IU Talks About Making Her Big Screen Debut + Yoon Jong Shin Describes How He Cast IU

On March 27, a press conference was held for the upcoming Netflix series “Persona” with IU, Yoon Jong Shin, and directors Im Pil Sung, Kim Jong Kwan, and Jeon Go Woon in attendance.

“Persona” is an original short film project that will feature IU in four different stories told by four different directors: Im Pil Sung, Lee Kyung Mi, Kim Jong Kwan, and Jeon Go Woon. In each of the four films, IU will play an entirely different character, which were all inspired by the actress.

Im Pil Sung directed “Collection,” which tells the story of an extremely captivating woman, while Lee Kyung Mi led “Love Set,” which displays a fiery match between two women on a tennis court.

Kim Jong Kwan, who boasts a fine sense of directing skills by capturing everyday aesthetics, will present “Walking at Night,” which depicts the innermost thoughts of former lovers who meet again in their dreams. The fourth director Jeon Go Woon will tell the story of girls who are out for revenge through “Kiss Burn.”

During the event, Yoon Jong Shin, who organized the original series, stated, “I started ‘Persona’ with a simple thought. My philosophy is ‘songs are stories.’ It’s the same for films and commercials. Aren’t dramas also stories? I was curious about stories, so I came to watch the directors’ short films. Compared to feature films, short films seemed to display more of the directors’ brilliant ideas. So I thought that many people would enjoy them. In that process, I thought of having four directors and one actress, and I suddenly thought of IU. After a chain of events, [IU] was eventually cast. I first thought, ‘You think [IU] would do this?’ I asked her after thinking, ‘Let’s just bring it up.’ But she was so open to the idea. That’s when I thought that [IU] was an icon who could be asked about these fresh ideas. I was so grateful to receive her resolute permission. The directors all like it too.”

IU, who will be making her big screen debut through “Persona,” also remarked, “I was surprised that such an offer was made to me. I enjoyed watching these four directors’ films, so it was amazing that we worked together. I tend to be shy, but I talked about myself easily at our first meeting. Since then, I felt that we had good teamwork. It was a fun project, a fresh attempt. The four directors interpreted me from different angles, so it felt like I was given the character. And it was also a challenge. I think this will remain in my memories for a long time.”

She then talked about receiving positive comments about her acting as she said, “I feel good about receiving warm reviews. I dreamed of acting since I was young, and I wanted to become an actor before becoming a singer. After debuting as singer, I participated in various projects with my full sincerity. Through these projects, I learned about the parts that I was inexperienced at. I think that’s why in the viewers’ eyes, my acting is changing.”

She continued, “In the case of this project, I was very lucky. There weren’t any directors whose outlooks differed from mine. They were able to help me fully understood. And they were so open-minded that I could voice my opinion without being intimidated. To be honest, I didn’t know it was such a big project. I didn’t know I’d get this much attention when I was first offered the role. I was happy to get the offer, and I was determined to work hard, but so many people became interested. I never imagined that we’d hold a press conference like this.” She then trailed off, “I just did it because it was such a honor, and a fresh attempt…” causing the room to laugh.

The directors also voiced their satisfaction at working with IU. Im Pil Sung commented, “A big reason why I joined this project was because IU was cast. I never thought that she’d actually do it. We were given complete artistic freedom, and it was a very meaningful project. What I liked best was the good balance of [IU’s] emotional and rational sides. There are moments when you put yourself down as an artist when you act. It was cool when that happened. I thought that she wasn’t an ordinary person.”

Jeon Go Woon said, “If I were [IU], it would’ve been hard to make this decision. Although I’m a rookie director who hasn’t proven himself yet, she readily accepted. I was also really pleased because there were surprisingly not many limitations when I was writing the script.”

Kim Jong Kwan also stated, “I saw the loneliness of a person who lived a calm, languid, and strong life in the actor Lee Ji Eun [IU’s given name]. I wanted to dig deeper into those parts. We communicated well, and she read carefully over the script. She also worries a lot. It was fun because the creators could work in their own direction without any other influences.”

“Persona” will be released on Netflix on April 5. In the meantime, check out a preview here!

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Top Photo Credit: Xportsnews

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