Ku Hye-sun (born November 9, 1984) is a South Korean actress, singer-songwriter, composer and director. She is best known for her roles in the television dramas Pure in Heart (2006), Boys Over Flowers (2009), Angel Eyes (2014) and Blood (2015).
Ku Hye-sun's family consists of her mother, father, and one older sister. While growing up, Ku initially dreamed of becoming a singer. She eventually formed a vocal band with college friends, but due to her gaining popularity through the internet as a model she put those goals on hold.
Ku Hye-sun entered the entertainment industry after gaining popularity on the Internet as an ulzzang. She then signed on with YG Entertainment and trained in both singing and acting. Originally set to debut as a singer (supposedly in a three-member girl group with 2NE1's Park Bom and Sandara Park), YG Entertainment CEO Yang Hyun-suk advised Ku to pursue acting rather than music. She made her debut in a CF for Sambo computers and then made her television debut in the KBS horror series Anagram, and continued to appear in one-act dramas. Her performance as Hye-jin in the 2004 MBC sitcom Nonstop 5 attracted the audience's attention.
Ku soon rose to fame in the 2006 television drama Pure in Heart and surprised critics with her performance in the historical drama The King and I. She is most well known for portraying Geum Jan-di in the mega hit KBS2 drama Boys Over Flowers opposite Lee Min Ho, which was her breakthrough role and gained her pan-asia popularity.
After a year in limbo with no broadcasting slot, her first pre-produced drama The Musical finally aired in September 2011. Ku next starred as a female pilot in the SBS series Take Care of Us, Captain, followed by Absolute Darling, the Taiwanese drama adaptation of the manga Absolute Boyfriend.
After two years break from acting career, Ku appears in MBC channel’s two-part documentary drama Heo Nanseolheon. She took part in the program’s narration and production as well.
Ku then made a small screen comeback acting in SBS's Angel Eyes in 2014. She portrayed the role of Yoon Soon-wan, a legally blind woman who gets her vision back in an operation and decides to embrace life with passion by becoming an emergency rescue worker. On September 2014, TVXQ's Changmin and Ku appeared in BeatBurger's music video "She So High".
In February 2015, Ku starred in KBS drama Blood. She plays the character Yoo Ri-ta, an arrogant genius physician who entered medical school at a young age of 17. Ku and the lead actor of the drama, Ahn Jae-hyun shot footage in Romania for this drama. Although Blood suffered low ratings in Korea where Ku was criticized for her bad acting, the drama was well-received internationally.
On November 6, 2015, Ku was confirmed to be starring in a Chinese drama, The Legendary Tycoon alongside Hans Zhang and Joe Chen. The Legendary Tycoon tells the life story of Run Run Shaw, a self-made entertainment mogul from Hong Kong. The drama is scheduled to be released in 2016.
Singing and Composing
In recent years, Ku has displayed her vocal talents through soundtrack releases as well as digital singles. In 2005, she released her first single "Happy Birthday to You" for Nonstop 5. In 2006, she released the track "Sarang Ga" ("Love Story"), which became the title song of Pure in Heart. In 2012, Ku released her first self-composed soundtrack, titled "Fly Again" for SBS's Take Care of Us, Captain, which she stars in.
Ku released her first album Breath in 2009, an album of new-age music which included her composed song for her friend and singer, Gummy, entitled "Around the Alley". She then released her self composed and written digital single "Brown Hair" in 2010, with the music rearranged by bossa nova pianist Choi In-young. In 2012, Ku released "It's You" and its music video. She not only wrote the music and lyrics of "It’s You", but also filmed and edited the music video. In 2014, Ku released her 5th digital single "Happy", which is also a remake to Seo In-guk's song "Were We Happy". Throughout the years, Ku composed and released numerous singles.
In 2015, she released a second album titled Breath 2, which serves as a follow up to her 2009 album Breath. The title track "After 10 Years 100 Years" is a remake of the OST from the film The Peach Tree.
On 29 April 2015, Ku’s piano piece "Rain" topped the QQ music chart, China’s largest search engine. Released six years previously, the song gained attention due to the attention given to Ku's drama Blood.
In 2016, Ku released the song "Written and Erased", which is a collaboration song of Ku with The Blind.
Ku made her official debut as a director through her short film The Madonna. The film which was centered around the topic of assisted suicide, debuted at the 2009 Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival. The film was featured in several film events, including the Asiana International Short Film Festival and the Pusan Asian Short Film Festival where it won "Audience Award" category. The Madonna also won the "Spotlight Award" at the 12th Short Shorts Film Festival which was held in Tokyo from June 10 through 20, 2010. She shared that the reason of herself making film was "It’s not like I dreamed of becoming a filmmaker since I was young. I’m interested in many things, including music, art and literature, and I thought I could incorporate all those things by making a film."
The following year, Ku directed her first feature-length film Magic. The film was invited and screened at the 6th Jecheon International Music & Film Festival (JIMFF) from August 12 to 17, 2010 and the 23rd Annual Tokyo International Film Festival. She continued directing short films such as You (2010) Fragments of Sweet Memories (2012), as well as trailers for film festivals. The 3D short film Fragment of Sweet Memories, which features actor Yoo Seung-ho, is a story about reminiscing over life's treasured moments from the past. It was selected as one of Korea's outstanding 3D films, and was shown at the Cinemountain in Busan Cinema Center during the International 3D Festival (I3DF), which Ku was the goodwill ambassador of. The film was also selected as a finalist for the Seoul Senior Film Festival, and received citation from the Mayor Park Won-soon.
In 2011, Ku established her own company, Ku Hye-sun Film, under which she would produce and film her projects. Her second directorial feature The Peach Tree was the first film made under her newly established production company. She also wrote the theme song and novel version of the film. On October 25, 2012, she was awarded the Minister Commendation at the 14th Annual Republic of Korea Design Award for the The Peach Tree.
In 2014, Ku announced and released her fifth directed film, Daughter. Not only did she took part in producing, script-writing and directing of the movie, she also plays the main character as a mother who gives her daughter an oppressive corporal punishment. The film aims to address and make known to society the problems of child abuse. Daughter was invited to Busan International Film Festival.
Aside from her acting and directional works, Ku participates in a wide range of projects, including writing and drawing as well as ambassador activities. In recognition of her versatility and talents, Ku was voted as the Best Female Artist in the Entertainment Industry in 2012. She also received the Korea Fulfillment Award, and the Ministry Award for "sharing happiness" for her charitable acts.
In 2009, Ku published her first illustrated novel Tango (탱고), centered around a 20-something young girl who goes through two separate relationships to finally mature into a woman. The book was a bestseller, selling 30,000 copies within a week. Its release coincided with her first solo art exhibition, also titled "Tango," which was held in July 2009 at La Mer Gallery and attracted a total of 10,000 visitors. The exhibition featured around 40 of Ku's illustrations, some from her novel. She has also done artwork for Gummy's fourth album Comfort. In September 2012, she held her second solo art exhibition titled "Afterimage" at the Hangaram Design Arts Center in the Seoul Arts Center, showcasing 120 of her art pieces, then donating all proceeds from the sale of her artwork toward purchasing "clean cars" (germ-free automobiles) for the Korea Leukemia Patient Group. In 2013, Ku attended the Hong Kong Contemporary Art Fair, where she once again showcased her artworks. Ku was recognized for her artistic talents and was appointed the 2013 Cheongju International Craft Biennale (CICB) ambassador, as well as the ambassador for ArtisTree, an organization to encourage arts.
Ku also participates in charity projects. In 2012, she participated in the "Big Smile Project", a campaign to spread hope through smiles. She has also directed a trailer for 14th Persons with Disabilities Film Festival (PDFF) in which she used "sign language" to show that people born with disabilities do not differ from normal people in needing love. In 2013, Ku participated and supported The Gray Ribbon campaign, which was organized by Milral Welfare Foundation to promote disability awareness. In 2015, Ku alongside with her dog, Gamja, supported Yellow Lead Campaign which aims to reduce the number of abandoned dogs.
On March 11, 2016, Ku was confirmed to be dating her Blood co-star Ahn Jae-hyun since April 2015. The couple officially registered their marriage at the Gangnam district office on May 20, 2016. They announced that instead of holding a wedding party, they would donate the money to the pediatric ward of Severance Hospital.
|Drama City – Anagram||Nurse||KBS2|
|2005||Drama City – Everybody Cha Cha Cha||KBS2|
|Ballad of Seodong||Eun-jin||SBS|
|2006||Pure in Heart||Yang Guk-hwa||KBS1|
|2007||The King and I||Queen Je-heon/Yoon So-hwa||SBS|
|2008||Strongest Chil Woo||Yoon So-yoon||KBS2|
|2009||Boys Over Flowers||Geum Jan-di||KBS2|
|2011||The Musical||Go Eun-bi||SBS|
|2012||Take Care of Us, Captain||Han Da-jin||SBS|
|Absolute Darling||Guan Xiao Fei||GTV|
|2014||Heo Nanseolheon||Heo Nanseolheon/|
|Angel Eyes||Yoon Soo-wan||SBS|
|2015||Blood||Yoo Ri-ta/Yoo Chae-yoon||KBS2|
|2016||The Legendary Tycoon||Hu Bi Yu||TBA|
|2007||August Rush||Girl on couch (cameo)||American film|
|2014||Daughter||San||also credited as director and screenwriter|
|Happy Shares Company||Guest||MBC||Happiness in ₩10,000 Ep.57 versus Jeong Hyeong-don|
|2006||Ya Shim Man Man||Guest||SBS||Ep.174|
|Happy Together Friends||Guest|
|2008||Change||Guest||SBS||Ep.13 with Tablo & Kangin|
|2009||Happy Together||Guest||KBS2||Season 3 Ep.93 with Kim Hyun-joong, Kim Joon, & Park Jung-min|
|2014||Running Man||Guest||SBS||Ep.190 with Angel Eyes cast|
|The Return of Superman||Guest||KBS2||Ep.27 with Jang Hyun-sung's family|
|2015||Happy Together||Guest||Season 3 Ep.385 with Ahn Jae-hyun, Ji Jin-hee, Kwanghee, & Seolhyun|
|2002||"We Match Quite Well"||Sung Si-kyung|
|2004||"The Reason I Close My Eyes"||Taebin|
|2006||"Forget You"||Soul Star|
|2007||"Yesterday Is Different from Today"||Kim Ji-eun|
|2010||"Touch Your Heart"||Fahrenheit|
|"Brown Hair"||Ku Hye-sun|
|2013||"With Laughter or with Tears"||Seo In-guk|
|"It's You"||Ku Hye-sun|
|2014||"She's So High"||Beatburger|
|"Floral Rain"||Ku Hye-sun|
|2015||"After 10 Years 100 Years"||Ku Hye-sun|
|" A Day Without Sound"||Ku Hye-sun|
|2012||The Peach Tree||director,|
(aka The Cheerful Caretaker)
|2012||Fragments of Sweet Memories|
(Samsung Galaxy S4)
singer of theme song
|Cristina Fernandez Lee|
|2009||7th Asiana International Short Film Festival||Seo Hyun-jin|
|2011||13th International Women's Film Festival in Seoul||Ku Hye-sun|
|2013||14th Persons with Disabilities Film Festival||Ku Hye-sun|
|2014||10th Jecheon International Music & Film Festival||Ku Hye-sun|
|2009||Breath||YG Entertainment||singer, composer|
|2015||Breath 2||singer, composer|
|2005||"Happy Birthday To You"||Nonstop 5 OST||EMI||singer|
|2006||"Sarang Ga (Love Story)"||Pure in Heart OST||YG Entertainment||singer|
|2010||"Brown Hair"||singer, composer|
|2012||"Fly Again"||Take Care of Us, Captain OST||Pony Canyon||composer|
|"Marry Me"||YG Entertainment||singer, composer|
|2013||"Flying Galaxy"||singer, composer|
|"It's You"||singer, composer|
|2014||"Floral Rain"||singer, composer|
|2015||"A Day Without Sound"||singer|
|2016||"Written and Erased"||collaboration with The Blind|
|2009||With You||Ku Hye Sun participated in Isao Sasaki's concert|
|Over the Rainbow||Ku Hye Sun, Isao Sasaki|
|2015||Summer, Autumn, Winter, and Spring||Ku Hye Sun, Choi In-young|
Books and exhibitions
|2010||Ku Hye-sun's The Story Behind the Making of "Magic"||Non-fiction|
|2012||The Peach Tree||Novelization|
- 2012 International 3D Festival
- 2013 Cheongju International Craft Biennale
- 2013 Artistree
- 2013 the 14th Persons with Disabilities Film Festival
- 2015 Honorary ambassador for Seoul 2015 International Blind Sports Association (IBSA) World Games
- 2015 Honorary ambassador Korean Leukemia Association
Awards and nominations
|2006||KBS Drama Awards||Best New Actress||Pure in Heart||Won|
|2007||43rd Baeksang Arts Awards||Best New Actress (TV)||Nominated|
|SBS Drama Awards||New Star Award||The King and I||Won|
|2009||26th Pusan Asian Short Film Festival||Audience Award||The Madonna||Won|
|4th Andre Kim Best Star Awards||Best Female Star||Boys Over Flowers||Won|
|6th Yahoo! Taiwan Asia Buzz Awards||Best Asian Actress||Won|
|KBS Drama Awards||Excellence Award, Actress in a Mid-length Drama||Won|
|Netizen Award, Actress||Won|
|Best Couple Award with Lee Min-ho||Won|
|14th Asian Television Awards||Best Drama Actress||Nominated|
|3rd Mnet 20's Choice Awards||HOT Drama Star (Female)||Nominated|
|2010||12th Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia||Spotlight Award||The Madonna||Won|
|23rd Tokyo International Film Festival||Best Asian-Middle Eastern Film||Magic||Nominated|
|2011||5th Mnet 20's Choice Awards||Hot 20's Voice||N/A||Nominated|
|2012||31st Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival||Orbit Competition||The Peach Tree||Nominated|
|SBS Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Drama Special||Take Care of Us, Captain||Nominated|
|2012 Korea Fulfillment Awards||Grand Prize (Daesang)||Herself||Won|
|14th Annual Republic of Korea Design Award by Ministry of Knowledge Economy||Design Merits Division-Minister Commendation Award||Herself||Won|
|2013||Ministry of Health and Welfare||2nd Happiness Sharing Talent Award||Herself||Won|
|2014||Ministry of Gender Equality and Family||Grand Prize in Gender Equality||Herself||Won|
|2014 SBS Drama Awards||Excellence Award, Actress in a Drama Special||Angel Eyes||Nominated|
|Best Couple Award with Lee Sang-yoon||Nominated|
|2014 Asian Drama Awards Pilipinas||Best Actress of the Year 2014||Won|
|Best Couple Award with Lee Sang-yoon||Nominated|
|The 6th Seoul Senior Film Festival||Best Young Director||N/A||Won|
|2015||KBS Drama Awards||Excellence Award, Actress in a Mid-length Drama||Blood||Nominated|
|Best Couple with Ahn Jae-hyun||Nominated|
|2015 Asian Drama Award Pilipinas||Best Actress 2015||Angel Eyes||Won|