The star is currently receiving rave reviews for her portrayal of the female protagonist Yoon Ji Ho, a 30-year-old aspiring screenwriter who is struggling with both her love life and her career. She has been especially praised for the wide range of her acting, which slides effortlessly from comedic to deeply emotional.
When asked to name three things that make her character so lovable, Jung So Min replied, “First, when she gets hurt, she doesn’t hide it, but instead openly expresses right away that she’s been hurt. Second, the way she answers the phone by saying her name. Third, I think the way that she seems like she’d be a perfect goody two-shoes, but then it turns out that she has an unexpected side to her personality.”
In the drama, although Ji Ho is a romantic who believes that marriage should stem from love, she ultimately enters into a marriage of convenience in order to obtain a place to live. Jung So Min commented that she didn’t think she would be able to do the same in real life, as it would be too hard to live with a person for whom she had no feelings. She added, “I think it was only possible for Ji Ho and Se Hee because their personalities match so well in many ways.”
However, the actress did relate to her character in other ways. She noted, “In real life, just like Ji Ho, I’m the eldest daughter in my family, and both of my parents are from Gyeongsang province. So I was familiar with her family dynamic.” Her ability to relate to Ji Ho allowed her to become emotionally invested in the character—so much so that while filming the wedding scene, she broke down crying after reading Ji Ho’s mother’s letter and couldn’t stop the tears between takes.
“I think I have a huge soft spot for mother-daughter relationships,” revealed Jung So Min. “When I saw Ji Ho’s mother’s album and letter in the wedding scene, it felt as though it were my own mother’s letter. To be honest, on the day of filming, I was worried at first about [portraying] the emotions in the scene. But from the moment I actually saw the letter up until the very end of filming, even when the camera wasn’t rolling, I couldn’t stop crying. The director and crew were very worried. I felt as though I’d received a letter from my mother at my actual wedding, and not in a drama.”
Watch the first episode of “Because This Is My First Life” below!