After what many would call a career-defining performance in Cannes-winning film “Parasite,” Cho Yeo-jeong is demonstrating a different side of her acting spectrum with a role in a new KBS series.
In the upcoming “Woman of 9.9 billion,” Cho plays a woman who used to live a hopeless life but becomes relentless when it comes to money, a far cry from the naive housewife that has become familiar to international audiences.
“I had a desire to play a different role from the previous movie where I played a slightly dorky housewife in a wealthy family,” Cho said at the press conference on Tuesday at the Ramada Seoul Sindorim in Seoul. “I wondered what (my character) Jung Seo-yeon’s life would be like, and was attracted to the character because she was quite calm and strong despite the environment she had to face.”
Cho Yeo-jeong speaks at the premiere for drama series “Woman of 9.9 billion,” Tuesday. (KBS)
The story revolves around Jung Seo-yeon (Cho), who accidently comes across 9.9 billion won ($8.33 million) in cash and fights against the world to secure the money. As the woman has been mistreated by her husband and lives a life of despair, she sees the windfall as her last chance for salvation.
Although Jung acquires the money, her life doesn’t go as she dreamed. “I know many people in Korean society feel despair nowadays. … I wish this drama also could give hope that money doesn’t guarantee happiness,” she said.
Late last month, the 38-year-old actress won the prize for best actress at the Blue Dragon Awards, one of the most prestigious film awards in Korea. In her acceptance, Cho said she considered acting a one-sided love, thinking that she could be abandoned anytime by the movie industry.
“I heard many actors identified with what I said (at the ceremony) afterwards, and that was a relief for me, because I realized I was not the only one to feel that way,” she said. “To me, acting is something that can never be complete, and I think the award encouraged me in the process.”
The drama series will air every Wednesday and Thursday on KBS2 at 10 p.m. starting this week.
By Park Yuna (firstname.lastname@example.org)