Soo-hyun first came into limelight when she won the top prize in the 2005 Korea-China Supermodel Contest. In 2006, she appeared in the SBS revenge melodrama Queen of the Game, which won her the New Star Award at the SBS Drama Awards. In 2011, she became part of the KBS2 medical series Brain, which was nominated for Best TV Drama at the 48th Baeksang Arts Awards. In 2012, she starred in the MBC sitcom Standby, which won her an Excellence Award at the MBC Entertainment Awards. In 2014, she was cast in her first international series in Netflix’s Marco Polo. In 2015, she made her Hollywood film debut in the superhero movie Avengers: Age of Ultron. That same year, she became part of another Hollywood film called Equals. In 2017, she joined the American sci-fi action movie The Dark Tower. In 2018, she played the role of Nagini in J.K. Rowling’s fantasy film Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

Soo-hyun spent six years of her childhood in the United States. She majored in International Studies at Ewha Women’s University. In December 2019, she married a Korean-American businessman named Matthew Shampine. In October 2020, the couple welcomed their first daughter.