Kim Ji Won’s Agency SALT Releases New Promo Pics that Showcase Her Diverse Aura

The acting trajectory for Kim Ji Won has felt really roller coaster-ish to me, from breakouts to small hits to unexpected misses to arthouse fare. She’s definitely all over the place and I think ultimately in a good way, no bad press or weird gossip and she just gives it her all whenever I see her onscreen. Her last drama Lovestruck in the City was just okay, I never finished and I wished I liked it more because on paper it sounded great but in execution I didn’t connect with it. Up next for her is the ensemble drama My Liberation Diary from the award winning screenwriter who wrote My Ahjusshi. She’ll be playing the youngest of three siblings alongside Lee El and Lee Min Ki and their life story after crossing paths with a newly arrived stranger played by Son Seok Gu who arrives in their little village. I hope viewers get to see her full range as demonstrated in this lovely promo pictorial set recently released by her agency SALT Entertainment.


Kim Ji Won’s Agency SALT Releases New Promo Pics that Showcase Her Diverse Aura — 47 Comments

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  2. Kim Ji Won imo made a very bad mistake by joining Salt. That agency’s biggest star is Park Shin Hye. Being in a similar age group, similar career trajectories, there is alot of overlaps in roles received by the agency as well. How does the agency do the allocation and decide which actress gets what. Is she getting roles that PSH declined is also a big ?. Thats a big reason for the decline I feel in the dramas she was featured in. After the rating success of DOTS and Fight My Way and the high profile but panned Arthdal Chronicles, one would expect her career to be better and better but but feels like the calibre of the dramas and her costars have all taken a back step. This was apparently one of the biggest reasons KSH left Sidus as the agency was managing both her and KYJ and the overlaps were disconcerting.

    • @Lydia1 – I don’t want to hijack this discussion, but this site’s UX makes it hard for direct replies to be seen sometimes among comments, so gonna reply here.

      Your comment makes me think about the recent KTR & JYB agency move. Wouldn’t that also become a case of two actresses in similar age groups and trajectories now fighting for an overlap in scripts?

      • Nope. KTR and JYB will not be in the same roles because KTR has a bigger lead in terms of acclaim and popularity and in the visual department, they are also viewed differently. One is more of a strong character beauty whereas the other is a feminine soft one. When directors cast certain actresses for a part they have in mind, they will always have a cast bible with certain physical descriptions as well. When you think KTR, JYB does not exactly come to mind and vice versa tbh. Can you imagine KTR in the Vincenzo role? Also both made the decision to leave together which means they should hold power in the agency created. More like a 2 woman agency vs one man. This means they have a strong say dictating the direction they go being bosses.

      • @Lydia1

        that’s my exact sentiment when knowing both kim taeri and jeon yeobin forming and belong to the same agency. so who’s gonna get the agency’s resources first? ktr or jyb? same goes to shin sekyung who moved into iu’s agency. but the good thing abt shin sekyung is iu main career is a singer, so it doesn’t really overlap with shin sekyung interest. abt kim jiwon, i just remembered that it’s also park shinhye agency. so she might get the projects that psh had rejected. another thing, abt ksh-kyj, it’s actually quite obvious back then why ksh leave that agency. and it’s indeed a smart move from ksh to leave sidus. for me, being under the same roof with soooo many actors/ actresses like sidus, namoo, soop, etc, you tend to be competitive to grab for the resources. so that’s why when i heard the actresses or actors move into big agencies like namoo or soop, i don’t think it’s necessarily a good movement. like pmy did.

    • At this point it feels like whatever dramas PSH rejects are actually good dramas ex. Chicago Typewriter and IOTNBO and hence whoever takes it on will thrive. PSH has made it a habit of staying within her comfort level with very minor deviations while KJW is as the article pointed out willing to go all over the place since she can deliver on acting irrespective of the script. This actually works in her favor in the long run. This drama has all the makings of being a critically acclaimed drama so she was smart to sign on.

      • @Mitoa – 1) She turned down IOTNBO?! Lol. 2) Good thing for viewers she turned it down. She could not have done justice to to the role the way SYJ did (personal issues aside, SYJ is a great actress).

      • It seems like psh is keen on action type roles these days. Tbh I think she’s decent, it’s just best for her sake to avoid anything that has a love line lol.

      • PSH also made mistake accept big budget drama 20-25b won sisyphus with veteran A-lister cho seung-woo.I want to see how her career will recovered from that disaster drama.

      • IOTNBO was never offered to PSH. It was a vehicle created from the start to make SYJ a big star. Dun believe fan made rumours. The investment for the drama was by GM.

    • @lydia1

      Her next project is my liberation diary though that sounds really promising with the my mister writer.
      As for arthdal chronicles, it was high budget, with a famous director and an A list cast. The show just performed below expectations.
      I think personally she’s fine all her projects post ffmy haven’t been hits but atleast they’ve been interesting, post ffmy PSJ got bigger and is not A list but personal opinion his projects have been very average (even if they’ve been hits).

      • Male leads being more popular than their female counterparts is nothing new . It has no relation to ‘better projects’ or ‘better co stars’ its simply because the consumer is largely female and prefers oppa to unni. The end.

      • @junglebe

        Its a shame but very true. Though interestingly enough with IOTNBO it seemed like Seo Ye ji got really big with that, for KSH it hardly did anything for him unless I’m not mistaken.

  3. I love her look, it’s so fresh and classy. Always loved her as an actress, too – she’s expressive and has really clear diction, Arthdal Chronicles was messy but the acting – including her performance – was never the issue, it being an incomplete half drama is! I’m looking forward to this new drama, she and Lee Min Ki worked together already but I can see them playing siblings. At least the writer is solid so I can have hope for this new project.

    As for Lovestruck in the City, personally I really enjoyed it – it was a solid performance as a flawed character (something female leads are rarely written as) who did an unusual thing to get over trauma, and my favourite performance from Ji Chang Wook in many years. A really good supporting cast too. I think more dramas should try the half an hour length, it prevents excessive filler.

      • @kiz the pace picked up in the latter half of the show. But sometimes you need one of those light shows where not much happens haha

    • @royalwe

      I loved her her post ffmy projects, I was not a fan of her pre ffmy projects. They’ve all been interesting and different.
      Arthdal chronicles suffered from a lack of closure cause there was a plan for season 2. But eagerly hoping there’s another season, sadly it keeps seeming unlikely 🙁

      As for lovestruck in the city I loved it, Her and JCW are amazing together, them being expressive actors helped. My friends who are also not into kdramas loved it too.

  4. She’s a brilliant actress. Someone I can always count on to deliver, even if the drama itself sucks. Good luck to her on her upcoming project.

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  6. I love Kim Ji Won, she’s a good actress and her onscreen presence is good as well. I think she has so much potential. She needs more representative works other than DOTS and Fight For My Way but she’s not in a dire position. She has good clean reputation, pretty, can act, it’s just a matter of luck

  7. The only thing I liked her in was Fight For My Way. I hated her character in Lovestruck but I suppose that means she did a good job. She can seem a little lifeless in that kind of role, which makes me a little nervous for My Liberation Diary, which I assume will be heavy. I think My Liberation Diary could be big for her though. Too bad it has Lee Min Ki in it.

    • @mimi

      If iu and Jang ki young shined in my mister, I don’t see how Kim ji won (who’s shown more range than both) can’t. When iu got casted I don’t think many were expecting the excellent performance she gave.

    • Same. I also found her acting lifeless in Lovestruck. Idk, I think she just suits lighter roles like that in FFMY better. Not everyone can be a chameleon like Son Yejin.

  8. Ockoala has point including Lydia 1

    I watched her swoon interview with ji Chang wook.. JCW was trying to tell her not worry too much about her career.. That she worries too much.. I got the feeling of someone putting her best but deep down she knows she is supposed to above where she is career wise.. She should be at least in pSH level career wise

  9. These pictures look like she has a new nose. In any case, she looks super beautiful in these pics. Doesn’t have to be a big budget production, just the right story for her.

  10. fot me she can’t act. and it’s bad news when he get casted in my favourite writers. hopefully her roles won’t be that huge as ahuge as IU in my mister. or else… it will be a let down.

  11. She’s pretty and a decent actress, so best of luck to her. Since some here are comparing her career with that of Park Shin Hye, regardless of people’s opinion on PSH acting, she has that star factor that that IMO Kim Jiwon lacks. There are a lot of beautiful and talented people in the industry, but the ones who reach A-list status and stay there have that X-factor that draws the general public in and results in a strong fandom following. The same can be said for people like Lee Min Ho, Suzy, etc.

    • Interesting atleast it’s agreed that those actors you mentioned with all their star power are below average actors. Now someone like Kim soo hyun I understand now that guy is good looking and can act. But nowadays with Song Kang’s hype, they really do push the blandest people.

      • Once in a while they get it right and push the right people, like Han So Hee. Girl has star factor in spades.

    • That X factor is sometimes no more than luck. There are actors before her who had the talent and charisma to be bigger than they had the chance to be, but for whatever reason (no powerful agency, their looks not trendy at the time, pissed off someone with influence/refused a sponsor) didn’t get it. In KJW’s case it’s luck that she had a powerful writer on her side who liked her enough to boost her career by writing her as a likeable character in the biggest drama of the last 5 years, but that luck came after several years of toiling in supporting roles including a previous ‘hate figure’ second lead role for that very same writer.

      At the very least, her talent is recognised and her beauty is a big asset. She’s also young enough to be considered a viable leading lady for years to come. As a fan, that’s enough for me.

      • @Royal We Yes, agree about the luck part. That one big role and hit drama can really catapult someone to stardom, but I feel like the longevity also depends on how much you can attract people to become a fan and follow your works loyally. In KJW’s case, I thought she would become much bigger after the success of DOTS and FFMW, but for some reason she didn’t generate huge buzz, CFs, or fandom the way the people I mentioned above did. Even with some flops and/or lackluster roles, those people never really dropped from A-list status. That’s why I mentioned star factor. It’s just my opinion, so I hope Jiwon fans don’t get offended.

      • Luck is mostly just an excuse to be honest. PSH is from a much smaller agency than KJW was for most of her career but she still became a hallyu star. GA was lucky to get Reply 94 and KSR had Misaeng but still they never made it. During 2010-15 there were a large number of young actresses that people were sure would become huge names like KJW, BJH (who nobody remembers anymore), KSE etc but almost all them have fallen of the grid and only PSH and SSK who were heavily criticized for their acting have managed to hold on and stay popular till now. In their 20s everyone gets a fair chance irrespective of agency size but some people just don’t have the It Factor no matter how much push they get. KJW has always been better in second lead roles rather than main lead roles. KTR and KGE got their big break in movies but their tv drama careers is very small so they can’t be blamed for the failure of KJW and other actresses in getting big. Everyone said Hyeri was just a trend but shes still here and as popular as ever same with Suzy. These actors didn’t get lucky because of agency size or anything they are popular and beloved because they have the It Factor that resonates with the audience. In the words of knetz “They were made to be celebs” and that is what sets them apart from their peers. People can keep cribbing that X should be more popular but it doesn’t matter if the local audiences don’t feel the same way about them. Even if you look at KJW internationally she doesn’t have a strong fandom most people are casual fans and not obsessive fanatics. To survive globally you need fanatics like idols not fans because fans won’t blindly consume everything but fanatics will not just consume but make excessive noise about it too. That is what makes a superstar a superstar and not just talent or pretty looks.

      • @holidayy – I don’t think Park Shin Hye is a fair comparison – successful child stars have an edge in terms of recognition, and for the ones who make it from childhood to recognition in adult roles like PSH/KSH/KYJ, it’s a big one, and she also had the advantage of establishing her career before the time when idols basically took over all the roles that could have gone to a late 80s/early-90s-born actress (a big reason why for years, girls who weren’t firmly established before like 2010 were relegated to second leads or only offered small projects like KJW herself was pre-Descendants). Go Ara, whatever else you say about her, was a child actress and established as a leading lady before Reply and remained one after too. I don’t like her acting but it’s just a fact, she’s been famous since 2003. It’s any actress – not idol, but actress – coming up in those 2010-2016 years who really had to struggle because they weren’t established, and it’s noteworthy that the ones who had a quick breakthrough were the ones who came from Chungmuro ie more prestige, like Kim Taeri and Kim Go Eun, and that too after taking projects that didn’t have that squeaky-clean Hallyu image. Compared to idol actors who can get famous off blanket media play by their agencies (and Suzy’s/Hyeri’s agencies absolutely did take that approach the minute they had a success to their names/went viral) and blind support from fanatics, it’s no contest who has the harder road.

        It wasn’t till the late 2010s that young actresses started getting cast as drama leads in larger numbers, and even then some of those were the result of surprise breakouts or star turns in supporting or smaller roles. I mean, do we really think Lee Se Young, Kim Hye Yoon, Han So Hee, Im Soo Hyang, Park Eun Bin, Moon Ga Young etc didn’t have talent, charisma or that it factor before then? Or was it just that producers were being cowardly and kept on going for idols – who often delivered mediocre performances and underwhelming ratings- with the parrot line about “international audience”, instead of just hiring from the dozens of actresses who could do it better?

      • Why are you talking as if there are less idols in dramas these days? If anything there are many more idols in the dramas + the ones who were already there. Look at the new Hong Sisters drama or even HDL 50% of the cast is idols who have never acted before. The PEB drama Affection or whatever is basically all idols except her and NYS who is himself a model. Not to forget the cast line up for YSH new drama Hyeri and Minah in one drama. Then you have the girl from Weiki Meiki playing the younger role of JJH in Jirisan. Idols are everywhere these days and most of them from groups people have never even heard of. Kang Daniel got a lead role over night and OSW too. Even Yeri from Red Velvet has gone into acting now and soon the Aespa girls will too maybe even the girls from Itzy. There are more idols who are in dramas than rookie actors and they are more popular and more in demand than any of the names you just mentioned except HSH.

      • @Morse – I see a lot of “this idol group and that idol group *will* go into dramas and are more popular than rookie actors” in your comment, along with counting these random supporting and child roles as some kind of proof of male and female idols being in demand or popular *among drama viewers*…

        Firstly, I was talking about female lead roles. I was very clear about that, it’s not on me if you get defensive. That Park Eun Bin drama you mentioned? The female lead is not an idol, it’s PEB herself. Those roles aren’t being populated by idols anymore at the rate they were in the early 10s, which, thank goodness. As for the idea that their popularity makes a difference to drama viewership….barring IU, they’re certainly not an automatic ratings draw the way they’re hyped to be (Hyeri’s had no hit dramas since Reply 88, and she’s one of the popular ones), and as for the girl playing young JJH – it’s a drama starring freaking Jun Ji Hyun. You really think they need an idol from some random group no one knows to draw buzz for that? Please. I’d buy that argument if a member of, say, BTS was going into acting because they actually have a large enough fandom to do it. But your regular idol? Nah.

    • I agree I feel she’s better suited as a second lead with less screen time, she lacks onscreen charisma as a main lead. But she’s a serviceable actress so she can always do productions with actors of the same status as her

  12. It’s weird how she’s fallen off the radar after Fight My Way. But really, it’s all about luck. For all you know, Liberation Diary might be it. I don’t care for her, and it’s easy for me to say she doesn’t have the x-factor, but I feel that it might just be that none of her dramas or roles struck a chord with me personally.

    I also think she’s suffered a bit because of the rise of movie actresses in her age range. The 85-ers and 90-ers were really weak, but recently it seems like Chungmuro newbies are making waves on TV and they are taking up those second billed roles behind bigger name actors which would’ve gone to these pretty faces otherwise.

  13. Perhaps she just needs to play a memorable character in a hit drama that resonates with domestic and international audiences? If Arthdal was a success, we might be having a different conversation about her. Or maybe she just doesn’t want to make it that big and is going to take the Moon Chae Won career route.

    Kim Jiwon and her former co-star, Ji Changwook, are case studies in opposites. Both of them are good-looking, have acting chops, were 2nd leads in big hits, and yet JCW is more popular than he should be while KJW is less popular than she should be.

    • @Ophelia – no joke, Lovestruck was the project that got me to see why JCW is rated as an actor – it’s the first time I’ve enjoyed him that much in a performance.

      I agree that if AC had been a hit we’d be having a different conversation about KJW, but I think there are two things worth noting, namely that she’s getting offers for pretty hyped projects/renowned writers even now, and secondly, her project choices after Fight My Way are a little on the unconventional side – Arthdal Chronicles is NOT your regular sageuk with a love story, Lovestruck on the surface is a romcom but has an unusual format/character and didn’t air on a tv channel, now this upcoming project has her playing family to the kind of actor she’d normally be cast against as a romantic lead. In the middle, I believe she turned down a Netflix project that sounded like a more conventional romcom, that was also offered to Lee Jong Seok. Maybe she’d be a bigger name if she went for a different approach, but I think what she’s doing at least has the industry’s attention.

  14. @Ophelia

    Sometimes I feel like she doesn’t want it enough. She takes long hiatuses between project and seems content that way. And barely updates her social media (she was a ghost in 2019-2020). But maybe she likes that lowkey lifestyle.
    Also post ffmy her agency didn’t do a good job in promoting her. As her fan I’d love for her to Moon Chae won career path, not everyone needs to have psh levels of popularity. She’s in a good place, as a user mentioned above there are people that were also good looking and had acting talent but now barely do projects. Nowadays it’s all about quality even with the star power Ji Chang wook star power he can’t bring in ratings same with Suzy and Lee min ho. And with Ji chang wook being too famous as someone mentioned above the guys will always be popular. Jcw is still riding off his healer fame and that barely brought in ratings. Though, now it’s got a cult following. I’m just happy for her and the other actors I’m fans of doing quality projects even if it doesn’t garner them fame. Lee see young who is the same age as KJW and equally beautiful and can act is an example that you can have a good career with steady quality projects. Lee je hoon is another fame of mine who should be bigger but atleast he’s respected and has quality projects. Him over the overrated hallyu guys (except SJK) any day.

    • @Sara – I agree. There are some in this thread who seem to think that you need to be some kind of idol Hallyu star level of fame to be considered successful but that’s not it at all, my faves working steadily and having the chance to lead good projects is what I’d be happy with as a fan.

      Kim Ji Won worked her way up and has a rep as a good actress, but like I said above, Arthdal Chronicles, Lovestruck and now this are not the moves of someone who just wants quickie Netflix fave fame. If she wants time off between projects (still working out at at least one every year/every other year), that’s hardly being ‘lazy’ and a good rep is worth more than a few cfs. Same with Lee Se Young (it’s criminal how long it took the industry to give these girls a chance but thank God we’re done with the age of idols cluttering every younger lead)

  15. i have just a few fav actress and she is on top. its hard for me to really get into one acting for me she has the charismatic, very talented and a great person as well. she can transcending many roles and character.

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