Han So-hee's success has her questioning the meaning of love

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                          Han So-hee's success has her questioning the meaning of love

                          Han So-hee [9ATO ENTERTAINMENT]

                          Han So-hee [9ATO ENTERTAINMENT]

                           
                          After debuting in the SBS drama series “Reunited Worlds” in 2017, Han So-hee thought she'd finally gotten her big break. But it wasn't until she landed a role in the JTBC series “The World of the Married” that the actor shot to stardom. 

                           
                          After “The World” ended with a flourish of success and became Korea’s most-watched cable drama, it wasn't only the leads — Kim Hee-ae and Park Hae-jun — that found themselves in the spotlight, but the entire cast.
                           
                          And no one more so than Han, who took on the role of Yeo Da-kyung. Yeo is the mistress of Park's character, Tae-oh, who then becomes his wife. 
                           
                          As the series aired, Yeo's character was criticized for her actions while Han was simultaneously applauded for her superb performance that was on par with her veteran cast mates, Kim and Park.  
                           
                          “I saw the YouTube clip in which YouTuber Park Mak-rye comments that [the drama series] is not ‘The World of the Married,’ but it’s ‘The World of the Wacko,’” the actor said in an interview with the JoonAng Ilbo, an affiliate of the Korea JoongAng Daily, at a cafe in Nonhyeon-dong, southern Seoul, last week. “Even my grandmother didn’t side with Yeo, but I still felt happy. The reason why I decided to become an actor was due to my grandmother because she enjoyed watching television, and I loved that she could see more of me through the screen.”  
                           
                          Although Han was showered with praise throughout the series, she wasn’t satisfied with her performance, “not even 1 percent.” When she watched the original BBC drama series “Doctor Foster,” on which "The World" is based, she was sure the adaptation would see popularity in Korea. However, she wasn't so sure of her own abilities.   
                           
                          “I was afraid that I would become a hassle to the series,” Han said. “Since the directors, writers and other actors were all experts, I thought I was the weak link. And I came to realize that no matter how hard I tried, I could never reduce the gap [that exists between a veteran and a rookie] which comes from years of experience. [For instance], I thought there were only two ways to portray sadness, but when Sun-woo [played by Kim] walks into the ocean [after she thinks she has lost everything], there was a sense of relief, joy, even security [in her despair]. [After I saw that scene] I realized that I still had a long way to go, and tried to follow their [senior actors’] footsteps as best as I could, determined not to lag behind.”
                           
                          When it came to her character, she struggled the most with trying to figure out “why Da-kyung loves Tae-oh.”  
                           
                          Scene from "The World of the Married," where Da-kyung (played by Han So-hee) leaves Tae-oh (played by Park Hae-jun) after realizing there's no future with him. [JTBC]

                          Scene from "The World of the Married," where Da-kyung (played by Han So-hee) leaves Tae-oh (played by Park Hae-jun) after realizing there's no future with him. [JTBC]

                           
                          “The assumption that I’d reached was that she loved him not because he was married, but she loved him and he just happened to be married,” Han said. “Da-kyung grew up in a kind of environment where she’d never lacked anything — her parents provided everything for her, so she didn’t have any goal or future planned. Then she met Tae-oh, who, despite lacking assets, was really passionate about his work.”

                           
                          It wasn’t Han's first time playing a character involved in a scandal. In her previous roles “Money Flower” (2017-18) on MBC and “100 Days My Prince” (2018) on tvN, both her characters were involved in affairs.
                           
                          “Although the roles may seem similar, their specific stories are totally different, and it was a new challenge for me to portray them differently,” the actor said. “I don’t know, maybe I give off this aura that I have a lot on my plate. For my next role, I want to be someone who grew up in a normal family, where both of my parents are alive, and where there are no murderers or criminals.”
                           
                          When asked about the possibility of a second season, the actor thinks that there’s no story left for Da-kyung.  
                           
                          Da-kyung stares at Sun-woo in hatred after she reveals to her parents that she's pregnant with Tae-oh's child. [JTBC]

                          Da-kyung stares at Sun-woo in hatred after she reveals to her parents that she's pregnant with Tae-oh's child. [JTBC]

                           
                          “I don’t think she could fall in love again after she’s been through such a nightmare,” Han said. 
                          “Maybe there could be a story somewhere for Je-hyuk [played by Kim Young-min] who didn’t repent for his actions.”

                           
                          With her newfound fame also came some unwanted attention as photos of her past, in which she's smoking and her tattoos are on show, began circulating online. Han was unfazed. 
                           
                          “People are interested [in those photos] because the series was such a hit,” Han said. 
                          “Me in those photos and the current me are all part of myself and I don’t think [anyone] could say that they are wrong or bad. I don’t even know if I’m on the right path now. But after this series, my thoughts on marriage definitely veered closer to not to [marry]. Seeing my married friends with kids immersed in ‘The World’ to the point where [the obsession] affected their lives, I don’t know. [Affairs] could happen to anyone, and maybe someday I will marry for love, but through this series, I realized that a relationship between a married couple can’t be successful through love alone."
                           
                          Han emphasized that this is just “the beginning” for her career. After she graduated high school she came to Seoul alone and earned a living through various part-time jobs while auditioning.  
                           
                          “I still think about those times sometimes to brace myself,” Han said. “When I was overwhelmed with the part-time jobs, I didn’t even know what color I liked. But as I started modeling, I learned about what I liked and how to portray my emotions. When it came to the point where I could have the leisure to think about my own preferences, I started a blog to record my daily life as a youth living in this generation. Actors may seem like something special, but we’re all the same — we eat, worry about living expenses and plan for the future. I want to grow slowly but steadily, without getting cocky or arrogant.”  
                           
                          BY MIN KYUNG-WON   [lee.jaelim@joongang.co.kr]  
                           
                           
                           
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