[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.
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)!