Veteran actresses experiment with characters
2015-08-13 오전 2:00 By Kwon Ji-youn 조회 720
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Actresses in their 30s and 40s are dominating the small screen and turning heads with new acting challenges.

Kim Hee-ae, Kim Tae-hee and Song Yun-ah have made television comebacks in suspenseful dramas rather than the romantic ones where they found fame. The characters they are portraying are not the usual stereotypes either.

Kim Hee-ae, 48, has gone from portraying a romantic pianist in "Secret Love Affair" to playing a cop. In SBS's new drama "Mrs. Cop," Kim is a veteran police officer and working mom, a change from the elegant roles viewers are used to seeing her in. Kim is experimenting with the character she plays and has mastered action scenes. Her portrayal of a distressed working mom, who often finds herself torn between her child and her job, is also very convincing. "Mrs. Cop" airs Monday and Tuesday nights.

Kim Tae-hee, 35, meanwhile is moving from playing a secret service agent in the suspenseful "Iris" to playing a chaebol heiress. In SBS's "Yong-pal," Kim takes the role of a major conglomerate's successor who is seeking revenge when she wakes up from a medically-induced coma, having fallen victim to a scheme by her power-hungry half brother.

Kim's performances have always been the subject of controversy. Viewers have consistently called into question her acting ability, especially with her awkward portrayal of Jang Ok-jeong, a royal concubine of the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910), in SBS's "Jang Ok-jeong, Living by Love." It remains to be seen whether Kim will redeem herself in "Yong-pal," which began airing on Aug. 5.

Song, 42, who returned to the small screen with MBC drama "Mama" last year after a six-year hiatus, is back as a publicist in the new KBS drama "Assembly." Her character, a former presidential aide, is charismatic, abrasive and perspicacious, an adjustment from the terminally-ill cancer patient and single mother she played in "Mama."

Ha Ji-won, who is now nearing the end of the weekend series on SBS "The Time We Were Not in Love," depicts a 34-year-old single career-woman. When the series ends, actress Kim Hyun-joo will take over with "I Have a Lover," in which she has a double role _ a versatile corporate lawyer and her twin sister, an accountant. "I Have a Lover," to begin airing Aug. 22, will tell the story of a woman who suffers memory loss and falls back in love with her husband, who she had come to loathe.

Choi Ji-woo, 40, will take the part of a 38-year-old college student on tvN's "Twenty Again," to air Aug. 28. Her character has a 20-year-old son, but she returns to college at age 38 to prove to her son and husband that she is more than just someone's wife and mother. This marks a shift from her typical roles, and playing a mother when Choi is not yet married could prove a challenge.

Such experimentation has become possible with dramas that are no longer obsessed with fragile and feminine characters, according to a staffer at SBS.

"The themes of Korean dramas have largely diversified, so producers are looking to cast actors who have a wide acting range," he said. "For dramas like ‘Yong-pal' and ‘Mrs. Cop,' the producers wanted veteran actresses who can pull off such strong characters." 

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