|Clockwise from top center, singer Lee Seung-chul, producer Kim Jong-hak, actor Jo In-sung, director Hong Sang-soo and producer Kim Young-hyun. [10Asia]|
“I like where I am right now. I’ve been married, gotten a divorce, it’s good that I have a son and daughter and I even have some sort of chronic disease that everyone these days has. I think its better to be sort of weaker rather than too healthy… it’s cool in its own way. And I have work, friends… I can meet with comfortable people like you that I want to meet with for interviews. I like things just the way they are. Even my age of 39.” - from previous interview with 10Asia
She has been through a lot. But she is back as a queen in hit TV series "Queen Seon-deok". Here’s her past, present and future.
She was a fan of his during her high school years. She was such a big fan that after school, she went with her friends to see him at his house. But separate from this anecdote, Ko spent a lot of time in the hospital being a sickly girl and was more of an introvert. She decided to try out for Miss Korea during high school after thinking that life is boring.
A drama producer. Woon continuously suggested to the busy Ko that she appear in his drama “A Love Without Fear”. She asked if he could be sure to do a good job but as soon as they started shooting, Woon asked her to put on make-up since she would have many crying scenes. The drama was a huge success and transformed Ko’s image from Miss Korea to an actress. She was a teen star during her earlier years but later chose to appear in more serious dramas such as “My Mother’s Sea”, “Farewell” and “Sandglass” which could bring forth her acting skills.
TV series producer and head of Kim Jong-hak Productions. Kim cast Ko for hit dramas “Eye of Dawn” and “Sandglass”. Ko started to realize the attractiveness of acting after jumping into ice-cold water in the winter for “Eye” and became the center of a syndrome with “Sandglass”. Kim praised her acting skills saying “She is capable of bringing forth huge destructive power simply by uttering a single line.” But then she leaves the entertainment business for ten years.
Vice chairman of Shinsegae Group and Ko’s ex-husband. The two first met in Broadway. Ko misread the seat number on her ticket and Chung came up to her, offering to help. The two met for dinner after a thankful Ko had offered to buy him dinner when on the same day, Chung’s mother had her bag stolen on the streets. Ko was moved when she saw Chung look over all of New York to find his mother’s purse and the two soon started dating. At the time, Ko was under pressure to “simply do a really good job” of acting and decided to marry Chung and quit acting because she “loved being in a relationship” with him. But marriage did not solve everything for the two.
A very close younger actor to Ko. He will say “I don’t like easy women” when Ko asks if he would marry her. The two starred together in Ko’s comeback TV series “Spring Days”. “Spring” was the only series in which she played the typical role of a pure and innocent girl involved in a three-way relationship since becoming popular. But viewers did not think strangely of Ko who had almost no lines in the beginning of the drama. Of course, it was because of her “shut-off” marriage life. Ko had learned how to objectify herself while she was married, but to viewers, she was a mysterious actress who had disappeared at the pinnacle of her acting life. This was probably the hardest time of her life. She said returning to the screen “was huge consolation to her situation where she had nothing to replace the space which had been so precious to her.”
Film producer. He cast Ko for “Woman on the Beach” and “You Don’t Even Know”. Ko says she was attracted to Hong who listed and commented on all the TV series and films she starred in. Hong stimulated Ko by using his unique way of going through his actors’ closets and choosing clothes that would suit their characters. He also made his actors act impulsively on the spot of the scene depending on the situation. Ko felt she was “handed a diary with blank pages or just empty lines.” Meanwhile, Hong said of Ko that the producer prepares 50 percent of the character and the rest is up to the actor, and he was able to feel the most input from Ko. Ko was able to start playing more realistic roles, taking on a normal woman in her 30s.
The writer of dramas “Hit” and “Queen Seon-deok”. Of Ko, she said, “There are not many actresses who naturally seem to be professional workers. Ko does this very well.” For Ko, it is not easy for her to fully reveal who she is and mix into her character with parts in “Woman on the Beach”. But it is the opposite with serious dramas such as “Hit” and “Seon-deok”. She has the presence necessary to play the parts in the series. “Seon-deok” may be the act that may show who may fully reveal Ko is by combining her image, her real self, and her image as an actress. This actress who is past her top-star era, past ten years of silence, is now entering the second half of her game.