The upcoming film “The Beauty Inside,” which depicts a man who transforms into a different person every day, questions what distinct inner qualities make up a person’s identity.
At the same time, many of the actors and actresses who play the multifarious main character Woo-jin are those typically revered as “handsome” or “beautiful.”
“I understand that many in our cast are very attractive. It’s something that I too realized while editing,” said director Baek Jong-yeol at a press conference Monday. But regardless of looks, Baek was mainly focused on “finding the perfect actor to portray each stage of Woo-jin’s development,” he said.
Yi-soo (Han Hyo-joo) and Woo-jin (Park Seo-joon) in a still from "The Beauty Inside" (Yong Film)
Based on the 2012 Daytime Emmy award-winning American social film of the same title, “The Beauty Inside” explores the life of Woo-jin, who wakes up every day in a different body irrespective of age, gender or ethnicity. While actress Han Hyo-joo plays Yi-soo, Woo-jin’s love interest and the one constant in his life, over 21 actors take up the role of the ever-changing Woo-jin -- including the wildly popular Park Shin-hye.
“I was in a similar mental state to Yi-soo,” said Han. “Each day, there was a different Woo-jin on set. It was unfamiliar and new. But after a while, all of them felt like the same Woo-jin to me.”
Actor Park Seo-joon, who plays the first Woo-jin significant to the romantic plot, said he felt extra pressure to set the tone for the character.
“I felt like I was creating the foundation and standard for all future Woo-jins, so it was very pressuring. I paid a lot of attention to director Baek’s instructions, because he was able to see the big picture,” said Park.
Actress Chun Woo-hee as Woo-jin, who wakes up as a different person every morning -- sometimes as a man and other times as a woman, of random age and ethnicity (Yong Film)
Actress Chun Woo-hee, who played a female incarnation of Woo-jin, thought a lot about the one distinct quality that would make him identifiable as a single person.
“At first, I wondered how I could make the spirit of a man come through the body of a woman,” Chun said. “In the end, I decided it would be best to focus on showing Woo-jin’s sincere feelings for Yi-soo, and not think too much about gender. I felt that would be enough to link all the Woo-jins together.”
Yi-soo (Han Hyo-joo) and Woo-jin (Yoo Yeon-seok) (Yong Film)
Actor Yoo Yeon-seok, who also plays Woo-jin, asked himself whether he could love somebody whose appearance changes every day.
“After watching the movie, my response is ‘yes.’ I hope the audience will ask themselves the same question while watching and go home with their own answers,” he said.
“The Beauty Inside” opens in local theaters on Aug. 20.
By Rumy Doo (firstname.lastname@example.org