[CELEB] Kim Tae-ri returns to the small screen in new tvN series
Kim Tae-ri is back, this time in a coming-of-age story as an ambitious fencer named Na Hee-do who becomes the Olympic gold medalist in tvN’s “Twenty Five Twenty One” which started airing on Feb. 12.
Her latest series is set in 1998, a year after the 1997 IMF bailout took a toll on Korea’s economy. Kim starts off as an 18-year-old high school student who is at loss when her high school fencing team dissolves due to financial difficulties. Hee-do refuses to give up on her dreams and tries to get transferred to another school with a fencing program. During the process, she meets her romantic interest, 22-year-old Back Yi-jin (played by Nam Joo-hyuk) who takes on various part-time jobs to support himself after his family goes bankrupt due to the financial crisis.
Although only two episodes have aired, the series is already earning positive feedback for touching upon subjects such as youth unemployment and the obstacles people face to achieve their dreams — strikingly similar issues to the ones the youth of today are facing.
“Twenty Five Twenty One” is only Kim’s second television series after her first in 2018 in “Mr. Sunshine,” which was the collaboration between two hit creators — writer Kim Eun-sook and producer Lee Eung-bok — the pair behind globally popular television series “Descendants of the Sun” (2016) on KBS. She starred alongside actor Lee Byung-hun in the show which aired on tvN.
“Mr. Sunshine” is a contemporary historical drama set between the late 1800s and early 1900s before the Japanese occupation of Korea (1910-45). Kim features as the protagonist Go Ae-shin, a noble lady adored by her townspeople during the day and a freedom fighter by night, protecting her country’s independence. The series is the sixth highest-rated drama in Korean cable television history, with the final 24th episode earning a viewership rating of approximately 18.1 percent.
Kim’s rise to stardom is every bit as drastic as some of the characters she’d portrayed.
She was initially active in theater and appeared in several short films before she landed a breakthrough role on director Park Chan-wook’s “The Handmaiden" (2016). It was said that she was singled out for the role beating out some 1,500 other hopefuls. One of the conditions that director Park insisted on was that the role required “an extremely high degree of nudity and no ground exists for compromise or discussion.” The news of Kim's casting made headlines given that an almost anonymous actor had been chosen for the lead role of one of the world's most renowned filmmaker’s highly anticipated film.
Loosely based on the 2002 English novel “Fingersmith” by Sarah Waters, the time period transitioned from Victorian era Britain to Korea under Japanese colonization in the 1930s, where a pickpocket named Sook-hee goes undercover for a con man but ends up falling in love with a Japanese heiress. The film was invited to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. It was not only the actor’s silver screen debut but also her first global recognition: She was listed by the New York Times as one of the “Four Actresses Everyone Will Be Talking About This Fall.” The article predicted although they are “newcomers to film or new to American audiences” that “they won’t be unfamiliar names for long.”
The article’s prediction came true. After her successful feature film debut, Kim went on to star in a series of popular films such as “1987: When the Day Comes" (2017), “Little Forest” (2018) and “Space Sweepers” (2021) on Netflix. Kim is set to appear in another sci-fi film “Alien” (translated) slated for release later this year. The film is another popular director Choi Dong-hoon’s first feature film after a seven-year hiatus since his last hit “Assassination” (2015). "Ailen" features a star-studded cast of Kim, Ryu Joon-yeol, Lee Ha-nee, So Ji-sub, Jo Woo-jin, Yum Jung-ah and You Chea-myung.
“Twenty Five Twenty One” airs on Saturday and Sunday 9:10 p.m.
Date of Birth: April 24, 1990
Zodiac sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Jungnang District, eastern Seoul
Debut: 2014 advertisements for the cosmetic company The Body Shop
Agency: management mmm
Actor Kim Tae-ri first appeared on screens as a model for the cosmetic company The Body Shop in 2014. Around the time of her graduation from Kyunghee University where she majored in journalism and communication, she started acting in plays and was active on stage and in several short films until she was cast as Sook-hee in director Park Chan-wook’s “The Handmaiden” in December 2014. Since then the actor has appeared in an array of successful or highly-praised works such as films “1987: When the Day Comes” (2017), “Little Forest” (2018), “Space Sweepers” (2021) and tvN drama series “Mr. Sunshine" (2018).
This information was confirmed by management mmm on Feb. 15, 2022.
BY LEE JAE-LIM [email@example.com]