Son rose to fame in romance-themed films and television series such as The Classic (2003), Summer Scent (2003), A Moment to Remember (2004), and April Snow (2005), but has won acting recognition for her versatility in diverse genres, notably in Alone in Love (2006) and My Wife Got Married (2008).
Son has taken on a variety of roles in her career to date, propelling her to fame both in Korea and in other Asian countries. She first appeared in a supporting role in Park Ki-hyung's film Secret Tears in 2000, and then went on to take the lead in TV dramas such as Delicious Proposal, Sun-hee and Jin-hee, and Great Ambition. Her first high-profile role in cinema was in Im Kwon-taek's Chi-hwa-seon, which screened at Cannes and took home a Best Director award in 2002.
The biggest success of her early career was in the subsequent films Lovers' Concerto and The Classic. Both were solid mid-level hits in Korea, and The Classic in particular — being a work of My Sassy Girl director Kwak Jae-yong — received wide exposure in countries such as Hong Kong and China.
Son further solidified her status as a Hallyu (Korean Wave) star in 2003 by taking the lead in TV drama Summer Scent, a part of the hugely successful series of TV dramas including Autumn in My Heart and Winter Sonata (though this drama would not attract the attention of the previous two). Her next two films also proved to be huge hits in Asia: A Moment to Remember, based on a famous Japanese series, set box office records in Japan and sold over two million tickets in Korea, while April Snow in which she co-starred with superstar Bae Yong-joon was also a smash hit in Japan and China (though not, incidentally, in Korea).
Son then cast off her nice girl image in her next projects. She took on the roles of a con artist in The Art of Seduction, an ambitious reporter in Spotlight, a femme fatale in Open City, and a divorcée in the critically acclaimed series Alone in Love.
In 2008, her portrayal of a polyandrous woman in My Wife Got Married bagged her Best Actress honors from the prestigious Blue Dragon Film Awards and other local award-giving bodies.
After filming the dark mystery White Night, Son wanted to do a more fun project, so she chose the romantic comedy series Personal Taste, followed by the horror-romantic comedy film Spellbound.
In 2012, Son starred in her first blockbuster The Tower, a remake of the 1974 Hollywood disaster film The Towering Inferno.
She returned to television in 2013 in the revenge drama Shark (also known as Don't Look Back: The Legend of Orpheus), then headlined Blood and Ties, a thriller about a daughter who suspects that her father was involved in a kidnap-murder case.
Son reunited with Shark costar Kim Nam-gil in the 2014 period adventure film The Pirates, for which she won Best Actress at the Grand Bell Awards.
Another upcoming onscreen reunion will be with My Wife Got Married costar Kim Joo-hyuk in Home Sweet Home, a 2015 political thriller.
Son next starred in the black comedy Bad Guys Always Die opposite Taiwanese actor Chen Bolin, a Chinese-Korean co-production that was filmed on Jeju Island.
She has also been cast as Princess Deokhye in the biopic The Last Princess, to be helmed by April Snow director Hur Jin-ho.
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