Childhood & Early Life
Shin Min-a was born in Seongname, South Korea on April 5, 1984. Her family comes from the Gyeonggi province in South Korea. Her family includes both her parents, an elder brother, and an elder sister. Her birth name was Yang Min A.
She attended the Hyosung High School and later attended Dongguk University for her further education.
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When Shin Min-a was in mid school, she went on a photoshoot with some of her friends. She sent those photos to the Kiki Magazine. The publication selected her as a model for their youth magazine. She officially started modelling for them in 1998.
She appeared in many endorsements that helped her build a solid career in modelling. She became well-known when she became a part of the 2008 multi-episode ‘Summer Days’ opposite Hyun Bin and Ryoo Seung Boom for LG. She was also a part of ‘Friends & Love’, which was an extended advertisement by Giordano. It starred Jung Woo Sung and So Ji Sub.
In 2009, Shin went to Milan, Italy, along with Jamie Doran, the famous Calvin Klein model, for a photo spread shoot for Elle Korea. In 2011, she was featured in The New York Times’ ‘T Magazine’.
She made her acting debut in 2001 where she played Lee Min Ji, a supporting character role in the series ‘Beautiful Days’. In the same year, she made her debut on the big screen with the film, ‘Volcano High’.
Two years later, she featured in the college romance movie ‘Madeleine’ along with Jo In Sung. She was also a part of the SBS series, ‘Punch’.
The year 2005 was a great one for Shin as she became a part of the series ‘A Love to Kill’, a television drama. She also appeared in 3 movies, namely, ‘A Bittersweet Life’, a gangster action drama film; ‘Sad Movie’, a romantic melodrama; and ‘The Beast And The Beauty’, a romantic comedy film.
In 2007, she was cast alongside Uhm Tae Woong and Ju Ji Hoon in the psychological thriller ‘The Devil’. She played two characters simultaneously in the film, ‘My Mighty Princess’.
She played a counterculture singer in the 2008 movie, ‘Go Go 70s’. She entered into a phase of mature and critical roles in the same period as she later played an unfaithful wife in ‘The Naked Kitchen’ which was followed by a cynical young woman who is in search of her father in the 2009 film, ‘Sisters on the Road’.
Shin’s most popular roles came later during 2010-2012 when she portrayed a nine-tailed fox or what is known as ‘gumiho’ in Korean mythology which has been trapped in a painting for 500 years and dreams of becoming a human in the 2010 romantic comedy television series ‘My Girlfriend is a Nine Tailed Fox’.
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She played the role of a ghost that has lost its memory and refuses to rest in peace until it finds out how she died in the 2012 series ‘Arang and the Magistrate’.
She then appeared in a short spy action film, ‘The X’ in 2013.
She made a return on the big screen through the romantic comedy film, ‘Gyeongju’, in 2014, where she played Gong Yun Hee, the female lead character. Later, in the same year, she was cast alongside Jo Jung Suk as both of them played a newly married couple in the romantic comedy film, ‘My Love, My Bride’, which was a remake of the 1990 hit of the same name starring Choi Jin Sil and Park Joong Hoon.
She was cast as Kang Joo Eun, an overweight lawyer who gets dumped by her boyfriend on their 15th Anniversary in the TV series, ‘Oh My Venus’. She portrayed the hard-working Joo Eun alongside So Ji Sub. She was a part of the series ‘Tomorrow With You’, where she played an amateur photographer whose better half can time travel.
Shin Min-a published a book titled, ‘Shin Min-a’s French Diary’ in 2009, which followed the documentation of her travels on the cable channel ‘O’ Live’ in 2008.
She has made many music video appearances in ‘Love and Remembrance’, ‘Since You Left Me’, ‘You Just Don’t Know’, ‘My Happy Day’ and several others. She has also contributed in vocals in certain songs like ‘My Happy Day’, ‘I Can Give You All’, ‘Night Train’, ‘Black Moon’, etc. for Open Source Tracks for ‘The Naked Kitchen’, ‘My Girlfriend is a Nine Tailed Fox’, ‘Arang and the Magistrate’ and for albums like ‘Loveholics – In The Air’, ‘Summer Days’, etc.
Awards & Achievements
In 2011, Shin was chosen as the first Asian Model for the DIY Project. It was an advertisement campaign that promoted Rag & Bone, an American clothing brand.
She received the New Star Award at the SBS Drama Awards for her role in ‘Punch’ in 2003. She won the Best Supporting Actress award at the 4th University Film Festival of Korea and the Best Actress at the 6th Max Movie Awards and the 17th Chunsa Film Art Awards for her role in ‘Go Go 70s’.
She won the Best Couple award with Lee Seung-gi, Top 10 Stars and the Excellence Award, Actress in a Drama Special at the 2010 SBS Drama Awards and the Style Icon Actress, TV category award at the 3rd Style Icon Awards for her work in ‘My Girlfriend Is a Nine-Tailed Fox’ in 2010.
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She shared the Best Couple award with Lee Joon-gi at the MBC Drama Awards for ‘Arang and the Magistrate’ in 2012.
She won the Special Jury Prize for ‘Gyeongju’ at the 2nd Wildflower Film Awards in 2015. She got the Excellence Award, Actress in a Mini-series and the Best Couple award with So Ji-sub at the 29th KBS Drama Awards and the Outstanding Korean Actress at the 11th Seoul International Drama Awards for ‘Oh My Venus’ in 2015 and 2016.
Other than this, she also won many awards like the Female Fashionista, the Hot Fashionista, Good Model Award, the Best CF Model, the Beauty Icon of the Year and the Beauty Icon of the Year.
Shin Min-a got into a relationship with co-actor Kim Woo Bin in May 2015. They met during their work for the brand Giordano. She is nicknamed as Donald Duck as well as Do Duk Do Duk by her friends. She loves listening to music and also loves skating.
Shin’s boyfriend, Kim Woo Bin was diagnosed with Nasopharyngeal Cancer, a special rare type, which starts at the upper part of the throat behind the nose, called the nasopharynx. The cancer is strongly associated with the Epstein Barr Virus also known as EBV. Despite his critical condition, it was found that it wasn’t late for a treatment and he is undergoing treatment at an undisclosed hospital in South Korea. Shin is supporting her boyfriend for his treatment at every stage.
According to Shin, she was very lazy in her early mid-20s. However, somehow, she has managed to overcome her laziness. She states that playing the nine-tailed fox may seem a fun thing, but it was very emotional for her as she had to cry a lot in the finale.