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Actress shares tips for success in later life

‘It’s not just me, it’s also the same for actresses like Kim Hee-ae. People see us and find hope that even people our age can work well and be successful.’

May 13,2014
Kim Sung-ryung
TV shows and movies are increasingly seeking out middle-aged women these days. Just like Kim Hee-ae of the JTBC drama “Secret Love Affair,” Kim Sung-ryung, 47, star of the currently screening films “The Fatal Encounter” and “The Target,” has become a role model among women in her age group.

With the latter film invited to feature at the Cannes International Film Festival, Kim will soon walk the red carpet, too.

But the actress recently made an unexpected deviation from the small and silver screens. She will appear in the play “Jamais 2 Sans 3,” scheduled from May 15 to July 13 at Soo Hyun Jae Theater in Dongsung-dong, central Seoul.

“Jamais 2 Sans 3” consistently sold out while it was on stage for three months in Paris last year. It depicts the story of three girls with identical looks but different personalities.

It is rather a laborious role for the lead actress as she has to play the three characters while repeatedly undergoing costume changes.

“While practicing for the play, I kind of regretted picking such a difficult work,” said Kim at a press conference on May 2. “A play is something that has to derive from your own will, not from abundant time on your hands.”

Contrasting with the flashy image she developed through her debut as “Miss Korea” in the nationwide beauty pageant in 1988, Kim has consistently appeared in serious plays.

The actress said it was the “vague attraction” that led her to enter the world of theater.

“I wasn’t hoping to develop my acting skills,” said Kim. “A play is something raw. It wasn’t about me doing well alone but about interacting with the whole crew and also having to think about the audience sitting in the very back row. I think it supplements the shortcomings of dramas and films.”

When asked about the secret to becoming a role model among middle-aged women, Kim said, “It’s not just with me, it’s also the same with actresses like Kim Hee-ae. People see us and find hope that even people our age can work well and be successful.”

But compared to Kim Hee-ae, who has been a top star since she was in her 20s, Kim Sung-ryung’s career path has been a little different.

After “Who Saw the Dragon’s Toenail?” in 1991, Kim didn’t receive much of the spotlight. But that didn’t stop her from appearing on TV for the next 26 years, taking small but versatile roles.

In 2012, when Kim appeared as an immature and brazen heiress in the SBS drama “The Chaser,” people started to acknowledge her charisma. Afterward, every production she took part in, including the dramas “King of Ambition” and “The Heirs” and the films “The Fatal Encounter” and “The Target,” were successes.

This overcoming of trial and error is likely why she serves as an inspiration to many women.

“In my 20s, I didn’t work so hard, which is why things didn’t work out for me in my 30s. I started to put my effort in it from my late 30s?.?.?.?When I think of it, things are paying off now because of what I’ve done in the past.”

BY yoo joo-hyun [estyle@joongang.co.kr]





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