(Artwork by Ariana Maralit)
Coined as the god of culture marketing, one of the most remarkable things about South Korean entertainment business is that, their talents especially, actors are not limited to a love team or to a certain role formula throughout their careers.
Given their skills and capacities, actors have the opportunities to explore other roles and projects, just like actress Han So-hee.
She rose to fame internationally with her remarkable performance as the young, beautiful mistress in the hit series, “The World of the Married.” Now, away from this titular role, So-hee is playing a completely opposite character of a badass female lead for the Netflix’ action series, “My Name.”
But how did she prepare for this 360 degree character shift? During the “My Name”‘s press event, her co-star, award-winning actor Park Hee-soon (“V.I.P.”, “The Client,” “1987”) reveals that she enrolled in an action school, a month ahead of the other members of the cast.
“Han So-hee actually started training a month before the rest of us,” he says. “So-hee practiced a lot and gained 10 kilograms of muscle.”
Director Kim Jin-min says that even though they have stunt doubles and martial arts directors, 99 percent of the stunts for this project are played by the actors. This pushed So-hee to work even harder. Apart from physical preparation, she also watched different action movies to get inspiration.
Jan Yull, Kim Sang-ho, Park Hee-soon, Han So-hee, Director Kim Jin-min, Ahn Bo-hyun, and Lee Hak-ju (Netflix)
“There are different styles of martial arts and one of the martial arts directors pointed out the style of ‘Atomic Blonde’ which is a more long-take style. So I looked at different titles like ‘Atomic Blonde’ and ‘The Old Guard’ for inspiration. The biggest challenge regarding action was hurting others. If I didn’t practice enough, I could hurt others and I really didn’t want that, so I practiced a lot to finish the series safely,” the 26-year-old actress says. “I exercised a lot and I ate what I wanted, so I gained 10 kilograms from the weight I was during ‘The World of the Married.'”
“My Name” follows the story of Jiwoo who’s seeking revenge for the death of her father.
“When I read the script for ‘My Name,’ I thought it was very original because the main character is female. All of those complex emotions that come from unfolding her story as well as the dynamic characters we see, I could feel the passion and heat in that story,” she says. “Jiwoo has to witness her father’s death at a very young age, and she has no choice but to go on this path. I feel for her, but at the same time, I admire her determination and the strength that she carries.”
“My Name” is set to premiere this Oct. 15, 2021 only on Netflix.