Credit: Han Cinema, Asian Wiki & Viki
When Crash Landing on You first aired on Netflix, no one had anticipated that it’d be such a hit. Surpassing other popular K-dramas such as Mr. Sunshine and Reply 1988, it climbed to the top of the charts and secured the title of the second highest-rated Korean drama in cable television history.
New K-drama fans saw the two main leads Hyun Bin and Son Ye-jin as fresh faces in the industry, while other die-hard fans who’ve followed their career over the years were excited to see their favourites on screen again.
While we’ve already done a round-up of Hyun Bin’s career highlights and some of his best films you can’t miss out on, we’ll also take a look at Son Ye-jin’s filmography and her career successes that probably landed her the part as Yoon Se-ri in the first place.
Son Ye-jin made her acting debut exactly 20 years ago in 2000 when she was cast as a supporting role in Park Ki-hyung’s film Secret Tears. Her first prominent leading role in a television series was when she was cast as Jang Hee-ae in Delicious Proposal a year later in 2001.
She moved on to greater cinematic breakout roles was when she played So-woon in the drama film Chi-hwa-seon. The film was so popular as it was set during Korea’s struggle against the reform, with many celebrating its release at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.
In 2002, she starred in a romantic drama film Lovers’ Concerto, where she worked alongside Cha Tae-hyun and Lee Eun-ju in a love triangle that unfolds through friendship and jealousy.
Her next role was also another box office hit when she was cast in The Classic, a story about the parallel love stories of a mother and a daughter, in which Son Ye-jin played dual roles as both the mother (in flashbacks) and the daughter. The actress ended up taking home two Best New Actress awards at the Baeksang Arts Awards and Grand Bell Awards, making her someone to look out for in the Korean film industry.
Son Ye-jin’s talent became known outside of Korea when she was cast in A Moment to Remember, which was based on a famous Japanese series revolving around the romance between two people and how they tackled the of onset of Alzheimer’s disease together. This film was such a hit in Japan that it soon became the 19th highest-grossing film at the Japanese box office in 2005.
In the same year, Son. Ye-jin (check out her best hair and makeup looks here) joined forces with co-star Bae Yong-joon in K-drama film April Snow. The film proved to be a hit in 10 other Asian countries including Japan and China, making both Son Ye-jin and Bae Yang-joon more prominent in the film industry.
From the start of her career, it was clear that Son Ye-jin had a knack for acting in romantic shows. But she soon made it known that she wasn’t just a one-trick pony.
In 2005, she cast off her “nice girl” persona and acted as a con artist in The Art of Seduction. In the 2008 film Open City, she played a seductive femme fatale and subsequently a polyandrous woman in the hit show My Wife Got Married.
Her role in My Wife Got Married landed her the award for Best Actress in the Blue Dragon Film Awards and made it clear to fans that she wasn’t only comfortable with acting as the damsel in distress.
After working with Kim Joo-hyuk in My Wife Got Married, she reunited with her co-star in a political thriller The Truth Beneath in 2008. The film was praised for its unique storyline and won multiple awards, including Best Screenplay, Best Film and even Best Actress for Son Ye-jin’s work.
She also played Princess Deokhye in The Last Princess, where her character was forced to move to Japan despite her attempts to return to Korea. The film grossed more than US$40 million (S$58 million) and was one of the most popular films of that year.
The 2018 film Be With You featured So Ji-sub and Son Ye-jin, and it wasn’t the first time the duo were working together, given that their characters were siblings in the film Delicious Proposal back in 2001.
Be With You was a remake of the 2004 Japanese film of the same name and was a hit even in other countries such as New Zealand and Canada.
Before Crash Landing on You, Son Ye-jin and Hyun Bin actually worked together on-screen in the 2018 film, The Negotiation, but this time their relationship wasn’t romantic. Instead, Son Ye-jin played a hostage negotiator who had to negotiate with an arms dealer (Hyun Bin’s character) to release two Korean hostages.
The movie was widely praised for its “engrossing plot that was brimming over with twists”, according to Yonhap News Agency. So, if you’re missing the chemistry the duo had in Crash Landing on You, you’d definitely want to add this film to your must-watch list.