Korean name: 송혜교
Born: November 22, 1981
From: Daegu, South Korea
Worked with Ziyi: 3 times
Song Hye-kyo debuted in the entertainment industry in 1996 when she won First Place in the SunKyung Smart (a school uniform company) Model Contest when she was finishing her third year in high school. It was not long until she starred in her first drama, Merry Morning. Since then, she would continue to star in a string of various dramas and sitcoms but it wasn’t until the KBS drama Autumn in My Heart in 2000 with Song Seung-heon and Won Bin that she rose to fame throughout Asia.
In 2003, her popularity continued to climb when she played a leading role alongside Lee Byung-hun in the gambling drama All In. The following year, she co-starred with singer Rain in the hit romantic comedy series Full House.
After the pan-Asian success of Full House, she made her big-screen debut in My Girl and I, which was panned by audiences and critics alike. Vocal about her dissatisfaction with typecasting in the roles she was being offered, Song went on a 2-year hiatus. She went to San Francisco to study English, and later traveled to Seattle. “I have had a good rest. It was a good opportunity to reflect on myself,” Song said.
She returned to acting in 2007, as the titular gisaeng in the film adaptation of Hwang Jin Yi. Because they found Song’s image “too cute,” Jun Ji-hyun and Soo Ae were the producers’ original choices for the role, but Song went on a rigorous diet and surprised them with her will and desire to be Hwang Jini. A year later, she made her American debut in the Hollywood indie Make Yourself at Home, a psychological thriller about a girl who was born to a shaman mother and tries to flee her fate by becoming an immigrant bride in the U.S. Despite Song’s attempts to challenge herself, both films underwhelmed at the box office.
She made her TV comeback in late 2008 with The World That They Live In, a series set at a broadcast station in which Song and Hyun Bin play drama PDs who work together and fall in love.
She had a supporting role in The Grandmaster, Chinese director Wong Kar-wai’s biopic about Bruce Lee’s kung fu master Ip Man. Song learned Cantonese and martial arts for the film. Song later admitted there had been “a bit of friction and misunderstanding” with Wong while filming, but that the difficulties helped her mature.
In June 2013, Song began shooting Chinese director John Woo’s film The Crossing (previously titled 1949 and Love and Let Love). The project had originally been announced at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008, then cancelled in 2009, and revived again in 2011. But production was once again halted in 2012 due to the cast’s scheduling conflicts as a result of the delay while Woo recovered from a tonsil tumor removal. The Crossing is based on the true story of the Taiping steamer collision and follows six characters and their intertwining love stories in Taiwan and Shanghai during the 1930s; Song plays a woman born into a family in the finance industry. Woo’s longtime friend and producer Terence Chang has been managing Song’s overseas activities since 2008. —Wiki
♦ During the filming of The Grandmaster, it was rumored that the female lead would be Song Hye-kyo instead of Ziyi. The end result proved that these rumors were false, Song Hye-kyo hardly had more than 5 minutes of screen time.
♦ On October 31, 2017, Ziyi attended the wedding of Song Hye-kyo in Seoul.