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[INTERVIEW] Actress Lee Bo-young

2010/03/05 Source

Korean actress Lee Bo-young [photographed by Chae Ki-won/10Asia]

A poster shoot for "Harvest Villa" was taking place at a studio in Nonhyun-dong of Seoul. The actors, each already full of character, displayed facial expressions that summarized the roles they had taken for the drama and drew curiosity by simply standing still in front of the camera. Actor Baek Yoon-shik, who plays the problem-solver in the drama, expressed his concern by saying, "Make me look sturdy". But once he went into shoot, he put on a tough guy-like appearance and looking relaxed, remarked "Should I act like I just killed about 50 people?" But it was actress Lee Bo-young, who plays the female lead in the drama and looked cheerful throughout the photo shoot, that stood out more than anyone at the studio. Her character Seo-rin approaches Bok-gyu (played by Shin Ha-kyun) pretending to be the perfect woman but she actually works in the adult entertainment business. Here we reveal the stories Lee told us about "Harvest Villa".

Q: This drama claims to be a cruel thriller. Were there any difficulties you encountered during the shooting?
Lee: I've only shot about four episodes till now but it was hard because I filmed very intense scenes from the start. I thought I would have an easy shooting schedule in the beginning but I shot the intense scenes first -- such as working at adult entertainment places and trying to kiss Bok-gyu to seduce him. I shot the scenes that reveal my character all at once.

Q: Your character is complex and not easy to portray. Weren't you worried when you chose to play this role?
Lee: I was a little worried but I thought it would be fun to portray this character. I felt like I could show a lot of change and that there was much I could add to in playing the part.

Q: You're in the situation where your character too will be acting. So are you preparing to play two characters?
Lee: I've prepared myself to speak in two different ways but I keep getting confused. (laugh)

Q: You also played a two-faced character in "Once Upon a Time".
Lee: In that film, my character had two different jobs but she actually was always adorable and foolish. This time, however, I have to show two completely different characters. One side to her is cute, cheerful and off-the-wall, while another side acts indifferent and as if she knows everything about life.

Actress Lee Bo-young in previous films: "More Than Blue" (2009) with kwon Sang-woo (left) and "A Dirty Carnival" (2006) with Jo In-sung

Q: I heard you were the last person to be cast - didn't you have little time to prepare?
Lee: That's what I thought and I was worried, but I gained some time when the shooting became delayed for about three weeks. (laugh) I had to a lot to prepare in the beginning such as tennis and martial arts.

Q: You must have been under a lot of pressure physically because you had to show a lot of physical stuff.
Lee: The first day that I played tennis, I went home and fell asleep at 9 p.m. When I woke up in the morning, I saw that I had cried in my sleep. (laugh) I had given up on practicing postures in the past because it was so boring. But I'm having fun now that I'm learning to hit balls.

Q: You must have been very cautious about taking on this drama since it is your first drama appearance in three years. What in particular drew you to it?
Lee: I was attracted by the fact that I didn't have too many scenes to shoot. Usually in a mini-series, the two main characters have to shoot an overwhelming amount of scenes in the latter half of the show. And in such cases, the actors will end up acting mechanically, but in this drama, there are various characters and they each have their own story to tell so everyone gets their share of attention. That lessens the burden and I thought that would give me the space to prepare my acting. I feel rather reassured that the drama branches out in many ways.

Q: Then the fact that the drama would go into pre-production since the script had been set must have been an important factor in your decision.
Lee: Of course it was. You can understand your character better when you know the whole story. But I decided to focus on one scene at a time when I am acting rather than thinking about what comes after.

Q: It sounds like you trust the writer and director entirely.
Lee: When you read the script, everything falls into place amazingly. I thought the writer was a genius. As a reader, the script gets more interesting when you read it two or three times. But it is a little disappointing visually, that what we've shot so far isn't attractive in terms of the wardrobe. We're getting the new arrivals now so you'll see them in the later episodes but they might be out of style by the time the show airs. (laugh)

Actress Lee Bo-young [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]

Q: Your wardrobe must be pretty fancy with a character like yours.
Lee: Since I have to show something very clear in a visual way, more so than people who really work in the adult entertainment business, I wore clothes that were much fancier in color and design than what I usually wear. I wore leopard print for the first time in my life. (laugh)

Q: You usually play someone who gets seduced -- this is your first time playing a seductress, right?
Lee: It was hard because I'm playing the seducer and I didn't know what to do. But as an actor, it's fun to play the part because my character shows more and more to her as the story progresses. She is a character who changes in various ways within the drama.

Q: There are comedic elements to the story - do you do some comedic acting yourself?
Lee: I don't do any comedy-style acting but there are many situations which are hilarious. For example, I'm just doing my best to seduce Bok-gyu but it'll look very funny to other people.

Q: I heard that your character needs money from Bok-gyu, so the romance must be an obstacle to your character's goal.
Lee: She needs money to stop working in the adult entertainment industry and achieve her dream of becoming a designer. She is swayed by Bok-gyu's innocence but Seo-rin remains a mysterious character to the end. It'll be difficult to discover the true side of Seo-rin unless you watch the show till the very end.

Q: The plot is crucial to the drama, so I am very cautious to not give out any spoilers while asking questions about the story.
Lee: If the story is entertaining, it doesn't matter that you know about a couple of the scenes. If the story is compelling, viewers will keep watching even if they know what happens later. There is nothing to worry about if it is entertaining.

Q: Does that mean you are confident about "Harvest Villa"?
Lee: Who starts off a drama without any confidence? Our director is even more confident than I am. He sent me a text message when I was considering to do the drama. He wrote, "Miss Bo-yeong, I want to surprise the world with this drama!" (laugh) Because of the nature of the story, they say it'll be hard to attract viewers mid-way through but isn't it easy to re-watch episodes these days?

Reporter : Yoon Hee-Seong
Photographer : Chae ki-won
Editor : Lynn Kim, Jang Kyung-Jin
<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

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