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(Yonhap Interview) Actress Kim Seo-hyung's villain roles peak in 'Sky Castle'

 

SEOUL, Jan. 30 (Yonhap) -- The supporting role of a shameless villain in an adulterous relationship that Kim Seo-hyung played in SBS' 2009 hit drama series "Temptation of Wife" brought her out of more than 10 years of obscurity.

 

Since then, many more villain roles have come her way, including her cameo role in the 2018 drama series by MBC "Come and Hug Me," fixing her image on the small screen as a cold-blooded, merciless woman.

 

Her latest role in "Sky Castle," a black comedy and thriller by the cable channel JTBC whose final episode is set to air on Friday, has brought her villainous career to the next level.

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Kim plays Kim Joo-young, a miserable professional coordinator for college admissions who manipulates and eventually destroys rich, high-class parents in a deal with the devil to get their children admitted to the country's top medical school. Sky Castle is the name of the luxurious residential compound where Kim's clients live.

 

"At first, I thought I cannot do this, so I wanted to quit and run away," the 46-year-old actress said in a media interview on Tuesday, referring to the imposing challenge the latest role posed to her.

 

"I really did not want to create another Shin Ae-ri," Kim said, recalling her career-making role in the 2009 drama series. "I hate repeating (what I have done already). I really hate what was seen already being seen again."

 

"The Shin Ae-ri character in 'Temptation of Wife' made me what I am now, but at the same time, it also traumatized me," Kim said.

 

"The habits of Kim Seo-hyung as an actress, such as characters and voice, constantly seeped into Kim Joo-young, so I felt I could not do it. It was the first time I wanted to run away (in the middle of a series)," she said.

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Eventually, she made it to the end of the 20 episodes, immaculately and chillingly personifying the character who, having destroyed her own genius child with her desire for academic excellence, seeks revenge to bring down parents like her.

 

The drama series laid bare the cruelty and inhumanity of the country's blind competition to go to prestigious universities, resonating widely with the audience.

 

It also made TV drama series history, garnering a record-high viewer rating of 22.3 percent for a drama series aired by cable channels, according to Nielsen Korea.

 

The previous record was held by "Guardian: The Lonely and Great God," a fantasy romance by tvN that aired from 2016-2017 and had a viewer rating of 20.5 percent at its peak.

 

"Sky Castle" was so famous, even from its first episode, that the script of one of the episodes was leaked ahead of its broadcasting, leading the production team to file for a police investigation into the public leak.

 

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With the sensational success of the JTBC program, every actor and actress in the show stormed into the public consciousness, led by Kim, whose steely facial expressions, fashion style and speech created a flurry of parodies on the small screen and on the Internet.

 

"I never, ever dreamed that I would have another heyday after 10 years," she said, attributing the success to her previous villain roles.

 

"The villain characters I played, including Shin Ae-ri, were, in fact, not steel-willed roles but rather pathetic characters," she said. "I cried a lot while playing the role of Kim Joo-young, (because) it made me wonder, 'Why do I have to always play poor roles that make me lonely?'"

 

Kim also recalled the painstaking behind-the-scene efforts she made to bring to life her "Sky Castle" character.

 

Spoiler

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"Every week, I had scenes for two or three episodes, and it took me nearly four hours to try on costumes for the episodes," Kim said.

 

The style of her hair, all tightly pulled back in a bun, was a major source of pain throughout all the episodes. "The frustration and rage from the headaches in the initial part of the series were beyond verbal expression," she said, adding that the pain caused her to regret her part at some points.

 

The massive pressure also put her on an emotional edge all throughout the shooting, barring any solid communication with actor Lee Hyun-jin, who played the role of a faithful assistant.

 

"The two lonely characters managed to pull through the show very well," she said with tearful eyes. "We could take our first smiling photo together only when the shooting reached the final 19th and 20th episodes."

 

pbr@yna.co.kr
(END)

 

[INTERVIEW] Kim Seo-hyung steals show

By Park Jin-hai

Neatly combed-back haired and dressed in all-black, when actress Kim Seo-hyung appears in the popular JTBC drama "SKY Castle," she steals the show with her domineering charisma and eerie, mysterious aura. 

The 45-year-old veteran actress plays cold-hearted personal counselor Kim Ju-young in the drama, who is hired by super-rich parents, who want to give their children easy tickets to the most coveted university to pass on their wealth and social status. 

"Hearing just that the drama revolves around mothers obsessed with their children's education, I was worried that it could end up being the same old soap opera with helicopter moms. But the first two episodes changed all that," the actress said during an interview with The Korea Times at a cafe in southern Seoul, Tuesday. 

"Each episode felt like a film with great cinematography and great directing. So to some extent, I forecast that it would garner good rankings. I thought it might rise to around 10 percent. But I didn't know it would be this successful."

With just one episode left to go, the 20-part black comedy mocking Korea's insane education fervor has been enjoying an explosive response from viewers. 

The drama kicked off with 1.7 percent viewership for its first episode aired Nov. 23, but its latest episode aired Sunday surged to a cable networks' record of 23.2 percent, surpassing the previous record of "Guardian: The Lonely and Great God" with 20.5 percent.
Kim is best known for her previous role as a mean woman who lures best her friend's husband in the daily drama "Temptation of Wife" (2008-2009). In this show, the villain is a woman with personal pain, responsible for ruining her prodigy daughter with her own hands. Her personal tragedy and a sense of inferiority make her use all means available to destroy the perfect-looking families so that they suffer the same pain as she does. 

"Although the scenes that I appear in were relatively shorter than other actresses, in many I had to play this important role of triggering some incident in the beginning of each episode, and developing it into the one that has potential to shred the entire family in the end," said Kim. 

The actress who says her acting has been "over-estimated," added it was a challenge to control her expression. 

"Compared with Shin Ae-ri of Temptation of Wife, who ostensibly let out her emotions; for this Ju-young character, I had to hold her pain and sufferings inside. Yet I had to retain the tension and charisma she has. So I kept on asking myself if I was playing my character right."

As the drama has been immensely popular, many fans have played a guessing game on who did what and posted their scenarios. Part of drama's script has been also leaked online as well. 

"The strength of our drama lies in a story that goes beyond imagination. It was fun to read all those fans' guessing scenarios, some of them did really make sense and were convincing, following all those small cues on the screen. But when I receive the script, it has another surprise after another," Kim said. 

The actress said all the other small details made it a great drama. "As for the selection of hair styling and clothes, they were the outcomes of careful discussions among me, my staff and director to better express the scenes and character's emotional state," she said, telling a dress fitting process sometimes lasted four to five hours. "In wearing all black, I chose a high-neck collar blouse to show her firmness, while I intentionally chose black leather in blackmailing Seo-jin, the mother of her student."

As for her charismatic roles in dramas, she said she was thankful for that, because they all made her the actress she is today. "I've bagged many similar strong female characters, but I try hard to express my characters differently," she said. "Creating a new character is a painstaking process that requires a lot of energy. So while I'm not acting, I try to empty myself and be easy with myself, so that I can play another strong female character in my next project."

Edited by Berou
Please post only 3 images per post, use the spoiler tag for the rest :)
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What's your ideal ending? For me, Woojoo's mom writes a novel and gives it to her scriptwriter friend working for JTBC. So meta. 

 

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@jeijei Imagine that happened in real life? 

I do wonder where the scriptwriter of this drama got its inspiration/motivation to write this story. Or maybe she herself lived in a community like Sky Castle? 

 

I am having trouble waiting for the last episode. I just want Friday to come sooner...but at the same time it means that this drama will end and I NEED TO START CLASSES. :bawling:

 

 

------

@wangnyeo I can't believe I missed your post! Thank you for sharing your own story. It takes a lot of courage to recenter yourself and go on the path of healing when surrounding people only see that you have a successful career. 

The drama Goblin was healing for me. Still is. And now this drama Sky Castle allows me to see the perspective of where my parents come from. Every human is vulnerable, but it takes love and understanding for humans to come together and embrace each other. 

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For some reason, I don’t hate the character Han Soo-jin. It interests me that this drama portrays such a realistic character. I love Han Soo-jin at first for how she is such a passionate, hard working and stubborn at the same time. She is a strong woman who can do anything for her daughter. At the middle of the drama, when she was hesitant of letting go of coach Kim, I felt frustrated. Indeed her stubbornness becomes her weakness, seldom her to see a situation in a different view. She was confident that her family would not get ruined since she thought they was diffderent from Young Jae’s family.

 

and at the end when she decided to tell the truth, it wasn’t for Woo-Joo or Hye-Na either.  It’s was for Yeseo. To be honest, we all want to see a character that acts right all the time like Woojoo’s mother but human tend to be selfish and self centred. It is hard to truely be selfless and sacrifice your family to someone else. I really appreciate the writter of this drama to create such complex character. 

 

I wonder what coach Kim wanted to say to Yeseo’s mother and is Hye-Na really Soo Jin’s daughter. To me ep 19 seems like the ending episode already. So ep 20 is probably a twist. When everyone thought Yeseo’s family will have a happy ending, the birth secret will probably turn them upside down. Maybe the birth secret was coach Kim’s final card and she was successful this time to make Yeseo’s family ruined.

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I agree with the above. I also believe that ep 19 was just to make everyone think that everything has ended and Yeseo's family will have a happy ending. I think ep 20 will give the final blow to show that YS's family will indeed be broken apart like the family in the first eps. And i still don't think HN was killed by Coach Kim?

 

Anyone knows where to watch live tonight? Tkx. 

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12 hours ago, AnhH said:

wonder what coach Kim wanted to say to Yeseo’s mother and is Hye-Na really Soo Jin’s daughter.

 

It was revealed during Happy Together "Children of Castle special" broadcast yesterday about this.

Spoiler

Kim Bo-Ra accidentally said that Hye-na is not Kwak Mi Hyang's daughter, after being asked by the hosts. Jun Hyun Moo asked, "Is it really not the case?" and she replied, "Yes. Can I say this?".

 

She comments that although she knew it is not the case, she said that she thinks that the theory actually seems plausible. 

 

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1 hour ago, reydevan said:

And i still don't think HN was killed by Coach Kim?

 

I still have my money on Prof Cha who pushed her (unless it's the security guard?)...their family seems to already have their happy ever after without him... I thought for a while he had a lightbulb moment as he threw his ramen onto the pyramid...only to see him returning to status quo again and cleaning it off...he can't let it go.

 

Ep 19 thoughts (yes I have been away and only watched it then) :lol:

 

1. I liked how Prof Kang finally stepped up and showed his mettle by meeting his Wife at the Police station.  Supporting her decision and giving her the reassurance that she did the right thing by his books, and he would be there to get through the ordeal together with her.  I also liked how despite SeoJin's protest that it was all her fault and she would apologise to WooJoo on her own, he stepped up again and went with her.  They stood together as a family united for the first time as they faced Grandmother.

 

2. I liked that WooJoo didn't forgive SeoJin and Prof Kang straight away and gave meaning to HyeNa's sacrificed life.  Had he forgiven them straight away without his soliloquy about HyeNa's fight for injustice, HyeNa's death would've been just that...collateral damage rather than a fight for injustice (giving voice to her departed soul).  It also makes it more realistic.  Kudos to the writer.  I guess some of us feel it's too little too late for SeoJin.  Question is - is it ever too late to say sorry?  Yes it doesn't make everything right straight away but at least it's the beginning of a journey to reconciliation.  Whether we get there or not in any satisfactory measure may not be the point.  The point is that we start the process.

 

3. Mention of Exupery's Little Prince (seems to be the book of the month - it is also encountered in another drama recently) by Kay's dad as Kay the genius child peers through the telescope to view B612.  Exupery's Little Prince has Rousseusque elements strewn through the little gem of a book.  Jean Jacques Rousseau was an 18th century philosopher on education and a forerunner of Romanticism. He believed that natural education in children promotes and encourages qualities such as happiness, spontaneity, and the inquisitiveness associated with childhood.  Rousseau advocated child-led learning, elements of which were seen in the Hwang household.

 

4. Mention of Dead Poet's Society.  Another movie that challenged the preceding educational system which celebrates performance academically above all else.  Carpe Diem...

 

5. Pie Jesu playing in the background as Coach Kim prepares the curry meal (the Last Supper) for Kay and herself.

 

6. Finally, thank you @jeijei for injecting real life black comedy to this thread :lol:.  Your succinct punchy comments have me in stitches.

 

Ep 20 will deliver in spades yet again I don't doubt it for a minute.  The writer has lulled us into thinking that it's all wrapped up now with Coach Kim in prison.  That cliffhanger at the end of Ep 19 says ...but wait...there's more.  :sweatingbullets:

 

@ponderings 

Quote
By the way, is it a coincidence that the drama Encounter/Boyfriend and also this drama mentions innocence, children and The Little Prince? I think it's a sign that I need to read the story especially when both of these dramas are my favorite.

 

Off topic so in spoiler Re Little Prince

Spoiler

It's a great little book.  It packs so much into it.  It reads like a children's storybook but it isn't.  Exupery kept condensing it from the original draft till he could condense it no more... Believing that less is more.  It has baffled bookstores for years...they never know where to put it.  It looks like a children's book but it's not.  You can read as much or as little you want into it... Is it a hat or an elephant swallowed by a snake?  :D

 

 

 

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Anyone have links for live stream that actually worked? 

I can't load a few of my usual streaming sites. :weary:

Please pm me the link.

Thanks in advance!

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Just finished the last eps of Sky Castle live. Disappointed cos there was no twist in the end like a few of us expected. It was just to tie up the loose ends. Guess the writer didn't want to make it too makjang. Anyways still AN AWESOME DRAMA!!!!

 

Didnt get the last part tho. Coach Kim came back? 

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3 minutes ago, reydevan said:

Just finished the last eps of Sky Castle live. Disappointed cos there was no twist in the end like a few of us expected. It was just to tie up the loose ends. Guess the writer didn't want to make it too makjang. Anyways still AN AWESOME DRAMA!!!!

 

Didnt get the last part tho. Coach Kim came back? 

 

who kill hyena?

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9 minutes ago, Matilda_Anne said:

 

who kill hyena?

 

They didn't show so it means it's really Coach Kim's work. I had hoped there wld be a twist there. 

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5 minutes ago, reydevan said:

 

They didn't dnt show so it means it's really Coach Kim's work. I had hoped there wld be a twist there. 

 

Spoiler

I saw twitter comments that HyeNa actually jumped herself... is it true?? I've only seen the clips on youtube

 

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4 minutes ago, herina_90 said:

 

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I saw twitter comments that HyeNa actually jumped herself... is it true?? I've only seen the clips on youtube

 

I watched w/o subs but i doubt i wld have missed this being mentioned. Unless it was said when my video buffered a few times. 

 

Im sure many k viewers will be disppointed cos i saw on Happy Together that many of them were trying to guess the murderer and came up w their own theories. 

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11 minutes ago, reydevan said:

I watched w/o subs but i doubt i wld have missed this being mentioned. Unless it was said when my video buffered a few times. 

 

Im sure many k viewers will be disppointed cos i saw on Happy Together that many of them were trying to guess the murderer and came up w their own theories. 

 

Guess I gotta wait for subsss. I think I'll probably be a little disappointed both ways, whether it was true or that it was left to viewer's interpretation. I was alll for the big revelation tonight! 

 

That said, I was already sobbing my eyes out at the youtube clips even w/o subs so it's going to be hard waiting for subs...

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8 minutes ago, herina_90 said:

That said, I was already sobbing my eyes out at the youtube clips even w/o subs so it's going to be hard waiting for subs...

 

I sobbed hard when Lim Soo Im brings Kay to visit KJY :tears:

Strangely, I can't bring myself to weep watching HSJ sobbing regretting her wrongdoings to Hyena. Hmmmm.. Especially the part when she shut her mouth tightly even though Hyena was dying, calling KJS "dad" and he refused to operate on her. But, in some ways, I do pity and empathize her character. I don't know, I think I empathize every character in this drama. Amazing drama indeed...the writing, acting, execution, the humor, cinematography, editing...etc etc.. thumbs up!

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