By Kim Tae-jong
Celebrity actress Choi Ji-woo is back with her new melodrama movie "Yeonriji, Now and Forever," which will open here on April 13.
Best known for her leading role in the television series "Winter Sonata (Kyoul Yonga)" all over Asia, Choi will play her trademark role of a beautiful yet ill-fated woman in the film.
But she says that the film will show a different side from her previous roles.
"When I first read the script of the film, I felt quite confident about this role and I thought I could do a good job," Choi said Monday during a news conference after the preview screening of "Yeonrijin, Now and Forever" at the Megabox Theater in Samsong-dong, Seoul.
"But there were also many things that I haven’t tried before like ‘lovey dovey’ acting. I think the character I play in this movie is different from those in my previous works," Choi said.
Directed by Kim Seong-jung, the movie is a sad love story between a rich, charming man and beautiful woman with a fatal disease.
Min-su (played by Cho Han-sun) is a playboy, who seems to have everything _ the looks, money and position of CEO at a game company. He indulges in casual relationships with many girls, but he has never been in true love until he meets Hye-won.
Hye-won (by Choi) is sick with a fatal disease and has to spend most of her time at hospital, but she is not discouraged with her misfortune and tries to enjoy her life.
As they are attracted to each other, Min-su gets to learn about love and Hye-won has the best time in her life.
As the story sounds cliche, it received negative reviews from local critics, who claims that the film relies solely on the star power with its shallow and flimsy story. But the movie received positive reviews from Japanese film critics when it was premiered in Japan on Feb. 24, prior to its official release there on April 15.
Cho Han-sun, left, and Choi Ji-woo play a couple in the upcoming melodrama "Yeonriji, Now and Forever." It opens here on April 13, and in Japan on April 15.
But she said that the film was not tailored only for Japanese moviegoers.
"I think audiences in Korea and Japan will like this movie. I didn’t intend my acting to appeal only to Japanese moviegoers," Choi said.
However, it seems true that she is now appealing to more fans from outside Korea.
In Japan, where she is affectionately called "Ji-woo Hime" (Hime means princess in Japanese) for her elegant appearance, she is now staring in a television drama titled "Yunmugok." In the series, she plays a Korean woman who runs a Korean restaurant in Japan co-starring with Yutaka Takenouchi, who appeared in Japanese hit film "Between Calmness and Passion."
She is also scheduled to appear in international fashion magazines as a cover model in May and July _ Taiwan’s edition of Vogue, Chinese edition of Cosmopolitan and Hong Kong’s edition of Elle.