K-Drama Actress Kim You Jung Recalls Emotionally Unstable Phase And How She Overcame It

Her career spanned two decades of juggling work with her studies.

K-drama actress Kim You Jung is best known as “the nation’s little sister” in South Korea, a monicker earned for practically growing up before Korean TV audiences’ eyes. At four, she started her career as a child model for a confectionary brand. She transitioned to acting when she was six years old, appearing in Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005), Road No. 1 (2010), Dong Yi (2010), and Moon Embracing the Sun (2012).

Kim You Jung in the series Dong Yi | MBC Drama/YouTube

Kim shared that surviving in the entertainment industry was not easy. Her career spanned two decades of juggling work and studies until her high school graduation. Despite the struggles, she persevered because of her dedication to her chosen career path. She also shared a phase in her life when she was unstable but overcame it with a positive outlook.

Until now, I’ve never had another career path in mind. But when I turned 20, I was confused and emotionally unstable. I endured that period by doing a lot of hobbies and going on solo trips. I think I’ve grown stronger. I am now happy and at peace.

— Kim You Jung

Fortunately, Kim had a happy school life and has built good memories from her school experiences.

I loved going to school. In fact, I was very active in school activities, performing talent shows with my friends and hanging out with them after work. Luckily, I have all the good memories from school.

— Kim You Jung

The twenty-three-year-old actress has starred in various romance TV series, such as Clean With Passion For Now (2018-2019), Backstreet Rookie (2020), and Lovers of the Red Sky (2021), which affirmed her status as an A-lister.

Lovers of the Red Sky | SBS

Kim is currently starring in 20th Century Girl, a movie that revolves around a seventeen-year-old student Bo-ra (Kim), who plays cupid for her best friend but soon gets caught in her own love story.

A scene from the movie 20th Century Girl | Netflix

Set in 1999, before the turn of the century, Kim admitted she studied the era since it was way before her time to comprehend its nuances fully and effectively play her role. She had several discussions with director Bang Woo Ri to understand her role better.

The film is not only about first love but about every first that Bo-ra goes through. It’s also Bo-ra’s first-time experience fighting with her best friend. I tried to decipher what Bo-ra was going through. I tried to remember my 17-year-old self, how I would respond, and what my expressions would be when I go through a situation like Bo-ra’s. I set everything up in order starting from Bo-ra’s voice, and I talked through each scene with Bang and the other actors too.

— Kim You Jung

20th Century Girl is currently the most-watched movie on Netflix Korea and ranks fifth on the global streaming chart. Kim is surprised to see the amount of positive feedback from viewers from Korea and abroad. “I’m in awe, really. I didn’t expect our film to be so successful on the global chart,” she said.


Source: The Korea Times and Korea JoongAng Daily
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