Eugene Talks About What It Was Like To Play The Mother Of A Teenager In “The Penthouse”
“The Penthouse” is a new drama from SBS set in an exclusive luxury 100-floor penthouse apartment and centers around the conflict between three women: the unapproachable queen (Lee Ji Ah), the prima donna with endless greed and ambition (Kim So Yeon), and the woman who will stick at nothing to enter high society (Eugene).
Eugene’s character, Oh Yoon Hee, hustles every day of her life to make sure that her daughter, Bae Ro Na (Bae Hyun Soo), will not grow up poor like she did. She has bet her life on entering the Hera Palace, the exclusive penthouse apartment that is the best of its kind in the country, but she ends up transforming into a villain to get what she wants.
Eugene said, “I got thrills while reading the script. I remember that after I finished, I sat there and read it again. Each character in the script felt so alive. Yoon Hee was also a character I’d never played before, so I felt drawn to her.”
She continued, “Every time I start a new project, I have the desire to take on a new character that I haven’t tried before. I crave playing diverse characters. Oh Yoon Hee is completely opposite from me in real life, so I thought it would be a new challenge. That’s why I’m both excited and worried about playing her.
“I tried hard to imagine what Oh Yoon Hee’s early life would have been like. Since Yoon Hee’s nature would have developed in her childhood surroundings, I did some research and thought about how her personality would change naturally from there.”
Although Eugene is the mother of two daughters in real life, her onscreen daughter is much older. She said, “I understand her maternal love that makes her give it all for her daughter, but to be honest, she is a character who has a different personality and perspective from me. If it was me in that situation, I think I would have made a different choice. But as an actor, I am trying to convey Yoon Hee’s sincerity so that viewers can relate to her.
“I felt a bit awkward at first playing the mother of a 16-year-old. I couldn’t imagine it. But when I saw the set decorated with Hyun Soo’s real baby photos, I suddenly felt like she was my daughter. It didn’t feel awkward to meet her 16-year-old self, and I could get immersed in my feelings. I felt like I was seeing my future self.”
“The Penthouse” premieres on October 26 at 10:10 p.m. KST and will be available on Viki.