[ENTERTAINMENT] A Star on TV, Her Movie Legacy Lags
Kim Hye-soo, a 31-year-old actress, has tried her hand at nearly everything in the Korean entertainment industry in the 15 years since she made her debut in the film "Kkambo" in 1986.
Her 14th movie, "Shilla-eui Dalbam" ("Moonstruck in Shilla"), a comedy and action film, is currently in production and is scheduled for release in May.
But, despite her wide experience, Ms. Kim has failed to build the kind of name for herself in serious film roles as her contemporaries and rivals Jeon Do-youn and Ko So-young. As she remarked, "People don't know that I have starred in so many movies. That was why I became particularly selective about my next film. I finally found 'Moonstruck in Shilla,' whose script met my expectations, though the comedy genre is not exactly my cup of tea."
The questionable success of her film roles, however, contrasts with her prominence as a television actress. She recently starred in the popular TV drama "Hwang-geum Sidae" ("Golden Age") and has established a good reputation as an eloquent TV talk show host.
Her greater sense of ease on the small screen, and her desire to widen her horizons on the silver one, has left Ms. Kim with something of a dilemma. "I know you can make a much bigger impact in movies than on television, but I consider TV programs attractive in that I can become much more familiar to the public. But now I should choose between television and movies. It will take time to make a decision."
For many actors, taking part in the publicity drives attendant to their projects is one of their biggest professional chores, but Ms. Kim seemed to enjoy her magazine photo shoot. Though she had to change outfits six times in two hours, she looked buoyant.
When asked about her voluptuous, even plump, image, she remained tight-lipped. Rumor had it that she was on a diet, but looking at her gorging on two plates of risotto and spaghetti, it seemed unlikely. And she sounded well rehearsed in eating out, saying, "Just tell me what you want to have － I know every good place in town, from Korean to French to Italian."
She was easier to draw on her love life. Still single, she said she is "quite interested in getting married." On her ideal type of man, she remarked, "I like men who are independent and can take care of themselves. I want to be that kind of person myself. I used to appear in films or TV programs according to what my mother advised, but after some time I realized I should find my own path."
That she is a household name today is uncontested. Whether she will leave an enduring legacy is less sure. But she seems to have her priorities right. "I want to be a gorgeous woman inside before being a great actress."
by Shin Yong-ho