Back To Top

Hwang Jung-eum ready for her close-up

‘High Kick 2’ actress to star in new KBS melodrama

Singer-turned-actress Hwang Jung-eum has come a long way from her breakout role in MBC’s hit sitcom “High Kick 2.”

After her success in “High Kick 2,” Hwang eschewed pigeonholing herself as the go-to girl for light-hearted, frivolous rom-com roles by tackling an eclectic range of heroines.

The 28-year-old actress tried on the medical genre for size with MBC’s “Golden Time” before switching gears as an overweight heiress who drops pounds and goes under the knife in the criminal comedy SBS’ “Incarnation of Money.” 
KBS’ “Secret Love” stars Hwang Jung-eum (left) and Ji Sung attend the drama’s press conference in Seoul on Wednesday. (Yonhap News)
KBS’ “Secret Love” stars Hwang Jung-eum (left) and Ji Sung attend the drama’s press conference in Seoul on Wednesday. (Yonhap News)

This time around she returns with a straight-up melodrama in KBS’ upcoming “Secret Love.”

“I am doing something that I’ve never done before,” Hwang said at the drama’s press conference in Seoul on Wednesday. “It’s a real adventure for me.”

“My heroine devotes seven years of her life to one man and then because of a tragic accident her whole life changes,” Hwang said of her forthcoming role.

Though the melodrama is not new to Hwang, who starred in the SBS saga, “Giant,” it appears that her latest work represents new territory for her.

In the new drama, Hwang plays Kang Yoo-jung, an optimistic and feisty heroine who voluntarily takes the fall for her boyfriend’s crime and ends up serving a five-year prison sentence for the wrongful manslaughter of Cho Min-hyuk’s girlfriend.

Believing Kang to be responsible for his girlfriend’s death, Cho, played by actor Ji Sung, is set on exacting revenge, only, it appears, to find himself falling for Kang instead.

Of working with co-star Hwang, Ji ― who will be wedding “I Hear Your Voice” actress Lee Bo-young later this month ― said it was not hard to get into character despite his forthcoming marriage.

“I have no problem with it,” said Ji, 36, who explained that he separates his professional life from his personal one.

Of his role, Ji described Cho as “a second generation chaebol” and an “honest and incredibly selfish bad boy.”

“Then he meets Hwang Jung-eum and I guess he changes,” Ji dropped a not-so subtle hint on what viewers can expect from the upcoming series.

Until then, however, it looks like Hwang’s heroine will face numerous hardships, no less so because Cho is doing everything to ensure her life is a miserable one.

“It’s not tough,” Hwang said of playing the damsel in serious distress. “It’s not hard at all. It’s fun.”

“Secret Love” director Lee Eung-bok noted, “Hwang does not come across as your prototypical helpless heroine.”

According to Lee, viewers can look forward to seeing Hwang portray her heroine with a wide range of emotions, from bouncy and upbeat in the early episodes to weepy and devastated when tragedy strikes.

“When Hwang gets into character she really gets into character,” Lee said.

“Secret Love” starts airing Sept. 25 Wednesday and Thursday nights at 10 p.m. on KBS 2 TV.

By Jean Oh (