Dubbed the Korean Queen of Melodrama, Son Ye Jin, who plays Yoon Se-ri in Crash Landing On You, says she welcomed playing the role of the spoiled and quirky heiress because the character is actually closer to her real-life personality. (Not the spoiled part, of course. Just the quirky part.) She tells Preview.ph, "I consider myself as quite goofy and lively in real life, but because I've played a lot of serious characters or characters in a romance, a lot of people seem to associate me with that image."
Here are just a few of those serious characters—plus a few rom-com leads—she's played in the past.
Something In The Rain (2018)
Why You Need To Watch It: If you're relatively new to K-drama, and mostly consume it on Netflix, chances are this is where you first saw Son Ye Jin. In this noona romance (older woman-younger man relationship), Son Ye Jin stars with heartthrob Jung Hae In, and the two share undeniable chemistry that even led to dating rumors!
The Plot: When Yoon Jin-ah (Son Ye Jin) reconnects with her best friend's younger brother Seo Jun-hui, the attraction is mutual and palpable. What starts out as a harmless crush slowly develops into a full-blown romance the more the two spend time together. How long can it last if they continue to keep it a secret? And if they do come out as a couple, will their families approve of the relationship?
Be With You (2018)
Why You Need To Watch It: The movie is based on a Japanese novel of the same name and is a remake of the Japanese big-screen adaptation of the novel. It's a romantic melodrama with a touch of fantasy that's guaranteed to tug at your heartstrings. It also stars So Ji Sub as Son Ye Jin's faithful husband.
The Plot: Woo Jin (So Ji Sub) is struggling to come to terms with the death of his beloved wife Soo Ah (Son Ye Jin), and it's proving to be difficult especially with a young son, Ji Ho, to raise on his own. The young boy is convinced his mother is going to return one rainy day, thanks to a fairy tale Soon Ah wrote for him before she passed away. To Woo Jin's surprise, she does come back a year later albeit with no memory of her husband and son. Woo Jin woos her all over again, reminding her of how they fell in love when they were much younger. But sadly, Soon Ah is back on borrowed time (*wink wink*) and knows that just as she came with the rain, she's going to have to leave with it, too.
Personal Taste (2010)
Why You Need To Watch It: OG oppa Lee Min Ho stars with Son Ye Jin in this popular rom-com where she plays against type as a slightly ditzy and naive girl who hasn't quite have her life figured out. It's also the K-drama that made Sanggojae, a hanok in Bukchon Village, famous and turned it into a tourist destination.
The Plot: Park Kae-in (Son Ye Jin) was just dumped in the most spectacular fashion, and she has sworn off men for good. So when Jeon Jin Ho (Lee Min Ho) offers to rent a room in her Sanggojae to help her make some much-needed cash (and secretly study the hanok's architecture for a project his firm is planning to bid on), she agrees despite having had several unfortunate run-ins with him in the past, but only because she believes he's gay. Of course he's not, and in true K-drama fashion, the two end up falling in love.
My Wife Got Married (2008)
Why You Need To Watch It: Son Ye Jin won the Best Actress award at the Blue Dragon Film Awards and the Baeksang Arts Awards for her unconventional role as a polyamorous and bigamous woman. Also, way to turn the patriarchy on its head, right?
The Plot: Bonding over their shared passion for football, Noh Deok Hoon (Kim Joo Hyuk) and Joo In Ah (Son Ye Jin) fall in love and become a couple. But to Deok Hoon's dismay, In Ah continues to go out drinking late at night. Determined to tie her down, Deok Hoon proposes. In Ah is initially reluctant to get married but eventually agrees. Deok Hoon believes all's well but gets the shock of his life when his wife drops a bomb: She's in love with another man, but she assures Deok Hoon that she still loves him and doesn't what a divorce. Instead what she wants is to marry the other man, too!
Summer Scent (2003)
Why You Need To Watch It: It's part of the Endless Love anthology series, which is divided into four stories, each one representing a different season: Aside from Summer Scent, there was Autumn In My Heart, Spring Waltz, and the widely popular Winter Sonata.
The Plot: Shim Hye Won's (Son Ye Jin) heart does not belong to her. It comes from organ donor Seo Eun Hye, who died in a car accident and left Yoo Min Woo (Song Seung Hon) heartbroken and devastated. So when Hye Won's heart starts beating faster whenever Min Woo is around, she can't help but wonder if her feelings for him are real or if it's only because she has Eun Hye's heart.
The Classic (2003)
Why You Need To Watch It: In this movie directed by Kwak Jae Yong (My Sassy Girl), you get two epic love stories for the price of one. Plus, a young Jo In Sung is in it! It's got romance, kilig umbrella scenes, tragedy, and heartbreak—the kind of movie you rate using the number of hankies you use to dry your tears. Don't say we didn't warn you!
The Plot: One day Ji Hye comes across some old letters and a diary that belonged to her mother, Joo Hee (also played by Son Ye Jin), and slowly learns of how her mom figured in a tragic tale of star-crossed lovers (which we get to see through flashbacks). At the same time, we see Ji Hye's own love story unfolding in the present, where she and Sang Min (Jo In Sung) fall for each other. What the two modern-day lovers don't know is that the past plays an important and heartbreaking role in their relationship.