Once dubbed as the "nation’s little sister," Park Shin Hye is undoubtedly one of South Korea’s most loved actresses. But it’s not just her natural beauty that’s captivated fans all over the world; she’s also applauded for her good acting skills and kind personality.
Shin Hye left a strong first impression when she appeared as the younger version of Choi Ji Woo’s character in the 2003 hit K-drama, Stairway To Heaven. Three years later, she landed her first "adult" role in Tree Of Heaven, a melodrama that also aired in Japan.
Who can forget her character in Prince Hours? We all saw a different side to the actress when she portrayed a fierce and competitive Shin Sae Ryung—the complete opposite of her usual good-natured roles.
In 2010, she was in the rom-com Cyrano Agency, and she earned the Most Popular Actress award in the film category at the Baeksang Arts Awards. And her success in movies continued when she appeared in Miracle In Cell No. 7, one of South Korea’s highest-grossing films of all time. For her portrayal of Ye Sung, she won the Best Supporting Actress award at the 33rd Korean Association of Film Critics Awards.
But it wasn’t until she starred alongside Lee Min Ho in The Heirs that she gained massive international stardom. It’s arguably one of the topmost addicting Korean dramas to date, with a classic love triangle that tugged on everyone’s heartstrings. Proving she has chemistry with pretty much any lead actor, fans also couldn’t get enough of her and Lee Jong Suk in Pinocchio. In 2016, Shin Hye played a compassionate and fearless medical professional in Doctors; and two years later, she took on Memories Of Alhambra with veteran actor Hyun Bin.
2020 was also a big year for Park Shin Hye, with two successful movies added to her growing list of accomplishments: #Alive and The Call. Most recently, we saw her in JTBC’s 10th anniversary special drama called Sisyphus: The Myth where she worked with Cho Seung Woo.
There’s so much to love about one of South Korea’s go-to lead actresses, so keep reading for more fun facts!
1. Park Shin Hye was born on February 18, 1990.
That’s right, we got ourselves an Aquarius over here. They’re known to prioritize human connection, valuing friendships more than most zodiac signs. Wanting to form deep bonds, it’s easy for an Aquarius to bring their best self into relationships, too. They’re fun, good at conversation, and want someone with multiple interests. Sounds like our girl, right?
2. She originally wanted to be a police officer.
And this was largely because of her family’s financial standing when she was younger. During a guest appearance on THE JTBC variety show Ask Us Anything, she said that their house was robbed when she was in elementary school. Shin Hye explained, "At the time, my mom had about 800,000 won in her wallet, and the robber took all of that. I was young at the time, so when I thought about how much that was, I thought, 'You could buy so many jellies and snacks with 800,000 won.' With that innocent mindset, my dream from first to sixth grade of elementary school was to become a police officer."
Even with those struggles, she said her family has always supported her career—something they proved when they moved to Seoul. She also shared a fun memory of when the teachers at her church sent Shin Hye’s photo when there was an audition for Lee Seung Hwan’s music video. She was rejected for the music video but was offered to work as a child actress. Wow!
3. Apparently, she is most stressed while preparing for her roles.
And that immediately goes away once she’s actually on set. Beforehand, though, Park Shin Hye goes through so many emotions. On an episode of KBS 2TV’s Entertainment Weekly, she revealed, "The interesting thing is, I suffer from a migraine for about a month when deciding on and preparing for a project. I guess I feel stressed while preparing. I also feel tired, nervous, and anxious. But it’s interesting because the migraine goes away when I go on set."
4. The character she’s most attached to is Cha Eun Sang.
If it seemed like the cast of The Heirs had the best time making the drama, it’s because they absolutely did! So much so that when Shin Hye was asked which character she’s fondest of, she answered Cha Eun Sang: "There wasn’t a lot of age difference between me and the guys, so I made a lot of great memories."
5. In 2018, she was on a program called Little House In The Forest.
She and fellow actor So Ji Sub lived off the grid for a few days to experience a minimalist lifestyle. During that time, they were able to reflect on their current lifestyles and focus on what’s really important. She opened up about some of her small joys; unsurprisingly, family was a top priority: "I’m happy when my family and I divide into teams and go bowling, or when I go fishing with my family. I endure difficult times with my family. The second [thing that makes me happy] are my friends."
Her favorite mission was when they were told to just do *one* thing. She didn’t realize that she was multitasking so much, sometimes listening to music, scrolling through her phone, and cooking food—all at the same time.
6. Her personal style is pretty casual.
In a 2018 feature on Harper’s Bazaar, the actress said she loves rider jackets, jeans (over a skirt), hooded sweatshirts, and denim outfits, in general. She also shared how her view of "beauty" has changed: "When I was in my teens, I had a vague thought that I would be more beautiful in my twenties, and when I entered my twenties, I believed that I’ll be more beautiful in my thirties. I think beauty comes from all of the hard work you put into your life over time."
7. She narrated and presented the documentary Humanimal.
Broadcasted in three parts, the documentary was about the opposing views of humans when it comes to animals: Some kill for sport while others dedicate their lives to protect these creatures. Park Shin Hye accompanied the crew in Africa for two weeks and observed the power struggle. During a press conference, she became emotional when she spoke about seeing animals being poached: "When I saw the poached elephants, I wondered how people could be so cruel. It was an unforgettable August for me. It made me think that many elephants are probably killed and disappear around that time every year in August and in the warm spring. I can’t explain it in one word. I’ll have to think about it over and over again."
8. Dating rumors about Park Shin Hye and fiance Choi Tae Joon started circulating as early as 2017.
ICYMI, the two actors announced through their agencies that they are engaged and expecting their first child together. They confirmed their relationship in March 2018 but rumors of them dating started as early as May 2017. Funnily enough, Shin Hye’s agency refuted the report saying they simply have a "close senior-junior relationship." The lovebirds will tie the knot in a private wedding on January 22, 2022.