It’s still 2020 on my side of the world so I can’t end this year without a shoutout to my favorite performance of the year, Shin Hyun Been’s Gu Hae Won in Reflection of You. To say she was phenomenal is an understatement. Her performance was simply exquisite. Matter of fact, I can’t recall the last time I enjoyed an actor’s performance this much. Apologies in advance for the long post.

Funny story by the way. I watched her earlier this year in Hospital Playlist when I binged both seasons and was really turned away by her character. I don’t know if it was Gyeoul as a character or just Hyun Been’s portrayal of her. Would I have liked Gyeoul portrayed by another actress? I don’t know! Imagine my surprise when I came across her wiki page and realized she was Yuri in Confession. My Yuri – character which I loved when I watched it. I vividly remember being disappointed when I googled Shin Hyun Been back then and realized she was a relatively new actress. Lo and behold I was watching her in Hospital Playlist without realizing she was that rookie actress I loved in 2019. I intended on watching Reflection of You ever since I found out it would be penned by JBL’s writer but I postponed my watch as I wasn’t thrilled about her being part of the cast. Well, jokes on me beanies. Yup, I laugh at myself. It’s like Hyun Been kimchi slapped me with her performance.

I watched Reflection in seven days and it would have been five had I not had to wait for the final episodes to air. It really was a great production with an incredible cast of talented actors, gorgeous cinematography and a haunting soundtrack (I refuse to talk about the story itself because it would be a very long post that I’m not committed to write lol). In any event, the biggest factor that made this an adrenaline binge watch was Hyun Been.

I can’t properly describe how much and in what ways she impressed me. But she became Hae Won and portrayed her with such nuance and raw emotions. She embraced her character and it reflected on her acting. Her mannerisms, her tone of voice, and her eyes. Her eyes are so expressive! You could feel Hae Won’s anger, resentment, sadness, and self-pity. Oh, and how she would tease Hee Joo and her husband with such disdain, contempt, and malicious mischievousness. Oh, how I enjoyed this! Yes, Hae Won was a terrible, broken character but Hyun Been made it such fun television! She made Hae Won pitiful and in her quiet moments you would empathize with her even if she wasn’t a character you wanted to root for. It’s not often we have such empowered women in kdramas. In most revenge stories, the male lead is the competent mastermind behind the revenge plot so it was refreshing to see an actress take that role. And even though she starred alongside a talented veteran, Go Hyun Jung, I never felt she fell flat against Hyun Jung’s talent.

The fact that she simultaneously filmed this with Hospital Playlist is impressive too. She played two polar opposite characters and one interpretation never escaped into the other.

By the way, I’m ecstatic for her drama with Song Joong Ki. He was my first rediscovery of this year with Vincenzo, Hyun Been was the second and now I’ll have both of them on my screen in May 2022! I’m counting down the weeks! I really hope this is a good script and that her character isn’t overshadowed by Joong Ki’s. Please be good, please be good…

This post is honestly longer than I intended (:D) but I can’t not applaud Hyun Been’s talent. I’m excited to see what projects she’ll take in the future. She’s such a promising actress and you can tell how passionate she is about her career by the way she expresses herself. And she has the cutest sismance with Kim Go Eun and Han Hyo Joo. Long story short, she has a fan out of me.

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    2020? Waow your part of the world is very late 😅

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    She was brilliant. Everything you said. Unrecognisable from her HP role.

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    I did not recall watching her in prior shows, so until I saw her in Reflection of You she was new to me and yes, she was absolutely fantastic in this drama.

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    I really liked her Gyeoul, but she completely blew me away in Reflection of You.

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