“Be With You,” which is based on a Japanese novel, tells the story of a wife and mother (played by Son Ye Jin) who, before passing away, promises her husband (played by So Ji Sub) that she will return one year later on a rainy day. A year later, she miraculously keeps her promise by reappearing before her husband and son, but with no memory of her family.
So Ji Sub revealed that he had initially turned down the role, fearing that, as a bachelor, he would not be able to convincingly portray a father. However, after deciding to take the role, he became so deeply connected to his character that he shed tears while watching the completed film for the first time.
He remarked, “I don’t usually cry while watching films, but I cried a lot from the very beginning of this movie. My heart ached while watching the scene where the father, who has nothing to offer his son, shows up at his field day and runs in the race for his son. It reminded me of my own underprivileged childhood and how I grew up, which made me very emotional.”
The actor added with a laugh, “I may also be getting weepier as I get older.”
So Ji Sub also shared that he has a lot in common with his character in the film. “When I was young, I found it burdensome when my real personality showed through in my characters,” he recalled. “But from a certain point onwards, I started feeling more comfortable playing characters that have similar dispositions to mine. I liked that in this film, I had a lot of similarities to [my character] Woo Jin.”
In “Be With You,” So Ji Sub plays his character at two different ages: he portrays Woo Jin in his twenties, when he is still naive and struggling to muster up the courage to approach his future wife, and in his forties, when he is raising his son on his own while mourning the loss of his beloved wife.
The actor reported going to great lengths to look younger for his scenes as the twenty-something Woo Jin. “You can’t stop the passage of time,” he commented. “When I was playing [Woo Jin] in his twenties, I used a hairpiece, purposely wore a loose-fitting suit, and even used computer graphics to look younger. When I played [Woo Jin] in his forties, I fabricated white hairs.”
So Ji Sub also mentioned that he had been excited to take on a melodrama again. Although the actor was once renowned for his roles as a romantic lead, he has since strayed from the genre with his most recent films. He complained, “They don’t even use the word ‘melodrama’ [when they talk about me] anymore!”
He went on to explain, “Because it’s hard for melodrama films to become box office hits, [melodrama] screenplays are rare. That’s why every time I film a melodrama, I work hard, thinking that it may be my last.”
“I think that as long as humankind exists, love stories will continue to exist as well,” he added. “I hope that this movie does well, so that many more melodrama films will be made.”
Finally, So Ji Sub revealed that playing the role of a father had made him reconsider the possibility of getting married. He confessed, “As I was filming the melodrama, I had the thought that I wanted to fall in love. When I was filming my last movie, I had no interest in getting married, but while I was playing with Kim Ji Hwan, my son in this film, I started to develop real feelings.”
“Now I think I’m going to have to seriously consider marriage,” he went on. “Of course, if I get married, I want to become a husband who puts his wife before his children.”
“Be With You” is scheduled to premiere in Korea on March 14.