Han Ga-in (born Kim Hyun-joo on February 25, 1982) is a South Korean actress. She attended Seoul Gusan Elementary School (서울구산초등학교), Sunjung Middle School (선정중학교) and Baehwa Girls' High School (배화여자고등학교). She excelled academically and scored 384 points out of 400 points in the CSAT. On 22 December 2000, while attending high school, Han participated in KBS1 quiz show Challenge Golden Bell and reached the 34th stage. She studied hospitality management at Kyung Hee University; after entering the entertainment industry, she continued her studies part-time and graduated in 2007.
As a high school student, Han Ga-in appeared on KBS's TV show called The Golden Bell Challenge (도전! 골든벨) and was also captured in footage of interviews with other students. Entertainment executives spotted her in the news clip and immediately went to her school to offer her a part. She decided to use her current stage name as she shares a birth name with another actress who debuted earlier than her.
Han debuted in an Asiana Airlines commercial in 2002, and was cast in the KBS2 drama Sunshine Hunting. She subsequently appeared in a supporting role in the popular daily drama Yellow Handkerchief and made her big-screen debut in Once Upon a Time in High School. In 2004, she took on the leading role in Terms of Endearment and won an Excellence award at the KBS Drama Awards.
In 2005, Han acted in Super Rookie, a satire on Korea's corporate culture and unemployment among the country's younger generation. It drew solid viewership ratings in the 20% range, and won Han the Excellence Award at the MBC Drama Awards. The drama was also reportedly well received by Japanese viewers and contributed to Han's popularity in the country. This was followed by leading roles in Dr. Kkang and Witch Yoo Hee. In the latter drama, Han sported a bob cut as she portrayed a career woman who cared about her appearance and job rather than relationships.
After Witch Yoo Hee wrapped in 2007, Han publicly criticized the director and writers for the drama's poor quality. She went on a three-year hiatus afterwards, merely starring in advertisements. While she soon became one of the most sought-after faces in the TV commercial industry, Han struggled to overcome her image as strictly a pretty face rather than a serious actress, having mostly played character stereotypes.
Mainly categorized as a "CF star," Han wanted to change that misconception with her comeback in 2010. In Bad Guy, she attempted to transform her image as a pure and innocent girl to a materialistic woman who dreams of climbing the social ladder at the expense of others.
2012 was the most successful year of Han's career yet. She first starred in period drama, Moon Embracing the Sun, in which she played the heroine, an amnesiac noblewoman-turned-shaman. The drama not only ranked number one in its time slot throughout its run but achieved a peak recorded viewer rating of 42.2%, thereby earning "national drama" status. This was followed by a leading role in romantic film Architecture 101, which got rave reviews and set a new box-office record as the highest-grossing Korean melodrama.
Han was managed by J. One Plus Entertainment from 2009 to 2011, and when her contract expired, she signed with Lee Byung-hun's agency, BH Entertainment in December 2012.
In 2018, Han returned to the small screen after six years with mystery thriller Mistress.
Han married actor Yeon Jung-hoon on April 26, 2005; they first met as co-stars in the 2003 daily drama Yellow Handkerchief. Their wedding attracted much media attention due to the rarity of actresses marrying in their early twenties, at the prime of their careers. Han had a miscarriage in 2014, and later gave birth to a daughter on April 13, 2016. On May 13, 2019, she gave birth to a son.
Drama Series :
- Mistress (OCN, 2018)
- The Moon That Embraces the Sun (MBC, 2012)
- Bad Guy (SBS, 2010)
- Witch Amusement (SBS, 2007)
- Dr. Kkang (MBC, 2006)
- Super Rookie (MBC, 2005)
- Terms of Endearment (KBS2, 2004)
- Yellow Handkerchief (KBS1, 2003)
- Days in the Sun (KBS2, 2002)
Variety Show :
- Comedy Town (2003)
- Entertainment Weekly (2004)
Music Video Appearances :
- SG Wannabe - Only Wind, Only Wind (2005)
- Busker Busker - Yeosu Night Sea (2012)
2012 MBC Drama Awards
- Mini Series Top Excellence Actress (The Moon That Embraces the Sun)
2005 MBC Drama Awards
- Excellence Award (Super Rookie)
2004 KBS Drama Awards
2004 40th BaekSang Arts Awards
- Popularity Award (Once Upon a Time in High School)
2003 KBS Drama Awards
- Best New Actress (Yellow Handkerchief)