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Song Kang-ho, Kim Min-hee named in NYT's 'Greatest Actors of the 21st Century'

Caption: Song Kang-ho and Kim Min-hee are listed on the New York Times'
Caption: Song Kang-ho and Kim Min-hee are listed on the New York Times' "The 25 Greatest Actors of the 21st Century." Korea times file

By Lee Gyu-lee

Song Kang-ho and Kim Min-hee have been named in the New York Times' "The 25 Greatest Actors of the 21st Century."

The newspaper published the list of performers selected by its chief film critics Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott, Wednesday.

The article included an interview with director Bong Joon-ho, who has worked with Song four times, asking his opinion of the actor.

Song debuted with a small role in the film "The Day a Pig Fell into the Well" in 1996 and has become one of the most prolific actors in Korea. He has worked in various genres ― from drama and comedy to sci-fi and action ― including the Oscar-winning film "Parasite" (2019) and "Thirst" (2009).

A scene from
A scene from "Parasite." / Courtesy of CJ ENM

"It always feels like there will be a new layer to uncover," Bong said. "Even if a scene involves difficult dialogue or highly technical camerawork, he will find a way to make it seamless and spontaneous."

He said Song's ordinariness was his uniqueness, noting that he skillfully delivers his characters in an inimitable voice that makes his performance "genuinely special."

Dargis referred to Kim's work in director Hong Sang-soo's "Right Now, Wrong Then" (2016) as an "exquisitely nuanced performance" that charmed the modestly scaled stories of a couple.

Kim debuted in the TV series "School 2" in 1999 and has been mostly known for her roles in drama and romance films, such as "Hellcats" (2008) and "Very Ordinary Couple" (2013).

A scene from
A scene from "The Handmaiden." Courtesy of CJ ENM

Dargis also mentioned her performance in director Park Chan-wook's "The Handmaiden" (2016), which brought her to the attention of global audiences. Her delicate expressions bring out the outlandish and dark humor of the film, the critic wrote.

"She goes big and small, veers from monstrous to mousy, and alternately hides her character's feelings and lets them run amok," Dargis said.

Other stars on the list include English actress Tilda Swinton, American actor Joaquin Phoenix, Chinese actress Zhao Tao and French actress Catherine Deneuve.


Caption: Song Kang-ho and Kim Min-hee are listed on the New York Times'
Caption: Song Kang-ho and Kim Min-hee are listed on the New York Times' "The 25 Greatest Actors of the 21st Century." Korea times file

By Lee Gyu-lee

Song Kang-ho and Kim Min-hee have been named in the New York Times' "The 25 Greatest Actors of the 21st Century."

The newspaper published the list of performers selected by its chief film critics Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott, Wednesday.

The article included an interview with director Bong Joon-ho, who has worked with Song four times, asking his opinion of the actor.

Song debuted with a small role in the film "The Day a Pig Fell into the Well" in 1996 and has become one of the most prolific actors in Korea. He has worked in various genres ― from drama and comedy to sci-fi and action ― including the Oscar-winning film "Parasite" (2019) and "Thirst" (2009).

A scene from
A scene from "Parasite." / Courtesy of CJ ENM

"It always feels like there will be a new layer to uncover," Bong said. "Even if a scene involves difficult dialogue or highly technical camerawork, he will find a way to make it seamless and spontaneous."

He said Song's ordinariness was his uniqueness, noting that he skillfully delivers his characters in an inimitable voice that makes his performance "genuinely special."

Dargis referred to Kim's work in director Hong Sang-soo's "Right Now, Wrong Then" (2016) as an "exquisitely nuanced performance" that charmed the modestly scaled stories of a couple.

Kim debuted in the TV series "School 2" in 1999 and has been mostly known for her roles in drama and romance films, such as "Hellcats" (2008) and "Very Ordinary Couple" (2013).

A scene from
A scene from "The Handmaiden." Courtesy of CJ ENM

Dargis also mentioned her performance in director Park Chan-wook's "The Handmaiden" (2016), which brought her to the attention of global audiences. Her delicate expressions bring out the outlandish and dark humor of the film, the critic wrote.

"She goes big and small, veers from monstrous to mousy, and alternately hides her character's feelings and lets them run amok," Dargis said.

Other stars on the list include English actress Tilda Swinton, American actor Joaquin Phoenix, Chinese actress Zhao Tao and French actress Catherine Deneuve.


Lee Gyu-lee gyulee@koreatimes.co.kr

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