018, Han starred in the thriller Golden Slumber alongside Kang Dong-won. She was also cast as the female lead in sci-fi action thriller In-rang, based on the Japanese animated flick of the same name.
In November 2013, the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office indicted Han's ex-manager from her former agency Fantom Entertainment for attempted extortion. According to the police, the ex-manager surnamed Lee illegally transferred 16 photos of Han and her ex-boyfriend from her digital camera to his mobile phone. Lee then threatened to publish the compromising photos unless he and his two accomplices were paid ₩400 million; Han's father paid them ₩10 million. In a press release, Han's agency BH Entertainment said the actress did not engage in any activities that deserve public criticism and threatened "strong measures" to deal with blackmail.
In September 2014, the South Korean media reported that a petition was being circulated to boycott Han's appearance in TV commercials. The petition stemmed from Han's younger brother allegedly bullying a fellow airman while both were in mandatory military service that resulted in the latter's suicide. The negative publicity was exacerbated by Han herself having once been appointed as a goodwill ambassador for the Republic of Korea Air Force.
|2006||My Boss, My Teacher||Yoo Mi-jung|
|Ad-lib Night||Bo-kyung||Independent film|
|2008||Ride Away||Im Ha-jung|
|My Dear Enemy||Woman at the bus stop/
Voice on the phone
|2009||Heaven's Postman||Jo Hana / Saki||Tele Cinema
(also aired on SBS)
|2013||Cold Eyes||Ha Yoon-ju|
|2014||Miracle Devil Claus' Love and Magic||So-yeon||Japanese film|
|View of Mount Myohyang||Oh Yeong-ran||Short film|
|2015||C'est Si Bon||Min Ja-young (20s)|
|The Beauty Inside||Yi-soo|
|2016||Love, Lies||Jung So-yul|
|2005||Nonstop 5||Han Hyo-joo||MBC|
|2006||Spring Waltz||Seo/Park Eun-young||KBS2|
|2007||Like Land and Sky||Suk Ji-soo||KBS1|
|2009||Brilliant Legacy||Go Eun-sung|
|Soul Special||Jin Mi-ah||KBS Joy|
|2010||Dong Yi||Choi Dong-yi (later Choi Suk-bin)||MBC|
|2016||W - Two Worlds||Oh Yeon-joo|
|2005||"It's the First Time"||Han Hyo-joo||Nonstop 5 OST|
|2008||"Ride Away"||Han Hyo-joo||Ride Away OST|
|2009||"Sudden Burst of Tears"||Gan-D feat. Han Hyo-joo||Soul Special OST|
|"바람이 불어... 널 이별해 (Prologue)"||Narration by Han Hyo-joo||Love Tonic|
|2010||"Oh Seoul"||My-Q feat. Han Hyo-joo||For This, I Was Born|
|"Don't You Know"||No Reply feat. Han Hyo-joo||Grand Mint Festival 2010|
|2011||"You"||Browneyed Soul feat. Han Hyo-joo||Brown Eyed Soul|
|"8 A.M."||My-Q feat. Han Hyo-joo||Ready For The World|
|"Alone in Love"||Lee Seung-gi feat. Ra.D
(narration by Han Hyo-joo)
|2012||"I Love You"||Han Hyo-joo feat. Sweet Sorrow||LG Su:m37 5th Anniversary CF song|
|"Hide and Seek"||Han Hyo-joo feat. Broccoli, You Too?|
|2015||"Let us forget"||Han Hyo-joo||C'est Si Bon OST|
|"I'll Give It All To You"||Han Hyo-joo feat. Jung Woo|
|2016||"Love, Lies"||Han Hyo-joo||Love, Lies OST|
|"Spring lady"||Han Hyo-joo feat. Chun Woo-hee|
|2003||9th Miss Binggrae Smile Pageant||Grand Prize||N/A||Won|
|2006||26th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards||Best New Actress||Ad-lib Night||Won|
|KBS Drama Awards||Spring Waltz||Nominated|
|2007||20th Singapore International Film Festival||Best Actress||Ad-lib Night||Won|||
|24th Korea Best Dressed Swan Awards||Best Dressed||N/A||Won|
|KBS Drama Awards||Excellence Award, Actress in a Daily Drama||Like Land and Sky||Nominated|
|Best New Actress||Nominated|
|Best Couple Award with Park Hae-jin||Won|
|2008||1st Korea Jewelry Awards||Pearl Award||N/A||Won|
|SBS Drama Awards||New Star Award||Iljimae||Won|
|2009||4th Andre Kim Best Star Awards||Female Star Award||N/A||Won|
|3rd Mnet 20's Choice Awards||Hot Female Drama Star||Brilliant Legacy||Won|||
|SBS Drama Awards||Excellence Award, Actress in a Special Planning Drama||Won|||
|Best Couple Award with Lee Seung-gi||Won|
|Top 10 Stars||Won|
|2010||46th Baeksang Arts Awards||Best Actress (TV)||Nominated|
|5th Seoul International Drama Awards||Outstanding Korean Actress||Won|||
|3rd Korea Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actress||Dong Yi||Won|||
|MBC Drama Awards||Daesang (Grand Prize)||Won|||
|Top Excellence Award, Actress||Nominated|
|2011||1st Hong Kong Cable TV Awards||Best Actress||Won|||
|47th Baeksang Arts Awards||Best Actress (TV)||Won|||
|45th Taxpayers' Day
(given by Ministry of Strategy and Finance)
|Presidential Commendation as Honest Taxpayer||N/A||Won|||
|2012||CETV Asia's Top 10 Popular Star Awards||Hallyu Star Prize||N/A||Won|||
|2013||49th Baeksang Arts Awards||Best Actress (Film)||Love 911||Nominated|
|22nd Buil Film Awards||Best Actress||Cold Eyes||Won|||
|33rd Korean Association of Film Critics Awards||Nominated|
|34th Blue Dragon Film Awards||Won|||
|2014||8th Asian Film Awards||Best Actress||Nominated|
|2015||52nd Grand Bell Awards||Best Actress||The Beauty Inside||Nominated|
|36th Blue Dragon Film Awards||Nominated|
|4th Korean Film Actor's Association Awards||Top Star Award||Won|||
|2016||11th Max Movie Awards||Best Actress||Nominated|
|52nd Baeksang Arts Awards||Best Actress (Film)||Nominated|
|25th Buil Film Awards||Best Actress||Nominated|
|5th APAN Star Awards||Daesang (Grand Prize)||W - Two Worlds||Nominated|||
|Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries||Won|
|Best Couple Award with Lee Jong-suk||Nominated|
|4th BIFF with Marie Claire Asia Star Awards||Asia Star Award||Love, Lies||Won|
|1st Asia Artist Awards||Best Artist Award, Actress||W - Two Worlds||Nominated|
|MBC Drama Awards||Daesang (Grand Prize)||Nominated|||
|Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries||Won|
|Best Couple Award with Lee Jong-suk||Won|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Han Hyo-Joo.|