Kim Tae Ri, known for her roles in the movie Little Forest and the historical K-drama Mr. Sunshine, quickly took the Korean movie scene by storm: she is now said to be one of the most sought-after actresses in Korea, especially after having won a handful of awards for her very first role in the 2016 movie The Handmaiden. 

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| ELLE

Kim Tae Ri came from a “very poor family,” working odd jobs to get herself through school. She said she “wasn’t very optimistic” when she attended the audition for The Handmaiden, but little did she know that she would earn a role in the movie—and incredible success with it.

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Kim Tae Ri in The Handmaiden. | CJ Entertainment

In an interview with The Korea Times, she opened up about her experiences as an actress. She is fiercely determined, working hard towards improving her skills and unafraid of stepping out of her comfort zone.

Honestly, I felt zero pressure for box office success after The Handmaiden because I was aware of my weaknesses and knew that I would need to get help from others. So I was more concerned about developing my characters.

-Kim Tae Ri

 

 

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Kim Tae Ri in Mr. Sunshine. | Netflix

She then went on to discuss her latest role in Jo Sung Hee‘s Space Sweepers, which was released on February 5. This movie is considered the first Korean space blockbuster movie, set in the year 2092 and following a crew of poor “space sweepers” (space junk collectors). Kim Tae Ri stars as Captain Jang, the captain of the crew, who discovers a robot called Dorothy which turns out to be a weapon of mass destruction. They realize that Dorothy is wanted by the Space Guards and demand a ransom in exchange.

I’m neither meticulous nor calculating. I just followed my heart and I was lucky to be given opportunities to work with the country’s prominent directors and actors who I look up to very much. We were a perfect team. Because it is the first Korean sci-fi movie set in outer space, it was challenging and new to everyone. The actors and the production crew really worked together to bring the movie to completion, and it was a fulfilling experience.

-Kim Tae Ri about filming Space Sweepers

 

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Kim Tae Ri as Captain Jang in Space Sweepers. | Netflix

To further prove her determination to improve as an actress, in 2019 Kim Tae Ri even halted her career for a few months to study English in the U.K.

Kim Tae Ri is currently filming Choi Dong Hoon‘s Alien and the release date has yet to be determined. All film enthusiasts should keep their eye out for her phenomenal skills!