Actress Expands Her Skills By Portraying a Deaf-Mute

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Actress Expands Her Skills By Portraying a Deaf-Mute

Hwang Soo-jung, an actress who has tackled a wide range of roles in her career, is again expanding her horizons by playing a deaf-mute in the MBC weekend drama "Mother and Sister."

To help her in this challenging role, Ms. Hwang has taken lessons in dactylology, which is a form of sign language, for the last five months from Kim Hwang-seok, an instructor at the Deaf and Dumb Association in Seoul. She plays Yeo-kyeong, the oldest daughter of four children.

A strange turn of events surrounding the abandonment of her fraternal twin leads to the accident that caused her physical impairment. The drama, directed by Lee Kwan-hee, first aired last Saturday.

"At first, I thought this would be an easy role to play, not having to stress out about memorizing the lines," Ms. Hwang said. "However, later I found that in order to properly act and to anticipate the flow of the plot, the thorough memorization of the lines is required."

"As far as the role of a deaf and dumb woman," she said, "I took it as a good opportunity to widen the diversity of characters. People around me kept saying before watching the drama that I may have a lot of difficulties expressing my feelings and emotions only with sign language." But after watching her do it, they no longer say that.

Ms. Hwang said that in the beginning, it wasn't easy for her to play the role but that she had now become familiar enough with dactylogy to be able to communicate with the deaf.

Ms. Hwang's deep, dark eyes give her a classical Korean look, which she prefers to describe as a "natural look." She graduated from Kyeong Won University in 1996 with a major in industrial design. After graduating, she became a co-host of the SBS program "Morning Wide." Six months later she played the lead role of a North Korean in the SBS drama "Melting Ice." Last May, she played Yejin, a brave and wise traditional nurse who loved Ho-chun, the famed Chosun-era Oriental physician who was the title character in the MBC period drama.

The actress has also done a bit of modeling, appearing on the album cover of "Hwang Soo-jung's Love Letter." She did not, however, sing any of the songs.

by Kim Jae-seon

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