By Shim Sun-ah
SEOUL, April 7 (Yonhap) -- When Han Hyo-joo chose to appear in a new movie about the students of Korea's last-remaining school for "gisaeng," or female entertainers, her decision had something to do with her greed for work as an actress, she says.
"There were two reasons," Han said during an interview with Yonhap News Agency at a cafe in Seoul on Thursday.
One was because "Love, Lies" by director Park Heung-sik was a film led by female actresses when most recent Korean box-office hits are male dominated, she said, adding that the other was it might offer a chance to unveil a different side of herself.
The period drama set in early 1940s Seoul under Japan's colonial rule depicts a story of friendship, love, jealousy and betrayal involving two women and a man.
Raised together at a top school for "gisaeng," female artists who worked to entertain dignitaries with song, dance, poems, calligraphy and paintings during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), the last kingdom of Korea, So-yul and her classmate Yeon-hi (Chun Woo-hee) develop a friendship that started from their early childhood.
So-yul is acknowledged to be a master in "jeongga," a vocal genre in traditional Korean music, despite her young age, and has striking good looks, too, while Yeon-hi is recognized for a beautiful voice that tugs at people's heartstrings.
But tragedy begins after So-yul's boyfriend, hotshot composer Yun-woo (Yoo Yeon-seok), falls in love with Yeon-hi, helping her debut as a pop singer.
It was the first antagonistic role for the actress known for her roles as lovely women in her previous films.
"I realized while watching the film that I have this self in me," Han said. "I actually didn't want to show this side but was able to because it was but a film and acting."
Han said she wants the challenge of a more dramatic role. "I think I might go well with a movie like 'Sympathy For Lady Vengeance,'" she said with a laugh, referring to Korean director Park Chan-wook's 2005 thriller.
The top star, who will turn 30 next year, admitted that after many successful years she was depressed at the thought that she might not be able to continue the job because of her age.
"I cried a lot when I abruptly came to have the thought last year," she said, adding that this experience drove her to give her best with "Love, Lies" as it might become her last work.
But she said the thought also helped her feel more comfortable than before on filming sets.
"It eventually had a good influence on me because I had fun at the sets," she explained.
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