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Weekend Date: Lee Yo-won

Posted May. 12, 2005 23:23,   


Actress Lee Yo-won (25) kept rolling up and down the tip of her scarf throughout her interview. Her shy smile came first when asked by reporters.

We met Lee Yo-won on May 10 at a shooting place in Bucheon, Gyeonggi Province. She plays the role of a genius designer named “Deomi” in the drama series, “Fashion 70s,” to be aired on SBS from May 23 on Monday and Tuesday (at 9:55 p.m.). She made a comeback two years after her marriage in 2003 when she decided to quit her job.

“When producer Lee Jae-kyu offered me the role, I mulled it over day and night for two days. I was worried that the audience would gossip about me if I made a comeback. I am not the only one who gets mocked now.” While she starred in the drama series titled, “Dae Mang” (Big Dreams) (2002) that aired on SBS for the last time before marriage, she said,” I am not the type for the entertainment industry.” It seemed as if she preferred to live a simple life as a housewife instead of receiving the spotlight in the entertainment industry.

She said, “It is not only a historical drama series but also its producer that attracted me. Producer Lee is the one who produced ‘Da Mo,’ the MBC drama series. I chose to be on the show because I liked the story line. It is not a typical love story, but a story of life and success. My husband encouraged me, saying, ‘Don’t pay too much attention to what others say.’” The show “Fashion 70s” depicts the love and ambitions of four youths against the backdrop of the fashion industry and upper class in the 1970s. Deomi in the series made a surprising debut as a genius designer who succeeded in designing the Bohemian hippie look that was a hit in the 1970s.

She said, “Deomi says whatever she wants to say if it is deemed right. In the advertisement kit, she is described as a ‘Mozart type’ of person, but in fact she is strong outside, but scared and innocent inside. You will see a totally different character from the fragile and weak girls I played in previous series like ‘Blue Fog,’ and ‘Dae Mang’ before I got married.”

Lee’s appearance is more suited for a historical drama series. She admitted herself as a traditionally beautiful actress, saying, “While I was on ‘Kkok Ji,’ the drama series that aired on KBS in 2002, those around me used to tell me I was more suited for historical roles.” It is said that while Kim Min-jung in “Fashion 70s” is more like a rose blossoming bright, Lee Yo-won is more like a mild chrysanthemum in a pastel tone.

Maybe because she is a mother of a two-year-old girl, her passion for acting has become even stronger. She said, “Before I got married, I thought I could make it up if I don’t do it well now, but soon I realized I was arrogant. Now, I feel how precious each scene is. I am working on it now as if it were my ‘last’ work.”

She is also working on the new movie, “Gwang-tae, Gwang-shik’s Brother,” to be released in August. Producer Lee Jae Kyu said, “Deomi, who used to live in a rich family, makes a successful recovery overcoming a miserable life, and I believe Lee Yo-won would be able to act it well.”

Whenever she was asked about her husband, a professional golfer, Park Jin-woo, and her child, her personal agent stopped it, saying, “No questions about her privacy please.” Lee seemed to think her family life should be left untouched. On her marriage for two years, she said, “All I did was cooking, laundry, and watching soap operas, and I wouldn’t have made a comeback as an actress without my husband’s support.”

Jung-Bo Suh suhchoi@donga.com