The cast of “Empress Ki” after 9 years: Ha Ji Won debuts as a painter, Ji Chang Wook’s dramas can’t pull good ratings, and more

Here’s how the cast of “Empress Ki” is doing after almost a decade since the drama’s release. 

Aired in 2013, Empress Ki was a successful historical drama that revived MBC’s ratings at the time. Not only gaining high viewership domestically, Empress Ki was also well-received across Asia. 

An average nationwide rating of nearly 30% after 50 episodes made Empress Ki the historical drama with the highest rating within the period of 2013 – 2014. Up to now, even though almost 10 years have passed, Empress Ki is still one of the most loved period K-dramas. 

Empress Ki cast
Empress Ki brought the cast many prestigious nominations and awards

Ha Ji Won

Known for both her beauty and talent, Ha Ji Won has maintained her position as one of the top Korean actresses for the last two decades. Before Empress Ki, Ha Ji Won starred in many other successful productions of different genres, most notably the romantic drama Secret Garden, where she co-stars Hyun Bin.

Empress Ki cast
Empress Ki is one of the most outstanding dramas of Ha Ji Won’s career

Ha Ji Won is still a sought-after star by directors and producers to this day. However, she has been taking a break from acting since her role in the 2020 family film Pawn. In 2021, Ha Ji Won made her debut as a painter. However, her abstract artworks received mixed reactions from the Korean public, who claim they look like they were drawn by a child. 

Empress Ki cast
Fans are looking forward to the return of Ha Ji Won on the screen 

Ji Chang Wook

Ji Chang Wook in Empress Ki is called the loveliest emperor in the history of K-drama. Although he shot to fame thanks to Smile Again, it was not until he took on the role of Ta Hwan in Empress Ki that he could become a top actor. 

Empress Ki cast
Empress Ki brought Ji Chang Wook his breakout role 

Ji Chang Wook later left a good impression with his performance in action dramas such as Healer and The K2. However, in recent years, his dramas have continued to fail to earn good ratings, from Suspicious Partner, Melting Me Softly to most recently Backstreet Rookies. Backstreet Rookies even came under controversy over its plot. Therefore, many viewers are hoping Ji Chang Wook will pick better scripts in the future. 

Empress Ki cast
Since his discharge from the army, Ji Chang Wook is still struggling to regain his former glory

Joo Jin Mo

Joo Jin Mo is known to the audience through a series of hit works such as Sad Temptation, Real Fiction, Musa: The Warrior, Look Back in Anger, A Love, A Better Tomorrow, 200 Pounds Beauty, A Frozen Flower, Empress Ki, etc. Besides, Joo Jin Mo is also one of the Kbiz actors who has starred in many hot scenes and is also a rare Korean star who has acted in bed scenes with both male and female actors on the screen, like in the movie Happy End, A Frozen Flower, etc.

Empress Ki cast

Half a year into his marriage, Joo Jin Mo was caught in a shocking scandal. His phone was hacked, revealing indecent conversations with Jang Dong Gun. Accordingly, the actor sent many photos of hot models, beautiful young girls or contestants of beauty contests and made vulgar comments about their appearance. A text message also showed that Joo Jin Mo invited Jang Dong Gun to his house to introduce women to him. Netizens believe that both actors have had illicit relationships many times even though both were married.

Empress Ki cast
After a series of controversies, Joo Jin Mo officially retired 

Baek Jin Hee

Playing the villain in Empress Ki, Baek Jin Hee stole the hearts of viewers as the “evil queen” Tanasili. Perhaps this role’s impact was too great, so following the success of Empress Ki, her latter roles could not draw much attention.

Empress Ki cast
The beauty of “evil queen” Tanasili

Like Ha Ji Won, Baek Jin Hee also abruptly took a break from acting after playing Lee Ji Woo in the 2018 drama Let’s Eat 3. Perhaps she is waiting for a truly good script to make a comeback. 

Empress Ki cast
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