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Saturday, 13 October 2007

Shim Eun-ha


Shim Eun-ha (b. September 23, 1972) debuted in 1994 in the basketball-themed TV drama The Last Match, and quickly became the nation's most popular and talked-about star. After acting in three more television dramas and two lesser-known films (including Born To Kill with Jung Woo-sung), she made a permanent mark in the film industry with her performance in Hur Jin-ho's modern-day classic Christmas in August (1998). Later that year Art Museum by the Zoo, which presented a more down-to-earth side of the actress, saw her win over more critical praise for her acting abilities. Throughout this period, Shim consistently topped magazine polls as the most popular actress in the film industry.

In Tell Me Something, her star power combined with Han Suk-kyu to create one of the most highly anticipated works in Korean film history (though most viewers ultimately expressed disappointment at the film's convoluted narrative). The following year she appeared in Korea's first Dogme film Interview, which would end up being her last appearance.

In 2002, after rumors surfaced of an engagement which was later called off, Shim decided to give up her entertainment career. In the ensuing years, despite periodic rumors that she would resume her film career, Shim has tried her best to remain out of the public eye, studying in France and taking up painting. However despite (or perhaps because of) her long absence, she remains the undisputedly most popular actress of the last decade. In October 2005 she was married to a professor from Yonsei University, and at the time she re-affirmed that she will not return to acting.

Interview excerpts:

What kind of film would you most like to make? "Something provocative and urban, with a decadent feel to it. A film featuring great female attraction. Something like Beatrice Dalle in Betty Blue, perhaps. Is there anything that can compare to that film?" [Cine21, #182, Dec 1998]




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