So Ji-sub

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So Ji-sub
So Ji-sub.jpg
Born(1977-11-04) November 4, 1977 (age 36)
Seoul, South Korea
Other namesSoh Ji-sup
OccupationActor, rapper
Years active1995–present
Agent51K (Korea)
ATN Entertainment (China)
Korean name
Hangul
Hanja
Revised RomanizationSo Ji-seob
McCune–ReischauerSo Chisŏp
Website
www.51k.co.kr
 
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This is a Korean name; the family name is So.
So Ji-sub
So Ji-sub.jpg
Born(1977-11-04) November 4, 1977 (age 36)
Seoul, South Korea
Other namesSoh Ji-sup
OccupationActor, rapper
Years active1995–present
Agent51K (Korea)
ATN Entertainment (China)
Korean name
Hangul
Hanja
Revised RomanizationSo Ji-seob
McCune–ReischauerSo Chisŏp
Website
www.51k.co.kr

So Ji-sub (born November 4, 1977) is a South Korean actor. After making his entertainment debut as a jeans model, he became best known for his leading roles in the television series I'm Sorry, I Love You, Cain and Abel, Phantom and Master's Sun, as well as the film Rough Cut. So has also released several hip-hop EPs.

Early life[edit]

Self-described as introverted and insecure in his childhood and teenage years, So Ji-sub trained to become a professional swimmer.[1]

He tried out modeling simply because he wanted to pose alongside hip-hop artist Kim Sung-jae, who was the celebrity face for a clothing brand at the time. "I was never really interested in becoming a celebrity," So says. "My life was all about swimming and hip-hop music. I did modeling because I wanted to see Kim and also because it was the best way to earn good easy money."[1]

Career[edit]

So was chosen as a model for jeans brand STORM in 1995,[2] then made his acting debut in the sitcom Three Guys and Three Girls and drama Model. But whereas fellow STORM model Song Seung-heon quickly rose to stardom, So had difficulty raising his profile.[3] He appeared in small roles on television throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, and started to gain popularity when he was cast as the male second lead in Glass Slippers in 2002.

So began to show his potential to become a true actor in 2004's What Happened in Bali.At the time, So thought he would end up being a supporting actor. But later that year, he had his breakout role as the tragic hero in smash hit I'm Sorry, I Love You. It made him a top star in Korea, as well as all over Asia.[3][4] In a 2009 interview, So said he still considers the two the best television dramas in his filmography.[5]

So enlisted for mandatory military service in 2005 as a public relations officer with the Mapo District Office,[6] and was discharged on April 27, 2007.[7] He made his comeback in Jang Hoon's directorial debut Rough Cut, in which he played a thug who dreams of becoming an actor.[8] Because of the film's low budget, So and costar Kang Ji-hwan decided to invest their fees back into the movie, and were credited as producers.[9] So's performance was well received by audiences and critics, and the film became a surprise box office hit.[3][10]

As people accepted his own distinctive charms in his fashion style and figure, he earned his nickname 'So GanJi (소간지)' which is a word combinated by his last name "So" and a korean slang "Ganji" meaning 'style'.[11]

In 2009 So attempted to break into the Japanese and Chinese markets. In I am GHOST, an action drama that aired in 24 five-minute episodes on Japan's mobile-exclusive broadcaster BeeTV, he played a mysterious killer on the run with a high school girl.[12] So spoke no lines in the mobile drama, and was "worried whether (their) emotions would be delivered just through (their) motions." The year before, he had appeared in a supporting role as a monster in the Japanese manga live-action adaptation GeGeGe No Kitaro 2: Kitaro and the Millenium Curse.[13]

So starred opposite Zhang Ziyi in the Chinese romantic comedy Sophie's Revenge, saying, "I wanted to do a bright and cheery role because I've played so many sad and gloomy ones."[14][15] He later signed with a Chinese talent agency, ATN Entertainment.[16][17] So then returned to Korean television with Cain and Abel, about two doctor brothers with an intense sibling rivalry.[18]

In 2010 So headlined the big-budget Korean War epic Road No. 1, but despite high expectations, the series tanked in the ratings, averaging 6% for its entire run.[19][20][21][22][23][24][25]

So published his photo-essay collection, So Ji-sub's Journey. The volume covers stories and photos over the past 13 years since his debut, using unpretentious language and sensitive photography taken during So's trips to the DMZ and Gangwon province. The usually taciturn and stoic actor revealed his inner thoughts throughout the book, with essays on his favorite number 51 (reflected in the name of his company - it means a 50-50 probability then believing just 1% more; the K stands for Korea), Romeo and Juliet, why he likes rainy days, and stories about his interactions with other celebrities and artists such as Tiger JK. Within ten days of its release, the book hit the bestseller list, and entered its third printing.[26][not in citation given] He was subsequently named the goodwill ambassador of Gangwon Province in an effort to boost tourism there,[27] and a 51 km-long trail in the province was named "So Ji-sub Road," which was unveiled to the public on May 20, 2012. He is the first Korean actor to have an entire road named after him.[28][29]

A professed longtime hip-hop lover,[1] So rapped for two original tracks – Lonely Life and Foolish Love – under the artist pseudonym "G" or "G-Sonic" for the Rough Cut and Cain and Abel soundtracks, respectively.[30] In 2011 he released another digital single Pick Up Line under his own name. Two teaser videos were released, the first one described as a comedic version that featured guest stars Jung Joon-ha (who is a close friend of So's) and Kim Byung-man (whom So named as one of his favorite comedians). The single, along with the music video itself, was released on February 17, 2011, but recorded low sales.[31]

So then played a boxer who falls in love with a blind girl in romantic melodrama Always (Korean title: Only You), directed by auteur Song Il-gon.[32][33] It was the opening film of the 2011 Busan International Film Festival.[34][35] He published a second book of photo-essays titled So Ji-sub's Only You featuring photographs, notes and commentary on playing his movie character Jang Chul-min.[36][37]

On March 14, 2012, he launched a magazine for his fans titled SONICe, inside were So's suggested dating ideas and locations, favorite food and books, and more stories through his eyes. Its name is a combination of "so nice" and "Sonic," which is So's nickname.[38][39][40][41] He also became the owner of the Apgujeong-dong branch of CJ Foodville's A Twosome Place.[42]

So's first mini-album Corona Borealis was released in March 2012. It featured collaborations with songwriter Kim Kun-woo, vocal trainer Mellow, soprano Han Kyung-mi, and singers Huh Gak and Bobby Kim. Bobby Kim complimented So's rapping in their duet track That Day, a Year Ago, saying, "So has a talent in feeling the groove and it's as good as his acting skills."[43][44] So also starred in a music video of the album's title song Some Kind of Story.[45]

After portraying a workaholic detective in the cyber criminal investigative service in TV procedural Phantom,[46][47][48] So starred in the film A Company Man, about a hitman in a killer-for-hire company who, after he falls in love and decides he wants out of his job, finds himself the target of his former colleagues.[49][50][51][52][1][53]

In January 2013 So released another rap mini-album titled 6 PM...Ground, and his recording process aired on Music Triangle as part of Mnet's Collabo One project.[54][55] The four songs of the album were combined together to make a 12-minute music drama starring So, Park Shin-hye and Yoo Seung-ho; which was also re-edited into individual music videos for each track.[56]

Later that year he was cast in Master's Sun, a horror-romantic comedy series written by the Hong Sisters.[57]

Filmography[edit]

Television series[edit]

YearTitleRoleNetwork
1996Three Guys and Three GirlsKim Chul-sooMBC
1997ModelSong Kyung-chulSBS
1998MBC Best Theater Ep 316:
"What You Cherish Can Never Be Forgotten"
Dong-wooMBC
I Hate You, But It's FineChul-minSBS
2000Love Story Ep 6:
"Miss Hip-hop & Mr. Rock"
Oh Chul-sooSBS
MBC Best Theater Ep 389:
"Have You Ever Said 'I Love You'?"
Kyung-minMBC
Wang Rung's LandPark Min-hoSBS
Because of YouYoon Min-kiMBC
Joa, JoaPark Ji-subSBS
Cheers for the WomenHwang Joon-wonSBS
2001Long WayKi-hyunSBS
Delicious ProposalJang Hee-moonMBC
Law FirmChoi Jang-goonSBS
2002We Are Dating NowChoi Kyu-inSBS
Glass SlippersPark Chul-woongSBS
2003Thousand Years of LoveGeneral Guishil Ari / Kang In-chulSBS
2004What Happened in BaliKang In-wookSBS
I'm Sorry, I Love YouCha Moo-hyukKBS2
2008U-TurnJi-subOCN
2009Cain and AbelLee Cho-in / Oh Kang-hoSBS
I am GHOSTGhostBeeTV
2010Road No. 1Lee Jang-wooMBC
2012PhantomKim Woo-hyun / Park Gi-youngSBS
2013Master's SunJoo Joong-wonSBS

Film[edit]

YearTitleRole
2002Can't Live Without RobberyChoi Kang-jo
2008Kitaro and the Millennium CurseYaksha
Rough CutGang-pae
2009Sophie's RevengeJeff
2011AlwaysChul-min
2012A Company ManJi Hyung-do

Music video[edit]

YearSong TitleArtistCo-starRef.
1997Goodbye YesterdayTurbo
1999For YouRyu Chan
2001The EndLee Hyun-wooRyu Shi-won, Park Jin-hee
Beautiful DaysJang Hye-jin
2005Mr. FlowerJo SungmoKim Jung-eun, Takao Osawa
2008Lonely LifeGYoo Seung-ho
2010Smiling GoodbyeSoya n SunPark Han-byul
2011Pick-up LineSo Ji sub( Ft. Shinji
TakeSeo In-gukJung So-min
2012Some Kind of StorySo Ji-sub feat. Huh Gak and Mellow
2013PicnicSo Ji-sub feat. YounhaYounha[58][59]
6PM...GroundSo Ji-sub feat. MellowPark Shin-hye, Yoo Seung-ho[60][61]

Variety show[edit]

YearTitleNetworkNotes
1997Saturday Power Start "Oh Happy Day"KBS
1999Declaration of Freedom Today is SaturdayKBSas MC
Joy Super Sunday TV "Team Dream"KBS
Show ExpressMBC
Sunday Sunday Night "Shin Dong-yup's Fateful Drama"MBC
1999-2000Music CampMBCas MC, co-hosted by Chae Rim
Night of TV EntertainmentSBS
Good FriendsSBS
결정 인기가요43KMTVas MC
2000Beautiful Life "Crossing the Korea Strait"SBS
2008Infinity ChallengeMBCguest star in episode 96-97
2011Infinity ChallengeMBCguest star in episodes 260, 264, 265
2014Infinity ChallengeMBCSpecial appearance in episode 360

Discography[edit]

Album informationTracklisting
고독한 인생 (Lonely Life)
  • Single
  • Artist: G
  • Released: August 13, 2008
  • Label: Kingpin Entertainment
미련한 사랑 (Foolish Love)
미련한 사랑 (Foolish Love) Drama Ver.
추억소리 (The Sound Of Memory)
Pick Up Line
  • Single
  • Artist: So Ji-sub
  • Released: February 17, 2011
  • Label: CJ E&M
북쪽왕관자리 (Corona Borealis)
  • EP
  • Artist: So Ji-sub
  • Released: March 13, 2012
  • Label: 51K & CJ E&M
6시...운동장 (6PM...Ground)
  • EP
  • Artist: So Ji-sub
  • Released: January 23, 2013
  • Label: 51K & CJ E&M

Book[edit]

YearEnglish TitleKorean TitlePublisherNotes
2010So Ji-sub's Journey소지섭의 길Sallimphoto-essays
2011So Ji-sub's Only You소지섭의 오직 그대만51Kphoto-essays
2012SONICe Vol. 151K & CJ E&Mmagazine

Awards[edit]

YearAwardCategoryNominated workRef.
2000SBS Drama AwardsBest New ActorJoa, Joa
Cheers for the Women
2001Fashion Model AwardsMs. & Mr. Davidoff AwardN/A
2003SBS Drama AwardsTop 10 StarsThousand Years of Love
Excellence Award, Actor in a Special Project Drama
200440th Baeksang Arts AwardsPopularity AwardWhat Happened in Bali
KBS Drama AwardsBest Couple Award (with Im Soo-jung)I'm Sorry, I Love You[62]
Netizen Award
Popularity Award
Top Excellence Award, Actor
200541st Baeksang Arts AwardsBest Actor (TV)
200825th Best Jeanist AwardsBest Jeanist, International CategoryN/A[63]
28th Korean Association of Film Critics AwardsBest ActorRough Cut
29th Blue Dragon Film AwardsBest New Actor
200945th Baeksang Arts AwardsBest New Actor
8th New York Asian Film FestivalRising Star Asia Award[64]
10th Pusan Film Critics AwardsBest New Actor[65]
18th Buil Film AwardsBest New Actor[66]
22nd Grimae AwardsBest ActorCain and Abel[67][68]
Ministry of Culture, Sports and TourismActor of the Year in Broadcasting
SBS Drama AwardsTop 10 Stars[69]
Top Excellence Award, Actor[70]
201047th Daejong Film FestivalAchievement in Cultural ExchangeN/A[71][72]
3rd Style Icon AwardsInternational Style IconN/A
Korea Lifestyle AwardsBest Dressed Male of the YearN/A
2011Korea Tourism AwardsSpecial Achievement AwardN/A[73]
19th Korean Culture & Entertainment AwardsGrand Prize (Film)Always[74]
2012SBS Drama AwardsTop 10 StarsPhantom
Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Drama Special[75]
2013SBS Drama AwardsTop 10 StarsMaster's Sun[76]
Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "A Company Man star 'understands' office grind". The Korea Herald. 18 October 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  2. ^ "Lingerie Brand Gambles on Heartthrob So Ji-sub". The Chosun Ilbo. 6 August 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  3. ^ a b c "So Ji-sub Is Optimistic -- but Only Just". The Chosun Ilbo. 17 September 2008. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  4. ^ "What Next as Stars Emerge Blinking from the Military?". The Chosun Ilbo. 30 January 2007. Retrieved 2013-06-22. 
  5. ^ "소지섭 "美진출 제의왔지만 개인적 목표 아니다"" [So Ji Sub On Marriage, Hollywood and Dating]. Star News (in Korean). 13 August 2009. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  6. ^ "So Ji-seop and Lee Jeong-jin Enter Boot Training Camp". KBS Global. 28 February 2005. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  7. ^ "Actor Donates 10 Mil.Won". The Korea Times. 24 April 2007. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  8. ^ "Buddies Play Enemies in New Action Flick". The Korea Times. 12 August 2008. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  9. ^ "Low Budget the New Answer for Chungmuro?". Twitch Film. 25 September 2008. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  10. ^ "NYAFF 09 Interview: ROUGH CUT's So Ji-Sub". Twitch Film. 2 July 2009. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  11. ^ "So Ji-sub on 'So-Ganji'". 2 July 2009. Retrieved 2012-09-12. 
  12. ^ "Premiere to Be Held for So Ji-seop's First Japanese TV Drama". KBS Global. 5 October 2009. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  13. ^ "So Ji-sub to appear in Japanese mobile drama". 10Asia. 7 October 2009. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  14. ^ "So Ji-sub Makes Chinese Film Debut with Zhang Ziyi". The Chosun Ilbo. 18 September 2009. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  15. ^ "Korean Actor So Ji-sub to Court Zhang Ziyi Onscreen". The Korea Times. 14 August 2009. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  16. ^ "So Ji-sub signs with talent agency in China". 10Asia. 19 December 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  17. ^ "So Ji-sub signs contract with Chinese agency". Korea JoongAng Daily. 21 December 2011. Retrieved 2014-03-02. 
  18. ^ "Taking sibling rivalry to the small screen". The Korea Herald. 18 February 2009. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  19. ^ "So Ji-sub transforms in Road No. 1, says producer (1)". 10Asia. 13 May 2010. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  20. ^ "So Ji-sub transforms in Road No. 1, says producer (2)". 10Asia. 13 May 2010. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  21. ^ "Kim Ha-neul says "first time receiving such a moving script"". 10Asia. 13 May 2010. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  22. ^ "Road No. 1 So Ji-sub and Kim Ha-neul". MBC Global Media. 10 June 2010. Retrieved 2012-11-11. 
  23. ^ "Road No. 1 to feature war, love, comradeship". The Korea Times. 21 June 2010. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  24. ^ "Korean War retold in two new series". The Korea Herald. 21 June 2010. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  25. ^ "So Ji Sub: 'I Might Not Be Able to Act Again in Drama Like This One'". KBS Global. 1 July 2010. Retrieved 2012-12-28. 
  26. ^ "So Ji-sub Draws Huge Crowds of Fans in Japan". The Chosun Ilbo. 1 March 2011. Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  27. ^ "So Ji-sub to Promote Tourism in Gangwon Province". The Chosun Ilbo. 3 September 2010. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  28. ^ "A road named after So Ji-sub set for construction". 10Asia. 3 June 2011. Retrieved 2013-06-22. 
  29. ^ "So Jisup Route opens". StarN News. 22 May 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  30. ^ "So Ji-sub to make debut as hip-hop artist". 10Asia. 10 February 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  31. ^ "So Ji Sub Confesses His Hip Hop Album Was a Failure". enewsWorld. 17 September 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-21. 
  32. ^ "So Ji-sub to return to big screen in new romantic drama". 10Asia. 4 January 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  33. ^ "So Ji-sub says was difficult to be romantic for new movie". 10Asia. 20 September 2011. Retrieved 2013-06-22. 
  34. ^ "Song Il-gon hopes Always will be a reminder of true value of love". 10Asia. 6 October 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  35. ^ "Interview: Actor So Ji-sub". 10Asia. 17 October 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  36. ^ "So Ji-sub to release 2nd photo essay today". 10Asia. 20 October 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  37. ^ "So Ji Seob Publishes Second Photo Essay". KBS Global. 21 October 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  38. ^ "So Ji-sub graces the cover of his magazine". 10Asia. 8 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  39. ^ "So Ji-sub Releasing Magazine for Fans". The Chosun Ilbo. 7 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  40. ^ "So Ji-sub launches magazine for fans, bringing Japanese trend home". Korea JoongAng Daily. 7 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  41. ^ "So Ji-sub to publish own magazine". 10Asia. 6 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  42. ^ "Stars Show Business Savvy with Successful Food, Coffee Franchises". The Chosun Ilbo. 3 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  43. ^ "So Ji-sub to release duet song with Bobby Kim for upcoming album". 10Asia. 9 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  44. ^ "So Ji Sub Drops New Album, Corona Borealis". enewsWorld. 20 March 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-21. 
  45. ^ "So Ji-sup's new MV released". StarN News. 24 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  46. ^ "So Ji-sub set to play detective in new SBS drama". 10Asia. 13 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  47. ^ "So Ji Sub Was Attracted by Uniqueness of Ghost". enewsWorld. 20 May 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-21. 
  48. ^ "So Ji Sub on Ghost, "It Was My Most Challenging Work to Date"". enewsWorld. 8 August 2012. Retrieved 2013-06-22. 
  49. ^ "So Ji-sub, Lee Mi-youn finish shooting new film". 10Asia. 12 December 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  50. ^ "So Ji-sub reveals difficulties of keeping acting profession". 10Asia. 12 September 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  51. ^ "So Ji-sub almost walked off the set". Korea JoongAng Daily. 13 September 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  52. ^ "Tough guy gets tougher in new film Company Man". Korea JoongAng Daily. 11 October 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  53. ^ "SO Ji-sub of A Company Man: I want to play a character with strong emotional expression". Korean Cinema Today. 23 October 2012. Retrieved 2013-06-22. 
  54. ^ "So Ji Sub to Rap for Mnet's Collabo One Project". enewsWorld. 8 January 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-21. 
  55. ^ "So Ji-sub to dabble in rapping". Korea JoongAng Daily. 9 January 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-21. 
  56. ^ "So Ji Sub Becomes an Expert Rapper for His Upcoming Album". enewsWorld. 15 January 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-21. 
  57. ^ "So Ji-sub, Kong Hyo-jin Cast in Romantic Comedy". 10Asia. 29 April 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-22. 
  58. ^ "Younha to Feature in So Ji Sub's New Album". enewsWorld. 9 January 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-21. 
  59. ^ "So Ji Sub Lets Younha Go in Picnic MV". enewsWorld. 17 January 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-21. 
  60. ^ "So Ji Sub and Yoo Seung Ho Get Together at the Set for So Ji Sub's MV". enewsWorld. 11 January 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-21. 
  61. ^ "Yoo Seung Ho and Park Shin Hye Kiss in So Ji Sub's New MV". enewsWorld. 19 January 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-21. 
  62. ^ "Winners at the 2004 KBS DRAMA AWARDS". Korea Tourism Organization. 6 January 2005. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  63. ^ "Actor So Ji-sup Receives Best Jeanist Award in Tokyo". KBS Global. 4 September 2008. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  64. ^ "So Ji-seop, Kong Hyo-jin Receive Rising Star Award". KBS Global. 29 June 2009. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  65. ^ "Kang, So awarded best new actor by critics". 10Asia. 12 October 2009. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  66. ^ "남우신인상 - 소지섭 (영화는 영화다)". Buil Film Awards (in Korean). 19 November 2009.
  67. ^ "So Ji-sup, Lee Yo-won Named Best Actors". The Korea Times. 10 December 2009. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  68. ^ "So Ji-sub receives Grimme Award". 10Asia. 14 December 2009. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  69. ^ "Jang Seo-hee wins grand prize at SBS Drama Awards". 10Asia. 4 January 2010. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  70. ^ "2009 Drama Awards Wrap Up With No Surprises". The Korea Times. 3 January 2010. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  71. ^ "So Ji-sub to receive honor at Daejong Film Awards". 10Asia. 17 September 2010. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  72. ^ "So Ji-sub honored at Daejong awards". 10Asia. 27 September 2010. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  73. ^ "Actor So Ji-sub to receive award from KTO". 10Asia. 14 July 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  74. ^ "So Ji-sub, Park Hae-il, Lee Tae-gon win top prize at culture and entertainment ceremony". 10Asia. 16 December 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  75. ^ "So Ji-sub keeps it short and sweet". Korea JoongAng Daily. 2 January 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-02. 
  76. ^ "Lee Bo-young Grabs 1st Top Prize at the 2013 SBS Drama Awards". TenAsia. 2 January 2014. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 

External links[edit]