Who is Won Jin-ah? Struggling with odd jobs to K-drama stardom, a look at life of 'She Would Never Know' actress
Won Jin-ah, the South Korean K-drama actress famed for her critically acclaimed performances in ‘Steel Rain’ and ‘Rain or Shine’, is all set to be back with JTBC’s latest romantic K-drama, ‘She Would Never Know’ with SF9’s Rowoon. But the 29-year-old actress had to cross long paths to get the first acting gig of her life. From doing odd jobs to pay the bills to becoming one of the rising star of K-drama, here’s the journey of Won Jin-ah.
Won Jin-ah's early life
Won Jin-ah decided to let go of her dream ‘career’ the first time she didn’t pass the entry exam. She chose to enroll in a course of ‘cultural planning’ instead. Jin-ah who has been compared to a veteran South Korean actress, award-winning Soo Ae, got the first acting job in a short film "The Chosen: Forbidden Cave" (2015) after passing an audition. Before that, she chose to quit her studies and do odd jobs to support her family.
Jin-ah shifted to Seoul to further her acting career after getting the push from her family. According to a report, Jin-ah even worked at a postpartum confinement center to support her family before moving to Seoul, the ‘City of Future.’ Followed by her first short film gig, she also got the chance to work in movies like Kim Ji Woon's period espionage film ‘The Age of Shadows’ (2016).
Speaking on her early life, Jin-ah commented, “I always wanted to be an actress. I’m the eldest child with two younger brothers, so it wasn’t a situation where I could ask my parents for things I wanted to do. My parents later said I didn’t have to contribute to the family and to pursue what I wanted to do, so I came to Seoul.”
Her first noticeable performance came from ‘Steel Rain’ (2017) where the ‘She Would Never Know’ star pulled off a very convincing role of a North Korean girl. The movie which is also streamed in Netflix earned Jin-ah global recognition.
Rise to popularity
After going through more than a hundred hopeful auditions, Jin-ah first got her lead in 2017 with the series ‘Just Between Lovers’ (2017-2018) which also got her a nomination for Best New Actress at the Baeksang Arts Awards and a newcomer win at the APAN Star Awards. Along with the hit K-drama series, Jin-ah has also caught the viewers’ eyes with one after another iconic movie roles; ‘Long Live The King’, ‘Money’, ‘The Age of Shadows’, and ‘No Tomorrow’ to name a few of them. She has also received several nominations for her striking acting, the latest one being a nod for ‘Best New Actress’ in the 25th Chunsa Film Art Awards for her role in ‘Long Live the King’.
Jin-ah who has been compared to award-winning actress Soo-Ae spoke about how she feels about the comparison at this point of her acting career. She said candidly, “I think people view me that way not because we look alike, but because of our facial expressions, the way we speak, and the mood in our voices. I am grateful that people look at me again because we look or don’t look alike. I think it’s because I haven’t shown a lot of myself yet. It makes me think that I should show more of who I am in the future.”
Jin-ah is all set to make the millions of her followers’ heart swoon all over again with ‘She Would Never Know’ where she would act in the role of Yoon Song-ah, a perfectionist caught in a romantic destiny with her younger colleague Chae Hyun-seung played by SF9’s Rowoon in the show.
Catch the teaser of the show here.