Childhood & Early Life
Park Min-young was born in Seoul on March 4, 1986 in a simple traditional Korean household. She admits that her childhood was usually uneventful and the family went on with their individual lives. Her developed interest in films and acting ever since she was a kid, and that interest drove her for the rest of her teenage years.
Park admitted that she didn’t consider herself pretty enough in elementary school and as she wanted to become an actress, she wanted to look flawless. Park went into depression for some time, and when her mother sensed that, she talked to her about a possible plastic surgery, which little Park agreed to and went ahead with it. She said that she had a crooked nose and weird eyelids and she got rid of all that with the help of surgery.
Upon asked by a leading Korean interviewer about grading her childhood days out of 100, she gave it a 60. The life changing event for her was a move to the USA as an exchange student. She mentioned that she took that as a great opportunity to learn English and more about their culture. Although the trip was scary, she was determined to seek positivity out of every other situation in her life and said that it was a big opportunity for her to grow as a person.
Park finished her high school education and it was the time to make the decision to choose the college stream, which would set the course for her entire future, and she chose theatre studies. She had already started auditioning and had a few minor roles in TV series’.
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In 2005, SK Telecom hired her to feature in one of their commercials and from there, she earned invaluable experience. It was her first on-camera appearance and it got her all pumped up. She struggled in her initial days with lower self confidence but facing camera for the first time turned out to be a major confidence booster for her.
She did a sitcom in 2005 titled ‘Unstoppable High Kick!’ which revolved around an average Korean family and showcased their antics. The sitcom received moderate success in South Korea, and Park played a minor role of a school going teenager who happened to be very pretty, but quite average in the studies. She won the Best New Actress award at the MBC Entertainment Awards.
The series never became a big success, but it got Park on the radar of TV producers, who then approached her for some bigger roles. She played the young daughter of a very notorious South Korean underworld don in ‘I Am Sam’ in 2007 and in 2008, she played the role of a fantastical creature Gumiho, a mythical seven tailed fox in the series ‘Hometown of Legends’.
South Korean TV industry was going through a very solid wave of historical fiction shows and Park was becoming a good choice for those genres and in 2009, she appeared in ‘Ja Myung Go’. It was a period drama where she played a villainous princess and in the very next year, she did a sports drama about marathon runners titled ‘Running, Gu’, wherein she played the role of a beautiful girl stuck in a love triangle between marathon runners.
She was a famous TV actress by then, but she was still waiting for one defining role of her career that would put her among the top actresses working in the industry and she got what she desired with ‘Sungkyunkwan Scandal’ in 2010. The series was a critical and commercial success and revolved around a girl who disguises as a boy to enter one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the country. The series also got her three KBS drama awards for her magnificent performance.
In 2011, she appeared as the lead female protagonist in ‘City Hunter’, South Korean adaptation of the successful Japanese manga of the same name. The series revolved around a vigilante out to seek justice and his love affair with a secret agent.
By now, Park had managed to grab some major advertising endorsements and she also made her film debut in 2011 with the film ‘The Cat’, a horror movie which was centred on a mother suffering from claustrophobia. Park’s portrayal was appreciated in the film, but it also turned out to be her only film role in her entire career until now.
In 2012, she got to play a very interesting double role in another manga adaptation titled ‘Dr. Jin’. The series revolved around time travelling and Park played two roles - one as a woman in the contemporary world, and other a noblewomen from 1860.
The year 2014 turned out to be a great one for her as she got to play back-to-back leading roles in two successful series’. First she appeared in ‘A New Leaf’, a legal drama and then a reporter in ‘Healer’, for which she won the Excellence Award for her performance at the 2014 KBS Drama Awards. The latter one also unexpectedly became a big hit in China.
In 2015, she made her first international appearance with the Chinese series titled ‘Braveness of the Ming’, a period drama based on a very successful novel titled ‘Silk Nights’. In the same year, Park appeared in ‘Remember: War of the Sun’, a Korean drama about hyperthymesia, a condition which enables the sufferer to remember each and every event of their lives.
In 2017, she appeared in the period drama titled ‘Queen for Seven Days’ and is all set to appear in her second Chinese TV series titled ‘City of Time’.
Park Min-young has been linked with many actors in the past, but maintains that she is currently single. She was previosuly in a relationship with Lee Min Ho but the couple broke up. Park Min-young was also rumoured to be in a relationship with her co-stars, Park Seo Joon and Song Joong-ki, but she has denied it.
In her free time, Park likes to cook for her friends and also happens to be an ardent coffee and cake lover.