Lim Ji Yeon, Park Sung Hoon, Kim Hieora, Cha Joo Young, And Kim Gun Woo Discuss Their Approaches To Playing Villains In “The Glory”
The five villains of hit series “The Glory” have gathered for a pictorial with W Korea!
Penned by hit writer Kim Eun Sook, Netflix’s “The Glory” tells the story of a former victim of brutal school violence who swears revenge on her bullies after becoming the elementary school homeroom teacher of her bully’s kid. Song Hye Kyo stars as the vengeful protagonist Moon Dong Eun, while Lee Do Hyun plays the complicated male lead Joo Yeo Jeong.
Moon Dong Eun’s five school bullies are portrayed by Lim Ji Yeon, Park Sung Hoon, Kim Hieora, Cha Joo Young, and Kim Gun Woo. In the group’s new pictorial, the actors spoke about their roles, approaches to acting, and more.
After playing the role of bully Park Yeon Jin, Lim Ji Yeon touched on the difficulty of portraying a villain with no elaborate backstory who is horribly evil for no reason. The actress shared, “Should I say she has psychopathic tendencies? Is it because she was raised by her wicked mother? After having these questions I ultimately concluded, ‘Yeon Jin knows nothing.’ She doesn’t know the concepts of [feeling] bad or guilty. Without ever having to work hard because she wanted something, she just lived while enjoying what was given to her. Once I started [thinking] from there, all the scenes were gradually solved.”
The studio for this W Korea photo shoot was the same one Lim Ji Yeon visited for a group pictorial with the cast of the 2019 film “Tazza: One-Eyed Jack.” The interviewer mentioned how determined Lim Ji Yeon looked back then and noted that she actress was just as purposeful all these years later.
On this, Lim Ji Yeon commented, “My desperation comes from my desire to do well with what I’m given. Basically, it’s for me. I’ve lived for months as Yeon Jin and thought so much about the role, but what if I don’t do well when I’m actually on set? It feels terrible just to think about.” She elaborated on her tendency to fault herself into doing better, saying, “It’s likely because of my inferiority complex. I’ve always been jealous of those who did well. The only thing I could do was work hard. Because I don’t think much of it comes natural [to me]. I grew up well, happily, and with no problems in a typical environment. If I was to act, I had to hang on desperately.”
Park Sung Hoon spoke about the efforts he put in to his character Jung Jae Joon’s physical appearance, stating, “I did more outfit fittings than any other project. I watched what I ate and paid a lot of attention to my hairstyle. While thinking about how to implement the feeling I got from the script, I thought of a long hairstyle. So it could look bad while also adding some weight.”
Previously, Park Sung Hoon had revealed that he had several relatives who went to law school and medical school, leading some to believe that the actor grew up in an extremely wealthy family. But before getting to this point in his career, Park Sung Hoon explained that he worked various part-time jobs and did many acting roles as an extra. Just in 2008, Park Sung Hoon appeared in the film “A Frozen Flower” alongside his “The Glory” co-star Jung Sung Il. When filming would end, Park Sung Hoon shared that he would work as a bartender until late and then return to set in the morning.
The actor elaborated, “When I was younger, I was quite passive. I had a lot of well-educated family members. In a lot of aspects, I don’t have many memories of feeling acknowledged. Then while acting and receiving applause, I think I felt the feeling of being acknowledged for the first time.”
For this photo shoot, Kim Hieora wore a long wig to hide her short blonde haircut for the drama she’s currently filming. The actress explained, “I appear in ‘The Uncanny Counter 2’ as a demon. In terms of intensity, it’s about eight times more powerful than [my character] Sa Ra of ‘The Glory.’ Since the character is not a human, I feel much more comfortable. Because it feels like an animation.”
Thinking back to her childhood, Kim Hieora revealed that her name means “to live happily and cleanly” and shared that she was a child with many thoughts and questions. She explained that while some adults thought her innocent questions were cute, others urged her to stay quiet.
However, Kim Hieora’s perspective changed when she first took an acting class in high school. “I was always treated like a weird kid but when I was acting, it felt like a time where I was wholly accepted. And I was allowed to ask however many questions.”
Elaborating on how these questions infiltrate her acting now, Kim Hieora shared, “When I’m acting, I think question marks are important. Why is this scene needed? Why are they saying this? What’s shown in front of the camera is what comes after the question mark turns into an exclamation mark. But Sa Ra is not a regular character. Once, the producer said this. ‘Sa Ra is just a bad person. Let’s not try to understand or find a reason.'”
In “The Glory,” Cha Joo Young played Choi Hye Jeong, who despite being a bully herself, was often targeted by her fellow bullies. On her approach to this complicated role, Cha Joo Young commented, “I felt stuck because I couldn’t find any characters like Hye Jeong around me. I often wrote notes down in a state of anger. I don’t like worries that don’t have answers, but I felt like my head was about to explode…The conclusion I made from this was to focus on the script instead of trying to find something. That’s why I simply read the script.”
The actress elaborated that she was extremely tense for all eight months of filming, not because anyone on set was giving her a hard time, but because she was putting herself under so much pressure. “To be honest, I had a really hard time. Even after he said ‘Cut!,’ there was still regret in the director’s face.”
Cha Joo Young further explained, “But after we passed the halfway point of filming, I heard reactions like ‘that’s good, do as much as you want.’ While talking about this and that with the actors, I learned this much later. At the beginning, I think the director created an environment so that I could stay more [nervous] like Hye Jeong. From a certain point on, he really encouraged me.” Additionally, the actress revealed that she filmed “The Glory” and “Again My Life” at the same time, proving just how talented she is to have been able to switch characters so often.
Even more looked down upon in their bully group was Kim Gun Woo’s character Son Myeong Oh. As if there was any doubt that he was perfect for the role, it’s said that immediately after watching Kim Gun Woo’s audition for “The Glory,” writer Kim Eun Sook personally commented, “Director, this is him.”
Ever since they were in high school, Son Myeong Oh was at the bottom of the bunch and in charge of running errands for Jung Jae Joon. His life doesn’t look too different even decades later, but being the group’s punching bag inevitably leaves Son Myeong Oh feeling remorseful with an inferiority complex. On finding a unique identity among all these bullies, Kim Gun Woo shared, “Myeong Oh gives off the vibe of a scamp you’d be able to see in your everyday life. In a good way, he has a certain level of innocence. Compared to a wealthy character like Jae Joon, he’s more like an underdog.”
Kim Gun Woo revealed that his first filming for “The Glory” was a scene with Song Hye Kyo. He explained that she casually told him to act how he pleased, which allowed him to get comfortable. However, he added, “Whenever I do a project, I think ‘I get this now’ by the time filming is nearly done. When I’m acting, I do the best I can so I don’t have regrets, but I always feel like I’ve underperformed.”
One of the most common stories Korean celebrities tell is that they got into their field of work after mindlessly following a friend to an audition. A similar story applies to Kim Gun Woo, who ended up at his friend’s acting school for completely unrelated reasons. He shared, “When I was in high school, my closest friend said they were attending acting school. But when I was hearing about it, they said they were learning to awaken their five senses and doing something weird. I thought ‘Isn’t that a scam?’ so I went with them once.”
Kim Gun Woo explained that he was just unfamiliar with the meditative practice of awakening one’s senses and followed his friend to class to protect him, but ended up signing up for the academy the next day. “They asked, ‘While you’re here, do you want to read a line?’ So I did, and wow, it was fun.”
After Part 1 premiered last December, Part 2 of “The Glory” was recently released on March 10 and quickly topped Netflix’s global charts.
Check out Lim Ji Yeon in “Tazza: One-Eyed Jack” with subtitles here!
Also, watch Park Sung Hoon’s drama “Into The Ring” below: