Ha Ji Won has proven herself to be a chameleon of an actress, with a variety of genres under her belt. Her filmography ranges from modern to historical dramas, as well as melodrama, comedy, horror, and action. She has earned acting trophies for her titular lead roles in “Hwang Jini” and “Empress Ki,” and has reached over 10 million viewers through the film “Tidal Wave.”
With her latest movie “Risking Life For Love,” the actress took on several genres all at once. The story of her character, Han Je In, who starts an unofficial crime investigation with Seol Rok Hwan (played by Chun Jung Myung), encompasses the genres of thriller, action, comedy, and even romance.
In an interview, Ha Ji Won explained that the film’s combination of genres caught her eye. She stated “[The film] contains romance, thriller, and even slapstick elements. It felt new and refreshing to be funny and scared at the same time. ‘Sex is Zero‘ was both sad and funny as well. For instance, there was a scene where Jang Eun Hyo (played by Im Chang Jung) rubbed onions on his eyes for Lee Eun Hyo (played by Ha Ji Won). I liked the fresh, new feeling in ‘Risking Life For Love’ as well. It’s the first time I’m portraying a character like Han Je In, so I think it will be fun.”
Han Je In is a bright and lovely mystery novel writer, whose rich imagination, righteousness, and recklessness often gets her into trouble. She is nicknamed “Itaewon’s nuisance lady,” but because of her stubborn sense of justice, she finds herself participating in an informal murder investigation in her neighborhood.
Ha Ji Won shared, “It’s been a long time since I did comedy. I don’t think I’m good at comedic acting. It’s thanks to the director who helped a lot. Do I usually like mystery novels? No. I approached the detective role like it was a cartoon.” She continued with a laugh, “I borrowed the costumes shown in the movie and even bought them from the internet. I’ve always liked cloaks.”
The movie contains elements of thriller and action portrayed in the stories of Chen Bolin and Oh Jung Se‘s characters, Jason and Heo Jong Goo, and also contains a dash of romance between Han Je In and Seol Rok Hwan. The story of first love blossoming through friendship is reminiscent of Ha Ji Won’s 2015 drama “The Time We Were Not In Love.”
The actress also recalled her own first love, saying, “It was a senior from high school. Back then I was easily scared, so whenever someone talked to me, I couldn’t respond. I was like a frightened squirrel. I think one of his friends liked me, so he wanted to see what I was like and approached me, but he said he fell in love with me instead. He was kind and caring so I liked him too.”
When asked if Han Je In and Seol Rok Hwan’s story worked up her own emotions, she answered, “I choose work over love.”
She remarked, “I don’t think about dating nowadays. I don’t think I can date or get married while I have other things to do. Unlike when I was younger, I want to do more work now.” The actress laughed as she stated, “I’d like to date too, but I still have too many genres and stories in my head.”
Expressing her growing passion for her career, Ha Ji Won described what kind of project she wants to try next, saying, “I want to portray someone’s life in a deep way. Actors show various emotions through another person’s life. I want to show human emotion through my acting as well. I’m always eager. I want to keep on being an actress who takes on new challenges.”
Meanwhile, “Risking Life For Love” premiered in Korean theaters on December 14, 2016.