Childhood & Early Life
Moon Geun-young was born in Gwangju, South Korea on May 6, 1987. She was a TV addict since her early days. She was the older one of the two sisters in the family and to the surprise of her family, when most kids of her love to just play around, she was getting serious about a career in the entertainment industry.
She loved listening to music, painting and knitting and was somehow close to her grandmother as a kid, and spent quite a lot of time with her. Her grandmother also accompanied Moon to her TV and film sets a few times, and Moon says that this infused her with a solid sense of comfort whenever she was around.
Moon started modelling at the age of 12 and featured in several commercials and magazines, which brought her early exposure. Around this time she started getting more and more offers for appearing in films and TV, and she made her first on-screen appearance in 1999.
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Moon appeared in the documentary drama film ‘On the Road’, which gave her the necessary experience of being in front of a camera. Moon’s work in the documentary inspired the makers of ‘Autumn in my Heart’ to cast her in role of the childhood version of female lead in the show. The drama series was a major success not only in South Korea, but internationally as well, and Moon won the ‘Best Young Actress Award’ at the 2000 KBS Drama Awards.
This early success infused in Moon a strong confidence which allowed her to play the role of a young empress in the historical epic show ‘Empress Myeongseong’ with ease and in 2002, she essayed a major role in her debut film ‘Lover’s Concerto’, where she appeared in a supporting role as the lead actress’ sister.
In 2003 came ‘A Tale of Two Sisters’ and it turned her career around. The film was a massive success, both critically and commercially. Slowly, the film’s success crossed the international borders and received acclaim in America as well. Eventually, the film turned out to be one of the highest grossing South Korean horror films of all time.
She made her full-fledged leading role debut in the romantic comedy film ‘My Little Bride’. It turned out to be the second highest grossing South Korean film of the year. Moon appeared in the role of a girl who had to marry a guy she didn’t love because her grandfather made the match. Moon essayed her role adorably well and earned the title of ‘Nation’s Young Sister’.
In 2005, she did the film ‘Innocent Steps’, and played the role of a South Korean girl living in China who later makes a return back to South Korea. The film was critically appreciated and surprising everyone, it also turned out to be a box office hit. These two consecutive successes established Moon as one of the most bankable South Korean actors of the time.
She made a successful hat-trick with the film ‘Love me Not’ in 2006, which was a remake of a Japanese film. The film was a critical and commercial success and in the same year, Moon got to host the award ceremony at the Pusan International Film Festival.
After a long hiatus from television, she appeared in a biopic drama ‘Painter of the Wind’ in 2008, where she essayed the role of a blind woman, who disguises herself as a man to learn painting. She was showered with many acting awards for her performance at the Baeksang Arts Awards, Grimae Award and the SBS Drama Awards. At the SBS Drama awards, she earned the Daesang (Grand Prize) Award, the most respected honour among all the Korean drama awards, and she became the youngest actor in the history to receive the honour.
In 2010, she appeared in ‘Cinderella’s Sister’, a series which was the Korean retelling of a very famous American fairytale. In 2013, she worked in an historical drama series titled ‘Goddess of Fire’. During all these years, she got busier in TV and the film offers got less and less frequent.
Her much awaited return to the big screen happened with ‘The Throne’ in 2015, a period drama film, wherein she played the leading role as the crown Prince Sado’s wife.
She returned back to TV with the thriller series ‘The Village: Achiara’s Secret’ in 2015, which was another major success of her career.
In 2016, she did a cameo in the series ‘Entourage’, which happens to be the South Korean remake of a highly successful American TV series.
In October 2017, she is all set to appear in the mystery drama ‘Glass House’, where she will be seen playing the role of a researcher who contains herself in a glass garden after a heartbreak.
Despite a tough work schedule, Moon Geun-young had a very good attendance in the high school and then college. She finished her graduation from Gwangju Gukje High school and graduated from Sungkyunkwan University. In college she studied the Korean language and literature.
Her dating life hasn’t quite been a secret like most South Korean celebrities and she openly dated Kim Bun for several months. The relationship, however, didn’t last long and separated after a few months of dating. They have, however, maintained that they have remained good friends.
Moon suffered from compartment syndrome, the symptoms of which include severe muscle pain resulting from a very busy schedule and lack of rest.