[ENTERTAINMENT]A Female Lead Is Frustratingly Upstaged

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[ENTERTAINMENT]A Female Lead Is Frustratingly Upstaged

Kim Bo-kyung, a 24-year-old actress, is beloved by two big-time actors, Jang Dong-gun and Yoo O-sung. She finally chooses Yoo O-sung to wed. That's not all. Another two actors have a crush on her - and she even grants one a sudden kiss.

But you don't have to get jealous, ladies, this is fiction: It all takes place in the recent domestic movie release, "Chin-gu" ("Friends").

Kim Bo-kyung is the only member of the fairer sex to feature in "Friends." In the movie, she plays an attractive girl lucky enough to be loved by all of the four male protagonists. In the real world, she has found it more difficult to lure such attention.

Although moviegoers may consider her a new face in entertainment, in fact she has been around on television and in films for the last three years. She appeared in a couple of TV commercials, TV dramas such as "Chodae" ("Invitation") in 1999, and even domestic films like "Kka" in the late 1990s. But these efforts failed to win her the spotlight she coveted.

In "Friends," she finally got the chance to put her talents to full use. She demonstrated a particular gift for singing in the film. She made smoking a cigarette into an art form. But somehow, her role in this film, which was supposed to be a major one, ended up being downplayed.

She remarked on this in an interview with the JoongAng Ilbo: "The director, Gwak Kyoung-taek, kept saying, 'Sorry' to me after the preview. He said he had to cut out lots of scenes in which I appeared because the movie's focus was the friendship between the men.

"Well, I have to admit that it was kind of frustrating, for I did do my very best."

But she doesn't seem bitter, and this is her strength: persistence. She is ready to get up and do it all again, taking another shot at fame with a starring role in the TV drama "Hak-kyo 4" ("School 4"), which from tomorrow will air every Sunday.

This stamina demonstrates her will to act. Born in Pusan, she dreamed of becoming an actress from childhood. She has been searching for parts since her high school days. She stuck out school until graduation, then found a part in a local professional drama troupe, appearing in two minor theater roles. She entered Seoul Institute of the Arts in 1997. From then on, she got down to the serious pursuit of an acting career.

She was even willing to admit to the lengths she contemplated to find fame and fortune in Korean showbiz, "I thought of plastic surgery, to make my nose look more 'noble.' But I came to the decision that my natural look was preferable."

Perhaps this decision not to go under the knife was testament to her professed conviction to be "a genuine actress, different from the other stars in the Korean film industry who look beautiful, but cannot give a professional performance."

by Woo Sang-gyun

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