SEOUL (THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - South Korean singer Jung Soo-jung, more widely known as Krystal of K-pop girl band f(x), is moving from singing to an acting career.
She plays a pregnant university student, Toe-il, in her debut feature More Than Family.
"At first, I was hesitant to play this role. But after reading the script I said I will take the role," Jung said during a press conference in Seoul on Tuesday (Nov 3). "Toe-il is confident and she believes in herself. I think she is representative of women today. She is relatable and also attractive."
"We shot the film in summer, so it was not easy for me to wear a fake pregnant belly, but besides that, I had so much fun," Jung, 26, added.
In the movie, Toe-il (Jung) finds out she is pregnant and the father of the baby is Ho-hoon (Shin Jae-hwi), a student she has been tutoring. She plans to marry him, who is younger than her, and while preparing for the wedding she decides to look for her own biological father, who abandoned her and her mother many years ago. But she cannot remember much about her father, not even his face or his first name.
"I thought that she would do a great job (playing Toe-il) after I saw her playing her role in the MBC sitcom High Kick 3. But I did have some doubts as I also had a strong impression of her onstage as a K-pop girl band member, Krystal," said Choi Ha-na, the director of the upcoming comedy film. "But after our first meeting with her, I was sure that she could play Toe-il."
"I am both Krystal and Jung Soo-jung. I like both jobs, this time I tried hard to show a great performance as an actress," Jung said.
More Than Family is also a debut feature for its director. Choi, 28, said she wanted to write a story about families to change some of the prejudices that exist in South Korean society.
"Some people still tend to think that families with divorced parents are losers. But I want people to view those families as ones with happier people," the director said. "They acknowledged that there is something wrong with their relationship and decided to do something about it."
Small details speak volumes about the characters and the family.
"(In a conventional Korean family), it is not easy for parents to welcome Toe-il's decision (to have and raise a child at a young age)," Choi said. "Through the bright-coloured clothes of Ho-hoon's father and mother, the background music and their home decoration, I tried to show that they welcome Toe-il's decision and are different from typical Korean families. Also, they eat food like paella and tropical fruits."
The young female director, with a strong message to convey, was honest about her artistic decisions.
"I have been asked why Toe-il keeps on eating only 'dotori muk' in the movie," she said, referring to a traditional Korean dish made of acorn jelly. "My staff even warned me that once I release the film, people will ask me these questions. But to be honest, my answer is that I just love it," she said.
The film will hit cinemas in South Korea on Nov 12.