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Seo Woo: Taking on the Big and Small Screen

Seo Woo’s star is rising, and it’s not hard to see why. Currently, she’s taking on the thankless role of Hyo-sun, aka Cinderella, in KBS2’s Wednesday-Thursday drama Cinderella’s Sister, the foil to Moon Geun-young’s lauded evil stepsister. In the midst of both criticism and praise for her portrayal, she’s set to overthrow her detractors with her skill as a chameleon.

In The Housemaid, starring Jeon Do-yeon and Lee Jung-jae, Seo Woo is the young ingenue who will have to battle it out with one of Korea’s top actresses for Lee Jung-jae’s heart. And from what we’ve seen of her chops as Cinderella, this young woman can put up a fight.


Seo Woo in “Tamra, the Island” and “Paju”

Seo Woo debuted in 2007’s Son, where she showed her face for all of one minute as the main character’s girlfriend. It was a short debut but the impression was strong enough for directors Park Chan-ok and Lee Kyung-mi to notice her and cast her in the film Crush and Blush. That season Seo Woo swept the newcomer awards and expectations rose. She said modestly: “I don’t know if it’s okay for me to be accepting such an award.”

She followed that success with the film Paju and the drama Tamra, The Island, receiving critical praise for her broad range, and earning yet another award. But being on the fast track means you don’t always come up smelling like roses.

Since the start of Cinderella’s Sister, Seo Woo has tread the very treacherous line between scalding criticism and lofty acclaim. Viewers felt no love for the overly sweet Hyo-sun at the start of the series, which the producers defended as necessary for her later character development. They said, “Seo Woo has delivered 100% the character that we asked for.” But they add that the character will go through major changes, a little of which we’ve seen in the latest episodes to date.


In “Cinderella’s Sister”

Seo Woo began to show a little bit of that change at the end of Episode 3, when she turned on her beloved unni and cried out, “Get out, you beggar!” gluing all viewers’ eyes on her. The character eight years hence is now transformed into a chic young woman ready to give Moon’s character a run for her money. Seo Woo’s portrayal of that transformation is earning viewers’ trust that the earlier characterizations were a necessary evil.

With one battle already underway, Seo Woo steadies herself for the next. In The Housemaid, she has to stand toe to toe with Jeon Do-yeon, known famously in Korea as the Queen of Cannes. With the attitude that sharing a screen with the best can only raise the level of her game, Seo Woo worked tirelessly on the role. Producers said of her: “She came with the acting skills of a veteran, not a newcomer, and held her own with Jeon Do-yeon.”

The Housemaid, set to release May 13, is already holding everyone’s expectations high as they await the call of Cannes with bated breath. Meanwhile, Seo Woo is busy filming Cinderella’s Sister, and will unlikely be able to attend. But as an actress merely four years from her very short debut, that’s a dilemma she’d love to have.


In the upcoming remake of “The Housemaid”

Via Hankook Ilbo

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ohh interesting.

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This girl has some serious acting chops. I watched Tamra the Island but I knew that she was a newcomer and her acting ability in Cinderella's Sister is worthy of praise.

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whoaa...she looks so grown up and mature in that last pic compared to how she usually looks to me.

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I actually like Seo Woo. While I hate girl with too much aegyo, I think she pulls it alright.
Her character in Cinderella's Sister is very complex, and whenever I see Hyo Sun, I feel sad and pity, thanks to Seo Woo's brilliant acting.
Her chemistry with Moon Geun Yeung is amazing, we can feel their love hate relationship.
She got very good opportunities so far, starred in good movies with great actors. I hope MGY will get these kind of chances in the future, because she's as awesome young actress as Seo Woo.

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Thanks girlfriday for the article.

Seo Woo is certainly an actress with great potentials. Although I don't really like the character of Hyo-sun, there's no doubt that Seo Woo has been doing a great job portraying her.

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I have a love-hate thing with her character in Cinderella's Sister.

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Oh but more important, as an actress, I think she's very good.

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She is indeed a very talented young actress. I thought MGY will outshine her in CU, but actually Seo Woo's character has more depth than MGYs. She has delivered an A performance as Hyo Sun.

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I love her as an actress. Not so much her character, but her. I think she's one of the few young actresses who would've been capable of holding her own on the same screen with Moon Geun Young (because, as we all know, MGY is one seriously talented actress).

It also doesn't hurt that I find her extremely beautiful as well... Not in that perfect, sugary sweet way a lot of Korean girls tend to be, but with a very memorable face. I think it's the shape and expression of her eyes.

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@3 jyyjc

TOTALLY agree - actually i like how she looks in The Housemaid. her eyes freak me out.... and the shadows and the hair don't emphasize the hugeness of her eyes and that little pouch under the eye

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Seo Woo is definitely starting to grow on me. I love her portrayal of Hyo-sun in Cinderella's Sister and she's definitely holding her own with the other veteran actors.

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She has improved a lot more since I last watched her in Tamra the island, her eyes revealed many things in Tamra and also Cinderella S - Sister. I think she is potentially climbing up the ladder to be with the big stars too !. Hope she will continue to unravel her acting talent in her future projects.

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Wow, she looks beautiful in the 3rd pic down! I love Seo Woo. Given that she's one of the few actresses whose plastic surgery is quite evident, I've always been very curious to see how she looked before. She has such expressive eyes and such a unique way of carrying herself, I almost wish she'd stayed natural - because with Seo Woo, for me at least, she's such a great performer that she needn't rely on looks to grab viewers' attention.

I've been dying to see Tamna the Island but it seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth. : (

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And also not forgetting her mouth expression.

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I have to say I dislike her character alot of times in Cinderella Sister...but there are times I adore her too...that being said, she plays the role so well that it make be jump off of my seat for her...she's really talented...

Dang, the last picture is her (?)! WHAT?! talk about transformation! LOL...She definitely has the potential!

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I really like Seo Woo. I know her a little bit from Tamra the Island, and only the first couple of episodes... and I immediately cast her as only a pretty face. But now that I'm watching Cinderella's Sister, I'm becoming more and more amazed with her. I was watching Cinderella's Sister for Moon and CJM, but now I'm really watching for Moon and Seo Woo. Their characters are so complex, and they have a complete understanding of their characters.

What makes me love Cinderella's Sister is that the writing, plot, dialogue, actors/actresses are all superb. I love how we can't see the character's thoughts and intentions immediately. We the audience are constantly seconding guessing their actions, second guessing what they say outloud, and also seconding guessing what they're thinking, wondering if their thoughts are caused by emotions, or after reflection.

I enjoy thinking about their character's behaviors because they're not clear. Sometimes they're even contradictory, but after a bit of analyzing, it slowly becomes just a tad easier to see where the character is heading, but we will never know because we're just an observer, just like real life. We won't ever really know what another person's thinking. And I feel like we have that kind of situation in Cinderella's Sister. Thoughts/actions/words are constantly shifting. Our opinions are changes, trying to nail their characters down, when we all know in reality, that personality is never stable. People change, opinions change, everything changes. It makes the characters in Cinderella's Sister all the more realistic.

I just finished watching episode 8.... I'm really dying to see episode 9! I hate how I don't have a preview to satisfy my appetite a little!

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I like the scuffled part among the four young actors in CS.
Wow !! she really can bite ! and hit ! Good acting !!.
I like Seo Woo's character as Hyo Sun. Best wishes in your career Seo Woo !.

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i didn't realize she was getting that much hate bc SHE TOTALLY BROKE MY HEART in cinderella's first few episodes T_T

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lol but wat is that hair!

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I love her. She's one of the few actresses who can actually portray a cute/innocent/childish character without making me want to pull my hair out. On the contrary, she makes me connect with her.
I hope only good things await her in the future.

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Her features are very unique and the camera loves her and I like her in CS. I hope in the drama that she gets true love.

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I love Seo Woo, ever since Tamra and Crush and Blush. At first it was because she reminded me a lot of one of my friends, who is funny, artistic, and adorable...but now I've really come to admire her as an actress.

She has proved that she can have a broad acting range, and even though it seemed like she had trouble adjusting from one character to another (as she said in interview from Crush to Tamra), she obviously has worked really hard to make her transitions to each character seem seamless. ^^ <3 I hope she keeps on going well and establishes herself as a well-respected actress!!

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@4

MGY is already an established actress so I don't know what you're talking about having these chances. She chooses her projects wisely, look at POTW having a critical success and her winning a Daesang award. Now the currently airing CS being so much popular already and I must say this drama has so much potential for her to be named a hallyu star. SW on the other hand with her natural talent in acting makes her name more known rather than just having a pretty face like other young stars out there.

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Park kyu ! ( Im Joo Hwan) do come to the rescue. Hyo Sun (Beo Jin) need your detective work to find some evidences for Daesung Farm ?. Do appear as cameo !!.

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Seo Woo clearly has had plastic surgery, but her face is so expressive when she acts that you can't help but be drawn to the characters that she plays. Hyo Sun is immature and rather bitchy under the covers, I know, but I feel for her when she's feeling sad or useless.

Can't wait for The Housemaid, though from the trailer it looks like I will be covering my eyes quite a lot LOL me and my religious upbringing.

Love the new Yoon Eun-Hye header by the way....Gorgeous!

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At first I really didn't like her acting in Cinderella's Sister, however after the end of episode 3 and the time skip, I can see that she really has a great acting ability. She shows all the range of emotions that you would expect a real person to in each of the situations she encounters. I think she is equal to or maybe even better than MGY in acting abilities!

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i like her - cinderella's sister is the first i've seen of her work

there are times when she shows more depth than mgy. i loved her when she calmly said at the study table "... i might get tired [of being nice] too..."

she's a woman who plays a girl in the first few episodes, and unlike in bof wherein i cringed whenever jandi showed up - i felt no such thing for sewoo's character.

i wish the best for her! :D

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I think she's really sweet and beautiful, as well as talented, which is one hell of a combination!!! XD Personally, I prefer Moon Geun-young's acting, but comparing actors is a silly thing to do, anyway XD They're different, and I think they're perfect together in "Cinderella's Sister" =D I just hooope they'd finally get a grip and become friends Q_Q But I sort of doubt that is going to happen soon ^^'
I think it's already a fact that Seo Woo is going to become a top-actress, or already is one, like a bit of a hidden treasure ^__^

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seems like she's been picking some good projects to expand her acting experience, and to show off her range. it's barely been a few years since her debut and she's got quite a lot of credits to her name. definitely will be looking out for her in future. and feel like checking out those movies now.

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I am a big fan of Seo Woo. Looking at her career graph, that means i have watch most of her work. She was amazing in crush an bush. But watching her character HS in CS she getting on my nerve. I hope PD stop making her character a cry baby. She is capable of showing more dimension to HS character beside crying, pouting, and please put an end to baby talk.

She's definitely has a bright future. Good Luck Seo Woo.

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In on the Seo Woo camp; she's already blown me away with her acting in CS (on par, and yes I do agree, occasionally even better than MGY as her character/role in that drama is unendingly complex), and I can't help but hope the girl sweeps some awards the way MGY has since I think they're both amazing for actresses their age.

So far, CS is doing really well, family dynamics wise, although I'm hesitant to comment on the shady business dealings. Anyway, can't wait for The Housemaid! (...although I may never be able to watch it on the big screen...)

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it's good that she got some credits, a lot of people don't like her

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i just love this girl. i watched most of her work & i'm very impressed.
loving her character HS & def looking forward for movie the housemaid.
she's cute & she def can act. hope to see more from her.
thnx so much for the article. ;)

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Seo Woo definitely doesn't seem like a newcomer, even when she's acting against big names like MGY. though i am absolutely annoyed with her character in Cinderella's Sister, i can't help but sympathise with her at the same time. and her crying scenes are so contagious, i always tear up whenever she does.

@25 oh i'd love to see im joo hwan make a cameo appearance as well, though chances are near impossible, but who knows...

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her acting in cinderella unni is amaing! i love and hate her in it...also, that last photo of her = stunning!

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She is not even 0.1% impressive to me in Cinderella's sister, i just hate her in that drama. But her acting skills are ok i guess.

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This is the first time I saw her work and impressed with her acting in CU! She (her character) is really trying extra hard to be kind but unni just won't give her an inch ;p I think like what girlfriday mentioned the two sis really know how to push each other to the limit... can't wait for them to become BBF!
Totally looking forward to Housemaid! Too bad she will miss out on Cannes, such prestigious place to be!

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I've watched each project she's been in so far and she has never disappointed me with her acting skill.
I don't watch Cinderella's Sister, mainly because my life doesn't need anymore over-dramatic angst but I've seen her as Hyo-Sun and I must say, Seo Woo is able to "be" her without letting me feel that she is merely acting.
I think that's why so many people criticize Hyo-sun and Seo Woo at the same time because she's so convincing and delivers a great perfomance.
Hopefully she'll grow into a great actress :)

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amazing.She breaks eeven with MGY.I don't see why people are lashing out on her,she deserves good publicity.Why is it so hard to accept sometimes people are as good as each other?

Her never ending tears and emotions,gives me a hard time believing she's acting with a camera in front of her.

Spectacular.

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i've my eyes on her since Crush and Blush. i liked her since then. my first expression of her is that.. is she a middle schooler? i thought she acted damn good in that movie. coz u know, her character in that movie is quite weird, but yeah, she did it very well. i quickly searched who she is and qute shocked to found out that she was a newcomer and C&B was her first project.

hasnt watch tamra the island yet, but have read that she was very cute & funny. definitely going to give it a try later.

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she's too "cutesy" in Cinderella's Sister for my taste.
Also, i can see the amount of plastic-surgery she did, which is never a good thing.

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I never understood why people hate the actress so much (not referring to the commenters here, but elsewhere...) If she was a horrible actress, I could understand it a bit. Yet sometimes one has to separate the character from the actress. Some people get annoyed with Hyo-sun, and end up hating on Seo Woo.

Though, this also puzzles me in CS, that when Hyo-sun acts like a human and may get upset at times, which in my opinion, I believe her reasons to be upset at a person who puts you down with words every day makes sense and not exactly because she's some "evil girl where her dark side is coming out" (LOL, can't believe people say that), there's undeniable hate. Yet Eun-jo can be as cold as ice, and her words sharper than a Damascus steel dagger, there's still so much support for her. It may be because of pity, and I also have a connection with Eun-jo, but I find it undeniably unfair towards Hyo-Sun/Seo Woo.

I really enjoy Seo Woo, and I look forward to all of her future roles~

@42 Melissa: Eh? Looking at her past photos, only her eyes have really gone under the knife. I don't see the "amount" of plastic surgery that she did. Than again, it's her face. And I don't really find her face disturbing at all.

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I can't think of a single thing not to like about this amazing actress/beauty. Plastic surgery? Please...I guess some folks would question setting a broken leg in a cast so that it may heal, going to the othrodontist to straighten one's teeth, or wearing contact lenses to keep from bumping into walls. All of this self-righteous indignition:( Cancel your gym memberships and eat bon bons like the rest of us. All of your efforts to improve your station appearence are unnatural and immoral...Geez; Talk about a tired list of "talking-points." Keep up the great work Seo Woo, your detractors are but a sad and self-loathing minority. There are a great many more of "us" than there are of "them!"

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Well said Biscuit and tacotico
I started watching CS because of MGY but it did not stop me to appreciate SW's character (who is the opposite of MGY's character) and her acting. For instance I like everyone in the show for their acting and for instance CS is my fav drama of the year (with a great OST).

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i just think she's bloody fantastic...enough said. she stands her ground against great actresses, and I see many great projects from her to come.

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*applauds tacotico*
There's always this weird superficial put down dynamic between females viewers (equivalent to men's barroom talk) which is annoying because I can't seem to get away from it!

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I can connect with her on a spiritual level; she offers a dynamic range of emotions to her roles. I like that.

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honestly, i've loved seo woo ever since tamra the island because i loved the drama and she was seriously just a bundle of adorableness.
i know that she's getting criticized and has a ton of antis in korea right now but i don't think her actings bad at all.
on the contrary, i think she is one of the rising actresses. i think she portrays her character of hyo sun on cinderella's sister and her crying scenes are incredibly natural.
i'm honestly guessing that people don't like her because her acting's so different from moon geun youngs and also cuz her character is up against moon geun young aka one of korea's most loved actress. if you compare their actings together it might seem like she's overreacting but i think that's the charm of the character and she does it really well.
whatever the people say, i think she's terrific and all the attention and CF ads she's been getting, it's all well deserved

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I know this is not the place to dicuss CS but I have to connect it with Seo Woo's acting. What I gather in CS - HS is losing her identity as a Goo household and her last resort is someone out of her family and that happen to be "OPPA" which is also having identity crisis and love interest with EJ.
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I cried more with HS and her father is also going through moral/ethical issues to be fair to the two girls that somehow he neglect his own daughter because "the woman who rock the craddle" is notdoing a good job as a mother. I asked myself - a loving father and daughter has to carry others baggages to make them happy too!.

Seo Woo has come a long way and I hope her convincing acting character HS will let us remember Seo Woo in CS likewise with Jang Hyuk in Chuno (I am not comparing the actors). She has some miles to trek so I will be looking out for her future projects too.

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agree with Melissa @ 42 she has an overdone face but she has great talent.

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