Why K-drama star Kim Hee Ae has stopped following her husband on Twitter

Korean actress has onscreen love affair and is happy her husband and two teenage sons do not keep track of her work

South Korean actress Kim Hee Ae starred in Secret Love Affair, one of the hottest TV shows last year, but her husband never saw it. She prefers to keep things this way, she tells Life! with a chuckle in an interview.

In the much talked-about series, which aired in South Korea in March last year, the 47-year-old played the role of a married 40-something woman who has an affair with a man in his 20s (played by Yoo Ah In).

She says in Korean via a translator: "It's actually very rare for my family to watch any of my shows and I feel more comfortable that way.

"Especially with Secret Love Affair, where I had a rather controversial role. I think it's better if my family, including my husband, doesn't exactly keep track of every single thing that I have to do for my roles. My family supports me from afar without having to watch my shows and I like it like this."

Kim, who has won acclaim for her performances in TV dramas My Husband's Woman (2007) and A Wife's Credentials (2012), is married to Lee Chan Jin, 49, a software engineer who is chief executive of Korean Internet portal DreamWiz. The couple have two sons aged 15 and 19.

She adds that her husband even asked her to stop following him on Twitter recently.

"He says he feels too stressed that I'm following his actions so closely," she says, laughing. "So I stopped following him online. He does his own thing and I do mine, and that's good."

She was in town for an event held by skincare brand SK-II, for which she is an ambassador.

Elegant and poised in a black shift dress paired with a flowery white shrug, she looked much younger than her age, something she credits to a strict diet and exercise routine.

She says: "For the past 10 years, I have gone to the gym to work out, every single day. I don't believe in overnight fad diets because I think keeping a long-term plan to keep fit is more important.

"I love good food like tteokbokki (spicy rice cake), but I will stop myself from eating too much of it. I choose to eat more nuts and cabbage, and also try to cook healthier versions of different dishes. I definitely don't have some kind of secret tip to share with you on how to look good fast."

Outside of acting, she also appeared on popular variety show Sisters Over Flowers (2013 - 2014), where she and other veteran entertainers including Yoon Yeo Jeong, 67, and Kim Ja Ok, 63, went on a 10-day backpacking trip through Europe.

That was a one-off thing, however, as she says that she has no plans to become the next variety show queen. She says: "The trip was so much fun and it didn't feel like work because it was really like a holiday with good friends.

"But I'm still first and foremost an actress. Even in 10 or 20 years, I can see myself pursuing different acting roles. I'd like to act until I can't do so anymore."

yipwy@sph.com.sg