[CELEB] Shin Hyun-been can't be confined to a single genre
In Tving’s new original series “Monstrous” (2022), actor Shin Hyun-been plays female protagonist Lee Soo-jin, who specializes in reading the patterns of supernatural beings. After losing her daughter in an accident, she returns to Jinyang County, South Gyeongsang — where she gets entangled in strange, inexplicable events.
All six episodes were released on Friday.
Written by director and screenwriter Yeon Sang-ho, “Monstrous” centers on archeologist Jeong Ki-hoon (played by actor Koo Kyo-hwan) who is forced to investigate a paranormal incident that brings disaster to Jinyang County. Ki-hoon is also the ex-husband of Soo-jin.
Director Yeon is well-known for his depictions of zombies and supernatural beings in films “Train to Busan” (2016), “Peninsula” (2020) and the Netflix original series “Hellbound” (2021).
Shin said in a press interview that although the show first appears as a thriller, it cannot be confined to just one genre. Due to the heart-wrenching and sorrowful acting required to fully illustrate her character, she thinks “Monstrous” is actually more of a melodrama.
“Even though ‘Monstrous’ is set in the supernatural genre, it focuses on the people who are involved in the events; it’s about their relationships and feelings toward each other,” Shin said. “That’s what intrigued me [...] Soo-jin changed a lot after losing her child. Before, she was probably a lively and active person, but after losing her kid and living alone she became a new person. She lost herself after losing her child. I wanted to portray the process of how Soo-jin gets stronger and finds herself again.”
It’s not Shin’s first time playing a character suffering from emotional pain. In JTBC’s melodrama television series “Reflection of You” (2021), Shin played Goo Hae-won, a substitute art teacher at an all-girls middle school whose husband has an affair, leading Hae-won to seek revenge on the mistress.
“I think I’m a person who meets these characters in order to listen to their sorrows,” Shin said. “I feel like I want to console them and understand what happened to them and learn why they made certain choices. I end up choosing to play these characters to try and reflect their stories to others.”
In “Reflection of You,” A-list actor Ko Hyun-jung played the mistress, but that didn’t stop Shin from stealing some of the spotlight. Pop culture critic Ha Jae-keun said last November that Shin captivated the audience with her own charm, refusing to be overshadowed by a top star like Ko.
Since debuting in 2010 in the film “He’s on Duty,” Shin has been actively portraying both big and small roles on the silver and small screen. Her breakthrough role is considered to be as the quiet and responsible resident doctor Jang Gyeo-ul in both seasons of tvN’s television series “Hospital Playlist” (2020-21).
The show, which follows a quintet of doctors in their 40s who are best friends, was a hit with the first episode of season two becoming the most-watched premiere of all tvN shows.
In an interview with the Ilgan Sports, an affiliate of the Korea JoongAng Daily late last year, Shin reflected on playing two roles at the same time — in “Hospital Playlist” and “Reflection of You” — that were so dissimilar. She said she “created a part of [herself] in both of them.”
JTBC revealed last year that Shin would star in its upcoming television drama “The Youngest Son of a Conglomerate,” alongside big-name actors Song Joong-ki and Lee Sung-min. The show is set to premiere later this year.
As for “Monstrous,” this drama helped Shin think about “hell” in reality.
“I kept looking back on my own life,” Shin said. “If we overcome our own hellish experiences in life, do we feel like they never happened? I think I’m better now at concentrating on the current situation, as an actor.”
Shin Hyun-been (Kwak Hyun-been)
Date of birth: April 10, 1986
Zodiac sign: Aries
Debut: September 2010 through film “He’s on Duty”
Agency: Yooborn Company
Shin Hyun-been debuted in 2010 through the comedy film “He’s on Duty.” She played the role of Jang-mi, a Vietnamese widow. Her first television drama was SBS’s “Warrior Baek Dong-soo” (2011), in which she played the main female role of Yoo Ji-sun. Her other appearances were in films including “Confidential Assignment” (2017), “Cheer Up, Mr. Lee” (2019) and “Beasts Clawing at Straws” (2020), and in television shows like KBS’s “Queen of Mystery” (2017), tvN’s “Hospital Playlist” (2020-21) and JTBC’s “Reflection of You” (2021).
This information was confirmed by Yooborn Company on May 3, 2022.
BY SHIN MIN-HEE [firstname.lastname@example.org]