Since debuting as an actress 11 years ago, Hong Soo-hyun has appeared in more than 20 dramas, but true stardom remained elusive as she mostly found herself restricted to supporting roles. However, those days seem numbered now as she has captured the spotlight for her strong performance in the SBS' soap "History of the Salaryman."
The soap, which airs on Mondays and Tuesdays, has been drawing ratings of around 20 percent -- making this amusing take on life at a Korean company the most popular program in its time slot. Hong acting in the show has been described by critics as "an amalgamation of all the great acting she has ever done."
Hong has kept herself extremely busy of late, moving from show to show to flex her acting muscles. After appearing in SBS' "Lie to Me" early last year, she immediately moved on to the hit KBS show "The Princess' Man." After that, she was chosen to join the cast of "History of the Salaryman." After getting hold of the script, she said she knew immediately that "this was a show I absolutely had to do."
"I'm the type of person that gets more involved and enthusiastic once the project gets going, and I enjoy really sinking my teeth into a role. Of course, I enjoy taking it easy and hanging out with friends, but the truth is, I start to feel uneasy if I'm not working on a project," she said.
She added that her busy schedule has kept her from the gym for the past two years, which has left her feeling sapped of energy as she often has to work through the night to finish filming.
Hong began her acting career after debuting as a magazine model in high school. Due to being only a minor celebrity, she says she often felt outshone by others and experienced her fair share of slumps. However, whenever she considered quitting, she realized there was nothing that matched her calling as an actress. As such, she said she feels grateful to still be in the game and winning over critics and fans alike.
"If my popularity continues to grow, then better-quality shows and more appealing characters will come my way," she said. "I have always worked hard, but it seems like I've been stuck in the same place, so it's interesting how my fan base is suddenly spreading now."
She said she is waiting for the special day to arrive when she gets offered a starring role in a major show. "I don't want to be some wishy-washy side character," she said. "A fully fleshed out and more extreme role -- that is what I'm longing for."