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[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.

 
Healer (2014)

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).

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I absolutely adore her! She can ACT and not just a pretty face. My favourite drama of hers would be 7 Day Queen. That was a well made Sageuk.

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She's a great actress who's not afraid to act silly!

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Park Min-young is definitely one of my favorite Korean actors! Beanies know I love fluffy fun dramas, but like @missvictrix WWwSK perhaps was too much of a good thing. I got bore toward the end and dropped it despite the off-the-chart chemistry and cuteness.

Because my penchant for fluff, I surprised myself by how much I love Seven Day Queen even knowing its tragic ending going in. I love the characters, the acting, the writing, the design, and the music so much that I couldn't care less if it was going to rip my heart out and tear it into shreds......that being said, I still couldn't bring myself to watch the last episode despite many Beanies telling me how it was beautifully done. 😭🤣🤣

I am enjoying Her Private Life. There are expressions and noises I have never seen or heard from Park Min-young before. The revenge thriller fantasy sequence is absolutely hilarious! Of course, the fan girl role many Beanies can relate on a deep level!!

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Seven Day Queen was my favorite drama of hers as well! I was amazed where she got all those tears she shed in that drama!

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Ahem, I loved her haircut in Healer, @missvictrix! 😂

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Me too! It was adorable and really suited her!

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I agree it suited the role... but she's just so pretty with those long locks!! #hairenvy

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Gosh #hairenvy is relatable! But tbh I would love it if she does more with that beautiful hair! Her style is pretty much similar in Secretary Kim and Her Private Life!

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I love her hair in Her Private Life. It should look messy, but she rocks it!

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So agree! and her super pretty piercings!

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Three of her shows are on my list of favourites but then I have dropped 2 of her shows halfway as well! I am still undecided about her or maybe the scripts she has been choosing lately!

I guess Her Private Life will make me realise whether I love her or not!

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Absolutely absolutely love her. My favourite performance of hers would have to be Seven Day Queen - she's flawless as Shin Chae Kyung, I thought that drama was career defining for her, and I'd rather she be known for her acting in Seven Day Queen than What's Wrong With Secretary Kim.

I'm a little disappointed that she's chosen another rom com as her next work. I do feel like she tends to gravitate towards sweet, likeable characters, wish she'd expand her repertoire by dipping her toes in something more challenging because I know she has potential. Sigh dear writers/ directors/producers/whoever, please give her a chance to show what she's capable of!

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I was obsessed with Healer, so she will always be one of my favs for that.

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Healer would be my all time favorite character of PMY and next would be 7 day queen! I love the romance on this 2 dramas! And the chemistry is so perfect! Unlike WSK there’s a noona-baby boy vibe! Sorry!

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She's the best when i comes to play the same role over n over
I love her acting but can she pick something new?

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There's only one PMY drama I recall finishing and that was Sungkyunkwan Scandal. But the main reason I stayed was for YAI and SJK 😅.

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*Ja Myung Go* (JMG) was really a great drama, at least to me and to my family. It's supposed to run for 50 episode, but got cut short to only 39! I remember the feeling of frustration and loss when I heard the news. I love their OSTs. And I even followed the next projects of our leads, thanks to this drama.

There were two reasons why the ratings was so bad during that time.

First, they had to compete with a more popular drama which was Queen Seondeok (QS), boasting veteran actors and actresses like Ko Hyun-Jung and Lee Yo-Won. JMG was aired 9 March–21 July 2009, while QS on May 25 - December 22, 2009. They cut it short because they can't compete with their superb cast and ratings. On the other hand, our leads, Park Min Young, Jung Ryeo Won and Jung Kyung Ho, were relatively newbies at this time in their career.

Second reason is that historical dramas usually feature male figures as their lead. Like JMG, another female-centric drama The Iron Empress suffered the same low rating for depicting women in the battlefield or wars. See Digital Chosun link below for details. (http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2009/05/01/2009050100416.html). But unlike the previous dramas mentioned, QS was able overcome this stigma and even got extended from 50 to 62 episodes. I want to think that the previous dramas mentioned somehow helped break that stigma.

This drama holds a special place in my heart, so for me the description was not enough to tell its story, the tragedy that happened - on and off the camera. It's sad but it's that *GOOD*.

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PMY is one actress i never realize i always love until i read her full filmography here. I never really think i have one particular favorite but whenever someone ask me a question about who my fav actress is, my answer is always that actress who is pretty and also the one who bought me the kdrama world i live in till now, but i never really completely watch her entire drama and like any of them. But here as i read PMY's, i just realize that my fav actress all this time is probably her and i've watch 75% of drama she've work in and i love her in most of them (if only sec kim is any good, it will be perfect *sigh*) now i think i know who i'll say when someone ask who is my fav actress

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First saw her in City Hunter, then fell hard for her in Healer. Healer remains her best performance to me. And her chemistry is best with Ji Chang Wook TT___TT

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Now that I think about it, I don't think there's ever really been a time when I've disliked a performance by Park Min-young. Even when something is a bit questionable in a drama, she gives it her all. I certainly look forward to her future performances. Now I want to rewatch Healer and Seven Day Queen!

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I loved PMY in Healer (she looked so adorkable!!), but I fell for her in Seven Day Queen!

After watching Seven Day Queen, I tuned in in What's Wrong with Secretary Kim. Loved her hair and outfits in that role! But didnt finish it because the story fell flat for me. I also don't like office romances in general 😅

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I watched Park Min-young in Sungkyunkwan Scandal, City Hunter, Healer, and now her Private Life. But I've seen recaps of Remember, Seven Day Queen and Secretary Kim. So, I feel like I've been following her career for a while now.
I like her a lot, she's very endearing and sweet. She's a very likeable actress. Can't wait to see the rest of Her Private Life and see what drama follows after that.

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I only knew Kim Jae Wook through Coffee Prince so before the airing of this drama I was actually thinking that Yeon Woo Jin would be a perfect pair to Park Min Young in this drama, and he is perfect for this type of role.

Only to realize that they already paired up to a drama that I have'nt yet watch.

And Ahjumma!!! It is fun to think that Ahjumma and Deok Mi's omma are both played by the same actress and both love to knit.

... Time to rewatch Healer as I wait for New Eps of HPL.

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To me she'll always be the best.... She got me into the world of kdrama through I am Sam, been following her since, she is just awesome

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Ok, Dr. Jin gets a lot of (deserved) eye rolls, groans, and general criticism, but I gotta say it was the one that got me hooked on K Dramas just because it was so completely out there. It was utterly stupid, but somehow drew me in with its nonsense. It was the hottest of messes, the trainwreckiest of trainwrecks, but I was totally fascinated because I love a good completely ridiculous WTF-fest. It's one of the great terrible movies of K Dramas. Don't know if I could sit through it again, but wouldn't take back watching it.

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I've loved her in everything I've seen - probably Healer is my fav thus far but that was also a nigh-perfect drama in and of itself. She's a very natural actress and has a knack for comedic performances (without getting too silly). I'm watching Her Private Life right now and so far it's really good, much better than the premise had made it sound. Hope it keeps up the good work :)

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I great actress with a beautiful face. What is not to like?

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