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)
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