Go Hyun-jung (Hangul: 고현정; born March 2, 1971) is a South Korean actress. She debuted in the entertainment scene as a Miss Korea runner-up in 1989 and went on to star in Sandglass, one of the highest-rated and critically acclaimeddramas in Korean television history. She retired after marrying chaebol Chung Yong-jin in 1995, then returned to acting after their divorce in 2003. Go has since regained her top star status in Korea, becoming the highest paid actress on TV after the success of her series Queen Seondeok and Daemul.
- 2 Filmography
- 3 Discography
- 4 Book
- 5 Awards and nominations
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Go Hyun-jung graduated from Dongguk University with a degree in Performing Arts. She was a runner-up in the Miss Korea pageant in 1989, which launched her acting career. Her big break came in the 1995 SBS drama Sandglass. The drama dealt with modern Korean history from 1970 to the 1990s and was one of the highest rated dramas in Korean television history, with average ratings of 50.8% and a peak of 64.5%. People would rush home just to see a new episode, saying “it’s time to go home,” which meant they had to go home to watch Sandglass.
In May 1995, at the peak of her career, Go married Chung Yong-jin, vice chairman and co-CEO of Shinsegae Group and grandson of Samsung founder Lee Byung-chull. The two first met in New York purely by coincidence when Chung had offered to help Go find her seat at the Winter Garden Theatre because her English was so bad. After the most talked-about wedding in Korea at the time, Go announced her retirement from acting to focus on her new role as a chaebol's wife. They had two children together, a boy (born in 1998) and a girl (born in 2000).
But after eight years of marriage, a messy divorce followed in November 2003, during which she lost complete custody of her children. Two years after the divorce,Shinsegae passed down a ruling stating that none of its department stores are allowed to display any Go-related material, including all her product endorsements. It is rumored that the ruling is still in effect.
Go regained her reputation as Korea's top actress in 2009 after playing femme fatale royal concubine Lady Mishil in the hit historical drama Queen Seondeok.She was not the titular lead character, but her interpretation of the power-hungry main rival to the queen was impressive enough to make viewers remember the show as Mishil’s story. The drama reached ratings of over 40 percent and won her the highest award at the MBC Drama Awards and Baeksang Arts Awards.
That same year, Go surprised fans not only by appearing on a TV entertainment show (popular talk show Golden Fishery hosted by comedian Kang Ho-dong) for the first time in 15 years, but also by very frankly addressing rumors surrounding her shrouded personal life. Once notorious for declining to appear on entertainment programs other than dramas or films, she maintained a mysterious image for a long time. Her new easy-going, and down-to-earth attitude seemingly reflected a philosophical view of the many ups and downs in life. In interviews with print and online magazines, Go has even expressed her feelings towards her ex-husband and children.
Twenty-one years after making her acting debut, Go held her very first fanmeeting on June 13, 2010—she held a press conference beforehand, sang songs for the 500 fans present, answered questions, and prepared video clips.
Though plagued with production issues prior to airing, Go returned to television ten months later in Daemul, which means "big shot" or "big thing" in Korean.In the drama, Go plays Seo Hye-rim, an anchorwoman who enters politics after the death of her war correspondent husband and becomes the nation's first female president. The 24-episode series revolves around an ordinary woman in extraordinary circumstances: how and why she became head of state and also the complicated schemes and plots surrounding her, her presidency, allies and enemies. Besides its star-studded cast (Go starred opposite Korean wave star Kwon Sang-woo), the show's ratings was helped by its controversial plot, which included events from Korea's recent past such as a presidential impeachment and the sinking of a Navy warship, and it topped its time slot for 11 consecutive weeks. Go repeated her feat by winning the top prize at the 2010 SBS Drama Awards. According to industry sources, Go was reportedly paid ₩55 million (US$51,000) per episode, setting a new salary record for a Korean actress.
In 2010, after her contract ended with De Chocolate E&TF, she set up her own talent agency with her brother Go Byung-cheol as CEO, called IOK Company. In 2012, Spring Day costar and close friend Jo In-sung also signed on.
She published a book on skin care titled Go Hyun-jung’s Texture in 2011. The actress has always been admired for her youthful appearance, largely attributable to her young and healthy skin which had made fans wonder about her beauty secrets. The book, arranged in the format of a documentary, contains Go's own philosophy on beauty classified under six themes—texture, color, light, line, formality and scent—as well as her ideas on leading a sound and healthy lifestyle in general. The book is co-written by another writer who observed the actress's everyday life for six months, describing it in detail. The book became a bestseller, with all 30,000 copies of the first edition selling out in just two days of release.
Go also narrated the SBS documentary The Last Tundra - Movie Edition (also known as The Final Tundra - Cinema Edition) which offered a rare glimpse into the life of the Nenets, the last reindeer herding nomads living in the Siberian tundra.
Not content with her small screen success, Go began her late-blooming movie career by going against her image and taking pay cuts to star in non-mainstream films. She was part of the ensemble cast in arthouse films Woman on the Beach and Like You Know It All by auteur Hong Sang-soo. She then starred in Actresses, a semi-improvisational movie featuring six actresses each playing themselves. Director E J-yong, who was first inspired to make the film after going out for a drink with actresses Yoon Yeo-jeong and Go in 2007, said he focused on conveying the "reality" of the actresses' lives.
2012's Miss Go (international title: Miss Conspirator) was her first commercial film, and the first film she headlined. The action comedy is about a nerdy, reclusive cartoonist with a severe case of sociophobia who somehow gets mixed up in a drug deal involving one of the biggest organized crime groups in Korea, and is forced to deal with her phobia and interact with others as she runs from the police.
At the press event for her eponymously named talk show GO Show (which premiered on April 6, 2012), Go quipped, "I became an MC because I wanted to. I want to meet a lot of people and hear their stories. I have always wanted to do that and SBS gave me that opportunity." Given her reputation for saying what is on her mind (one that has won the actress many fans), concerns arose as to how her work as show host would affect the impressive image of flawless elegance and sophistication she has gained over the years. But Go harbored little anxiety over how her public image might change, saying, "I think I can afford to put a small dent in my image and have some fun." Co-hosted by singer-songwriter Yoon Jong-shin, and comedians Jung Hyung-don and Kim Young-chul, the talk show was cancelled after eight months on the air.
Go returned to television in 2013 with The Queen's Classroom, a remake of the 2005 Japanese drama Jyoou no Kyoushitsu. The story depicts the struggle between a ferocious and ruthless elementary school teacher and her class.
In 2014, she began teaching acting at her alma mater Dongguk University, as an adjunct professor in the theater department. Back in 2006, she donated a ₩100 million scholarship fund to the school.
Go also launched her own fashion brand, atti.k, a label that sells clothes, shoes, bags, furniture, food, and household goods.
|1990||Love on a Jujube Tree||Hwang Mal-sook||KBS|
|Eyes of Dawn||Ahn Myeong-ji||MBC|
|1992||A Love Without Fear||Shin Kyung-ae||SBS|
|Women's Room||Yoon Hee-soo||MBC|
|1993||My Mother's Sea||Kim Young-seo||MBC|
|2005||Spring Day||Seo Jung-eun||SBS|
|2006||What's Up Fox?||Go Byung-hee||MBC|
|2007||H.I.T||Lt. Cha Soo-kyung||MBC|
|2013||The Queen's Classroom||Ma Yeo-jin||MBC|
|2006||Woman on the Beach||Kim Mun-suk|
|2009||Like You Know It All||Go Soon|
|Actresses||Herself||Also credited as co-screenwriter|
|2011||The Last Tundra - Movie Edition||Documentary narrator|
|The Day He Arrives||Cinema fan (cameo)|
|2012||Miss Conspirator||Chun Soo-ro|
|1990-1991||Show! Saturday Express||KBS||Host|
|1994||Between Night and Music||KBS|
|2009-01-21||Golden Fishery - The Guru Show||MBC||Guest|
|2010||Beop Jeong: May All Beings Be Happy||MBC||Documentary narrator|
|The Last Tundra||SBS||Documentary narrator|
|Watercolor Painting in a Rainy Day 2
|Strange Happiness (낯선 행복)
|2011||Go Hyun-jung's Texture
|Joongang M&B||ISBN 978-89-6456-149-2|
|1989||33rd Miss Korea Pageant||First Runner-up (Miss World Korea)||N/A||Won|
|1992||28th Baeksang Arts Awards||Best New Actress (TV)||Love on a Jujube Tree||Won|
|1993||MBC Drama Awards||Excellence Award, Actress||My Mother's Sea||Won|
|1994||30th Baeksang Arts Awards||Best Actress (TV)||Nominated|
|1995||31st Baeksang Arts Awards||Best Actress (TV)||Sandglass||Nominated|
|2000||SBS Drama Awards||Big Star Award||N/A||Won|
|2005||41st Baeksang Arts Awards||Best Actress (TV)||Spring Day||Nominated|
|SBS Drama Awards||Top 10 Stars||Won|
|2006||7th Pusan Film Critics Awards||Best New Actress||Woman on the Beach||Won|
|5th Korean Film Awards||Best New Actress||Nominated|
|MBC Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actress||What's Up Fox?||Nominated|
|2007||43rd Baeksang Arts Awards||Best New Actress||Woman on the Beach||Nominated|
|44th Grand Bell Awards||Best New Actress||Nominated|
|MBC Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actress||H.I.T||Nominated|
|2009||Broadcaster Awards||Best Actress||Queen Seondeok||Won|
|Job Korea||Actress of the Year||Won|
|MBC Drama Awards||Grand Prize (Daesang)||Won|
|2010||22nd Korea Producers & Directors' (PD) Awards||Best Performer, TV Actress category||Won|
|46th||Best Actress (TV)||Nominated|
|Grand Prize (Daesang) for Television||Won|
|37th Korea Broadcasting Awards||Best Actress||Won|
|5th Seoul International Drama Awards||Hallyu Special Award for Actress||Won|
|SBS Drama Awards||Top 10 Stars||Daemul||Won|
|Grand Prize (Daesang)||Won|
|2013||MBC Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries||The Queen's Classroom||Nominated|