Korean actress Baek Jin Hee 'falls in love' with all her co-stars

South Korean actress Baek Jin Hee says the loving feelings are gone as soon as filming is done

Baek Jin Hee (above), on her leading men. -- PHOTO: OH!K
Baek Jin Hee (above), on her leading men. -- PHOTO: OH!K

Rising South Korean actress Baek Jin Hee confesses that she "falls in love" with all of her leading men.

But the feelings dissipate as soon as filming ends, she quickly clarifies.

"Whenever I have to play someone who falls in love with another actor, I really feel it. As soon as the shooting is over, those feelings are gone," the 24-year-old tells Life! in Korean via a translator.

To date, she has worked with some of South Korea's hunkiest stars, including Ji Chang Wook in period drama Empress Ki (2014), Kim Jae Joong of boyband JYJ in Triangle (2014) and, most recently, Choi Jin Hyuk in the crime drama Pride And Prejudice.

She says: "I think they are all really handsome, but this is just work for me. I don't harbour romantic feelings for them outside of the dramas.

"But I can say that we get along very well and I feel a natural sense of closeness with all of the actors."

In person, the 1.63m-tall actress looks more petite than she does on screen, especially at this interview, where she is almost engulfed by her bulky winter coat. Wearing a short bob and warm pink lipstick, she looks sweet and fresh in a high-waisted denim skirt with black tights, almost like a schoolgirl.

Evidently, her Pride And Prejudice co-star Choi, 28, sees her in the same light. "Jin Hyuk oppa always jokes that I'm like a little primary school student," she says cheerily, using the Korean term for big brother. "On the set, he's always teasing me and asking me why I'm not eating more."

In the series, which is airing now in South Korea, she plays a rookie prosecutor who trains under a more senior prosecutor (Choi) who is in love with her.

Much praise has been heaped on the pair for their chemistry in the show, which has consistently topped the charts as the most-watched network drama in its time slot in South Korea.

The 12th episode of the drama, for example, which broadcast a few weeks ago, rated well ahead of the other network dramas showing at the same time. It took 11.1 per cent of the nation's audience share, with SBS' period drama Secret Door starring Han Suk Kyu and Lee Je Hoon taking 5.4 per cent and KBS' romance drama Cantabile Tomorrow starring Joo Won with 4.9 per cent.

Baek reveals that she watched several legal dramas before shooting the series, but deliberately chose not to speak with any prosecutors in real life to prepare for the role.

"I'm playing a rookie in the drama, so I didn't want to have any prejudice for my role," she explains.

Since she made her entertainment debut five years ago after getting scouted on the streets by a talent agent, she has starred in movies such as the indie flick Bandhobi (2009), in which she plays a girl who befriends a Bangladeshi migrant worker, and in Foxy Festival (2010), in which she plays a girl who makes money by selling her used underwear.

These days, she is focusing on TV, where her star has been rising. She has received much acclaim for her role as the spoiled, villainous empress in Empress Ki (2014), picking up Best New Actress awards for the part at the MBC Drama Awards and the 50th Baeksang Arts Awards.

She has certainly experienced the ascendancy of her showbusiness career.

"More people recognise me when I go out on the streets now. When I go out to buy bread with my mum, the baker will recognise me from TV and give me a few extra loaves," she says with a chuckle.


Follow Yip Wai Yee on Twitter @STyipwaiyee

Pride And Prejudice airs on Oh!K (StarHub TV Channel 816) on Tuesday and Wednesday at 8.55pm.

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