Kim Ji Won is Coolly Elegant in November 2021 Arena Homme Korea Pictorial Amid Conflicting Reports of Whether She Will Leave Salt Entertainment

This looks like the swan song pictorial in terms of what Kim Ji Won‘s existing agency lined up for her. She’s in the pages of Arena Homme Korea for November 2021 and I quite like the slightly aloof vibe she gives off complete with the extra straight hair. With this pictorial which came out last week, today came the news that she will for sure not be renewing her contract with Salt Entertainment and will be entering free agency. Then came the reply from Salt that it’s not true and her contract renewal/end discussions hasn’t even come up yet. Hhhmmm. If she does leave, some stars leave their long time agency to start their own one-person agency but I don’t think she’s there yet, plus it’s just so stressful to run a business and be an star in South Korea. TBH Kim Ji Won being with Salt (she signed with them last year in February 2020) never made sense to me because the agency also reps Park Shin Hye and they would absolutely be up for the same projects time and again based on their track record and image they have cultivated in the industry. During her year and a half with Salt, she did Lovestruck in the City which was not the success hoped for but she also has My Liberation Diary airing on jTBC in 2022 on her upcoming projects which is highly anticipated being from the screenwriter of My Ahjusshi and Another Oh Hae Young. But then again, during the same period Salt also got Park Shin Hye in Sisyphus: The Myth which was an even bigger blunder. So Salt, do better and be more sweet to your stars.


Kim Ji Won is Coolly Elegant in November 2021 Arena Homme Korea Pictorial Amid Conflicting Reports of Whether She Will Leave Salt Entertainment — 88 Comments

  1. After the complete shambles Salt made of the recent scandal du jour, it’s hard to see how Ms Kim could a worse job even she was her own sole agency.

  2. Whatever happened to KJW and her career? She was a big breakout star during Heirs in 2013 and again with DOTS in 2016 before cementing herself as a female lead with FMY in 2017 but she kinda disappeared after that until AC in 2019 where she was completely overshadowed by the bad plot and directing plus the bigger name star cast. She did do Lovestruck last year but honestly just feels like I haven’t seen her in anything buzz worthy or worthwhile since 2017. Salt is basically the worst agency to be in and is slowly evaporating whatever is left of PSH career.

    • She might not be doing buzz worthy projects but I personally love her recent projects compared to earlier popular ones.

      Sure she does take long breaks between projects but that could be her preference. Idc if her projects are buzz worthy or not as a fan I just want to see her in a meaty project hopefully that can be the case with her new project.

      • Genuine question but how is AC or Lovestruck better projects for her career? I’m a fan of hers too and I don’t need her to be in super popular dramas or anything. But both those recent ones not just boasted terrible plot and non sensical scripts, but her characters were absolute washouts. It was neither challenging, nor interesting.

        I hope KJW can either pick projects that has great scripts or at least she plays an interesting character. Her recent picks has been a total shit fare. It was similar to Moon Chae Won’s career tho she’s finally gotten herself out of that hole recently (thank heavens!)

      • @butterfly

        Its a personal bias I’ve enjoyed those 2 shows immensely more so compared to her earlier work. I don’t like dots at all and thought ffmy was carried by the leads chemistry. Of course I’d love it if my fav’s get buzz from their shows. But a popular show doesn’t always mean it would be to my taste. I didn’t like popular shows from last yr like crashing landing on you, itaewon class and its okay to not be okay. But I loved lower rated shows like when the weather is fine.

        I thought lovestruck in the city was well written and well acted esp in the latter half, I could relate to her character so much when her back story was revealed. I mostly appreciated the show and her for choosing something that is different to kdrama romcoms. Which after a while becomes stale with all the childhood fated connection crap.

        Arthdal chronicles is not perfect but it’s one of my fav’s as I’m a sucker for that genre. I’ve even recently rewatched it. KJW is wonderful in it there’s a certain scene which gave me chills.

        The characters actions don’t make much sense atm so in that case it’s frustrating but there’s supposed to a season 2, which I’ve been eagerly anticipating for the past 2 years 🙁

      • @butterfly

        Its my own personal bias, I’ve enjoyed her recent projects immensely more so than her other popular roles. I did not like dots at all. FFMW was enjoyable and very fun but it was hard carried by the leads amazing chemistry, beyond that the show went downhill in the last few eps with the annoying subplots. Ofcourse I’d love my favourite actors to get buzz for their drama’s. But popular buzzworthy drama’s might not be to my taste. I didn’t like super popular shows from last yr like its okay to not be okay, crash landing on you and itaewon class on you but I did like a lower rated drama like when the weather is fine.

        I loved lovestruck in the city I thought it was well written and acted. The brilliant acting is especially evident in the latter half of the show when we find out KJW’s characters backstory. Which I found very relatable,that’s what won me over with the show. Ofcourse I also liked the mokumentary format, the friendships, the ost, the comedy and the shameless ppl’s. I also appreciated that’s its different to a typical kdrama romcom which after a while becomes stale with all the expected childhood connection crap.

        Arthdal chronicle is one of my fav kdramas, mostly cause I’m a sucker for that genre. I even recently rewatched it.I thought KJW was wonderful in it there’s a specific scene in it with her which gave me chills. Overall the characters actions seems frustrating atm but that’s only cause there was supposed to be a season 2 which I’ve eagerly been anticipating for the last 2 years 🙁

  3. lovestruck in the city wasn’t a massive recognisable hit but it did do pretty well for a web series and definitely gave her a bit of momentum that she can carry on with hr next work

  4. Erm lovestruck in the city was a success a surprising one at that with it being a unconventional type of show and it barely having promotions. What’s this narrative that a shows not a success just cause as much love on a bird app…

    • Lovestruck did well on South Korea and was no.1 on the best webseries list but that’s expected considering the cast and names associated with it.. I personally was very excited for that drama but as it went by it got on my nerves… Esp kjw’s character… Being realistic doesn’t mean being down right irritating and irrational… By the end almost all the characters were irritating…

      • @rjpv
        There’s something irritating about all the characters she plays that could be it.

      • @Ophelia

        You hit the nail on the head, that’s what’s what annoys me about kdramas . Also succession is the best show right now period. I love watching these horrible messy rich people.

      • rjpv, stop pretending to be a fan of JCW and go around bashing his other FL leads like Kim Ji Won. We’re sick of you pretending to be a KJW fan when you’re really shipping Nam Ji Hyun with JCW. Hiding behind different usernames we can still smell your sh*t.

      • rjpv same fantard who round defending kim seon ho & worshipped dispatch for releasing info to boost her bias.

    • @rjpv
      World wide it was 11 too
      Yes she was messy but I appreciated kjw’s character and understood her pov more so than the male lead. A realistic character can mean making irrational decisions and being terrible at communicating especially if you’re at your worst and when you even hate yourself. The worst thing she did was break up with a man who tbf was clingy other than that I don’t see what’s so horrible about her character. I struggled to warm to the male lead at first but by the end I even loved his development. Sadly with the limited screen time the other characters weren’t as fleshed out but I did enjoy the comedy they brought. My favourite character other kjw’s character was her male best friend who was such a scene stealer.

      • being irrational can still be understandable but irritating? both the leads were irritating at best… the male best friend was the only rational and mature character in the entire drama… i also hate the way they portrayed 3 of the female leads… in all the 3 relationships the women were the messed-up ones… they could have shown at least one relationship being different… they dragged some things b/w the main leads way too much for them to simply give a happy ending to them… it would have been better if they didn’t end up together and went their separate ways…

      • @rjpv
        Well that’s your opinion. I loved all the females leads. Then again I want my characters to be complicated/messy.
        Initially I wanted the leads to part ways too it would’ve been a refreshing change but them getting back together was well done imo. Getting over your insecurities is not an overnight thing fortunately for her she had a person who was willing to accept her. So for me it didn’t drag as she needed to embrace her real self first.

      • @Purple thorns – same, I really enjoyed Lovestruck in the City and the writing for the female characters – they were flawed but in a way that made them three dimensional human beings if you know what I mean? Like I wanted to yell at the screen but I could also see where they were coming from. The acting was good too, it’s the best work I’ve seen from Ji Chang Wook in years.

        Also for a non-network drama it seems to have done pretty well, they had a million plus views on Kakao tv and all.

      • @purple its good if you liked it but I had way too much expectations from if after the first 5-6 episodes which I absolutely loved… i thought it would be like 500 days of summer or something like that but ended up like a typical kdrama…

      • Why do characters need to be likeable? Characters just need to be interesting, and flawed characters are the most interesting to play and watch. I’m watching HBO Succession rn and every character in the show is unlikeable, but I don’t see the actors getting backlash for playing them; instead, they’re getting acclaim and appreciation.

        Not sure if likeability is some kdrama prerequisite.

      • @ophelia characters dont need to be likeable but they shouldn’t get on your nerves as well… most of the characters in lovestruck were irritating esp the leads…

      • @rpjv – Says who? All the acclaimed Western shows have major characters who are unlikeable to downright horrible, because those roles are meaty and interesting roles. Just look at the characters that win awards and gain pop culture popularity.

        Everyone in Succession gets on my nerves, but boy are they fascinating to watch.

        I feel like this might be a difference between kdramas and Western (heck even Chinese) shows.

      • @Ophelia – exactly. Interesting >>>>>>>>> “likeable”, as a quality necessary for me to want to watch a fictional character.

        Too much emphasis on making a character (especially a female one) ‘likeable’ just leads to really bland FLs who feel like they were written as a list of ticked-box characteristics instead of people.

        It’s the difference between Shiv Roy in Succession and Daphne Bridgerton in Bridgerton – both do bad things but the former is way more interesting because the writers own it and don’t try to make Shiv into some angel.

      • @ophelia I clearly said it’s not about the likebility of the characters but irritating nature of the characters… A lot of characters in sex education are unlikable at first but they aren’t irritating to the level it’s hard to watch the series… They are teenagers so it’s understandable if they have unlikable characteristics including Otis… Their unlikebility goes well with the series… I guess the best example will be devi from never have I ever… She takes extremely selfish choices but she is never irritating or made me want to stop watching the drama itself on the other hand there was this other drama called Jinny and gorgia… Jinny was one annoying and irritating character that it made me stop watching the show midway… I didn’t even care if she was a teenager… She was down right irritating to watch… It’s about how the characters are written and directed… When flawed characters are written there is a fine line b/w being right and being completely irritating… Lovestruck didn’t do it in the right way…

    • @ real kjw fan do you live in a delulu world? This is my only username and I don’t give a damn about anyone to go around change my username… Lol
      Stop being so delulu… I didn’t even say anything bad about kjw or JCW… I only said I didn’t like lovestruck in the second half… Why don’t you take an ice bath and chill yourself and take a shit yourself… It might calm you down…

  5. I meant to stay just cause it didn’t get as much love by twitter stans. Which is fair that it can be everyone’s cup of tea since its not a typical kdrama. Plus for once you have a very flawed female lead which pissed people off lol.

  6. Her recent projects aside it seems like she has bad luck with agencies. Her previous agency didn’t promote her that well during the ffmw era too even with dots she apparently secured that role through her connection with the writer.

  7. Why so surprising about her not being A list. There are so much more actresses that have better acting and visuals that aren’t…
    I personally didn’t understand her hype in the 2017 era lol. I am yet to watch lovestruck in the city because of her despite JCW being my fav.

      • @Whatever.. lol the comparison of wwwsk and ffmw is so familiar to me. you don’t have to be this obvious. anyway, kjw will thrive and all you can ever do is whine about it.

      • @YEAH
        I am intentionally being so.
        The chemistry in WWWSK was sizzling and hot, that’s a fact, they even looked like a rl couple. FFMW pales in comparison and is just cringe overload.
        But is KJW thriving now? Haha no she’s been flopping

      • @Whatever.. oh i see it’s always these ‘they look like a real couple’ card from the ppc stans. honestly we don’t care. it’s the way you guys are threatened and resort to dragging kjw down. and if we’re talking about better ffmw >>>>>>

      • @YEAH

        I am not a shipper, I only stan the actors. And objectively both actors are much better than KJW, it’s a fact. Take KJW out of FFMW the show will still be a success but same cannot be said for WWWSk which relied on charisma and the IT factor which PSJ and PMY have in spades.
        You can have your wrong opinion in thinking FFMW is better lol.

      • @Whatever.. if we’re OBJECTIVELY speaking (nothing against the two) KJW is the better actor. actually kjw and her character (ffmw) was loved by many people so she’s part of that success so i don’t know why you’re discrediting her. won’t be saying anything about wwwsk as i’m not interested in that. and i’m sorry but i don’t buy your denial of being a shipper. this is literally how they sound like.
        i mean you can have your opinion thinking wwwsk is better and i can also have mine. your taste is definitely not the standard.

    • Same. I’m not surprised that she didn’t blow up more after DOTS and FFMW. There are much better and more versatile actresses her age (Park Eun Bin and Lee Se Young, for example). Someone said above that there’s something irritating about the characters she plays, and that might be it. Tbh I don’t know if it’s the character itself or how she portrays them.

      • I don’t think PEB and LSY especially LSY are more versatile than KJW. They have longer careers but in terms of acting all 3 are more or less the same. That aside since when does kdrama need talent to blow up? SK, PSH, LMH etc etc have never needed talent to become big stars. You just need to be a pretty face to succeed in South Korea.

      • @flowery My point is that I understand why she didn’t blow up. I’ve said it in past posts, but regardless of talent, I feel like she lacks that IT factor that makes people want to follow all her works or stan her (fandom). There are plenty of pretty faces in Korea, but not all of them are A-list lol. Anyways, in my opinion PEB and LSY are much more versatile, so let’s agree to disagree.

      • @Na

        This sounds horrible and shallow but I don’t think Park eun bin fits the rigid SK beauty standards same with Nam Ji hyun eventhough they are good actresses but I agree with lee se young.Lee see young has done too many dark shows a lighter romcom show might boost her popularity. For me the first actress that came to mind who’s more beautiful and a better actress is Jung so min. Jung eun cha aswell.

      • @Whatever Completely agree with Jung So Min, she’s absolutely gorgeous. She gives me a Suzy feel visually but with actual acting talent to back it up (lol). Hong Sisters are a mess, but at least she will get a boost in popularity since their works are still buzzy despite the poor writing. I haven’t seen Jung Eun Chae in anything, but she is indeed stunning. Yeah I get what you mean about PEB not really fitting SK’s beauty standard, but I think she has what it takes to go the critical acclaim route instead.

      • @Na, Kim Jiwon looks like a mini Kim Taehee, so she fits the Korean beauty standard to a T, more so than any of the actresses you mentioned.

        KTH also doesn’t have the it factor IMO, but that didn’t hold her back.

      • I do think PEB and LSY are more versatile but they are all about in the same boat career-wise.

      • @whatever i think nam ji hyun is very much liked in south Korea by the general public and is considered to be pretty even though not to the level of top beauties… njh could have been more popular if she didn’t take so much break in between…
        haven’t seen much of park eunbin but she seems older than kim ji won…

      • @rjpv
        She’s a girl next door type
        Of pretty. When I think of visually stunning I’m thinking Seo Ye Ji and Park Min Young.

        The issue with NJH she was a good child actress but her adult roles have been cringe and not memorable to the public even the annoying KJW’s character was popular and was viral with the public/celebs. But she did amazing in 365 repeat the year. But you know how it is with thrillers its always underrated.

      • @whatever i guess njh could have been a bit more popular if she gave one more hit right after 100 days my prince but she took more than a year-long break and then came with a thriller.. i loved 365 days but its not something which creates a buzz or boost the star power… but I also get the feeling that she is not really interested in being more popular… she just wants to do what she likes without getting much attention…

      • rjpv & whatever, stop coming here to shade kjw. u can praise ur nam ji hyun, park min young, seo yea ji whoever u like. it’s obvious u r here to rain on kjw’s parade. female stans like u r shameless.

    • @whatever

      What’s your beef with KJW it seems personal.

      If anything working with JCW was a downgrade not only compared with her previous male leads but also due to the backlash he got from that creepy/offensive show. I don’t understand how he can even read the melting me softly and backstreet rookie scripts and think that’s a good idea. I feel sorry for his fans lol.

      • @wahtever and @na jung sumin is mediocre actress with commoner face she’s just fair skinned and she does not look like suzy at all. She has been in this industry for 11 years but she’s still unknown. That said something about her lack of IT factor and she has always been uncharismatic boring actress in every dramas of her that get low rating too. She’s basically a nobody. Kim ji won is better looking and more buzz than her. That hong sis drama won’t do anything to her career as its cast especially lee jaewook as male lead won’t attract anybody to watch except their rabid fans. Hong sis also has bad plot with no depth. Quit dreaming!

      • if anything jcw was the only reason it got any kind of international attention… he also acted really well in it but sadly I didn’t like his character towards the second half…

      • @rjpv

        Jcw is not as popular as his fans think he is. It’s baffling how he’s mentioned alongside PSJ, LMH and KSH when they’ve had genuine hits. Even KJW has been in hallyu hits and had actual success with Ffmy (which came out the same year as suspicious partner). Arthdal chronicles was her misstep but atleast she had the opportunity to worth with and acclaimed writer, director and A list actors.

      • @purple he isnt as unpopular as you think he is either… he is one of the most followed korean actors on social media and one of the most popular as well… empress ki, healer, k2, suspicious partner all were Hallyu hits…

      • @rjpv

        What about the ratings of those shows lol. I’ll give him healer but even so it was not popular in Korea at all, its popularity mostly came from China but now its a cult fav. I personally don’t care for the show and watched it for PMY but I can see why his performance there is beloved.

        When he hits a double rating for a show then he can be mentioned along side PSJ etc. Or even a show which is award worthy, I do think he has the acting chops but again he can’t pick a good script to save his life.

      • @purple k2 was on tvn and at that time it did well for a cable channel. suspicious partner was slot leader during its run and it used to air on weekdays… healer as you said has a cult following… empress ki is one of the biggest hits in sk… it had 30+ rating and was the breakout role of jcw… his drama warrior baek dong soo also had 20% rating…
        jcw surely has the acting chops but i guess nowadays he lacks little bit of luck…

      • ? at fans using metrics like “IG followers” to prove their fave’s popularity. Surprised @rjpv didn’t talk about how many coffee trucks JCW got.

        Is JCW an actor or an IG influencer?

      • @fawkes surprised that at the age of social media some people don’t know the importance of social media influence of celebrities…

      • @rpjv, again, is JCW aiming to be an influencer? Or is he an actor?

        Social media followers can be bought or created overnight. By your logic that Squid Game girl is the biggest Korean actress ever.

        Some of the hottest actors don’t bother to have IG profiles or if they do, barely update. It’s embarrassing to whip out metrics like followers because it shows you have no harder proof.

      • rjpv loves to lurk around jcw’s former FLs like kjw to bash her subtly pretending to be a fan. she also loves to bash nam hi hyun’s other MLs especially sig whom she hates to the core. little did she know all 3 of them are good friends irl. rjpv is the worst kind of fake fan.

    • @Joane

      It’s OK to have your favourite stars whom you stan and to dislike others for whatever reason. But if you can’t stick to praising your bias and ignoring those you don’t like and feel a constant need to put them down, you have serious issues.

      Your own toxic nature will eventually poison you. You seriously need to take a long break from the internet or commenting on places like this, or you’re on a one-way journey to the asylum and insanity.

    • At least she’s pretty at first glance to you. You sound like trash at first comment. You don’t need to look far to see who’s “dumb” around here lmao

  8. Peeps, beware of this rjpv poster. This person is a shipper of Nam Ji Hyun with Ji Chang Wook. He/she posted disgusting comments about Seo In Guk on this blog just coz some fans dare to suggest they’re dating. Koala herself even deleted some of this poster’s vile comments about SIG. Don’t fall for his/her pretender image. Lately, he/she must have sensed that Nam Ji Hyun no longer cared about her popularity or pushing ahead in her career hence the change of stance in his/her comments. rjpv posted as jcw and other fake usernames as well.

    • Yup and she/he is everywhere and constantly makes it seems like jcw has this pervy obsession with her bias yikes. She/he literally comments on all of his FL leads with silly comparisons. She/he even gets offended when some say they could be siblings. Like there’s anything wrong with that ofcourse you want actors to have good chemistry (bff/sibling whatever) but the moment you analyse everything ( like rjpv does for kissing scenes ?) and are convinced theyre dating is crossing the line.

      • @Alyzna, good thing you spotted him/her first. It will never fail to turn up whenever there’s something about KJW and SIG. Irrational hatred for these two, crossing the personal line with hate comments. Nam Ji Hyun would be ashamed to have such a low-level fan like him/her.

      • This kind of delusional shipper is the worst. Reminds me of cray cray Sega shippers. Get a life, ship jcw-njh all you want but don’t go round obsessing over other co-stars of them. sheesh, one way street to the mental asylum.

    • Are you nuts or what? I didn’t comment a single thing against sig in any of my comments till date… Just because this site allows people to use whatever username they want doesn’t mean everyone uses multiple username… I am one of the very few people who never used any other used name simple because I am too lazy to come up with a different one every single time I comment here…
      I started being active in this forum just after ksh scandal and before that I used to comment once in a while and that too with the same user name… If you are so jobless to accuse me without any proves why don’t you go to every old JCW, njh, pby, ksh etc posts to see my comments…

  9. rjpv whatever zip it. jung so min has *lop dramas. always rely on ml to get a hit. nam ji hyun, she’s already acting like she’s married and semi-retired. get over it she’s not gonna date & marry ur oppa jcw. ya’ll r hurt that your bias are *lopping like dead fish while our kjw has done better with hallyu hit.

    • Lol, female stans fanwars are so entertaining. Don’t ship too hard with your imagined otp. Just look at ksh scandal. You never know who your stan will end up with irl.

      • It’s that toxic troll rjpv probably pretending to be a KJW fan to bring hate not only to her now but to other actresses too. It’s disgusting.

      • @cheeky

        It’s rjpv pretending to be a Kim ji won fan to bring more hate to not only her but to other actresses too.

      • @Alyzna, that person is now saying calm down, chill pill and advising people to take a dump. Denying using different username. Lol.

    • hallucinating fans of kim ji did habe aby hit drama. oh no. are you refeering DOTS is she song hye kyo. dellusional fans hust like their kim ji won.

  10. Getting my popcorn ready. Poor Kim Ji Won. Most comments here have nothing good to say about her. Why do I sense that commenters are shading her coz she happens to be one of koala’s faves & koala had deleted some of their previous comments?

    • It seems like shes mostly getting hate from shippers, there’s no point feeding those trolls. That’s why I can’t for her new project which won’t have a loveline. Though, I wouldn’t mind if it’s with son seok-koo since he doesn’t have a cult following.

      • @purple thorns, is it any wonder that more k-actresses now are venturing into non love-line dramas. The toxicity of their fan shipping can seriously damage their mental health. After reading comments, I applaud nam ji hyun’s decision to act in female centric with non famous rookie actors. She was willing to co-lead with song ji hyo in WD and upcoming little women with kim go eun. Good move. As a graduate of psychology, she’s protecting her mental health. Unhealthy shipping tips people over the cliff. So much hate going around.

      • @purple I agree mentioned in my other comments it’s “mostly shippers”
        You think she won’t get it again, vincenzo barely had romance and now it’s also got a crazy ship

    • @popcorn nah I think it’s mostly shippers hating on her. The park park and jiji one- both ships seem to have intense fixation on her and come across as insecure. Sad thing it’s not even teenagers it’s bloody grown working women ?

      • Really? Jeez, I thought only tween shippers are into insecure petty “ship” fights. Good lord, as if their oppa care or read about their shipping as they shag other women in real time. Lol.

  11. Personally, she is one of my favorite Korean actress among this group of younger actresses. I loved A.C. and have been waiting to see Season 2. Lovestruck was also pretty good. It was a different type of romance drama. I re-watched Fight My Way because of her recently too. I hope she will continue to get the roles she wants and have a long career.

  12. I like Her, unfortunately I think she needs a better drama. AC personally is a mess imo. I get what they are implying as bigger world but it just not entertaining as you watch it. Also JDG scandal seems to put the sequel to rest. Lovestruck is nice but it reminds of annoying unreasonable people in real life. Again I get what they are trying to do but it just not entertaining enough.

  13. shippers are fighting over the Club arena KING ji chang wook. Kim ji won can have him all she wants.
    its good that my fave did kiss him in their drama..yuck.

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