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Stars shine at annual Baeksang Art Awards: Actors Kim Hye-ja and Jung Woo-sung were granted top honors

May 03,2019
From left, actors Lee Byung-hun, Yum Jung-ah, Kim Hye-ja, Jung Woo-sung, Lee Sung-min and Han Ji-min, all winners at the 55th Baeksang Arts Awards, pose for photos after the ceremony. Kim and Jung each received the Grand Prize - Kim for television and Jung for film. [ILGAN SPORTS]
Wednesday was a big night for the film “The Spy Gone North” and the tvN show “My Mister,” which both took home top honors at the 55th Baeksang Arts Awards, which was held at Coex in Gangnam District, southern Seoul.

As for the top awards for actors, the veteran actress Kim Hye-ja received the Grand Prize for actors in the television division, while “Innocent Witness” star Jung Woo-sung won in the film division.

Both actors seemed to be stunned when their names were called and the audience exploded in applause for them while they walked to the stage to accept their awards. It was Kim’s fourth time receiving the prestigious award - she took her first in 1979.

In the series “Radiant,” Kim plays an old lady in her 70s who is surprised by her suddenly aged appearance because she swears that she was in her mid-20s yesterday. As the story unfolds, it turns out she is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, a startling plot twist for viewers.

Kim said that she was truly unprepared to make a speech, but she came to the ceremony with a page from the script of the last episode of the show. She read, “To all who are struggling in their lives, as you were born into this world, you deserve to have it all every day. Whether you have a normal day, doing nothing particularly great, it does not matter, because your life is worth living. Do not let your past, full of regrets, and your anxious future ruin your day. Live for today.”

The prize for Best Director went to Kang Hyung-chul, who directed “Swing Kids,” while the film awards for Best Actress and Actor went to Han Ji-min from “Miss Baek” and Lee Sung-min for his role in the film “The Spy Gone North,” respectively.

Best Screenplay went to “Dark Figure of Crime,” which is based on a real case about a serial killer who committed seven murders. Yet the detectives have a hard time investigating the crimes due to a lack of evidence and due to the statute of limitations.

As for the television series, although the mega-hit JTBC’s “SKY Castle” failed to clutch the award for Best Drama, four actors from the show went home with awards. Yum Jung-ah received the Best Actress award, while Best Supporting Actor went to Kim Byung-chul, and Kim Hye-yoon for Best New Actress.

The anticipation for the final episodes of “SKY Castle” was so intense that scripts for episodes 17 and 18 were leaked online, much to the dismay of the show’s producer. But it came as no surprise when Jo Hyun-tak was named Best Director for a TV Series.

Best Actor, on the other hand, went to Lee Byung-hun for his portrayal of a Korean U.S. Marine Corps officer during the Japanese colonial era in tvN’s “Mr. Sunshine.” Lee thanked his fellow cast and his wife Rhee Min-jung for “always being there for him and cheering him on although he wasn’t home much while the shooting [of the drama]”

The MBC show “Omniscient Interfering View,” which features assistants talking about their famous bosses, won Best Entertainment Program. Best Variety Performer awards went to Lee Young-ja for her role on the show, while Jun Hyun-moo received the prize for MBC’s “I Live Alone.” His win was deemed a surprise by many because the host is no longer part of the show due to his break up with co-host Han Hye-jin.

Both stars quit the show soon after news of their separation broke in March.

JTBC Plus and Ilgan Sports were the organizers of the annual ceremony, which was hosted by comedian Shin Dong-yup, actor Park Bo-gum and singer-turned-actor Suzy for the second consecutive year.

BY LEE JAE-LIM [lee.jaelim@joongang.co.kr]


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