Breaking Up With Gong Hyo Jin

Posted by Stephanie on September 7, 2016


There are those actresses who you enjoy so much that you find them on your automatic yes list. Okay, so I never really have an automatic yes as I am trixier than that, however, I do have a few actresses who aren’t an automatic no (which for me is the more realistic option). Said actresses, when cast, they make you sit up, take notice and go, ‘Well, maybe.’

For me, tops on my list was Gong Hyo Jin. 

Since I fell — hard — for her when we were first introduced in Pasta, it’s been a long and fast friendship. I cried with her in Thank You, I walked with her in…that documentary where she walked the length of South Korea, I wished I were her in Its Okay That’s Love, and I well, I watched Pasta too many times to count while keeping my dignity.

Stephanie and Gong Hyo Jin. Squad goals.

Then a funny thing happened. I can’t pinpoint exactly where or when it started, but she’d get cast in a show, I’d be excited about said show and then when it began, I’d start it and then realize she was playing variations of the same character. I don’t mean the character was written that way, or maybe they were, I just mean that by the time she was done with them, they all kind of looked the same. (And I don’t just mean the costumes that she obviously picked out which matches her personal urban bohemian style.) By the time we hit Producers?  I was a little over it.

Gah! I feel terrible for even saying so. I don’t even know what it is, it’s not like she’s not a good actress, she is. It’s just that she has a certain style to her, to her acting, where I’m no longer watching the character, I’m watching Gong Hyo Jin, that it takes me out of the drama. And now that I’ve noticed? It’s only become more pronounced.

So when it came around to her new drama, Jealousy Incarnate, and I read the synopsis, I actually caught myself mid eye-roll! What has happened to this relationship?

—For those of you who don’t know the premise of Jealousy Incarnate, she plays a weather girl who has a crush on the mean anchor for years, then sees new guy, latches on to him instead, telling first crush she no longer plans to lurk him and he realizes what he has once it’s gone.

Sigh. Maybe it’s just the tired premise that made me roll my eyes? Maybe it’s not Gong Hyo Jin at all? Maybe there is a chance we can salvage this relationship? Although, this is me we’re talking about, so maybe not.

Alas, Gong Hyo Jin, I wish you well. May you continue to get popular roles. May you continue to be sponsored by whatever faux vintage shop it is who loves you. May we meet again and look back together upon our time fondly.

As we will always have Pasta.


  • Reply DaraHi September 7, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    I actually agree with you that Gong Hyojin now plays the same characters over and over again. I first felt that in It’s Okay, That’s Love tbh. It’s just that she has this distinctive style of acting which is all good and well, but like you said, I feel like I’m watching Gong Hyojin and not the characters she’s supposed to be playing. I haven’t checked Jealousy Incarnate out, but for this one though, her character description actually sounds a bit different to me. I might check that one out when I have a bit more time.

    • Reply Stephanie September 15, 2016 at 8:51 pm

      I’m glad it’s not just me! Amber says Jealousy Incarnate is really good, but I think I’ll give it a pass, at least for now.

  • Reply Len January 4, 2021 at 10:57 am

    I like what’s written on this article ’cause I have the same thoughts! I enjoyed much of Gong Hyo Jin’s drama since 2014 It’s okay that’s love, that I looked forward with the same excitement and feeling I had everytime Hyo jin’s the lead actress. After watching the Producers I was soo disappointed. Then I gave it a chance and watched Jealousy Incarnate. It was my first time where I cannot drag myself to finish the entire drama (ended until ep 18) lol. True, maybe it’s not about Hyo Jin, but maybe it’s about the plot. That’s just me

    • Reply Stephanie January 10, 2021 at 8:46 pm

      Thanks for the comment, it gave me a chance to go back to this post! I actually still haven’t seen Gong Hyo Jin in anything since. I was almost tempted by When the Camellia Blooms, but never made it.

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