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Jun Ji-hyun

Jun Ji-hyun (전지현, Jeon Ji-hyeon), born as Wang Ji-hyun on October 30, 1981 in Seoul, South Korea, is a South Korean actress and model. She is best known for her role as The Girl in My Sassy Girl, as well as her roles in My Love from the Star and The Legend of the Blue Sea.

Jun Ji-hyun

Jun Ji-hyun

Personal information

Native name (Korean): 전지현
Phonetic name: Jeon Ji-hyeon
English name: Jun Ji-hyun
Birth name: Wang Ji-hyun
Birthdate: October 30, 1981
Birthplace: Seoul, South Korea
Country: KR South Korea
Height: 172 cm
Weight: 48 kg
Blood type: B
Zodiac sign: Scorpio
Hobby: Listening to music, watching movies, swimming
Education: Dongguk University (Theater and Film degree)
Occupation: Actress, model
Label: Culture Depot
Spouse: Choi Jun-hyuk
Children: 2

Biography

Jun Ji-hyun was born as Wang Ji-hyun on October 30, 1981 in Seoul, South Korea. Her mother and her mother's friends all encouraged her to be a model or actress due to her tall and slim body shape. Her childhood dream was to become a flight attendant, but later gave up after a plane flight experience. At the age of 16, her high school friend who was a model introduced her to a photographer. Using the stage name Jun Ji-hyun, she began her career as a model for Ecole Magazine in 1997.

Jun first became well known as a commercial model and as a TV actress. Although she made her film debut in the little-watched White Valentine in 1999, it was not until later in the year when she was featured in a commercial for Samsung My Jet Printer that she became a popular sensation. The dancing and attitude expressed in the ad made her into an icon for Koreans in their late teens and early twenties.

The following year, Jun made her first well-publicized film appearance in late 2000 with Il Mare, a handsomely shot melodrama set on Ganghwa Island. The film did respectably well at the box office (despite opening on the same day as blockbuster Joint Security Area) and solidified her status as a star.

Jun's breakout film was comedy My Sassy Girl, a tale of a gullible college student and his slightly unhinged girlfriend. The film became the highest grossing Korean comedy of all time in Korea and also spent two weeks at No. 1 in Hong Kong, launching Jun into pan-Asia stardom as one of the biggest Hallyu star in the Chinese-language market. The huge success of My Sassy Girl also solidified Jun's domestic popularity, and she was given the title of the "Nation's First Love". Jun's growing popularity resulted in many companies requesting her endorsement. She also won the Best Actress award at the 2002 Grand Bell Awards.

In 2003, Jun starred in physiological thriller film, The Uninvited which wowed critics but failed to catch on with viewers. Throughout this time she was a constant presence in TV ads and on billboards in Korea and also in other Asian countries. She reunited with Kwak Jae-yong, the director of My Sassy Girl in 2004, appearing as a policewoman in romantic comedy Windstruck. However, viewers felt her role was too similar to My Sassy Girl. There were also signs that her popularity had started to suffer because of overexposure in advertisements. Nonetheless, Windstruck became the best-performing Korean film in Japan at the time, where My Sassy Girl was not as well known. In a 2005 survey of influential movie producers, she was ranked among the top ten most bankable stars in Korea.

Jun's next project Daisy teamed her with Jung Woo-sung (who frequently appeared together with her in Giordano and 2% Lotte Chilsung Water advertisements), and drew attention for its 100% location shooting in the Netherlands, and for using the Hong Kong director Andrew Lau (Infernal Affairs).

In late 2006, it was announced that Jun would be making her long-predicted jump to Hollywood as the lead role in Blood: The Last Vampire. The international co-production, which was filmed in China and Argentina in 2007, is the live-action adaptation of a popular Japanese anime. She went through three months of hard training to play the sword-wielding martial arts heroine. During the filming and promotions for the movie prior to its 2009 release, she adopted the Westernized name Gianna Jun. Jun then launched her own luxury jeans brand in 2008, named "Gianna by True Religion", her first celebrity line. She was reportedly involved in every stage of their production, from design to deciding on fit and wash and their decoration with accessories.

For the film A Man Who Was Superman, Jun cut off her signature long silky hair to play a cynical documentary producer who meets an odd, Hawaiian-shirt-clad modern-day hero who battles urban apathy and preaches the virtues of lending a hand. Of initially feeling pressured at the opportunity to work with acclaimed actor Hwang Jung-min, she said, "Although luck was probably involved, I think it's destiny for an actor to 'meet' new work. On the first day I met him, I realized that I have much to learn from him, not only from his acting, but also as an individual."

In 2010, she acted opposite Chinese actress Li Bingbing in the English-language film Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, based on Lisa See's bestselling novel of the same name, which was directed by Wayne Wang (The Joy Luck Club). The film, set in remote 19th-century China, features the lifelong friendship between two women, Lily and Snow Flower, and their imprisonment imposed by the strict cultural codes of conduct for women at that time. She was photographed by Annie Leibovitz for the July issue of the American edition of Vogue, the first Korean actress to be included in the iconic fashion magazine.

As part of the star-studded cast of The Thieves, Jun was a scene stealer in Choi Dong-hoon's 2012 heist film about thieves from Korea and China who team up together to steal a diamond worth US$30 million, which is locked in a special room at a casino in Macau. The Thieves became the second top-selling Korean film of all time.

She next played a translator married to a North Korean intelligence agent in the 2013 spy thriller The Berlin File, and director Ryoo Seung-wan praised Jun's action scenes and her North Korean dialect. Jun's success on the big screen reaffirmed her status as one of the top actresses in Korea, as well as being one of the biggest box office draw in chungmuro.

14 years after Happy Together in 1999, Jun made her highly anticipated return to television in fantasy romance My Love from the Star, opposite her The Thieves co-star Kim Soo-hyun. Jun plays a present-day top actress who falls in love with an alien who landed on earth 400 years ago during the Joseon Dynasty, played by Kim. The series was a ratings success, sparking trends in fashion, make-up and restaurants. Jun won the Daesang (or "Grand Prize"), the highest award for television, at the 2014 Baeksang Arts Awards and the 2014 SBS Drama Awards. The drama reestablished Jun as a leader of the Hallyu, and she was given the President's Award at the Korean Popular Culture and Arts Awards.

In 2015, she reunited with director Choi Dong-hoon for Assassination, an espionage action film set during the 1930s colonial era in which she played a sniper who assembles a squad of independence fighters to kill a Japanese army commander and a pro-Japanese Korean business tycoon. The film was another box-office success for Choi and Jun; Assassination was the highest-grossing Korean film of the year as well as the seventh all-time highest-grossing film in Korean cinema history. Jun was awarded Best Actress at the Grand Bell Awards and Max Movie Awards.

In January 2016, Korean entertainment and media company CJ E&M acquired her agency Culture Depot. The same year, Jun was ranked 8th on Forbes Korea Power Celebrity. It was her second consecutive year in the top 10, having been ranked 4th in 2015.

In November 2016, Jun made her small-screen comeback in the SBS fantasy romance drama The Legend of the Blue Sea with Lee Min-ho, reuniting with My Love from the Star scriptwriter Park Ji-eun. Jun ranked 9th on Gallup Korea's list of the 10 best actors of 2016, becoming the only woman to be included.

More than 600 guests, including celebrities, close friends and family of the star, attended her wedding to banker Choi Joon-hyuk on 13 April 2012 at Shilla Hotel in Jangchung-dong, central Seoul. Choi is the grandson of famed hanbok designer Lee Young-hee, and the son of fashion designer Lee Jung-woo. Jun gave birth to the couple's first child, a boy, on 10 February 2016, around 10 a.m. In June 2017, Jun's agency Culture Depot announced that she is expecting her second child, due in January 2018.

Filmography

Dramas

Movies

Awards

2016 SBS Drama Awards

2015 52nd Grand Bell Awards

2014 SBS Drama Awards

2014 3rd APAN Star Award

2014 41st Korea Broadcasting Award

2014 50th Baeksang Arts Awards

2013 17th Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival

2002 Daejong (Grand Bell) Film Festival

1999 SBS Actors Awards

1999 Baeksang Arts Awards

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