[CELEB] Park Ji Hu earns fans around the globe thanks to her latest role
At just the age of 18, actor Park Ji Hu has rocketed to global stardom after the success of Netflix Korea’s zombie horror series “All of Us Are Dead,” which launched on Jan. 28. She plays the lead role of Nam On-jo, a high school student who strives to survive after her school becomes ground zero of a zombie virus outbreak and turns most of her classmates into the undead.
"All of Us Are Dead" ranked No. 1 on Netflix's Top TV Shows chart in more than 50 nations since its release, according to analytics company FlixPatrol. As of Thursday, it is the most-watched Netflix series worldwide. The series is seeing positive reviews from critics and the public alike, with a critic's rating of 84 percent and an average audience score of 80 percent on American film and television review website Rotten Tomatoes.
As her performance as the empathetic and brave On-jo is receiving positive reviews from domestic and international viewers, the number of Park’s Instagram followers skyrocketed from around 30,000 before the series to over 2.7 million as of Thursday, in less than two weeks.
“I can’t believe it. I look at my Instagram follower count and statistics in news articles, and I can see it’s true, but I can’t fully believe it yet,” she said during an online press conference on Tuesday. “I’m thinking, ‘Is this really my [Instagram] account?’”
Although Park comes across as a fresh face to many K-content fans, she has been steadily building her acting career. She debuted through a minor role in director Um Tae-hwa’s 2016 film “Vanishing Time: A Boy Who Returned” and appeared in works including films “The Witness” (2018), “Black Light” (2021), dramas “Beautiful World” (2019) on JTBC and XtvN’s “Sweet Revenge 2” (2018).
After auditioning for "All of Us Are Dead," Park was initially also considered for the role of Na-yeon, another student in the series, as well as for On-jo. When asked by director Lee JQ which character she thought suited her more, she said she “replied without hesitation” that it was On-jo.
Park revealed that she is an avid fan of zombie shows during the same press conference, and that she watched “All of Us Are Dead” in one sitting.
“The action [in ‘All of Us Are Dead’] was outstanding enough to satisfy me, a zombie show fan,” she said. “The concept of students fighting against zombies felt new. I used to daydream at school, thinking ‘What would I do if zombies appeared?’ It was amazing to participate in an actual show about that.”
Her breakout role before she became a K-zombie horror heroine was in director Kim Bo-ra’s 2019 independent film “House of Hummingbird” as a 14-year-old girl named Eun-hee. Her portrayal of the teen growing up in a neglectful and abusive family earned her numerous awards that year, notably for Best Actress at the Tribeca Film Festival — becoming the category’s youngest recipient — and for Best New Actress at the Korean Association of Film Critics Awards and London East Asia Film Festival among many more nominations.
Park is set to appear in this year’s upcoming disaster film “Concrete Utopia” with actor Lee Byung-hun and in the tvN series “Little Women” with actor Kim Go-eun, scheduled to start airing in the second half of 2022. She is to play one of the lead roles in both works.
In March, Park will enroll in Hanyang University’s Department of Theater and Film.
Park Ji Hu
Date of birth: Nov. 7, 2003
Zodiac sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Suseong District, Daegu
Debut: November 2016 in film “Vanishing Time: A Boy Who Returned”
Agency: BH Entertainment
Actor Park Ji-hu debuted in 2016 through a minor role in director Um Tae-hwa’s film “Vanishing Time: A Boy Who Returned” and appeared in works including films “The Witness” (2018), “Black Light” (2021), dramas “Beautiful World” (2019) on JTBC and XtvN’s “Sweet Revenge 2” (2018). She shot to fame after the success of Netflix Korea’s zombie horror series “All of Us Are Dead” (2022), in which she plays the lead role of Nam On-jo. Park is set to appear in the film “Concrete Utopia” and tvN series “Little Women” later in 2022.
This information was confirmed by BH Entertainment on Feb. 10, 2022.
BY HALEY YANG [email@example.com]