• 2013-12-18 16:11:30

Lee Ji-ah “Kim Su-hyun’s Dialogue Tone Ingrained in My Daily Life”

Critical reviews for Lee Ji-ah (35) start now. Although her acting stirred up some controversy in the earlier episodes of her first drama in two years, “The Woman Who Married Three Times,” Lee Ji-ah is getting a hang of her character now. Finally, the viewers are saying that they can talk about her acting, not her “issues.” Her first appearance on TV was a dramatic one. She starred alongside Bae Yong-jun in MBC drama “The Legend” in 2007, but afterwards, people started talking more about her scandals than her acting. However, she is finally getting her acting acknowledged for her portrayal of complex Eun-soo in “The Woman Who Married Three Times.” She appears as a former TV shopping mall host who marries into a wealthy family, but who is torn between her happiness and her daughter’s and her former husband and her current husband. At a press conference for the drama at Ilsan SBS Production Center in Gyeonggi-do, she showed how engrossed she was in her role. “Now, Kim Su-hyun’s dialogue tone pops up in my daily life,” she said. 

-Do you understand Eun-soo who gets married again?

“I’m still trying to understand Eun-soo. I’m trying to imagine and understand her thoughts behind her actions and what her life must have been like.

-There were many comments that your face looks different. How do you feel about cosmetic surgery rumors?

“I think many people said that because they hadn’t seen me for a while. The drama was finalized at the last minute, so I wasn’t physically prepared in the beginning, especially because I was mentally under pressure as well. I think the viewers focused on me more because I had been away from the spotlight for a while. It’s true that I was downhearted that my looks and not my acting became an issue. I would like to apologize to the rest of the cast. I hope the viewers would watch me with a little more sympathy.” 

-You cry a lot for your role.
“I was scared about how I should express my feelings for my child. In the drama, I am torn by the decision to send the child away, and that pain rubbed off on me. I cried a lot even during our read-through. The drama touches on the subtle feelings between family members, so that moves me to tears a lot. It’s not easy on the set though because there are many emotional scenes.”

-How are you absorbing Kim Su-hyun’s idiosyncratic dialogue tone?

“I got told off a lot during our read-through. It was difficult for me to change my tone. Now, even when I’m just talking, Kim Su-hyun’s dialogue tone will pop up. That tone was difficult to handle at first, but once I got used to it, I realized its appeal.

-How did you get cast?

“Director Jeong Eul-yeong called my manager. We had a meeting the very next day, and I decided to join the team after much discussion. I’m sorry that he had to drop out due to health problems. But he sends me text messages from time to time. I will meet up with him after the drama ends.”

-Did you have problems handling your character Eun-soo?
“When I had problems, Kim Hye-sook (who starred in Kim Su-hyun’s previous drama) helped out a lot. If it hadn’t been for her help, I wouldn’t have come this far. She still monitors my work. She told me, ‘Your telephone voice is much brighter,’ and ‘You’ve broken out of your shell.’ But I think that shell cannot be broken in one go. I will try to stay relaxed and do my best. I hope the viewers will watch me with sympathy over a long term.”

- You are in a conflict between two men, Song Chang-ui and Ha Seok-jin. Who are you more attracted to in real life?

“Both characters have their own charm, so it’s not easy to choose one over the other. But I think I’ll choose someone whom I can trust. Eventually, we end up following people like that. I don’t know yet which of the two men will earn my trust.”

- What would Lee Ji-ah do?

“This question will expose my personal taste. (Laughter). Eun-soo and I definitely have a very different way of solving problems. I get surprised when I read the script. Eun-soo is a lot stronger and more cheerful than I am. Through her, I get to experience what I normally would not do in real life.

-Eun-soo is criticized for getting remarried and not letting her daughter live with her father. She could be seen as being selfish.

“A lot of people criticized Eun-soo for not letting her daughter live with her father. But there’s a reason why Eun-soo cannot let her daughter go. This will become evident when you follow the story. I think that if I absorb her character as much as possible and be completely sincere in my acting, I will be able to convey that clearly. 


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