KajoPicks: 10 dramas and films starring SNSD Yoona you should watch

Girls’ Generation or better known as SNSD just celebrated their 15th anniversary this year.

The group is one of the best-selling artists in South Korea as well as one of most popular K-pop group worldwide.

Apart from being K-pop idols, all of the eight members have participated in other line of works such as TV hosts, solo singers, variety show entertainers, musical artists and of course actresses.

Out of four SNSD members (Yoona, Yuri, Sooyoung and Seohyun) who ventured into acting, you have to admit Yoona has the most impressive track record of filmography.

Yoona, whose real name is Im Yoon-ah has been hailed as a top idol-actress in South Korea.

Here are 10 dramas and films starring SNSD Yoona you should watch:

1.You are My Destiny (2008)

For her first leading role in a drama, Yoona plays the role of Jang Sae-byuk. She is a cheerful young orphan who dreams to become an interior designer.

Due to an accident three years ago, Sae-byuk losses her sight and undergoes corneal transplant surgery.

After operation, she tracks down her donor’s family and slowly becomese close with them.

The family in return, slowly is slowly accepting her as part of them.

Overall, the series was a success with viewer rating of up to 41.5%.

Behind this successful drama, Yoona revealed the hardship she went through filming during an episode of talkshow Strong Heart aired on Feb 2, 2013.

She said, “On the first day of filming, I made a mistake with my line, and the director yelled at me angrily. He came up to me and said, ‘I don’t think you are ready for this role.’ He then told to me go home even though we were not done filming that day.”

Yoona shared that she was so upset that she could not help but cry all the way home.

In the show, she stated, “There still were nine months left until the end of drama, and I didn’t know what to do. I lost all confidence. On some days, they had to stop the filming because I couldn’t stop crying.”

Yoona then added, “However, I later learned that he was harsh with me to teach me a valuable lesson. He meant me, a rookie actress, to never lose my focus. After that incident, I received a lot of praises and I was able to grow and learn a lot. ”

The scolding and tears were definitely worth it as Yoona won two ‘Best New Actress’ awards at the 2008 KBS Drama Awards and 45th Baeksang Arts Awards for this drama.

2.Love Rain (2012)

If you are into those melodrama with aesthetic filming style, this is the drama for you.

Directed by Yoon Seok-ho, it tells a love story over two generations with Jang Keun-suk and Yoona playing dual roles.

When Seo In-ha (Jang) and Kim Yoon-hee (Yoona) met as university students in the seventies, it was definitely a love at first sight.

After some times, they finally confessed their feelings toward each other.

Unfortunately, circumstances led both of them to break up and wind up in different paths of life.

Fast forward to 2012, In-ha (Jung Jin-young) is now unhappily married to Baek Hye-jung, one of Yoon-hee’s former best friends.

Secretly, he has never gotten over his first love. Hence when he runs into Yoon-hee (Lee Mi-sook) after so many years, the two reconcile.

On the other hand, In-ha’s son Seo Joon (Jang) is a photographer. One day, he bumps into Yoon-hee’s daughter Jung Ha-na (Yoona) by chance.

They start to bicker at first but eventually starting to fall in love with each other. Unaware that their children are dating each other, In-ha and Yoon-hee announce that they are getting married, which will make Joon and Ha-na step-siblings.

Joon and Ha-na struggle with sacrificing their love for their parents’ long-aborted happiness.

Love Rain was the most expensive Korean drama presold to Japan in 2012.

3.Prime Minister & I (2013)

At the age of 42 years old, Kwon Yul (Lee Beom-soo) is South Korea’s youngest prime minister ever.

He is known for his reputation as an honest man of the utmost integrity.

Apart from that, he is also a widower as his wife died in a car accident seven years ago and raises his three children alone.

Behind closed doors, Yul is actually a struggling father devoid of even the most basic of parenting skills.

Meanwhile, Nam Da-jung (Yoona) is a journalist from Scandal News who resorts to writing for a trashy tabloid to support her ailing father.

When she chases Prime Minister Kwon for a lucrative exposé, she ends up scooping a whole lot more than she bargained for.

The unlikely duo ended up in a contract marriage and later on fell in love with each other.

For this role, Yoona bagged the Excellence Award for Best Actress in a Miniseries at the KBS Drama Awards 2013 and Best Young Actress at Seoul International Youth Film Festival.

4.The K2 (2016)

Yoona’s role in the The K2 (2016) is completely different from her previous works.

Here her role as Go Anna is the illegitimate daughter of presidential candidate Jang Se-joon (Jo Sung-ha).

Due to her illegitimate status, nobody knows Anna’s existence. In order to protect her father’s career, she is exiled to Spain at a convent under the constant surveillance of her stepmother Choi Yoo-jin (Song Yoon-ah).

Anna is also suffering from social phobia and experiences panic attacks from flashing lights.

She eventually becomes a pawn in her stepmom’s plan to control Se-joon’s political career.

Yoo-jin hires Kim Je-ha (Ji Chang-wook) as Anna’s bodyguard who later becomes her love interest.

Overall, The K2 is a thrilling political drama combined with impressive action scenes.

5.The King in Love (2017)

This historical drama is loosely based on Chungseon of Goryeo who was the 26th ruler of the Goryeo Dynasty of Korea.

He was Korea’s first royalty of mixed heritage whose mother was the daughter of Kublai Khan, a Mongolian emperor and the founder of Yuan dynasty in China.

The main character in The King in Love (2017) Wang Won (Im Si-wan) is loosely based on this mixed-race king.

Won has two friends whom he knows since childhood; Wang Rin (Hong Jong-hyun) and San (Yoona).

These three become the closest of friends eventually romantic feelings arise between these three.

Won falls in love with San and would do anything for her.

On the other hand, his childhood friend Wang Rin who also fell in love with San at first sight.

Even though Wang Rin loves San so much, he still hid his affection for her because of his duty to his Crown Prince and because he doesn’t want to hurt his best friend’s feelings.

The drama is based on the novel of the same name by Kim Yi-ryung.

During the press conference to promote the drama, Yoona revealed that she wanted to feel and experience new things with this character which is different from her character in The K2.

“She is brave and bright in the beginning. Later on, her emotions and choices become very deep,” she said.

6.Hush (2020)

One of the reasons Yoona picked up the script for Hush (2020) is the opportunity to act alongside Hwang Jung-min.

In an interview with Forbes, Yoona said that she has done a lot of bright and cheerful acting but never got to play a serious, heavy-toned character like this before.

She added, “The drama itself is also different from what I’ve done in the past, so it was a new challenge for me to showcase a different sides as an actress.”

Based on the 2018 novel Silence Warning by Jung Jin-young, Hush centers around a group of journalists in a newsroom.

Yoona plays the role of Lee Ji-soo, a spirited and bold intern reporter.

Hwang takes the role of Han Joon-hyuk, a senior reporter who has lost his passion for journalism.

7.Confidential Assignment (2017)

Yoona made her film debut in the movie Confidential Assignment (2017).

The story follows a North Korean Officer (Hyun Bin) and a Seoul detective (Yoo Hae-jin) team up to track down a dangerous fugitive.

In the movie, Yoona plays the role of Yoo’s sister in-law Park Min-young.

Confidential Assignment was a hit and one of the most viewed Korean movies in 2017.

Through her first movie, Yoona once again proved that she is more than just K-pop star.

Her role in this action film, the SNSD member was nominated for many awards and eventually brought home the Most Popular Actress at the 53rd Baeksang Arts Awards, Best New Actress at Korean Film Shining Star Awards and more.

In 2022, Yoona reprises her role as Park Min Young in Confidential Assignment 2: International.

As of October 2022, the sequel is the third highest-grossing Korean film of the year.

Watch the trailer here.

Im Yoon-ah in the official still photo of Confidential Assignment 2: International (2022)

8.Exit (2019)

What makes Exit (2019) special for Yoona’s career is the fact that it is her first leading role in a film.

It is a disaster action comedy film written and directed by Lee Sang-geun.

The story follows Yong-nam (Jo Jung-suk), an unemployed man who once one of the best rock climbers in his college years.

He meets his old crush Eui-joo (Yoona) at the Cloud Garden during his mother’s 70th birthday festivities.

Eui-joo who is also a former rock climber is working there.

In order to impress Eui-joo, Yong-nam lies to her claiming that he is now very successful.

Meanwhile, a terrorist group releases a toxic white gas and spreads to its immediate surrounding. This causes pandemonium throughout the city.

During the chaos, Yong-nam and Eui-joo are left on their own to seek higher ground and avoid the rising toxic gas.

They use their rock climbing skills to survive.

Overall, the film was a box office success and South Korea’s third highest-grossing domestic film for 2019.

Again, Yoona won numerous awards for Exit including Popular Star Award at 40th Blue Dragon Film Awards and Best Actress in Movie at the 4th Asia Artist Awards.

Watch the trailer here.

9.Miracle: Letters to the President (2021)

This fictionalised film is based on a true story that took place in a remote area of North Gyeongsang Province in the 1980s.

Tae-yoon (Lee Sung-min) who is an engineer has always dream to set up a train station in his village.

His village has railway tracks but there is no station.

Tae-yoon has a son named Joon-kyeong (Park Jeong-min) who is a high school math prodigy.

Together with his girlfriend Ra-hee (Yoona), his older sister Bo-gyeong (Lee Soo-kyung) and the villagers, Joon-kyeong work to establish the first privately owned small train station.

The movie was selected at the 24th Far East Film Festival where it won the Golden Mulberry Award.

Through this film, Yoona earned her a second Blue Dragon Best Actress nomination as well as her Baeksang Best Actress nomination.

Watch the trailer here.

10.Big Mouth (2022)

Yoona in an official still photo of Big Mouth 2022.

This is one of the most talked about K-drama in 2022. Big Mouth (2022) follows the story of Park Chang-ho (Lee Jong-suk), a third-rate lawyer with a ten percent success rate.

Among his legal colleagues, he is known as ‘Big Mouth’ because he likes to talk big before doing something.

When people started to mistaken him as a ‘Big Mouse’ who is a genius conman, his life is suddenly in danger and gets caught up in a murder case.

Yoona takes up the role of Chang-ho’s wife, Ko Miho who works as a nurse.

She tries to clear up her husband’s name and finds herself get entangled in the conspiracy among the wealthy and powerful people.

Although this is Yoona’s first hard-boiled noir drama, she does not fail to deliver her best performance.

Audience can easily find themselves getting caught up with Mi-ho’s emotions throughout suspenseful plot and her relationship with Chang-ho.

Upcoming Projects

Fans can look forward to two upcoming projects from this idol-actress.

We will see Yoona as a hotelier in a television series that is scheduled to premiere on JTBC in the first half of 2023.

King the Land tells the story of Goo Won (Lee Jun-ho) who is the heir of a luxury hotel conglomerate The King Group.

Her second upcoming project is a rom-com directed by Lee Sang-geun.

Starring alongside Ahn Bo-hyun, the 2 O’Clock Date tells the story of two people who lived in the same building having a date at 2am while everyone else in the block is sleeping.

Patricia Hului

Patricia Hului is a Kayan who wants to live in a world where you can eat whatever you want and not gain weight.

She grew up in Bintulu, Sarawak and graduated from the University Malaysia Sabah with a degree in Marine Science.

She is currently obsessed with silent vlogs during this Covid-19 pandemic.

Due to her obsession, she started her Youtube channel of slient vlogs.

Follow her on Instagram at @patriciahului, Facebook at Patricia Hului at Kajomag.com or Twitter at @patriciahului.

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