On June 5, 2020, the prestigious 56th Baeksang Arts Awards held its no-audience ceremony — celebrating another successful year of Korean movies and dramas. The greatest hits from April 2019 to April 2020 took home the well-deserved trophies. In case you’re curious though, here are the details on how the Baeksang Arts Awards judges selected some of the winners.
1. Daesang (Grand Prize)
While the daesang candidates have not been revealed prior to the ceremony, the judges discussed the possibilities among When The Camellia Blooms, Mister Trot, and actress Kim Hee Ae from The World of The Married. When the actual voting process began, however, the judges in general showed a strong inclination toward When The Camellia Blooms. They commented, “Television nowadays must provide the viewers with both entertainment and social insight. When The Camellia Blooms did exactly that.” According to the judges, When The Camellia Blooms taught the viewers that the average citizens can come together and make big changes — which is certainly the most appropriate message that the society needs at the moment. The judges thought highly of the fact that When The Camellia Blooms emphasized “We’re all protagonists in our own ways” and thus, inspired them to throne it the Baeksang grand prize.
2. Best Actor
The judges shared that the votes remained split between actor Kang Ha Neul of When The Camellia Blooms and acter Namkoong Min of Hot Stove League until the final round. Ultimately, Kang Ha Neul had the honor of winning Best Actor — for his most believable portrayal of the character Hwang Yong Shik. The judges believed Kang Ha Neul boasted an excellent spectrum of emotions on the show, which is rare from the relatively young group of actors in their 30s.
3. Best Supporting Actor
Actor Oh Jung Se of both When The Camellia Blooms and Stove League won Best Supporting Actor with an unanimous vote from the judges. They commented, “Oh Jung Se successfully played two entirely different characters in his hit dramas — all the while making the viewers believe they are completely separate people. His ability to do this is simply irreplaceable.”
4. Best Actress
The competition for the Best Actress award had been the fiercest yet. According to the judges, The World of The Married‘s Kim Hee Ae went head to head against When The Camellia Blooms‘s Gong Hyo Jin and Hyena‘s Kim Hye Soo. Eventually the judges came to agree that Kim Hee Ae’s deep understanding of — and the multi-dimensional portrayal of — the shattered-and-miserable Dr. Ji Sun Woo deserved to be awarded.
5. Best New Actress
Actress Kim Da Mi happily took home this once-in-a-lifetime award — for her funky-fresh character in the webtoon-based K-Drama Itaewon Class. Judges commented that she and Hospital Playlist actress Jeon Mi Do had the judges bouncing back and forth until the very last minute. They revealed, “It was a really close call. Jeon Mi Do actually lost by a single vote.” In the end, Kim Da Mi’s rising and trendsetting presence in the K-Drama world deemed her more worthy of the super rookie title.