Jeon Jong-seo made her acting debut in 2018 with a starring role in director Lee Chang-dong’s award-winning psychological thriller film Burning. The movie premiered at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, where it received the FIPRESCI International Critics’ Prize. It also made it to the final nine-film shortlist for Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards, becoming the first South Korean film to achieve such feat. Jeon Jung-seo’s performance in the film earned her the Best New Performer trophy at the 2019 Asian Film Critics Association Awards. She was also featured in The Hollywood Reporter Critics’ 15 International Breakout Talents of 2018. In 2020, she starred alongside Park Shin-hye in the thriller film The Call, which won her several Best Actress citations, including one from the 57th Baeksang Arts Awards. In 2021, she was announced to play the role of Tokyo in the Netflix series Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area, which was based on the Spanish drama La Casa de Papel. That same year, she acted alongside Kate Hudson and Craig Robinson in Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon, which also served as her debut English-language film. In 2022, she was nominated for another Baeksang Best Actress trophy for the romantic film Nothing Serious.
Jeon Jong-seo moved to Canada with her family when she was a young girl. She returned to South Korea after graduating from middle school. She is in a relationship with The Call director Lee Chung-hyun.