Kim Go-eun (Korean김고은; Hanja金高銀; born July 2, 1991) is a South Korean actress. She debuted in the film A Muse (2012) where she won several Best New Actress awards in South Korea. She is also known for her role in the television series Cheese in the Trap (2016) and Guardian: The Lonely and Great God (2016).

Kim Go-eun
"상큼러블리" 김고은, 눈웃음이 너무 사랑스러운 그녀 -Kim Go-Eun.jpg
Kim in 2018
Born (1991-07-02) July 2, 1991 (age 28)
Seoul, South Korea
Alma materKorea National University of Arts
Years active2012–present
  • Jangin
  • Hodu&U
  • BH[1]
Korean name
Revised RomanizationGim Go-eun
McCune–ReischauerKim Koŭn

Early life and educationEdit

In 1994 when she was three years old, Kim's family moved to Beijing, China, and lived there for 10 years. Director Jung Ji-woo commented on Kim, saying, "She is naturally curious and brave. She's strong in a sense that she isn't influenced easily. She doesn't do things just because everyone else does it."[2]

After watching Chen Kaige's Together many times, crying every time she saw it, Kim decided she wanted to become a filmmaker, and was led to theater by chance. She entered the School of Drama at Korea National University of Arts.[3][4]


2012: A Muse and critical acclaimEdit

In 2012, Kim was catapulted from obscurity to the center of much media buzz when she was cast as Eun-gyo, a 17-year-old high school student who awakens the lust of two men, in A Muse.[5][6][7][8] Her performance swept the Best New Actress awards that year.

The 21-year-old had never appeared in a film or TV drama before, not even in a minor role; she had only previously acted in student productions or school plays. She met A Muse director Jung Ji-woo through a circle of friends and was not even aware that auditions for the film were being held. "I ended up having an audition after chatting with the director. There wasn't even any time for me to prepare," Kim recalled. She was chosen among some 300 actresses who auditioned for the part.[9] Apart from its provocative theme, the film featured two graphic sex scenes, which Kim admitted to feeling anxious and embarrassed about before filming, but when the cameras started, she said she became totally immersed in the character.[3] Jung said Kim grew up through the film, saying, "Her facial expressions in the last few scenes of the film are strikingly different from the ones in the beginning. I wanted to capture the moments when she realizes how precious she is to herself and to others," adding that she showed off qualities that can only be found in someone who is unaware of her own beauty and what she is capable of.[2]

Describing her feelings about her profession, Kim said, "When I stood on the stage for the first time, I was so nervous that I thought it would be so hard if I had to do this for the rest of my life. But from my second performance, I felt ecstatic, as if I had wings on my back, and I never wanted to step off the stage. I keep on acting because I want to hold on to that feeling."[3] Regarding her decision to limit her appearance in advertisements, she said, "I never thought about my image or potential endorsement deals when choosing the next film project. What worries me is what impact my appearance in commercials would have on my roles."[10]

2013–2015: Hiatus and return to filmEdit

Despite many offers following A Muse, Kim decided to take a break from acting for two years, going back to college to complete her degree. She returned to the screen in 2014, showcasing her versatility in the thriller Monster where she played a developmentally disabled woman whose younger sister is murdered by a ruthless serial killer; her grief and rage drives her almost psychotic, and she plans her revenge.[11][12][13][14]

In 2015, she and Kim Hye-soo were cast in Coin Locker Girl, a female-driven thriller based on 1980 Japanese novel Coin Locker Babies. She was invited to the Festival de Cannes 2015 with the director and cast for this film, her first time there.[15][16] Kim next starred in martial arts period drama Memories of the Sword, in which she acted opposite her longtime role model, actress Jeon Do-yeon.[17][18][19] This was followed by courtroom film The Advocate: A Missing Body, where she played an aggressive prosecutor;[20] and family film Canola, about a reunion between a girl and her grandmother alongside veteran actress Youn Yuh-jung.[21][22]

2016–present: Television debut and rising popularityEdit

Kim made her television debut in the cable series Cheese in the Trap, based on the webtoon of the same title.[23][24][25] She also contributed her vocals in the track "Attraction" by Tearliner for the drama's OST.[26] Kim won the Baeksang Arts Award for Best New Actress Television for her performance.[27] Later in 2016, she co-starred in Kim Eun-sook's fantasy drama Guardian: The Lonely and Great God.[28]

In 2018, Kim starred in the drama film Sunset in My Hometown directed by Lee Joon-ik. For her role as a wild country girl, Kim gained 8 kg and learned a regional dialect.[29][30][31] The same year, she was cast in the period romance film Tune in for Love.[32]

In 2019, Kim was cast in the fantasy drama The King: Eternal Monarch alongside Lee Min-ho. The drama marks Kim's second collaboration with screenwriter Kim Eun-sook and is set to air in 2020.[33] The same year she was cast in the musical film Hero.[34][35]



Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2012 A Muse Han Eun-gyo [9]
Yeong-a Yeong-a Short film [36][37]
2013 Neverdie Butterfly Moon Soo-yeon Special appearance [38]
2014 Monster Bok-soon [11]
2015 Memories of the Sword Seol-hee / Hong-yi [18]
Coin Locker Girl Il-young [15]
The Advocate: A Missing Body Jin Sun-mi [20]
2016 Canola Hye-ji [21]
2018 Sunset in My Hometown Sun-mi [29]
2019 Tune in for Love Mi-soo [32]
2020 Hero Seol-hee [35]

Television seriesEdit

Year Title Role Network Ref.
2016 Cheese in the Trap Hong Seol tvN [23]
2016–17 Guardian: The Lonely and Great God Ji Eun-tak [28]
2020 The King: Eternal Monarch Jung Tae-eul / Luna SBS [33]


Title Year Peak chart

"Sun, Moon, Stars, And Us" (Shin Seung-hun ft. Kim Go-eun)[40] 2015 N/A
"Attraction" (Tearliner ft. Kim Go-eun) 2016 N/A Cheese in the Trap OST
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2012 8th Jecheon International Music & Film Festival Moët Rising Star Award A Muse Won [41][42]
21st Buil Film Awards Best New Actress Won [43]
32nd Korean Association of Film Critics Awards Won [44][45]
49th Grand Bell Awards Best Actress Nominated [46]
Best New Actress Won
33rd Blue Dragon Film Awards Won [47][48]
2nd Beautiful Artist Awards
(Shin Young-kyun Arts and Culture Foundation)
New Artist Award Won [49]
13th Busan Film Critics Awards Best New Actress Won [50]
2013 4th KOFRA Film Awards Won [51]
49th Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actress (Film) Nominated [52]
12th New York Asian Film Festival Star Asia Rising Star Award Won [53][54]
2015 Korean Film Actors' Guild Awards Popularity Award Coin Locker Girl Won [55]
19th Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival Fantasia Award Won [56]
24th Buil Film Awards Best Actress Nominated
2016 52nd Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actress (Television) Cheese in the Trap Won [27]
5th APAN Star Awards Best New Actress Nominated
Style Icon Awards Amazing Rising Star N/A Won [57]
16th Korea Youth Film Festival Favorite Rookie Actor N/A Won [58]
2017 53rd Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (Television) Guardian: The Lonely and Great God Nominated [59]
10th Korea Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress Nominated


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  10. ^ "3 Young Women Show Long-Missing Movie Star Material". The Chosun Ilbo. 14 March 2014. Retrieved 2014-03-14.
  11. ^ a b Lee, Claire (21 February 2014). "Kim Go-eun to come back in vicious revenge tale". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2014-02-22.
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  18. ^ a b Jang, Seong-ran (20 August 2015). "Going deep in Memories". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
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  21. ^ a b "YOUN Yuh-jung and KIM Go-eun Play Family". Korean Film Biz Zone. 27 January 2015. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
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  26. ^ "'치인트' 김고은이 부른 OST '이끌림' 오는 1일 공개". Star News (in Korean). 29 February 2016. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  27. ^ a b "Director Lee takes top Baeksang honor". Korea JoongAng Daily. 6 June 2016. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  28. ^ a b "Kim Go-eun nabs lead role in 'Goblin' drama". Korea JoongAng Daily. 27 May 2016. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  29. ^ a b "KIM Go-eun and PARK Jung-min Head to BYEONSAN for LEE Joon-ik". Korean Film Biz Zone. 21 August 2017.
  30. ^ "Kim Go-eun Gains Weight for Movie Role". The Chosun Ilbo. 6 June 2018. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  31. ^ "(Yonhap Interview) Actress Kim Go-eun likes her looks in 'Sunset in My Hometown'". Yonhap News Agency. 27 June 2018. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  32. ^ a b "KIM Go-eun and JUNG Hae-in Queue Up YOO YEOL'S MUSIC ALBUM". Korean Film Biz Zone. 4 October 2018.
  33. ^ a b "Kim Go-eun cast in new drama series by star screenwriter". K-pop Herald. 20 May 2019. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  34. ^ "Hitmaker JK YOUN Returns with HERO". Korean Film Biz Zone. 25 September 2019.
  35. ^ a b "Kim Go-eun cast in the 'Hero' film". Korea JoongAng Daily. 13 June 2019.
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  37. ^ "영아 Yeonga". Daegu Independent Short Film Festival. Archived from the original on 2015-02-04. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
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  39. ^ "Gaon Chart". Gaon Chart (in Korean).
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  43. ^ 김고은, '그물에 잡힌 가녀린 각선미' (부일영화상). TV Report (in Korean). 5 October 2012. Archived from the original on 19 February 2013. Retrieved 2012-12-04.
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  45. ^ '영평 신인상' 김고은 "믿음으로 지켜봐준 부모님께 감사하다". TV Report (in Korean). 7 November 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-04.
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  47. ^ Ji, Yong-jin (4 December 2012). "PIETA Wins Best Picture at Blue Dragon Awards". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 2012-12-04.
  48. ^ 제33회 청룡영화상: 신인여우상 김고은 "초심 잃지 않겠다". Blue Dragon Film Awards (in Korean). 30 November 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
  49. ^ Ji, Yong-jin (28 November 2012). "KIM Ki-duk Scores Another Brilliant Achievement". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
  50. ^ "피에타, 한국영화평론가협회상서 상 싹쓸이". etoday (in Korean). 18 October 2012. Retrieved 2018-07-22.
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  52. ^ "49th PaekSang Arts Awards Nominations Revealed". Korean Film Biz Zone. 9 April 2013. Retrieved 2018-07-22.
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External linksEdit