The Rise Of Actress Han So Hee, K-Drama’s Wholesome Badass

From challenging norms to winning awards.

Actress Han So Hee is going viral for her interactions with IVE‘s Wonyoung and her former co-star Kim Seon Ho at the 2022 Asia Artist Awards (also known as the AAAs).

Han So Hee at the “2022 AAAs”

Cameras captured her adorable, fangirl-like reaction to MC Wonyoung…

Han So Hee reacting to IVE’s Jang Wonyoung

…and the way she kindly took Kim Seon Ho by the hand to guide him to the front of a group photo.

| @bluexxiv_/Twitter

These sweet moments have renewed interest in Han So Hee, the actress best known for her roles in World of the Married, Nevertheless, and My Name. 

This ’94-liner’s K-Drama career began with a minor role in Reunited Worlds (2017). That same year, Han So Hee scored her first main role, in Money Flower. She went on to act with Kim Seon Ho in 100 Days My Prince (2018). You also might remember her from Abyss (2019), in which she played a supporting role, or SHINee‘s 2016 music video for “Tell Me What to Do.”

In 2020, Han So Hee rose to fame for her breakout role as the infuriatingly unapologetic mistress, Yeo Da Kyung. In fact, Han So Hee’s performance was so convincing that some viewers had a difficult time separating fiction from reality. Her Instagram was flooded with hate comments from netizens who called her a “homewrecker,” among other things.

Han So Hee in “World of the Married”

During this time, details about Han So Hee’s past and upbringing came to light. Although she lives a glamorous life now, that wasn’t always the case. At the age of 20, Han So Hee moved to Seoul with only 300,000 KRW (approximately $243 USD) to her name, determined to make her dreams come true.

She worked long hours at a bar, struggling to make ends meet until her modeling career took off.

| @xeesoxee/Instagram

After World of the Married aired, old blog photos of Han So Hee’s smoking and tattoos resurfaced, contradicting the public image that actresses in the Korean entertainment industry are expected to project.

| @xeesoxee/Instagram

| @xeesoxee/Instagram

| @xeesoxee/Instagram

Reactions to Han So Hee’s old photos were mixed. Many fans showed support, but the actress endured her share of critics. In response, Han So Hee’s friend came to her defense, calling the criticism sexist.

Tattoos and smoking, it’s only an issue when women do it.

Honestly, it’s just sexist and discrimination to think that [smoking and tattoos] can be okay for male actors, but there is an issue when a female actress does it.

Nowadays, there are many people with tattoos, so the people who like tattoos are supporters. But wouldn’t people who dislike tattoos also show their displeasure? I can’t say that mindset is right or wrong because everyone has different ideas.

Those pictures with tattoos and cigarettes were taken by Han So Hee when she was a model. Because of her appearance in the drama, interest in her has naturally increased.

— Han So Hee’s friend

Despite the criticism, Han So Hee’s career is now flourishing. She proved just how versatile her acting skills are by starring in both a melodrama (Nevertheless) and a gritty revenge thriller (My Name) in 2021. Most recently, Han So Hee starred in the Disney+ romance Soundtrack #1 and filmed the 2023 period K-Drama, Gyeongseong Creature.

At the 2022 AAAs, Han So Hee took home one of three “AAA Best Artist For Acting” awards. Check out all the winners here:

Here Are All Of The Winners From The 2022 Asia Artist Awards (2022 AAAs)

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