Young, Charming and Innocent ? What More Could You Want?

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Young, Charming and Innocent ? What More Could You Want?

One of the diplomatic cliches Koreans frequently use to describe plain-looking women, is to say that a woman seems "good-hearted." Generally, one cannot regard this seemingly kind comment as a compliment, yet when it comes to talking about Son Ye-jin, the cliche rings true.

This nineteen-year-old with her trade-mark girl next door image has become an extremely popular TV actress in Korea. As the female lead in the TV drama "Masinneun Cheonghon" ("Delicious Proposal"), Monday and Tuesday on channel 11, she plays the daughter of a Chinese restauranteur, and is head over heels in love with a rival cook from another Chinese restaurant. To make things more complicated, another young woman (played by So Yu-jin) has a crush on the same cook.

The two actresses are rivals not only on the TV drama, but in real life as well. However, Ms. Son has remarked that she would like for them to have a companionable relationship instead of a competitive one. "I cannot say that I am aloof in this rivalry, and even though her image (Ms. So) and characteristics are wholly different from mine, I don't think we are incompatible. I'm just sorry that we haven't been able to become friends yet, due to our different shooting schedules."

Ms. Son's good-natured character, along with her persona of innocence, played a crucial role in her debut in the entertainment industry. Two years ago, she was just another teenage girl living in Daegu who wanted to become a star. Hoping to make her dreams a reality, she came to Seoul and was lucky enough to meet some of the big players of the entertainment industry, who were impressed by her wholesome image. The producer of the drama, Park Sung-soo, said that he was first taken aback by her "deep and innocent eyes."

Before appearing in "Delicious Proposal," she starred in two TV commercials for the cosmetic company "Man With a Flower," (with veteran actress Kim Hye-soo) and for Hewlett-Packard. The latter ad is currently being aired on television.

Because established actresses are usually given top priority for TV roles, and because there are so many of those established actresses, some regard Ms. Son as extremely fortunate to have landed such a big role after so little exposure.

This Ms. Son humbly acknowledges, saying, "Thanks to this TV drama my dream since early childhood has suddenly come true."

by Chun Su-jin

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