Most K-drama fans know Kim Da Mi from the hit series Itaewon Class, where she starred alongside Park Seo Joon. She played Jo Yi-seo, the feisty, fiercely intelligent girl who made it her mission to help the restaurant founded by Seo Joon’s character, Park Saeroyi. Aside from the fact that she can pull off edgy street style and make any sneaker look cool, there’s still more to her than what we can glean from the screen–like the fact that she only made her acting debut in 2017!
Intrigued? Here are the top 10 things you need to know about South Korean actress Kim Da Mi:
1. She’s an Aries!
Da Mi was born on April 9, 1995 in Paju Gyeonggi-do, South Korea.
2. She got a degree in Performing Arts.
She attended Incheon National University under the Department of Performing Arts. However, she’s had an interest in acting since high school, where she even took classes to start learning the craft. After graduating college in 2017, Da Mi jumpstarted her career by gaining experience on stage and in independent films.
3. She made her film debut the same year she graduated college.
2017 was a big year for Da Mi. She not only graduated from college, but she also bagged two movie roles! Her first big break was the independent film Romans 8:37, where she played an assistant administrator. The Korean film follows an evangelist who untangles the secrets behind a corrupt church. This was followed by Marionette, a mystery-thriller where she played the role of a high school student.
4. She won a string of awards fresh from her first lead role.
Shortly after her first two major movies, Da Mi bagged the lead role in the horror-mystery film The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion, besting 1,500 aspirants in the auditions.
The story follows Ja Yoon (Kim Da Mi), a high school student with amnesia who lives with her adoptive parents and eventually unravels her horrific past. The film received glowing reviews and was a box office success, earning six million dollars in its opening weekend alone.
But perhaps more impressive was Da Mi’s numerous awards for Best New Actress, which instantly catapulted her into the spotlight as the star to watch.
5. Itaewon Class was her first lead role in television.
Given her superb acting chops in crowd-favorite K-drama Itaewon Class, it might come as a surprise to some that the show is actually Da Mi’s first-ever lead role on television. (But then again, she wowed audiences in The Witch years before!) She not only stunned viewers with her portrayal of spunky social media celebrity Jo Yi-seo, but she also captured the hearts of fashion lovers with her character’s eclectic wardrobe–not to mention Da Mi’s very own magazine editorials that followed shortly after the show.
In fact, so clear was her impact on television that she won the Baeksang Arts Award for Best New TV Actress in 2020. For the unaware, Baeksang is practically the Oscars of South Korea!
6. Her childhood dream was to become an actress because of her love for stories.
In an interview with W Korea, Da Mi explains how she is neither introverted nor extroverted and that this has been her personality since childhood. She describes herself as “bland,” and even says this was the reason people disapproved of her acting dream. “When I said I wanted to become an actress as a child, people asked me why since I didn't really have any charms; I wasn't really the type to put myself out. I just grew up watching TV and liked the stories portrayed. During playtime, I would splash water under my eyes and go, 'I'm good at fake crying, right?'."
7. She’s got a slew of awards–and she’s only been in the industry for four years and counting!
Despite having started not too long ago, Da Mi has proven time and again that she’s got what it takes to establish a flourishing career as an actress. Given her critically acclaimed work for The Witch: Part 1 and Itaewon Class, as of writing, Da Mi has raked in ten awards, including one from the 22nd Fantasia International Film Festival which took place in Montreal. She even won Best New Actress for The Witch: Part 1 at the 55th Grand Bell Awards, which is presented by The Motion Pictures Association of Korea and is the oldest awards program in South Korea.
8. She’s still got a lot up her sleeve! Da Mi has three upcoming projects you need to watch out for.
Fans of this bright young thing can rejoice for she’s got a few projects set to roll out soon. The first is the SBS series Our Beloved Summer where Da Mi stars alongside Choi Woo Shik. It’s a romantic comedy where they play ex-lovers who, as luck would have it, reunite after an old documentary they filmed in high school goes viral. Next, Da Mi is also filming the remake of a Chinese film called Soulmate (2016), a project she’s excited about because she’s a fan of the original. Lastly, The Witch: Part 2 is also coming soon but no release date has been confirmed.
9. She belongs to the same agency as Kim Hye Jun!
Da Mi is part of the Korean agency called And Marq, which also represents Kingdom star Kim Hye Jun, who played Queen Consort Cho in the zombie thriller series. Da Mi also shares the same agency with Park Jin Joo, her fellow co-star in Our Beloved Summer!
10. She is on Instagram!
If, like many of us, you’ve fallen in love with Da Mi and her work, then you’d be happy to know that she’s on Instagram. Although she just created it in 2020, she’s already got two million followers! Da Mi posts everything from her fashion editorials, film photos, to snippets on set. Give her a follow if you want to stay updated!
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