By Kim Tae-jong
It may still be true that her turbulent marriage to Samsung family member Chung Yong-jin first comes across your mind when you think of actress Ko Hyun-jung
But that image will be changed thanks to her new film "Woman on the Beach" (Haebyonui Yoin).
The film, directed by Hong Sang-soo
, is the story of romances between two men and two women in their 30s, on a trip to a resort town.
In the film, Ko shows different sides by playing an independent woman who freely expresses her feelings.
"I have many things in common with the character in the film", Ko said Monday during a news conference followed by a preview screening of the movie at Seoul Cinema in Chongno, downtown Seoul.
"I also often use such strong (swearing) words as my character does. They are just part of anyone's vocabulary, aren't they?" Ko said with a big smile.
Her personal life was long the talk of the town when this renowned actress and former Miss Korea winner married Shinsegae Group vice president Chung, nephew of a Samsung chairman.
To put an end to 15 turbulent years and to make a fresh start, she made a comeback to the entertainment industry through the 2005 television series Spring Days
(Pomnal), two years after her divorce.
It seems that the film will get her back on track as the actress who enjoyed enormous popularity in the 1990s.
"As this is my first film, I didn't have any special plan. It was just fun to work with the director and other actors. I was just happy to see how a film is made", Ko said.
Ko plays a singer and songwriter, who falls in love with a divorced director and tackles her inner relationship conflicts with him.
When she was cast in the film, many voiced concern how she would deal with possible nudity as director Hong's previous works contain explicit scenes. But Ko had said that she was ready if required.
Starkly different from Hong's other films, rated all "18 and over", the new film has received the rating of "15 and over" with few explicit scenes.
Ko said that it was not hers but the director's decision.
About her acting, the director praised her and expressed satisfaction with her performance in the film.
"I usually create 50 percent of a character in advance, and I try to fill the rest of it after meeting an actor. I think Ko has filled the rest excellently. I think she is an amazingly talented actress", Hong said.
"Woman on the Beach" opens Aug. 31.