“Is that an order? I will do as you command.”
Always preceded by the adjective “innocent,” Choi Ji-woo (38) appeared in front of the public in a completely unexpected way. She surely left an indelible impression on the viewers with her enigmatic role in the SBS drama “The Suspicious Housekeeper.” In the drama, she appeared as Park Bok-nyeo, a dedicated housekeeper who does exactly as she is told. Whether it is hot or cold, she always wears a hat low over her head and a grey jumper and carries a large mahogany bag. More than that, she never smiles. Then, she meets Eun Sang-cheol (Lee Seong-jae) and his family and changes slowly. “Family love” enters her heart once again and she smiles brightly for the first time.
“The Suspicious Housewife” is based on the Japanese drama “I Am Mita, Your Housekeeper.” Aired in 2011 on NTV, “I Am Mita, Your Housekeeper” had the whole of Japan in tears. It recorded 40% viewership and ranked third among all Japanese dramas in terms of viewership. One interesting point for the Korean viewers while “The Suspicious Housewife” aired was the similarity between Choi Ji-woo and Nanako Matsushima of “I Am Mita, Your Housekeeper.”
During an interview with a crew member of the drama after all shoots were over, she said, “In my twenty years as an actress, she was the most unforgettable character.” That was how special Park Bok-nyeo was to Choi Ji-woo.
“I had never played the role of someone like Park Bok-nyeo before. I know there was a lot of concern, and many people made comparisons with the original, but I felt that I had accomplished something. That’s why I said that it was unforgettable. There is an overwhelming sense of accomplishment for having done something completely new.”
Park Bok-nyeo was as difficult to portray as the character was enigmatic. However, now a veteran actress, Choi Ji-woo became engrossed in her role.
No adapted work can avoid comparison with the original. However, Choi Ji-woo devoted herself to the role with the thought that “The Suspicious Housewife” was inherently different from “I Am Mita, Your Housekeeper.”
“I wanted to think that it was created anew. Even when I was filming, I did not approach the role with the thought that I have to be like Mita or I have to be different or I have to be better. But it was inevitable for people to compare our drama with the original because the latter was such a big hit.”
In the drama, Choi Ji-woo had to act alongside children in many scenes. Naturally, she became very close to the children.
“They were mature and so pretty. They called me Ms. Bok-nyeo on the set and even asked me first if I was all right. There was a lot of laughter and also mishaps because of the children. It was only natural that we got close because we shared so many scenes together.”
One of the first Hallyu actresses is Ji-woo Hime. When she confirmed her role in “The Suspicious Housekeeper,” Japan was quick to respond. Although many gave their support, some asked “Why?”
“In the beginning, ’The Suspicious Housekeeper’ was very similar to ‘I Am Mita, Your Housekeeper.’ Nowadays, Korean dramas can be watched in Japan as they are aired in Korea. Some fans commented whether it was necessary for even the costumes to be alike. But as the story progressed, Bok-nyeo became more emotionally expressive than Mita, and the plot was longer. Viewers noticed this too and commented that the drama had its own appeal. They compared the two dramas in the beginning, but then came to see our drama in a different light as the story progressed.”
Past the “prime age” for marriage, Choi Ji-woo gave a cool answer to questions about marriage.
“Prime age for marriage? Am I too late? I don’t know. I don’t feel anxious about getting married. Of course, that doesn’t mean that I am neither fix on staying single nor I am the type who does not like or want kids. But then again, I don’t want to waste this good time by being worried or feeling anxious. Frankly, I like how things are right now. I’ve worked hard until now, looking only ahead of me. I don’t think it’d be a bad idea to just enjoy how things are now because I’m much more relaxed.”
※ The above is a translation of an interview by “CBS No Cut News.”
2016-10-30 ~ 2016-11-5
2016-10-30 ~ 2016-11-5
2016-11-7 ~ 2016-11-13