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[Herald Interview] Son Ye-jin has special place in heart for melodrama

Despite decades of prevailing in Korean cinema, melodrama appears to have relinquished its crown to darker and grittier thrillers and action films.

Playing her first role in a melodrama film in years in “Be With You,” Son Ye-jin said she has been wanting to present the audience with a quality melodrama flick for a while.

“It’s not so much that I wanted to sustain my nickname ‘Melodrama Queen,’ as that the genre has always been something that I wanted to do,” she said in a group interview in Seoul on Monday. “As a cinemagoer, I missed the beautiful images and music, and as an actor, I’ve been thirsty for such acting.” 

Son Ye-jin (MSTeam Entertainment)
Son Ye-jin (MSTeam Entertainment)

In the film, Son plays a woman who mysteriously appears before her husband and son a year after her death. The movie is a remake of the Japanese flick of the same name, but the Korean version has more lighthearted and comedic moments.

“No matter what the genre is, I want there to be some kind of humor. Of course the film has the underlying fear of saying goodbye (to loved ones), but I wanted it to be also fun,” she said.

About her casting, she said that having So Ji-sub as her co-star was the main reason she took on the role.

“When I heard that he was cast (as Woo-jin), I thought we were halfway through (to success),” Son said. “Now I’m free to say it, but I never would’ve done this film if it weren’t for him. I did it because of him.”

Now in her mid-30s, Son said she sometimes feels the pressure of acting.

“I’ve been acting nonstop, but it’s not easy. Sometimes I fear that I may lose interest, or that people may not employ me,” she said. “Luckily during the process, I keep finding films that I want to work on. While I work on the films, I keep getting the urge to keep going.”

Son, 36, first appeared in a supporting role in the 2000 film “Secret Tears,” and rose to fame in films like “The Classic,” and “A Moment to Remember.”

By Yoon Min-sik