[Actor Spotlight] Park Min-young
This week it is Park Min-young’s turn in the spotlight! Her rom-com Her Private Life just aired its premiere episodes as tvN’s newest Wednesday-Thursday drama.
Born in 1986 in Seoul, South Korea, Park Min-young has a knack for creating likeable, relatable heroines. She’s actually portrayed some of my favorites, like Kim Nana in City Hunter, and Chae Young-shin in Healer — they’re spunky, endearing, and easy to root for, which is the kind of performance we’ve come to expect from Park Min-young.
Park debuted in 2005, first in commercials; then made her television debut in the popular sitcom High Kick, where so many actors got their start. After an acclaimed performance in the drama I Am Sam, and a breakout performance in Sungkyungkwan Scandal, Park Min-young was well on her way to leading lady status.
Here are some drama highlights from Park Min-young, followed by her full filmography.
Hands down, Healer was my favorite role of Park Min-young’s to date, bad haircut notwithstanding (in fact, it made her character all the more endearing). In Healer, Park Min-young played a journalist reaching for the stars, but found herself stuck digging for celebrity dirt instead — until she got entangled with Healer. Who is Healer? (Ji Chang-wook, as if you didn’t know.) Much like City Hunter, this drama was a near-perfect combination of action and comedy, intrigue and romance, and redemption sprinkled with truth and justice. In other words: infinitely enjoyable. Ji Chang-wook, Yoo Ji-tae, and Kim Mi-kyung were all in top form here as well, creating magical characters that will live forever in dramaland.
What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim (2018)
Is it possible for a drama featuring two of my favorite actors to be… kinda boring? What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim made me answer “yes” to that very sad question. The drama starred Park Seo-joon as a narcissistic CEO, and Park Min-young as his competent (and long-suffering) secretary who up and decided to resign. Don’t get me wrong, these two were fantastic together, and I’m still not unconvinced that the Park-Park couple isn’t actually a thing IRL. But the drama was so predictable that anyone who watched it certainly wasn’t surprised to uncover the truth of their shared childhood trauma, or shocked that the two became a couple. Rather, they were watching it because the cast was adorable, and mixed silly, sweet, and serious in a way that was definitely watchable. But a little more originality would have been nice. I *might* have been hoping for a drama to complete the trifecta and join City Hunter and Healer in the annals of greatness. Maybe one day!
Her Private Life (2019)
While I was rooting for Park Min-young to come back in an action-y sort of drama instead, Her Private Life is off to a quirky and fun start. So far, her art curator character feels like a mash-up of the competent and professional secretary from What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim, and the more spunky and determined journalist she played in Healer. Simply put, I can’t really complain. As we are introduced to our heroine’s world, friends, family (Ahn Bo-hyun oppa!), and fangirling obsession, we get a well-constructed notion of who our character is: what makes her cry, what makes her squee, and how many likes does she normally get on her massively popular fansite. Kim Jae-wook is awesome so far (he always has such a strong screen presence!) and it’s nice to see One getting some attention — but the winner for me was the heroine’s mother. I got a big smile on my face when I saw Kim Mi-kyung, and her obsessive knitting habit used as proof that “fangirls are born, not made” was one of my favorite scenes.
Park Min-young’s full filmography:
- High Kick! (2006) [Drama]
I think we owe the High Kick producers a giant drama hug for starting off so many successful careers.
- I Am Sam (2007) [Drama]
Park Min-young played the daughter of a gangster played by Park Joon-gyu and won a Best New Actress award.
- Hometown of Legends (2008) [Drama]
Park Min-young starred as a gumiho in the first episode and story in this series of ghostly tales.
- Ja Myung Go (2009) [Drama]
Jung Ryeo-won and Park Min-young starred in this historical drama based on Korean folklore. I love the thought of these two actresses in the lead, but apparently it wasn’t up to par, and got cut short by 10+ episodes, even with Jung Kyung-ho in it (for shame!)
- Running (2010) [Drama]
This 4-episode drama short starred Park Min-young alongside Baek Sung-hyun and Yoo Yeon-seok in what sounds like the moving story of brothers, friends, and grief.
- Sungkyunkwan Scandal (2010) [Drama]
Sungkyunkwan Scandal is one of those favorites I’m embarrassed to have not seen yet. It starred Park Min-young pretending to be her brother in order to get an education, and dealing with the likes of Park Yoo-chun, Yoo Ah-in, and Song Joong-ki.
- City Hunter (2011) [Drama]
I love City Hunter so much I get verklempt actually thinking about it. Action! Romance! Not-so-hidden family secrets and political intrigue! This drama should be required in Korean Dramas 101. (Also, Lee Min-ho is in it. Need I say more?)
- Man of Honor (2011) [Drama]
This well-performing drama was about a nurse (Park Min-young) and two baseball players (Chun Jung-myung and Lee Jang-woo).
- The Cat (2011) [Film]
The Cat was Park Min-young’s first and only film to date, and it was a horror movie involving blood, cats, ghost eyes (or is that cat eyes?). The movie poster alone is enough to give me the heebie jeebies.
- Dr. Jin (2012) [Drama]
One of the most infamous dramas of recent years that starred Song Seung-heon and Park Min-young in a time slip storyline. I never saw it, but sometimes when people react so strongly in the negative it actually makes me want to watch it more…
- A New Leaf (2014) [Drama]
I missed this one due to legal drama fatigue, but the drama starred Kim Myung-min, Park Min-young, Kim Sang-joong, and more, in the story of an amnesiac lawyer and his “new leaf.”
- Healer (2014) [Drama]
There are some dramas that make you go weak-kneed when the silly OST song comes on, and this is one of them (see above).
- Remember—Son’s War (2015) [Drama]
Another courtroom drama starring Park Min-young. I think this one got merged with A New Leaf in my mind due to their legal nature and proximity of airing dates. In Remember, she starred with Yoo Seung-ho, Namgoong Min, and Park Sung-woong. Rather than amnesia, the hero had the ability to remember the minute details of every day happenings, which helped in his pursuit of justice.
- Seven Day Queen (2017) [Drama]
Park Min-young switched to sageuk, and starred with Lee Dong-gun and Yeon Woo-jin, playing the Joseon Queen Dangyeong in this tragic tale.
- What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim (2018) [Drama]
Oh, to be Park Seo-joon’s secretary. Sigh. (see above)
- Her Private Life (2019) [Drama]
Park Min-young is a natural-born fangirl, paintings with giant bubbles are highly valued, and I can only imagine what’s going to go down at the gallery (see above).
- Park Min-young, Park Jin-ju forge fangirl friendships in tvN’s Her Private Life
- Kim Jae-wook, Park Min-young courted for fanboy and fangirl roles in new tvN rom-com
- What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim: Episode 1
- Park Min-young considers romancing Park Seo-joon in tvN’s Why Secretary Kim
- Seven Day Queen: Episode 1
- Queen for a week, heartbreak to last a lifetime
- Remember—Son’s War: Episode 1
- Healer: Episode 1