For Han Hyo-joo, the lead role of Yi-soo in the fantasy romance “The Beauty Inside” was a chance that would never come again.
“When would I ever get to work with so many actors in one movie?” she mused at a group interview at a cafe in Seoul ahead of the film’s release. “When would I get to kiss so many people in one day?”
Han Hyo-joo (Yonhap)
In “The Beauty Inside,” Han’s character Yi-soo falls in love with a man, Woo-jin, whose appearance changes every day. Drawing its inspiration from an ad campaign of the same name by Intel and Toshiba that involved the participation of people from all over the world, the film’s fantastical concept allowed for a multitude of actors to be cast in the role of Woo-jin. A total of 123 actors played Woo-jin, 21 of them with significant roles, and 13 of them getting to kiss Han.
Despite the film’s far-fetched premise, Han said she saw much of herself in her role.
“In this film, I didn’t particularly change my voice or my appearance. I think that Yi-soo is just me,” she said.
The actress’ identification with her character allowed her to make many substantive contributions to Yi-soo’s development. “There were a lot of times when I would think of lines. Because I was Yi-soo, I knew what I would say in that situation, differently from the script,” she said. “There are some scripts that can be changed, and some that can’t.”
“In that respect, ‘The Beauty Inside’ was very open to possibilities, approachable from many different angles.”
For example, she said the phrase “One day is too short to become familiar,” which Yi-soo says while seeking therapy, and the line “It’s all right, no matter what you look like. I love the ‘you’ that’s inside.”
“I just added my own ideas to the overall vibe that the director asked for,” she said.
When asked about what set “The Beauty Inside” apart from the other big hits currently in theaters, including “Assassination” and “Veteran,” she noted the film’s visual appeal.
“Because the director specializes in creating advertisements, he was determined to make the scenes beautiful, finding the best angles,” she said, adding that his attention to visual detail made her self-conscious.
“I had always wanted to see a Korean movie with the warm colors you see in European movies,” she said. “In that respect, this movie is very satisfying.”
“Regardless of how it does at the box office, I’m very grateful for this movie. It helped me to get through a rough period of my life,” she said, referencing a scandal last year involving her brother’s role in a military bullying case. “The role allowed me to feel loved by many other people.”
“The Beauty Inside” opened on Aug. 20.
By Won Ho-jung (firstname.lastname@example.org