Long before the world was swept by K-drama celebrities, one actress paved the way with her indelible works in the 90s. Kim Hyun-joo started her acting career with TV drama The Reason I Live (1997) followed by a romcom flick If It Snows on Christmas (1998) with the late Park Yong-ha. This year, the 44-year-old actress returns with a bang in Netflix’s much-anticipated drama-fantasy Hellbound opposite Yoo Ah-in , who plays a cult leader, and Park Jeong-min, who takes on the role of a broadcasting station PD. The series is set to release on November 19 in 190 countries, and it has already premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. 5 Korean stars who gained weight for TV and film roles With a long-lasting career and a million-dollar smile, here’s everything you need to know about K-drama OG, Kim Hyun-joo. She’s been acting for 24 years Kim started her career as a teen model back in high school. She then starred in Kim Hyun-chul’s One’s Lifetime music video before debuting on television. It took her a couple of years to find a breakthrough role, but she eventually stole the spotlight with the Cinderella-esque romcom Glass Slippers (2002) alongside Kim Ji-ho and Han Jae-suk. In 2004, she delighted fans once again in the classic Ms. Kim’s Million Dollar Quest and in the big-budget period drama Toji, the Land . In the last decade, Kim has maintained her fame with top-rated K-dramas, such as Twinkle Twinkle (2011), What Happens to My Family (2014) and I Have a Lover (2015). She often collaborates with Ji Jin-hee After their explosive appearance in Ms. Kim’s Million Dollar Quest, Kim has worked together with fellow actor Ji Jin-hee in I Have a Lover and in JTBC’s Undercover earlier this year. Speaking to Korea Times , her favourite co-star said that he initially had concerns about reuniting for the third time with Kim, as he was worried “viewers might feel bored”, but he eventually “felt free from such concern” and added, “that’s how much faith I have in her”. ji jinhee & kim hyunjoo ms. kim’s million dollar quest (2004) & identical affairs (2015) & undercover (2021) pic.twitter.com/zLLoKBHCrk — #thekingsaffection (@kdramamor) May 20, 2021 6 Korean celebrities who adopted abandoned dogs, from Rosé to Lee Do-hyun She started volunteering after a personal tragedy In 2010, after losing her father Kim Tae-beom, the Korean star travelled to Bangladesh and the Philippines to do volunteer work as the goodwill ambassador for Good Neighbors, a global NGO specialising in children’s rights. “I literally fled to Bangladesh after a series of personal tragedies, but I was consoled by the smiles of children who are living in these dire conditions. The act of sharing has given me strength to live,” she said, according to Han Cinema. The actress also sponsored a child she met during a trip to the Philippines, and worked as an instructor for classes held by the NGO, according to The Chosun newspaper. She’s a multifaceted star While she’s she’s acted for over two decades, Kim is also a lifelong learner who picks up new hobbies in her spare time. She told Elle Korea that she is actually busier when she is not working. “I work out three times a week and I go ahead and learn what I’ve always wanted to learn. I’ve learned botanical arts, floral arrangement, the violin, the piano and I’ve been learning the drums for a while now,” said Kim. Not stopping there, the K-drama star has also written a book called Hyun-joo’s Hand-Crafted Story and has a few songs under her name too, like Sad Fate and Forgetfulness . Spooktastic! 17 celebrities who won Halloween (and only 2 Squid Game looks) She’s playing a lawyer next Kim will be seen next in Netflix’s much-anticipated series Hellbound based on the same popular webtoon. She will play Min Hye-jin, a lawyer who stands up to a villainous new cult called Saejinrihwe, and its leader. In October, the cast attended the Busan International Film Festival together. Kim walked the red carpet in a stunning sparkly sheer black dress with a chic short haircut. Want more stories like this? Sign up here. Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .