Gong Hyo Jin, Kim Min Hee and Han Ga In Head the Box Office
Actresses who were born in the early 80s are blooming these days on the big screen.
The goddesses Gong Hyo Jin, Kim Min Hee and Han Ga In have stepped forth as the faces of the off-season March Box Office to breathe new life into the scene.
Gong Hyo Jin’s Love Fiction (Distributed by NEW) shot through its break-even point of 1 million ticket sales in just five days since its premiere, and is currently eyeing the 2 million record. Kim Min Hee’s Helpless (Distributed by CJ E&M) also gathered 1.7 million moviegoers on March 20 despite its R rating, making it only a matter of time before it shoots past 2 million.
The last member Han Ga In made a comeback to the big screen through Architecture 101 (Distributed by Lotte Cinema), which premiered on March 22, eight years since Once Upon a Time in High School. It’s forecasted to be a big success, as the preview reactions were fairly favorable.
Why are these three actresses emerging recently as the flowers of the big screen and icons of success? It is because they overcame their personal weaknesses and prejudice to become real and mature actresses.
Gong Hyo Jin, lovely with her armpit hair
Love Fiction is set to become Gong Hyo Jin’s most famous piece. She’s recorded many hits in the drama scene with Splendid Days, Thank You, Snowman, Pasta and The Greatest Love, but she’s never enjoyed much success in the Box office.
She’s appeared regularly in many films, but they were mostly low-budget independent films or non-commercial, and her biggest success came with her 2008 film Dachimawa Lee, which was directed by Ryu Seung Wan and brought in 620,000 moviegoers.
Love Fiction, however, is now close to selling its 2 millionth ticket. Many actresses had been hesitant to appear in the film as they would have had to reveal an embarrassing part of themselves: their armpit hair.
Gong Hyo Jin, however, perfectly fit the armpit hair girl role well, and acted like a pro, saying, “I can go even farther. This is nothing.”
She was probably being sincere when she said that Love Fiction was “as close to commercial as [she] can get.”
A rep from Gong Hyo Jin’s agency said, “She’s not that pretty, and she was never that good at acting, but she’s an actress that has a sensibility she was born with. She knows what makes her shine, and so she boasts a will that doesn’t fear ruining her image. There are a lot of individualistic actresses who dream of becoming the next Gong Hyo Jin, but there are no actresses as of yet that can replace her.”
She broke through the prejudice that actresses absolutely need to be beautiful, and earned herself the nickname ‘Lovely Gong’. It’s been 14 years since she first started on her career, and she’s 34 years old, but still, she’s gathering anticipation from Chungmuro as an actress that is still beautiful and still has something to show that people can look forward to.
Kim Min Hee, an angel and devil
Kim Min Hee headed the X-generation that boomed at the end of the 90s, and gathered interest more for her fashion and styles rather than her acting. Her peculiar untouched cat-like face and her model-like body shone with her own aura.
In acting, however, she never left any big impressions because she had been embroiled in controversies about her bad acting soon after her debut. She managed to win the Female Rookie Award for her 2008 film Hellcats, in which she acted with a skill that matched that of Lee Mi Sook, but she failed to plant that image in the minds of the public when the film flopped in the box office.
She got the chance to redeem herself through Helpless. She made her audience cringe in fear by acting out a devilish woman that didn’t hesitate to kill other people for her new life.
Thanks to her acting, Helpless is poised to become her most successful film in her 15 year career. Her film Moby Dick gathered a 420,000 audience, while Hellcats gathered 570,000. Helpless is her first film to sell over 1 million tickets, and can be said to be a film for Kim Min Hee, by Kim Min Hee.
“It is true that the public used to think the actress Kim Min Hee was just a fashionista who appeared in photo spreads. If you take a look at her filmography, you can see how attached she is to acting and being an actress, but we were sorry that we never got to spread that knowledge. We’re happy that more people are getting to know Kim Min Hee’s presence and her skill in acting through Helpless. Kim Min Hee is ready to take on a bigger variety of challenges in drama and film regardless of genre,” a rep from Kim Min Hee’s agency said.
Han Ga In, ever the icon of first love
Han Ga In was recognized for her acting in the MBC drama The Sun and the Moon, and now she’s aiming to hit another mark with the film Architecture 101. She appeared as Kwon Sang Woo’s first love in a pure school uniform eight years ago for Once Upon a Time in High School, but even after she became the wife of Yeon Jeong Hun, she’s still known to be as beautiful as ever.
She boasts a baby face that didn’t look awkward even when she was acting as the lover of Kim Soo Hyun, who is six years younger than her in The Sun and the Moon. She’s even showing a new brand of polished acting. She was praised and rediscovered for fitting her role as the shaman Wol with amnesia perfectly, and she also showed she was a pro by not shrinking away from slaps, hair grabs, tattered clothes and beggar costumes.
A rep from Han Ga In’s agency said, “It was probably her first time since she was born that she was hit and scorned by someone. It would’ve been a big challenge for her, but she did well. She didn’t yield to the prejudice surrounding her being wed, and wasn’t awkward at all in acting out a character in her early 20s. It’s an unprecedented feat to be a married woman in her 30s that is still loved as the icon of first love among people in their 20s and is still active as a cosmetics brand model.”
Architecture 101 will be another new challenge for her to take on. She was the female lead for Once Upon a Time in High School, but because the film was mostly about men, her role was limited.
This time, it’s different. Han Ga In needs to hold up the center as the icon of first love for the general story to flow smoothly. The reactions to the preview for Architecture 101 are riddled with praise.
An official said, “Han Ga In has an image of a first love that men dream of. Her presence itself helped the film shine, and her couple teamwork with Uhm Tae Woong was good. It seemed that experiences such as marriage helped her add to her actress aura. It’s the start of the second phase of Han Ga In’s life as an actress.”
Will Architecture 101 be extending the success of March actresses to April?
We’ll have to wait to find out.
- Han Ga In 20120322 Kim Min Hee 20120322 Kong Hyo Jin 20120322 Helpless (Train) 20120322 Architecture 101 20120322 Love Fiction 20120322