Better known as “Suzy”, the singer-actress is known for her versatile talent in singing and acting. She pranced into show business as a member of popular girl group Miss A, but she soon ventured into the K-drama and K-movie scene.
Her performance and the steady influx of acting projects blurred the lines on her K-pop and K-drama superstar status because she seemed to nail them both.
If you’re a K-drama fan or you’ve dabbled in quite a few, it’s not hard to miss her name because Suzy has starred in several well-received series. Here are 7 that served as career highlights and storylines that you will surely enjoy!
1. Dream High (2011)
Dream High served as Suzy’s acting debut and breakout role. This music teen drama chronicled the ups and downs of sex ambitious students attending Kirin High School, which was known for producing K-pop singers.
Suzy plays Go Hye Mi, a classical musician who dreams of attending the prestigious Juilliard School, a performing arts conservatory in New York. Unfortunately, that dream had to be put on hold after their family had to pay off her father’s debts, so she goes to Kirin High instead. Hye Mi may be talented but her icy exterior and proud attitude often worked against her.
This 16-part series is a treat for K-pop fans because it also starred other real-life K-pop stars, including Ok Taec Yeon and Jang Woo Young from the boy band 2PM, Eun Jung from girl group T-ara, and IU. With all these K-pop heavyweights in one drama, it was no surprise that this also led to a mini-concert.
Suzy’s performance didn’t go unrecognized since she bagged the Best New Actress award and Best Couple award alongside on-screen love interest, Kim Soo Hyun, at the KBS Drama Awards. This drama remains to be a long-time favorite because at the heart of it are the relatable characters, strong motivation to pursue their dreams.
2. Big (2012)
Big is a popular Hong Sisters’ romantic comedy Korean drama with Soul-swapping elements. Suzy plays the second female lead, and the story revolves around Gil Da Ran (Lee Min-jung) and Seo Yoon Jae (Gong Yoo). Da Ran is a substitute teacher who is engaged to Yoon Jae, a kind and handsome doctor. Their relationship seemed like a fairytale until a month before their wedding. Yoon Jae started to become distant, while Da Ran also happened to meet an 18-year-old transfer student from the US named Kang Kyung Joon (Shin Won Ho).
Kyung Joon is a young man with an attitude, but he treats Da Ran differently. One fateful day, Kyung Joon gets into a car accident with Yoon Jae which hurls them into deep waters. Yoon Jae tries to save Kyung Joon, which eventually caused his death, while the latter ends up in a coma. However, Kyung Joon wakes up in the hospital, and to his surprise, finds himself in Yoon Jae’s body.
Problems ensue when Yoon Jae falls in love with another woman (Bae Suzy). While this theme seemed to be so common in k-dramas, Big delivers an interesting approach to the narrative. It offers emotional scenes, with enough twists and turns that will hook you in with each episode.
3. Gu Family Book (2013)
The following year, Suzy was cast in a historical fantasy drama, Gu Family Book, which tells the story of a half-human and half gumiho named Choi Kang Chi (Lee Seung Gi).
In the 24-part series, Suzy played Dam Yeo Wool, a martial arts instructor at her father’s school who is particularly skilled with a bow and arrow. When she was younger, Kang-chi saved her from being attacked by a dog which was an incident she never forgot. They met again many years later when Kang chi was on a quest to become fully human. It was not long before she fell in love with him. This did not go unnoticed because coming from a one-sided love affair with another woman, Kang Chi realised that it was Yeo Wol who accepted him for who he is inside even though he is a divine creature that is feared by many.
This story contains all the aspects audiences love in sageuks, like beautiful and vast sceneries, heartstopping sword fights and political intrigue. But the most compelling element in this drama is the way the complex, emotional story grabs and squeezes your heart with each episode.
For her role, Suzy received the Top Excellence Actress award for the miniseries category at the MBC Drama Awards.
4. Uncontrollably Fond (2016)
In this 20-episode romance melodrama, the story focused on the love story between the Shin Joon Young (Kim Woo Bin) and Noh Eul (Bae Suzy). The two were forced to break up due to certain circumstances, only to reunite years later while they were busy treading their own careers.
Joon Young became a successful singer-actor, while Noh Eul is a documentary producer who was tasked to film him. In this reunion, Joon Young realized that the woman he loved has drastically changed into a pragmatic and materialistically motivated woman. Despite that, it was inevitable for them to still grow fond of each other. But will this spark suppressed emotions that have long been buried in the past?
Besides the romance, the story also explores feelings of regret, finding your purpose, and personal growth, which may hit close to home for many. Its conclusion may have left audiences emotional and heartbroken, but it also highlighted Suzy’s acting prowess. Her role in this drama earned her the Best Star Award in the 2016 1st Asia Artist Awards. This is another revelation that she holds a compelling presence on TV and a bankable female lead.
5. While You Were Sleeping (2017)
From the director of Doctors and My Love from the Star, and the writer of Pinocchio and I Can Hear Your Voice, While You Were Sleeping enlists a stellar cast headed by Bae Suzy and Hallyu heartthrob Lee Jong Suk. This series is a combination of a legal drama and fantasy. It follows the life of an unemployed woman named, Nam Hong Joo (Bae Suzy), who has the peculiar ability to see accidents that take place in the future through her dreams. She is a dorky, messy, and non-conformist damsel in distress, who is also very relatable.
When Jung Jae Chan (Lee Jong Suk), a rookie prosecutor, moved in next door to her, he turned out to be one of her biggest help. Along with police officer Han Woo Tak (Jung Hae In), they race against time to find ways on how to stop Hong Joo’s prophetic dreams from coming true.
The story gives an interesting and well-written narrative with the right balance of romance, drama, and fantasy. It also displayed the palpable chemistry between Suzy and Lee Jong Suk which kept viewers engrossed.
6. Vagabond (2019)
Cha Dal Geon (Lee Seung Gi) is a stunt man who dreams of becoming a world-famous action star. Despite his floundering career, he still tries to take care of his nephew whom he had raised as his own. While the young boy was on a flight from Incheon to Morocco for a taekwondo exhibition, the plane crashed. In Morocco, Dal Geon meets with someone who was also a passenger on the fatal flight, and with what he gathered, he becomes increasingly convinced that someone or some group sabotaged his nephew’s flight.
While on his mission to get to the bottom of the plane crash, Dal Gun crosses paths with Go Hae Ri (Bae Suzy), a NIS agent who is currently working undercover at the Korean embassy in Morocco. She is tasked by the embassy to investigate the crash and help the bereaved families from the fatal flight. Dal Geon asks Hae Ri for help in finding the man he saw in Morocco who was a passenger on the flight. All their probing brought Dal Geon and Hae Ri to uncover a far darker and more sinister conspiracy than they expected. The two set out on a journey to uncover the truth and also find closure and justice for Dal Geon’s nephew.
This action-romance was the second project for Suzy and Lee Seung Gi after Gu Family Book. Since it’s not your usual drama, the fast-paced plot line offers something that everyone in the family can enjoy.
7. Start-Up (2020)
Start-Up turned out to be one of the most successful dramas of 2020 after the show’s pending conclusion had fans rooting for either #TeamDoSan or #TeamJiPyeong.
In this story, Suzy stars as Seo Dal Mi, an energetic and versatile go-getter who dreams of becoming the female Korean version of Steve Jobs. She meets “math genius” Nam Do San (Nam Joo Hyuk), who is a tech entrepreneur struggling to keep his failing company afloat. Dal Mi mistakenly remembers him to be her first love – a childhood penpal whose letters helped her back when they were young. Despite the clear misunderstanding, Do San plays along and takes this as an opportunity to work his way up the business ladder and, eventually, into Dal Mi’s heart.
Meanwhile, hotshot venture capitalist Han Ji Pyeong (Kim Seon Ho), the actual author of those letters. What happens then when their paths cross in business and in love?
Start-Up is a fresh take that shows audiences the humble beginnings of entrepreneurs and how they tirelessly work to rise up the ranks. It tells us that success is never made overnight. The drama gives enough intrigue and it shows scenes that are never boring to watch. But what kept fans conflicted is whether to root for the main or the second male lead. Find out what the fuss is all about!