Anyone who’s so much as dipped their toes in the world of K-drama most likely knows who Seo Ye Ji is. After being catapulted into global fame and subsequently turning into a fashion icon thanks to her portrayal of the stylish Ko Mun-yeong in It’s Okay to Not Be Okay, the actress has finally established herself as a household name, eight years into her career.
If you’re curious to know more about her, below we’ve rounded up 10 fun facts any Seo Ye Ji fan should know.
1. She’s an Aries.
Ye Ji was born in Seoul, South Korea on April 6, 1990, which makes her an Aries.
2. She got her start in a sitcom.
Ye Ji made her start in the entertainment industry in 2013 by modeling for various brand advertisements. Luckily, the opportunity to debut as an actress came in the same year after she was cast in the family sitcom Potato Star 2013QR3. The show ran for a total of 120 episodes, giving Ye Ji’s then budding career an instant boost and quickly led her to booking more serious drama roles.
3. Her first lead role was for the movie “Another Way.”
The actress slowly climbed her way to the top in both the film and TV world with roles from projects such as Moorim School: Saga of the Brave, Seondal: The Man Who Sells the River, Last, and Diary of a Night Watchman for which she received her first-ever acting nomination. It wasn’t until 2017, however, that she’d finally top-bill a film, alongside Kim Jae Wook, for the independent romance drama Another Way. She played Jung Won in the movie, a despondent woman who makes a suicide pact with a troubled police officer she meets in the city of Chuncheon.
4. She’s best known for K-dramas like "Save Me" and "Lawless Lawyer."
Before It’s Okay to Not Be Okay shot her into global consciousness, true K-drama fans probably know Ye Ji best for her lead roles in other considerably recent shows such as Save Me and Lawless Lawyer. In fact, her performance in the latter even earned her an Actress of the Year Nomination in 2019 at the 14th Annual Soompi Awards.
5. She’s an honorary police officer.
Speaking of Lawless Lawyer, did you know that her role on the show got her appointed as an honorary police officer in South Korea? Having played an upstanding lawyer in the series, Ye Ji was awarded the rank of honorary constable in 2018, accompanied by a letter of appointment. Upon receiving the title from the National Police Agency, the actress promised to continue being a model citizen stating, “I’m very honored and I feel an invaluable responsibility to have been appointed an honorary police officer. I will continue to participate in activities for the people and the police and will do my best to show a good side of myself as an actor next year as well.”
6. You can also find her in movies such as “Stay With Me,” “Warning: Do Not Play,” and “By Quantum Physics: A Nightlife Adventure.”
Apart from TV dramas, Ye Ji’s also led several films after making headway in Another Way back in 2017. This includes the crime movie By Quantum Physics: A Nightlife Venture, the horror movie Warning: Do Not Play, and the romance drama Stay With Me. The latter is considered as the world’s first 4DX VR film. It’s also where she met her now ex-boyfriend Kim Jung Hyun.
7. She can speak Spanish.
Before her acting career took flight, Ye Ji took residence in Spain for a while to study, hence, her fluency in the country’s language. Contrary to what’s been spread online though, she didn’t actually graduate college there. Her agency, Gold Medalist, recently clarified the false info in a statement that reads: “Seo Ye Ji had been admitted to Complutense University of Madrid in Madrid, but after starting her activities in Korea, she was not able to normally attend university.”
8. She’s now a multi-awarded actress.
Majority of Ye Ji’s acting awards came from her portrayal of the unhinged children’s book writer Ko Mun-yeong in It’s Okay to Not Be Okay. This includes Actress of the Year, Best Artist, and an Excellence Award, among others. She’s also currently nominated for Best TV Actress at the 57th Baeksang Arts Awards, marking her first nod from the Korean award-giving body.
9. She went through “a lot of healing” in “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay.”
Ye Ji has a lot to be thankful for when it comes to It’s Okay to Not Be Okay. Apart from garnering international fame and multiple awards after her performance on the show, she revealed that her role on the romance drama also helped with her own personal welfare. “Through the character of Mun-yeong, who faced her trauma and healed her wounds, I personally underwent a lot of healing as well,” she said in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar. “It was definitely a struggle, but it also made me that much happier. I think she will remain my memory as a character who continued to grow on her own.”
10. She once paid for her staff’s vacation.
After the success of Lawless Lawyer in 2018, a grateful Ye Ji reportedly organized an entire vacation for her staff members. According to Soompi, she even personally paid for the plane tickets, made hotel reservations, and planned the itinerary herself. Woah!