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[Actor Spotlight] Go Won-hee

It’s always fun to feature rising stars in our spotlight series, and this time we’re taking a look at Go Won-hee. She’s currently starring in her first primetime leading role opposite Shin Sung-rok in KBS’s Perfume. The fantasy rom-com is off to a pretty good start in its first few weeks, especially for a drama with a relatively new actress in the lead.

Go Won-hee began her career as a model in 2011, most notably working for Asiana Airlines, but she’s been working as an actress since around the same time. Her early acting credits were a series of small roles and appearances, including some music videos. She gained traction — and attention for her comedy skills — and joined SNL Korea as a cast member in 2015. In terms of dramas, however, it was her roles in Strongest Deliveryman and Woohoo Waikiki that brought her out of the sidelines and into the spotlight, which is where she stands today.

Here are some dramaland moments from Go Won-hee, followed by her full filmography.

 
Strongest Deliveryman (2017)

Strongest Deliveryman was one of these sweet feel-good dramas where we got to see kindness and generosity trumping hardships, trouble, gangsters, and meanies. Go Kyung-pyo was great in his leading role as the kind-hearted food-delivering entrepreneur, but the drama also had nice second lead and supporting storylines. Stories about pressured chaebol heirs and heiresses can get overplayed and boring, but the token heirs and heiresses in Strongest Deliveryman (Kim Sun-ho and Go Won-hee) were fresh and fun. Go Won-hee, in particular, was spunky and adorable as the clueless runaway rich girl faced up against things like getting a job, putting a roof over her head, and living off gimbap.

 
Your House Helper (2018)

I loved Go Won-hee as the wacky runaway daughter in Strongest Deliveryman, so it was a pleasant surprise to find her in Your House Helper in one of the main roles. The red braids in Strongest Deliveryman were cute, but the sophisticated bob of her character in Your House Helper is equally telling about her character. Go Won-hee played a jewelry designer whose company hit hard times. Rather than have her pride injured, she pretended to be raking in the dollars designing (meanwhile, she was staying up all night stringing beads by the metric ton). Her storyline — and cute romance as Lee Ji-hoon’s character wooed her with all he was worth — was actually more fun for me than the main storyline between the lovely (and aproned) Ha Suk-jin and Bona.

 
Perfume (2019)

Go Won-hee snags her first leading role in KBS’s Perfume, and stars opposite Shin Sung-rok who hasn’t stopped for a minute after the success of An Empress’s Dignity. Speaking of that bit of makjang, it sounds like Perfume has a lead character body transformation to rival Choi Jin-hyuk’s as Na Wang-shik in An Empress’s Dignity (which is kind of hard to surpass, actually). In Perfume, Go Won-hee plays a miserable housekeeper who is transformed (read: beautified and youthified) by a mysterious perfume. I assume this magical perfume has something to do with Shin Sung-rok — he plays a fashion designer in need of a muse. Obviously I haven’t caught this drama yet, but I’m completely behind the casting of these two. Shin Sung-rok is so theatrical and fun in his roles, and after seeing a few of Go Won-hee’s performances, I think she’ll be a good costar for him. They’re both just the right amount of wacky, and it sounds like the drama and its strange premise will need them to carry it.

 
Go Won-hee’s full filmography:

  • Natural Burials (2012) [Drama]
    Go Won-hee played the young version of the traumatized heroine played by Lee Young-ah in this two-episode drama.

  • Don’t Click (2012) [Film]
    Go Won-hee had a small role in this Park Bo-young horror film about a cursed video.

  • Cruel Palace — War of the Flowers (2013) [Drama]
    Go Won-hee played a queen in this JTBC weekend sageuk.

  • Medical Top Team (2013) [Guest appearance/Drama]
    SHINee’sMinho cried over Go Won-hee’s guest spot in this medical drama.

  • Ghost-Seeing Detective Cheo-yong (2014) [Drama]
    Go Won-hee had a small role in the first season of this OCN drama.

  • My Dear Cat (2014) [Drama]
    A lost cat brought characters together in this daily drama; Go Won-hee had a side role and Choi Yoon-young and Hyun-woo starred.

  • Tabloid Truth (2014) [Film]
    Go Won-hee played the starlet that spurred Kim Kang-woo, Jung Jin-young, and others, to dig into the tabloid underbelly.

  • King’s Face (2015) [Drama]
    The king’s face is important, but one of the queen’s faces was Go Won-hee.

  • The Silenced (2015) [Film]
    Go Won-hee had a supporting role in this Park Bo-young mystery thriller.

  • The Time I’ve Loved You (2015) [Drama]
    Lee Jin-wook and Ha Ji-won starred in this drama that should have been amazing (but wasn’t), and Go Won-hee had a supporting role.

  • The Stars Are Shining (2015) [Drama]
    Go Won-hee played in this daily drama with Lee Ha-yul, Seo Yoon-ah and Cha Do-jin. Like many a K-drama heroine, she rose above tragedy and hardship to reach greatness.

  • After My Death (2017) [Film]
    Go Won-hee starred with Jeon Yeo-bin in this story of the death of a high school girl.

  • Merry Christmas, Mr. Mo (2017) [Film]
    A black comedy about a terminally ill man who wants to make a film before he dies.

  • Strongest Deliveryman (2017) [Drama]
    This drama not only gave me Go Won-hee, but Kim Sun-ho and Kim Kyung-nam, so I’m happy (see above).

  • The Best Moment to Quit Your Job (2017) [Drama]
    Um, how did I miss this little drama? I love so much about the cast (Go Won-hee, Lee Chung-ah, Go Kyung-pyo, and Yoon Jong-hoon) and the premise of four girls adjusting to life after college. Off it goes to the top of my To Be Watched list.

  • Woohoo Waikiki (2018) [Drama]
    The second “season” of this drama might be over, but Go Won-hee was in the first one with Kim Jung-hyun, which makes me wonder yet again why I haven’t watched it yet.

  • Secret Queen Makers (2018) [Web Drama]
    As someone who sat through the previous Lotte Duty Free promotional web drama (Seven First Kisses) with no coercion involved (should I be ashamed?), I think I’ll need to watch this one too. Go Won-hee was in the lead, and played a girl who learned how to see her inner beauty thanks to six wonderful men in six awesome cameos in seven short episodes — and Lotte played a big part, too, of course. Sometimes a cringe-drama is a good idea, especially when you can dispatch it in a little over an hour.

  • Your House Helper (2018) [Drama]
    Go Won-hee played one of the girls in a shared house that made friends with their house helper. Between the neck injuries, the smitten attorney, and the awesome wardrobe, hers was definitely my favorite storyline (see above).

  • Perfume (2019) [Drama]
    Shin Sung-rok and Go Won-hee are both so great, I feel they will be able to pull off this drama, regardless of ratings — though I’d rather see it be a smash hit (see above)!

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Nice timing! I just found After My Death subbed :D

It's always fun for me to see how her co-partners make cameos/have small roles in her other dramas. The Best Moment to Quit Your Job has a great female cast and a good story.

I didn't know she was cast in SNL Korea :o Kim Seul Gi was a member too but not at the same time I think.

It's so satisfying to see her as female lead after Your House Helper. She and Lee Ji Hoon had the best love line and chemistry. I'm crossing fingers for her character to have a good arc and that she will keep getting lead offers.

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I am loving her in Woohoo Waikiki! She is awesome. Oooh Secret Queen Makers seems similar to the Seven First Kisses with the number of episodes and actors featured! I'm going to watch it!

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thanks for featuring Strongest Deliveryman! i truly enjoyed the drama, and glad they didn't go down the typical K-drama route when it came to characterizing their chaebols :)

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I loved GWH as heiress in Strongest Deliveryman. I continued watching for her and Kim Sun Ho. She was spunky and steadfast in her attempt to live her own life outside the riches of her family. She's one of the best heiress characters I've ever came across in dramaland.

I'm also loving her in Perfume. As much as I can't see anyone else acting out Yi Do, I can't see anyone else acting out Ye Rin too. GWH is young but whenever she is in the same scene with SSR it is as if she is the same age as him, when she's in a scene with the models, she blends in with them and when she's with Jin Kyung, she's like a mother. I think she has great range and fantastic comic timing.

I wish her all the best for her current drama and her future projects!!

I'm gonna find 'The Best Moment to Quit Your Job'..sounds like a drama suitable for my current mood~ 😆

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I guess I've only seen her in The Time We Were Not in Love, which I've managed to erase so thoroughly from my memory (thankfully) that I do not remember her character at all.

I watched a few episodes of Waikiki before the toilet humour became too much for me, but she was my favourite female character apart from baby Sol.

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oh yeah! i remember seeing her when i watched TTWWNIL recently and was like "hey, i know her... OH!" haha ^^

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I don't remember her either but I'm quite glad to not remember much of The Time We Were Not in Love *cry*

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First time I saw her was in King’s Face. She played a queen that was barely 16. Young and powerful, she was ordering her “son” Gwanghae (Seo In Guk) around. Gwanghae at that point was already a bearded middle-aged prince. She left an impression for being one of the youngest evil queens I’ve seen.

Then of course there was Chewbacca 😂

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I've seen snippets of "War of the Flowers" where she played another cunning young step queen, and she was in sync with her veteran co-stars but at the same time, marked her presence.

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The first thing I think of when I see her is "Wookie" and how hairy she was in Waikiki. That said, I am really enjoying Perfume.

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I’ve watched only 2 dramas out of her full filmography, but I love both: The Best Moment to Quit Your Job, and Your House Helper.
She has different character in the two dramas, which I admire for, and her acting was good on potraying the characters..Now I guess it’s time for me to check The Strongest Deliveryman, seems the story line is just right up my alley, and GWH’s spunky character would be good to see since I’m sure she’ll potray it nicely

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GWH was adorable in "Secret Queen Makers". Admittedly I only started following this web-drama because singer Hwang Chi Yeul starred in ep 4 but GWH and he were cute and funny together. I highly recommend ep 4 (Eng subs) and the BTS for that ep :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOU4hOhklbY&list=PL-Tc5iiX7KyxN8vncwcw0NTKsj_9wxkCX&index=4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdveqVm0OOg

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I'm currently tuning to her in "Perfume", and she went above my expectations. Sometimes I feel like when there are 2 actors playing the same role, I feel like they aren't one singular person, but she gave off her character's personality through little mannerisms. She has good chemistry with Shin Sung-rok (not just romantic, but also amicable) by complementing his outlandish antics with her more subdued acting and comedy skills.

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Indeed. She exceeded my expectations too. I totally adore her as Yerin. She adapts well with all the characters. I also think Yido's antics are funnier because of Yerin's reactions.

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since she does film, I hope she can come to Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival one day.
Liked her since the first second I saw her and I think her best quality is that she is relaxed and just goes for it whether it is comedy or crying. It´s not "I´m trying to be this or that and you can see me trying" she is a scene surfer. but of course I dont know how much effort is really behind the effortlessness.

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