Oh impresses in masculine role

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Oh impresses in masculine role


Oh Yeon-seo

The recent SBS drama “Please Come Back, Mister” was overshadowed by the wildly popular KBS2 drama “Descendants of the Sun,” which aired on the same day at the same time.

But regardless of the drama’s success, many critics have praised lead actress Oh Yeon-seo for really throwing herself into her character, a man who is reborn as a woman after jumping off a train to heaven.

While playing a man, she had to become more active and aggressive with her body.

“It was very different,” Oh said in a recent interview with Ilgan Sports, an affiliate of the Korea JoongAng Daily, adding that she started to understand what it was like to be a man.

“As I played a male character, I also got mad at women who nag,” she said. “So I tried to play a man whom I would want to meet and whom many women want. And I think such a character actually got more popular.”

Q. How do you feel after the drama ended?

A. I used my body too much, so I have been suffering from muscle aches. My entire body is covered with bruises. I learned a lot, and it felt refreshing [to finish the drama].

Did you feel that you put extra effort into playing your character in this drama?

In fact, I struggled with the prejudices people had against me. I hated that people thought of me as someone who wouldn’t throw herself into a character, who had not struggled for anything ever, and someone too chic to be nice to others. So I wanted to show that I’m really down to earth.

Weren’t you worried about not looking pretty?

I always had regrets on my way back home after filming. I questioned whether I did too much while watching some short clips posted on the web. Next time, I will do a role that is mellower. I also want to play a role that shows delicate love.

Did you worry about the low viewership rating?

I didn’t care much while filming because it’s not something that can be changed by me alone. Other actors and staff didn’t really feel discouraged by it. The viewership rating was low, but it was highly talked-about, so it worked out.

Do you think that the drama showed its strength too late?

I’m regretful about that part. But still, I focused on working on the scripts for the upcoming shoot. I did think that it would have been better if more important scenes came out early, but we, as actors, were busy focusing on getting the part right.

What did you think about the competition, “Descendants of the Sun?”

I of course thought it would be fun, because the writer for the drama is a queen of romantic dramas. My acquaintances also all talked about actor Song Joong-ki in the drama. I was a bit disappointed and claimed that I’m more charming (laughs).

One of my relatives said that a girlfriend went home from drinking together to see Song [on TV]. After I heard the story, I realized, “Wow, a drama with a high viewership rating is really different, and this is the result of such a syndrome.”

Any plans for the future?

I was unknown in this industry for 10 years. It was so hard to know what would happen in the future. I’m sure many people in their 20s feel the same. They can keep dreaming big, thinking, “If Oh can make it, [I can make it, too].”

BY PARK HYUN-TAEK [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]
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