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Actor Spotlight: Kim So Hyun’s Journey into Historicals

Being a child actress not only means you have a wide arsenal of content that you have been on, but also a great many opportunities and roles you get to play. With Kim So-Hyun, this is very much the case. Her versatility and growth as an actress are always something we look upon with awe because no matter how big or small the role, she always shines as bright.

Starring in River Where the Moon Rises is not her first foray into historical dramas. In fact, it is within this genre where she actually gained a lot of her footing within the workings of Hallyu. With this, let’s check out some notable roles she’s had throughout the years.

The Moon Embracing the Sun 

Starting from the other corner of the love triangle, Kim So-Hyun played Bo Kyung who was in love with the young prince but he did not reciprocate. Though her character fell into some cliche tropes, it could still be acceptable! During this time, this might be the beginnings of the scheming female second lead. Whatever the case, she still did such an amazing job at such a young age! 

Watch Episode 1 here!

Rooftop Prince

Her role here is so similar to The Moon Embracing the Sun. However, it’s more nuanced because she had to do double duty in playing (technically) the same character in two time periods. Even if her character is still that female second lead you love to hate, there’s a good backstory as to why she turned out that way. And you’d naturally root for the leading lady, Kim So-Hyun managed to make us hate and pity her at the same time.

Watch Episode 1 here!


Her role here is actually quite the guest-starring, but definitely sent ripples of impact all throughout the show. As Queen Sun Hee in historical Goryeo, she was reverent and commanding, but still had that youthful excitement as Gong Yoo’s little sister. She also had very good chemistry with Kim Min-Jae’s Wang Yeo in that one electrifying flashback scene. Definitely a standout!

Watch Episode 1 here!

Emperor: Owner of the Mask

Finally, her first lead role in a historical drama! At first you would think she feels more like a meek damsel in distress, but her strengths lie elsewhere. She’s a healer so her role is to mainly be able to care for others. Though we’ve seen some elements of this in Goblin, she was really able to explore and give her take on being the leading lady this time. It was such a breath of fresh air to finally see her in a gentler role. It’s definitely a 180 from her previous ones! And definitely shows her versatility as an actress!

Watch Episode 1 here!

Tale of Nokdu

Though still very much a historical drama, since it breathes more as a fusion sageuk, Tale of Nokdu gave a very refreshing take on the typical historical drama and Kim So-Hyun’s role was definitely a good part of it. Here she was spunky, cool, she was very relatable! Though not as demure as her last role – very fitting to Jang Dong-Yoon’s Nokdu. Their chemistry together was amazing, and it felt like they were a good team nailing the comedy as well as the romance.

Watch Episode 1 here!

River Where the Moon Rises

Of course, River is her newest foray into the genre. Here she plays two characters – the Queen Yeon (in the first two episodes), and Pyeonggang/Yeom Ga-Jin. Though technically these are three characters, we can’t really separate the two as they each represent one side of a single coin, a yin and yang. 

As the Queen, she had authority and grace. But as Pyeonggang and Ga Jin, she has this amazing duality – princess and warrior. Aside from the amazing fight scenes she’s able to pull off, her performance is consistently commanding, strong, but at the same time has that sense of empathy. Love her performance so far!

Watch Episode 1 here!

Already with a glittering career, Kim So-Hyun brings so much versatility to each of her roles while at the same time incorporating her youthful charm that’s definitely all her own. We can’t imagine other people playing all these roles! There’s still so much ahead of this amazing actress, and we’ll be here excited not only for the success of River but what’s next to come.