Yum Jung-ah (Lotte Entertainment)
Actor Yum Jung-ah's new project has left her covered in bruises from practicing action sequences until they are perfect, but it is a badge she proudly wears.
“For good projects, I have to learn new things. There is no other way of doing it,” Yum told a group of reporters on Wednesday.
Such outlook on life is what has guided her throughout her career.
Recalling the first time that she read the script of “Life is Beautiful,” Yum said she instantly got the feeling that the film will be a great and powerful project and wanted to be part of it.
So she took the role in the musical film “Life is Beautiful,” even though she had to learn to sing and dance for around a year.
“When I read the lyrics in the script, I realized that it fits each situation so well. And since music has the power to make people emotional, I thought that it will definitely work,” Yum said.
Yum added she is also a fan of musical films like “Mamma Mia” (2008) and “La La Land,” (2016), and has always wanted to be part of a musical film project.
Directed by Choi Kook-hee, the film introduces housewife Se-yeon (Yum) who has devoted her entire life to her family. She finds out that she has lung cancer and only a few months left to live. As her last birthday present, she asks her husband (Ryu Seung-ryong) to help find her first high school crush. Though reluctant at first, her husband decides to go on this strange journey.
Although she is too afraid to become an actual musical actor performing on stage, Yum said she is willing to do another musical film after a great first experience.
“When I was filming it I thought I could never do this again but after watching the film, I changed my mind. I think if the opportunity comes I can try it again,” the actor said.
All the songs in the movies were recorded in studios except for the scene where K-pop solo artist Ha Hyun-sang, who played Se-jin’s son, sings to his mom over the phone. This was also the highlight of the film that many film critics praised in their reviews.
“When I was performing my part, I asked the staff to play the song that Hyun-sang sang live previously and the song easily made me very emotional,” Yum said.
The actor also shared that she secretly went to a screening that was held on Tuesday at CGV Yongsan.
“Audiences cried and laughed watching the film. I wanted to hand over some tissues to them,” Yum said.
The actor said she is very keen to find out about audiences’ feedback as it gives her motivation.
“I did not know that acting could be so much fun before I turned 30. After filming ‘A Tale of Two Sisters’ I realized that people really like it when I perform in certain ways and that attention gave me lots of motivation,” Yum said.
After the film hits the theater, Yum said she would go watch the film again.
“It is a different experience than watching it with reporters or distributors. I can feel the response of the public that is a bit different,” she said.
Musical film "Life is Beautiful" starring Yum Jung-ah (Lotte Entertainment)
When asked what she would do if she has only a few months left to live like the protagonist in the film, Yum said she wants to go on a long holiday with her family.
Aside from a business trip, Yum said she has only traveled abroad once with her mom.
“I am 50 years old now and as a young kid I thought I would have visited various countries when I reach 50,” Yum said.
"Life is Beautiful" will hit local theaters on Wednesday.