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Kim Hye-soo says ‘The Day I Died’ was like her destiny

“The Day I Died” (Warner Bros Korea)
“The Day I Died” (Warner Bros Korea)
Actor Kim Hye-soo said her upcoming film “The Day I Died” was like her destiny.

“It is hard to explain but I felt a strong pull to take the role. I think it is because that was the time that I had a strong desire for some sort of comfort,” Kim said during a press conference at CGV Yongsan in Seoul on Wednesday. “At that time, I was broken down and had wounds. (Like Hyun-soo in the movie,) I got comfort from meeting actors at our filming site.”

“The Day I Died” depicts the story of main character Hyun-soo, a police officer who is going through a difficult time after her husband, who cheated on her, demands a divorce. Hyun-soo starts investigating the case of a girl named Se-jin (Roh Jeong-eui), who disappeared off the edge of the cliff. As she conducts her investigation, Hyun-soo feels connected to the girl. The story develops further after Hyun-soo meets a mute witness of the girl’s death, played by Lee Jeong-eun.

Kim added that she focused on portraying a character who felt natural and tried to avoid any acting that seemed artificial. To do this, Kim said she also applied some of her own experiences to the character.

“There is a scene where Hyun-soo says she cannot go to sleep in the room because whenever she falls asleep she has a nightmare. I actually had that experience for a year myself, so I suggested adding that line.”

Although the upcoming movie is about three female protagonists and their solidarity, director Park Ji-wan said she had not intended to do a story about women.

“It was not like I had an initial intention to write a narrative about women. I was just looking for an interesting story that I liked and, naturally, it became this way,” Park said. “I wanted to create characters that are going through hardships but are hiding their difficulties. To me, it just felt natural that they were female characters.”

Kim also added that the movie is a story of anyone who experiences difficulties, regardless of gender.

During the press meeting, the director thanked Kim, saying the debut feature was only possible because of her.

“As everyone can see from our casting, I owe a lot to Kim Hye-soo. Many actors in the movie said they want to take the role because they wanted to do a movie with Kim.” Park said.

Asked how Kim feels about being one of a few iconic female figures to be leading the Korean movie scene, the veteran actress was humble.

“Since I have been in the industry for long, I do know that I have certain responsibilities,” Kim said. “But to be honest, I am just an actor, struggling every day to do my task.”

On the other hand, Roh, a 19-year-old actor who stars alongside two veteran actors in Kim and Lee, said she was honored to work with them.

“At first I was very nervous, it felt like I was working with two school principals,” Roh said, at which Kim and Lee burst into laughter. “But that motivated me to work hard, so I want to thank them.”

“Especially when I was shooting an emotional scene with Lee Jeong-eun, I was not sure if I was acting or crying for real because I actually felt the comfort when she held my hands,” Roh said. “It almost felt too easy to cry in that scene.”

“The Day I Died” will hit local theaters on Nov. 12.

By Song Seung-hyun (