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(Yonhap Interview) Son Ye-jin says she gave her all as Princess Deokhye

All News 09:51 July 29, 2016

By Woo Jae-yeon, Koo Jung-mo

SEOUL, July 29 (Yonhap) -- You don't often hear South Korean actors say they are satisfied with their acting. It is because humility is considered a virtue in the country. Or they really mean it.

But veteran actress Son Ye-jin told Yonhap News Agency on Thursday that she was highly "satisfied" with her performance as well as how her recent film "The Last Princess" turned out.

The historic film tells the tragic real life story of Deokhye, the last princess of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), who was forced to leave her motherland by colonial Japan. Even after Korea was liberated, she was denied entry to Korea as then President Rhee Syng-man feared returning royalty might undermine his authority.

She cried her eyes out while she watched the finished film on Wednesday for the first time. She said she couldn't be "objective."

"I got completely immersed in the film right from the beginning. I think that is largely because the first part is about little Deokhye and I appear later in the film," she said.

"I used to maintain a critical viewpoint about my own films," she said. "For this one, I don't have any regrets for what I could have done differently."

Even for the experienced actress who has taken prominent roles since early 2000, playing the lead role portraying a real person was stressful, to say the least.

"I didn't hesitate at all in deciding to take the role. But I got very scared nearing the shooting of the first scene," she said. "I was worried if I could deliver emotionally charged scenes well and continue doing good till the end."

There is yet another reason for her to feel extra jittery about this film: She joined the production as an investor for the first time.

"It is a large-scale historical movie, and the production cost kept rising. The team all wanted to make this one perfect. I discussed with the director and my management about how to create a more comfortable working environment for all staff," Son said. She invested 1 billion won (US$886,500) in the production.

On the possibility of taking this chance to turn into a professional investor, "That will depend on how this movie turns out," she joked.

But she got all serious when she talked about the prospect of becoming a producer.

"When I am involved with script-writing and talking with a director, ideas naturally come to mind on what kinds of movie would appeal to moviegoers," she said. "The more stories I have in mind, the more I think about producing."

It is the actress's second time to work with director Hur Jin-ho. In 2005, she starred in Hur's romantic drama film "April Snow."

"At that time, we only talked about the character. Now as we grow old together, we talk more about life in general."


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