Majoring in Korean literature and dreaming of becoming a Korean language teacher once, Yeom Hyeran realized her talent for acting while participating in a theater club at the university. She became an actor by joining Yeonwoo Theater in 1999 and won the Best New Actress at the Dong-A Theater Awards six years after taking the stairs step by step from minor roles. She has been active in movies and TV dramas since then, but she also has been on stage for more than 20 years and won the acting award at the Seoul Theater Festival in 2010.
Yeom made her screen debut with Memories of Murder (2003), directed by Bong Joonho. She appeared briefly as the mother of the victim, a high school girl, and the anecdote is quite famous that Director Bong proposed her to join the film after Yeom’s play on the stage. Although famous as a good actor among movie directors, Yeom didn’t play significant roles for a while, but she received attention as an actress for the first time through I Can Speak (2017). Her tearful acting left a strong impression on the movie. In the ensuing move Innocent Witness (2018), Yeom could show her monstrous acting skills. Appearing as a suspect in the court scene, she creates a strong twist in the movie with her subtle facial expressions that betray the audience’s expectation.
Yeom Hyeran’s specialty, which explodes instant emotions to convey them to the audience or shock them, continues to her filmography. If you describe her performance in an adjective, it can be called ‘hard’, but Yeom always shows a compact performance regardless of the importance of or the character or the role she plays. In 2021 in her first leading film Light and Iron Black Light, Yeom appeared as a woman who takes care of her husband, who was unconscious in a car accident, acting to express the lowest level of emotions a human has. The film won her the Best Actress at the Jeonju International Film Festival.
Yeom Hyeran began a TV drama series through Dear My Friends in 2016 and achieved remarkable results in this field in a short time. Through Guardian: The Lonely and Great God (2016), she became famous for her villainous acting. In When the Camellia Blooms (2019), the actor played Hong Jayeong, a lawyer who specializes in divorce, and her acting with the combination with Oh Jungse, who appeared as her husband, received good reviews, winning her the Best Supporting Actress at the KBS Drama Awards. Yeom has an expressionless face, but her charisma is impressive as if she has a lot of emotions hidden inside her. From brutal desires to intellectual bravado, she can pull off a surprisingly broad spectrum of characters. Kim Hyungseok