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Kim Yoo-jung scores leading role in Secret Door

Kim Yoo-jung is already something of a budding star despite her young age (she’ll be 15 in a couple months) thanks to a long list of child roles in dramas and movies—recent projects include Gold Rainbow, May Queen, The Moon That Embraces the Sun—and now it looks like she’s moving into primary cast territory with her latest, Secret Door.

She’s landed a plum role in the upcoming sageuk drama, which tells of the father-son strife between King Yeongjo (Han Seok-kyu) and his troubled son Crown Prince Sado (Lee Je-hoon). The reports state that she has confirmed a lead role; to split hairs, I do believe she’ll be A female lead, not THE female lead.

Kim Yoo-jung will play a fictional character (the others are mostly real historical personages) who will clash with another female lead character, Princess Hyegyeong, who is Sado’s wife and the mother of future King Jeongjo. (That offer is out to another former child actress, Park Eun-bin. It’s not yet confirmed but I’m expecting to hear of it any day now.)

Kim Yoo-jung has quite a list of sageuk dramas on her resumé so no worries on that front; those titles include Hwang Jini, Iljimae, Queen Seon-deok, Dong-yi, Gumiho: Revenge of the Fox’s Child, and Kye Baek, as well as Moon/Sun which made her a household name. I have to say that if we’re talking purely acting skill, I don’t think she’s quite at the level of some of her peers like Kim So-hyun, because she hasn’t figured out how to tap into her emotions or dig deep in her roles, but she has a likable energy and has plenty of time to develop. I’m hoping she’ll be up for the challenge, because Secret Door has lined up some outstanding acting talents, and I can’t wait to get them all in a room together.

Secret Door will be a Monday-Tuesday drama premiering in September.

Via TV Report

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I'm thinking she is the actual female lead and that her strife with the Princess will be of a romantic nature... kind of a raw deal for the IRL figure without whom Sado would probably just have been a dark footnote in Korean history. I'll ask this again, but why can't men in sageuk be loyal to their wives instead of indulging in transplanted Cinderella stories?!

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Based on my knowledge of the King Yeongjo-Sado seja incident from reading the Memoirs of Lady Hyegyong as well as watching Yi San and the Fatal Encounter, it's more likely that Kim Yoo-jung will play Queen Jeongsun (the young queen who could have birthed a son to rival Sado's position and who later tried to kill her step-grandson, Yi San/King Jeongjo). Of course, Sado did have two concubines, but it's said that Hyegyong protected them from Yeongjo's wrath after her husband died. I dunno... I could be wrong, but I am a history major with a focus on asian history in university. See the Memoirs of Lady Hyegyong: http://www.amazon.com/Memoirs-Lady-Hyegyong-Autobiographical-Eighteenth-Century/dp/0520280482

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Wait... it says that she plays a fictional character. My bad! :) Sorry!

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"I don’t think she’s quite at the level of some of her peers like Kim So-hyun..."

I always tot she is better than her, well then again its my own personal opinion I guess. Btw, this drama seems to have a line of fantastic actors and actresses, hope they can meet the high expectation :)

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There aren't really a lot of Korean actresses in their age bracket. All I know is, Kim Yoo Jung, Kim So Hyun and Seo Shin Ae are the cream of the crop. Everyone else is a far distant second.

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Kim Sae Ron

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I always tought KSH was better than KYJ. Maybe because KSH has been taking much more versatile & complicated characters, which allowed her to showcase her talent.

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Kim Yoo Jung hasn't really taken roles to showcase her talent. It's like we know she can act and she can probably become a much better and versatile actress, but like I keep saying, allow her time to grow... and that SHE WILL! ;)

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I agree. Kim So-hyun have been in some rather dramatic roles that made her stand out but I prefer to follow Kim Yoo-jung's career. I love the fact that she isn't growing up too fast in the industry. She still sweet and charming and not trying to be sexy like some of Hollyweird's child actors.

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Respect to both of the actresses but I always felt that Kim Yoo Jung is one of the [MUCH] better actresses including comparison to Ki So Hyun. I give it a few more years and I can almost guarantee that Kim Yoo Jung will surpass our expectations. Not as expressive? I beg to differ.

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The reason why Kim So Hyun seems to be at a higher level acting-wise is because of the growth since MTETS not to mention the exposure. Since putting herself on the map from MTETS, she's done more projects with a greater variety than kim yoo jung. We've seen her in Missing You, Rooftop prince, Ma Boy, Birth Secret, I hear your voice, strange housekeeper, triangle. In that sense, i can see where JB would say she dug deeper into her roles. Because we've seen her showcase more of her acting abilities.

Kim Yoo Jung, on the other hand, since MTETS, only worked on two weekenders gold rainbow and May queen and not much people here on DB watch weekenders in comparison to prime time shows. I dont mention her older projects because i'm speaking from a post-MTETS standpoint.
Acting-wise, I always preferred kim yoo jung and i still think there's alot she has yet to showcase. I'm sure if she had taken on those roles she would have rivaled if not surpassed kim so hyun.

In terms of aura and screen presence, Kim Yoo Jung&Kim So Hyun to me is like Ha Ji Won&Yoon Eun Hye.
I like both women but ultimately ha ji won would seal the deal for me. There's a certain confidence and maturity (but still maintaining a certain sweetness) about Kim Yoo Jung while Kim So Hyun seems to have more of a cute, shy personality in real life. Both ladies are undeniably talented and the best of their generation so it's a win-win situation whenever we see more of them onscreen.

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Agreed - hard to say since it depends on the roles they've taken and more importantly the quality of the roles and the depth/range of acting those role allowed.

For instance, in "Dong Yi" - KYJ's acting did not impress, but I place the blame on the writing and on the PD (who seemed to have had the child and adult Dong Yi repeatedly do the same mannerisms).

In TMTETS, KYJ outshone KSH, but at the same time, she had the "meatier" role.

While not having seen everything KSH has done since TMETS, would be hard pressed to say have seen a performance by KSH that equaled the one KYJ gave in TMTETS (which had a lot of range and yet full of subtlety).

Seo Shin Ae would be an interesting comparison since she started to hit it out of the park w/ her 1st role at a tender age.

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Me too. For me she is the better actress between the two. Ever since I have always like Kim Yoo Jung's acting more than Kim So Hyun. KYJ's acting for me seems more effortless and very natural. Acting wise, she's like young Ha Ji Won and Gong Hyo Jin. Natural actresses. Where their expressions and reactions was so on point. They never over-act but it's never lacking too. It's like very natural for them to react that way that you will never think they are just acting that character out because they really are that character.

And maybe it also the feeling, when I'm watching her act the feeling is so light. Like I said since she act so effortless it's also feel so effortless to watch her. I don't maybe it's just me but I feel that way.

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I really liked all of the child actors in The Moon Embracing The Sun.....but isn't she too young to play a female lead even--considering the fact that it is NOT a high school drama....O_o

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Well technically if they wanted to be accurate its ok cause back then people got married at 14 and start having kids at 15 ... So they could be going towards that ?

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I love her so much.
I am glad hear her will be take female lead role, and its saeguk, i love her with hanbok.

Can I request Yeo Jin Go for this drama? hehehhhe

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I was reading this and thinking, wouldn't it be nice if kdrama could break out of another ironclad rule: that only adults (or youngsters, in occasional high school dramas) can be the main characters, rather than having dramas that have, for example, an adult lead character and a non-adult lead character.

It would mean having to let go that notion that the two leads must be always be romantically paired.

Why can't we have a story about a king, his adult son and young teenage daughter all the THE main leads?

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Kim so hymn has a new drama coming up in which she plays the female lead who's not romantically involved with the male lead.

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Alua ~

I'm waiting for them to stop casting guys in their late 20's as high schoolers. Seo In-guk is rocking in HSKOS but what's the cut off for high school roles, 40?

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Oops, I was actually responding to chhavi above (3)...

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“I don’t think she’s quite at the level of some of her peers like Kim So-hyun…”

I've always thought that Kim Yoo Jung and Kim Sae Ron were the foremost child actresses when you speak of outstanding acting skills. Kim So Hyun is also good, but she's mostly known for her innocent features/young Son Ye Jin. Though from what I've read, KYJ's child actress image is still very strong, hence a bit of awkwardness if you think about pairing her with Lee Je Hoon.

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I saw a lot of work by both KYJ and KSH where they easily outshone the adult actresses who stepped into their roles. KSH imo is a better actress, but that is because she took on a greater range of roles and did well in some really intense ones including negative roles. They are both great though, as is Kim Sae Ron and Seo Shin Ae.

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I think its safe to say that we can agree to disagree. I'm basing my judgment on some of her previous and recent works that I think showcased her versatility. I still remember her and Seo shin ae in Gumiho, where both we're good as kind becoming villainous and vice versa, and her recent movie Elegant Lies (playing a bully) with another outstanding child actress Kim Hyang Gi. :)

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From what I saw, Kim So Hyun was mainly known for bad/mean girl roles until I Miss You. I also saw her in I Hear Your Voice and she has a rare ability for such a young actress in that she can portray complex characters in a way that makes them sympathetic.... I look forward to the day when she becomes a leading lady in her own right. She has the potential to be as huge as Park Shin Hye if shekeeps on this way.

It does not hurt that she and Yoo Jung are natural beauties in no need of PS. But I hope when they take on leading roles they will actually be cast with actors of an appropriate age. Too many age gap castings lately...

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Hopefully she will not follow PSH's path, because even though she is well-known, she still has her child-actress-label stuck on her and also getes type-cast a lot. And a lot of times she chooses lackluster projects.

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Forget her image, she is FOURTEEN and possibly being shown with some kind of love line to Lee Je Hoon who is thirty.

if Kim Sae Ron with those Infinite boys was a creepy idea, this is even more wrong. I hope she is actually playing Lee Je hoon sister or something...not a romantic thing.

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I get what you're saying but remember this takes place in the ages where 14 yr old girls were getting married and that was normal for that time!

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Still though. EEK!!!

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"Adulthood" began at 13-14 yrs of age for most of human history, and for the non-modern parts of the world, it still holds true.

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just curious - what exactly does tapping into her emotions and digging deep entail? I think what this entails probably differs for different people.
I've seen some actors do something that looks like it, but it looks well exaggerated, and then some actors who are said to not be showing enough emotion or something.
Eh, I dunno.
I can't be a judge of whether or not she's "better" than Kim So Hyun seeing as I haven't seen a fair proportion of her massively diverse body of work (nor of Kim's), but I heard she's quite the flaming beacon in Flames of Desire. And I've realised from before that I can't make a fair judgement on people's acting ability just from looking at one portion of their body of works. Or from works that are rubbish that would basically make anybody starring in it suck.

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Love her but it's sad that the producers would rather use a child actress who isn't even in high school yet, rather than one of the dozens of talented young 20something actresses who could truly shine in a role like this.

On the bright side, she can actually act and isn't some idol, Han Ga In or Jin Se Yeon (my two new benchmarks for actresses who suck)

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wow, that's a really interesting point.
I hadn't thought about that.. and you're right.. there are many young 20something actresses who are excellent/talented/have potential.

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Suck canal water!!!
I run away from anything they appear in.

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Sorry! Also sorry in advance since saying the name of Dr Stranger girl tend to summon her rabid fans...oops.

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Eek! Now if you put it that way, I do wonder. I wonder why they would hire such young actresses with these older actors. Hmm...

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I agree with some of the comments here that I've always thought she was better than Kim So-hyun. Maybe I'm just a bigger fan of hers but she always manages to evoke emotions out of me the way KSH can't.

In any case, I just hope she isn't playing a concubine to Sado because pairing her up with LJH is just creepy. He's 30 and she's half his age + a minor. That's just wrong. On the other hand, PEB? I had to look her up cz I don't remember her but she's also a little younger than my expected age range. But since the drama is focusing on the men, they might've preferred to give some up and coming actors a chance.

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Park Eun Bin is still young but at least she is in her 20s....Kim Yoo Jung is very talented but not even 15.

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Is that a trend today? ahjussi romance.. :3
Kim So Hyun with Chun Jung Myung, Kim Sae Ron with two Infinte guys..

and i though they were sticking with the history why create a fictional character? >.< i'm still bitter, i still want Kim Yoo Jung and Lee Min Ho '93 in a drama together as lead..

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And don't forget Suzy with Ryu Seung Ryong in that upcoming movie.

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I understand how you feel about creating a fictional character here. If they need to create a rivalry for Lady Hyegyeong, why not just use Consort Gyeong and Suk.

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That's just your opinion! BUT to me, Kim Yoo Jung is my most favorite young actress of all!

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I just see all who put young actresses into a comparison are cruel! javabeans, you should leave them alone! They're just teenagers! Don't hurt them like that!

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Overreacting much...chill.

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it's just her opinion, love. y'all are making a big deal of comparing them. everyone has their own opinion, so respect that. no one's being cruel.

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Yoojung Fighting!! YOU'RE the best! ~~

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I hope writer Yoon Sun-Joo is up for the challenge. She has a boat load of raw talents in her hands. I hope she'll make good use of them.

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I hope Park Eun Bin takes up the offer too, she's amazing!

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Sageuk is so not my thing but this show sounds like it's going to be a veritable tour de force of fabulous acting. I might have to check it out for that alone.

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I ALWAYS THINK KIM YOO JUNG IS THE BEST ONE AMONG THEIR AGES! I JUST LOVE YOO JUNG'S ACTING AND IT TOUCHES MY HEART BY THE WAY NO OTHER CHILD ACTRESSES CAN! I LIKE KIM YOO JUNG BETTER! ^^

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IMO, comparing Kim Yoo Jung and Kim So Hyun's acting is like comparing Ha Ji Won and Son Ye Jin's acting. I just cant say who is better than who since they are all GREAT in their own way and I love each of them to pieces.

But I think So Hyun somehow has more mature look than Yoo Jung. While Yoo Jung just gives me girl-vibe, I feel im-not-a-girl-not-yet-a-woman vibe from So Hyun. Plus, maybe its just coincidence, but in most of Yoo Jung's dramas Ive watched she was always the child/early-teen version of female lead, while for So Hyun Ive caught some where she played mid-teen daughter of the main lead ---> thats why I tend to think about Yoo Jung as a "child" actress, So Hyun as "teenage" actress, though they are at the same age.

About Secret Door, since its a sageuk no need to worry about "romantic scene" if there ever be. And judging from how much Im enjoying High School Love On, I think Im fine with huge age gap or underage thingy, keke.

Kim Yoo Jung, Kim So Hyun, Kim Sae Ron, Kim Hyang Gi, wow those Kim ladies are rocking my screen when they are just 14-15!!! Oh, cant wait to see more from Seo Shin Ae and Jin Ji Hee too ~^^~

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Considering their recent roles, it appears that Kim So Hyun had more variety in her characters recently. Give it time though. There's something very special with that actress, Kim Yoo Jung.

I do agree, Kim Yoo Jung does has that baby-face look but I can imagine that it'll only benefit her in the long run. ;) I'm excited for both actresses!

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Javabeans has bias! She usually give her bias in the articles! So, just for fun!

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Nah.. Though I like KSH, I think KYJ is muuuuch better!!!!!)))))

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Always thought there was more of a natural charm to Kim Yoo-jung's acting style over Kim So-hyun's, which I like more. Kim So-hyun's projects have allowed her to experiment more in genres and range though, which probably gives her a little of a head start in becoming a really good actor. These two are definitely on their way. They'll be fantastic in leading roles. Can't wait already! Ha.

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I usually just read and not bother with making any comments.
However, this time, I can't resisted. I do not agree that KSH is a better actress. In fact, I don't quite like her acting. KYJ, on the other hand, is very natural and charming. To each their own.

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I know what you meant. I couldn't help but comment. It's not that I don't think Kim So Hyun is a bad actress but I never thought she was better than Kim Yoo Jung. Both are very talented, nevertheless. I just find Kim Yoo Jung's acting more appealing and I see such amazing potential in her. I find myself drawn more towards Kim Yoo Jung though. Just something about her seems, innocent, yet real. Allow her time to mature to an even better actress than she is now. She's barely 15, afterall.

Someone mentioned Kim So Hyun's look similarities to Son Ye Jin. Don't get me started... I see it but I don't. Then again, I may just be biased. Son Ye Jin is one of my favorite Korean actresses. I may not like or love all of her Kdrama/Kmovie choices but her acting though for the most part. Just A M A Z I N G ! ! ! !

Another actress that I'm keeping under my radar is Kang Min-ah (Jang, Ok Jung). She impressed me in her drama in that short amount of time and I do wonder why she's not acting. Then again, it appears more and more Kpop idols are getting dramas now then actual actors who are actors. (sigh)

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I like Kim Yoo Jung's understated style of acting. I think the crying scene at the end of The Dirge Singer has got to be one of the most heartbreaking crying scenes on television.

Gaaah, if it pulls through, Secret Door's got an amazing cast!

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yah i cried with kim yoo jung in dirge singer

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I have to say that if we’re talking purely acting skill, I don’t think she’s quite at the level of some of her peers like Kim So-hyun, because she hasn’t figured out how to tap into her emotions or dig deep in her roles

I'm going to politely disagree with this statement. Despite her tender age, I think Kim Yoo Jung is one the best actresses out there and outshines everyone around her. I'll watch anything she's in, even if the drama/movie doesn't live up to her capabilities. *cough* Golden Rainbow *cough*

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Can someone please make my wish come true? Here is my wish: Yoo Jung and So Hyun playing Maya and Ayumi from Garasu No Kamen - a very famous shoujo manga :D

I need no more <3

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Am I the only one that doesn't see Kim Yoo Jung's appeal/talent? Her acting doesn't seem to evoke much or any emotion at all for me. Oh well, everyone is different! I am hoping in the future both girls are able to grow into lovely actresses :)

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Hm, I think what appeals to so many viewers about Kim Yoo Jung's acting is that she has a very understated way of expressing her emotion, and has a gravitas and maturity beyond her years. Her crying or acting never seems forced and it always hits that right spot that gets me right in the heart. Just my two cents worth!

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I first saw her in a crazy-ass movie, The Chaser, when she was a child. She's good and has a ways to go, but I think Seo Shin Ae is better in that she adds so many layers to her characters.

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i like acting of both actress kim yoo jung's and so hyun's but kim yoo jung has made me teary with her acting which kim so hyun never did. i guess kim yoo jung's acting appeals more to me

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I have watched both Kim So Hyun & Kim Yoo- jung. KMJ's performance moves me more. I prefer Kim Yoo-jung. Even in variety shows.

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She fits sageuk dramas, maybe because of her classy beauty look. But I would like to see her in a modern role too.
And with the Kim Yoo Jung vs Kim So Hyun, nothing to compare, they are two different type of actress. The only thing the have together is they are both in Sidus company, and apears in Moon and Sun as rivals.

For me,
KYJ is beautiful and KSH is pretty.
KYJ plays roles where she expresses emotion, KSH plays how to hide emotion.
KYJ fits sageuk, KSH fits modern dramas.
KYJ fits movie more, KSH fits drama more.
KYJ looks babyfaced but has curves, KSH looks more matured but has no curves.

I like them both but seen more of KSH. I think Jin Ji Hee is good two but the 2 moons outshined her.

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JJH is better than both of them at comedy.

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