KBS 2TV drama 'Nice Guy' finished its run this past November, and I had the honor of interviewing actress Moon Chae Won who played the leading role of Seo Eun Ki.
She revealed that it was only 2 weeks after the drama had ended before she felt the burden lifted from her shoulders. She said, "It (the drama) left a deep impression on me because I love it really much and the feeling was really strong. It took half a year to film all 20 episodes, so it's difficult for me to forget this experience in a short period of time. This happy and thrilling challenge was an adventure."
# Choosing the role
Moon Chae Won really portrayed the icy cold personality of Seo Eun Ki in one instance and the innocent Seo Eun Ki in another after she lost her memory. Seo Eun Ki was also a woman who would die for love and Moon Chae Won really brought out the essence of this difficult role thanks to her solid acting ability. Moon Chae Won was able to project deadly stares from her eyes but still possess a sense of loneliness in them. Is there anyone else other than Moon Chae Won who can do this perfectly?
Moon Chae Won said, "I will only pick roles that satisfy what I am looking for, and being afraid is only something that I would consider later on. I hope to take on challenging roles, and not roles that are within my comfort zone, or something that I had attempted before, or something that I would be good at. If I only act in roles that I am familiar with, what joy is there left? Of course, there would be failures if you take on a challenge and venture into the unknown, but if it succeeds, it will be mine. It would be a lie if I said that I am not afraid. But I just try hard and be courageous, so I choose to become Eun Ki."
# Making it your own role
Moon Chae Won decided on 'The Princess' Man' because it was a romance drama. But the decision to act in 'Nice Guy' was because of the attraction to the role of Eun Ki. Thus while she was really passionate about her role, it wasn't easy for her to portray it. She said, "Eun Ki was a cold-hearted person at the beginning who doesn't smile. But this was not the reason for me choosing this drama. I wanted to act as a 29 year old woman who has never had a first kiss experience, and feelings of love, loneliness, and pain. But I never acted such a role before and I couldn't remember my lines. The lines were really long, and I need a long time to rehearse them. I was already really nervous because I had Japanese lines in the beginning, and I would even rehearse the Japanese lines in my dreams."
It was not just the lines. Moon Chae Won also added little actions like putting her hands in her pocket, putting her hands at the back like a soldier while getting lectured by her father, or turning her sight away after finishing a conversation, and other minute details. She said, "After I conclude what I want to say, I would use my eyes to put down the other party, while prior to finishing my lines, I would give the other party a feeling of 'I don't really care who you are'. This was a way to not let the other party see through your emotions and avoid interaction. At the beginning, Eun Ki would be looking elsewhere while conversing, but later on, she would look at the other party straight in the eye. The latter Eun Ki will keep looking at the party in the eyes, and that was the transformation of Eun Ki right before your eyes."
Eun Ki rarely pays much attention to her outfits, and often just wears t-shirts and jeans while sporting long straight hair, giving an impression of a cold hearted princess. This wasn't in the script, but Moon Chae Won gave the role flavor by applying these little details. She said, "Eun Ki was like that in the beginning, but she changed to a cuter self towards the end. Ma Roo really fell in love with Eun Ki after she lost her memory, and thus she learnt to doll herself up. Because we were in the midst of filming, there wasn't much time and it was difficult to change in just a day. Moreover, I really liked the cold and aloof side of Eun Ki even though she appeared for just 9 episodes, and I find it a real pity when I had to let her go. But there really wasn't much time for me to fret over that. I had to ditch the vicious Eun Ki for an adorable one, but it was an interesting yet difficult task for me."
# Talking about the ending in 'Nice Guy'
In the ending for 'Nice Guy', Ma Roo and Eun Ki ended up together 7 years later and lived happily ever after together. The scene where Ma Roo who suffered a memory loss after his brain operation, took out a ring that he had prepared for Eun Ki 7 years ago, left many viewers speculating. Moon Chae Won revealed that she was really satisfied with the end. She expressed, "This proves that Ma Roo was the only man in the world, and that Eun Ki became the only woman in the woman. The both of them only begun their normal love relationship in their 30s, and to see them live happily ever after makes me happy. I really have to thank the screenwriter for the happy ending with a little twist."
Moon Chae Won felt the the ending was a good one, and she expressed her thoughts on filming the happy scene at Tongyeong 7 years later, "I hope to give people a feeling like 'Full House', and that you can still appear as bubbly as ever even if you are over 30, and that Ma Roo never lost his memory. But does Eun Ki know that? It left a deep impression on everyone because of the many questions without definite answers. The screenwriter was really serious about the writing because she loved the drama, so I really have to thank her."
Finally Moon Chae Won revealed an interesting story behind Eun Ki's bakery, "The director had texted me asking me what name should the bakery have. I decided on EunMaru Bakery, because that's what the viewers called us (EunMaru couple). The director later called it Silver Top (which literally means EunMaru in Korean), and it sounded really nice."