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[Herald Interview] Chun Woo-hee says she was thirsty for bright, down to earth character

Chun Woo-hee (Kidari ENT and Sony Pictures Entertainment Korea)
Chun Woo-hee (Kidari ENT and Sony Pictures Entertainment Korea)

Before playing So-hee in romance film “Rain and Your Story,” actor Chun Woo-hee was focusing on making a strong impression with dark and strong characters, like teenage rape victim Gong-ju in “Han Gong-ju” and the mysterious Mu-myeong in “The Wailing.”

“I have played many serious roles, so I was thirsty for characters that are bright and down to earth,” Chun told reporters during a joint media interview via Zoom.

Set mostly in 2003, “Rain and Your Story” introduces bookstore attendant So-hee (Chun Woo-hee), who moved to Busan from Seoul when she was an elementary school student. When not at work, she takes care of her older sister So-yeon, who is sick and has been hospitalized for a long time. One day, So-hee receives a letter addressed to So-yeon from elementary schoolmate Young-ho (Kang Ha-neul) in Seoul. So-hee writes back to Young-ho, pretending to be her sister.

“When I was performing the roles in ‘Han Gong-ju’ and ‘The Wailing,’ I became easily emotionally drained. So I had to try to refresh myself constantly,” Chun said. “Playing a down to earth character was different and I was more relaxed. I could also bring in my own personality when creating the character. But this does not mean it was easier since I had to pay attention to other details.”

One of the details that she considered when filming was the usage of the local dialect. Although most of So-hee’s scenes take place in Busan, Chun does not use Busan dialect at all in the film.

“I talked about this with our director. It isn’t explained much in the movie but So-yeon has been hospitalized for a long time and she (So-hee) was by her side,” she said. “So we decide not to use Busan dialect.”

During the interview, she also talked about what it was like to film a romance movie that mostly consists of scenes without a partner.

“I later found out that Kang Ha-neul asked the director to show him my scenes for reference. I didn’t know that was possible,” Chun said.

She does not regret not watching Kang’s scenes before acting, however, because she could freely use her imagination.

“Also when we were prerecording narrations, Ha-neul and I read the letters back and forth to each other (in person.) I tried to recall the feelings that I felt during the prerecording when I was performing alone,” she said.

Since handwritten letters play a crucial part in the movie, Chun said she tried writing them herself. 

Chun Woo-hee (Kidari ENT and Sony Pictures Entertainment Korea)
Chun Woo-hee (Kidari ENT and Sony Pictures Entertainment Korea)

“I took an online course and practiced my handwriting. So-hee writes letters backwards and in reverse order. The director saw my work and I guess he didn’t like it,” she said while laughing softly. “So in the movie he used letters written by a professional instead. I tried my best though.”

Chun also talked about the positive experience of receiving fan letters.

“It is uplifting when I read my fans’ letters,” Chun said. “There are times when they write me about their personal lives, adding that my performance made them feel better. When I read those, it makes me feel grateful and gives me the motivation to go on.”

“Rain and Your Story” directed by Jo Jin-mo was released in theaters on April 28.

By Song Seung-hyun (ssh@heraldcorp.com)
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