It’s hard to do these days but consider me impressed with rising young K-actress Lee Yoo Bi. She first popped up on my radar in Nice Guy (The Innocent Man) with a capable cast led by Song Joong Ki and Moon Chae Won, but her acting debut was actually in the hilariously terrible sitcom Vampire Idol. Not exactly a title one wants to boost the resume. She’s the daughter of established veteran K-actress Kyun Mi Ri, who pops up in every other drama in supporting roles usually as the mom these days. She’s still very beautiful though there is nothing wrong with graduating to mom characters. She is the real life mom of Lee Yoo Bi and everyone’s first instinct is to assume Lee Yoo Bi is getting the insider treatment as she launches her acting career. I think every successful actor or actress has his or her own backing somewhere so I’m more interested in whether Lee Yoo Bi actually has acting talent and potential. She played Song Joong Ki’s younger sister in NG and there were flashes of fire and potential but her character was pretty useless and mostly a plot device, so with it Lee Yoo Bi faded into the woodwork especially since Song Joong Ki and second female lead Park Shi Yeon were acting their butts off. So when Lee Yoo Bi was cast in Gu Family Book alongside Lee Seung Gi and Suzy I thought she’d be the weak link. Yes, even with Suzy around I thought Lee Yoo Bi would buckle under the weight of her third drama being a high profile sageuk. It didn’t help when she showed up at the press conference looking like a deer in headlights, utterly terrified and nervous. Then the drama premiered and the rest is history – GFB may have been terrible on many levels but Lee Yoo Bi’s performance as Chung Jo was the best thing about it IMO. She was the only one who did more with her character and made it feel raw and infused with feeling. Since the drama wrapped she’s been giving media interviews left and right and I’ve culled a fresh-faced picture from each newspaper interview to create a pretty collage tableau of the up-and-coming Lee Yoo Bi. I hope GFB wasn’t an anomaly for her, I’m expecting big things from this rising new find.