Hun­gry for more

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Tv - By RUMY DOO

LAST year, ac­tress Kim Ji-won (pic) was most vividly en­graved in view­ers’ minds as a tough fe­male army lieu­tenant who knew what she wanted – both in life and in love – and wasn’t afraid to go af­ter her tar­get.

That role in the 2016 hit se­ries De­scen­dants Of The Sun made Kim one of the most promis­ing ac­tresses on Korean tele­vi­sion.

Her por­trayal of the tena­cious but vul­ner­a­ble Lt Yoon Myung-joo made a deep im­pres­sion: Many view­ers con­fessed they watched the drama to sup­port the love story be­tween Yoon and Sgt Seo Dae-young, played by Jin Goo.

Re­cently, Kim achieved an al­most com­plete trans­for­ma­tion in the drama Fight My Way.

“The big­gest thing I’ve taken away from (the se­ries) is that I was able to show a dif­fer­ent side of my­self,” Kim told The Korea

Her­ald in an in­ter­view re­cently. “Be­fore, peo­ple thought of me as smart and some­what un­ap­proach­able.”

In the ro­man­tic comedy, Kim plays Ae-ra, the ar­che­typal girl­next-door who lives in the same build­ing as her child­hood crush­turned-friend Dong-man, played by Park Seo-joon. On a daily ba­sis, Ae-ra stomps into Dong-man’s home unan­nounced and without bathing, and watches TV with him at night while dig­ging into a box of fried chicken.

Kim de­scribed her re­cent char­ac­ter as brave, hon­est, fear­less and eas­ily hurt, but able to pick her­self up.

“I’m not as out­spo­ken as she is, so it was a huge re­lease play­ing her.”

The se­ries be­came a hit for its cred­i­ble por­trayal of strug­gling Korean youths. The story was re­lat­able to the 24-year-old ac­tress, who had only re­cently come into the spot­light.

“The scenes where Ae-ra is in­ter­view­ing for jobs -- I could re­ally re­late to them.” In the show, Ae-ra’s dream of be­com­ing a news an­nouncer is foiled due to her less-than-elite ed­u­ca­tion and lack of ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties. She ends up work­ing at an in­for­ma­tion desk in a de­part­ment store.

“Only a lit­tle while ago I was liv­ing a sim­i­lar life. Even now, it may seem dif­fer­ent be­cause of my job, which ap­pears glam­orous, but I don’t think it’s that dif­fer­ent.”

A grad­u­ate of Dong­guk Univer­sity, Kim fell into act­ing af­ter be­ing cast in com­mer­cials in mid­dle school. Af­ter star­ring as a haughty heiress in the 2013 drama The Heirs, Kim made cameo ap­pear­ances and took on sup­port­ing roles un­til the ex­plo­sive suc­cess of De­scen­dants. Not get­ting called back for au­di­tions still feels more fa­mil­iar to her, she said.

“I feel hun­grier the more I act,” Kim said. “I look back on my per­for­mances and all I can see are things I could’ve done dif­fer­ently, parts to im­prove.”

In a way, it can be said that Kim por­trays the typ­i­cal down­trod­den-but-feisty K-drama hero­ine in Fight My Way.

But as her co-star Park Seo-joon said in a re­cent in­ter­view, there’s “a cer­tain qual­ity” that Kim brings to the role, mak­ing her love­able and re­lat­able.

Kim’s next project is both her first pe­riod piece and film – the third in­stal­la­tion of the De­tec­tive K se­ries by di­rec­tor Kim Seoky­oon.

The ac­tress says she is both ner­vous and ex­cited to show yet another side of her­self. “I’m go­ing to be spend­ing a lot of time pre­par­ing, es­pe­cially the tone of speech in pe­riod pieces.” – The Korea Her­ald/Asia News Net­work

Photo: The Korea Her­ald/ Asia News Net­work

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