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Movie “Actresses” blurs line between fact and fiction

Talk about an all-star line-up: the new film Actresses [여배우들] features a whole slew of high-profile names, such as Queen Seon-deok‘s Go Hyun-jung and Hallyu princess Choi Ji-woo, pictured above, in addition to Lee Mi-sook (East of Eden), Kim Min-hee (I Like It Hot), Kim Ok-bin (Thirst), and Yoon Yeo-jung (The World They Live In).

Here’s the official description, which I think sounds GREAT:

Actresses: Christmas Eve. For a fashion spread in Vogue magazine, six top actresses are brought in spanning ages from their twenties through sixties. As expected, these ladies who are used to receiving the spotlight alone engage in a battle of wills, and tension fills the studio. It’s an unwritten law in the fashion world to schedule shoots to avoid actress encounters, so this experiment was playing with fire from the outset. The psychological battle starts with wardrobe choices and ends with the scandalous scene of [Choi] Ji-woo storming out at [Go] Hyun-jung‘s provocation. [Yoon] Yeo-jung suspects she was only called in at the last minute to substitute, and while [Kim] Min-hee enjoys the shoot, [Kim] Ok-bin feels the burden of being around sunbaes, wondering how far she has to go to treat them as elders. They endure an endless wait for the featured jewelry that doesn’t arrive. The staff is growing worried and the actresses are becoming more and more sensitive.

What events happened that night? What words were exchanged between these frank, bold women? Could they have really finished their shoot without incident?


Go Hyun-jung’s poster reads: “Scandal. Only talking about good things gets boring!”
Yoon Yeo-jung: “Pride. I was dumped by that ugly __!”
Choi Ji-woo: “Fame. You’re not all disparaging me since I’m not here, right?”
Kim Min-hee: “Jealousy. Men like me too!”
Lee Mi-sook: “Mystery. I have a birth secret!”
Kim Ok-bin: “Complex. I’m going to lose weight, I am…”

The description sounds fascinating on two different levels: First off, I love real-time-esque suspense thrillers that are more about building tension than flashy action or melodrama. I love feeling the uneasiness building in strained silences (Tale of Two Sisters and 2LDK are two great examples of this kind of storytelling). And second, there’s that meta thrill you get of seeing these actresses playing an exaggeration of themselves, using their real names as their characters’ names, leading us to wonder — is this all fiction? Or… not?

The film held its production press conference on November 17 at Seoul’s Coex Megabox. It will release in theaters on December 10.


From left to right: Kim Ok-bin, Kim Min-hee, Choi Ji-woo, Go Hyun-jung, Lee Mi-sook, Yoon Yeo-jung

Go Hyun-jung said of her co-star, “Choi Ji-woo is so beautiful that I felt envious of her in real life.” Choi Ji-woo said in return, “The first day I met Go Hyun-jung sunbae, we were shooting a fight scene. I was so nervous that I couldn’t control my expressions well — what you see onscreen wasn’t acting.”

Lee Mi-sook spoke up about the scene, adding, “At that time, Go Hyun-jung wasn’t famous yet for Mi-shil [in Queen Seon-deok] and Choi Ji-woo was a big Hallyu star. Watching Hyun-jung act, I thought they were really fighting. I was really shocked.”

The stars revealed that the fight was real: they began the scene right after meeting, which called for Go to glare at Choi and hit her forehead, “which actually made me angry.” In this instance, the director had only established the setting for his lead actresses and had a meeting with them, but didn’t shoot with a special script or scenario plotted. For that reason, the scene took on an even more realistic vibe.

Go said, “It wasn’t that she started the fight, but she acted sensitively. In the end, that angered me. At the time, I wasn’t acting according to a specific plan. Actresses can be pretty simple sometimes.” She added laughingly, “Because Ji-woo and I are similar heights, it was okay [fighting]. Even when I think back to that, I feel worked up.”



Meeting under those circumstances probably didn’t make it conducive to having a good relationship offscreen, and Go Hyun-jung said frankly, “We don’t have a bad relationship, but not having a particularly good relationship is the way of actresses. This is shown just as it is within the movie.”

Choi explained, “I was fighting with Go Hyun-jung in my first shoot and felt a lack of wits and other limitations, so I did feel some disappointment. However, as time passed, it became more enjoyable. Later, I felt regrets because I could have shown more.”

Choi’s glamorous image can sometimes contradict what fans know as a self-effacing personality. Yoon Yeo-jung said of her co-star, “I really thought Choi Ji-woo would be a ‘깍쟁이’ [a snob or brat], but she’s very easy-going.” Lee Mi-sook said called her “surprisingly modest.”

Choi has also been criticized for her acting in the past, and said of this film, “I want to receive praise as an actress now. I’ve started feeling that desire.” She said, “Even if the film flops, I won’t have regrets.”


Kim Min-hee also expressed a desire to be called a real actor with this role. Often noted for her bold, sometimes avant-garde fashion sense, the film staffers called her “the type that isn’t popular with men,” which made her feel envious of her co-star. She explained, “The staff members only told Kim Ok-bin that she is the style to be popular with men but not me, so I felt envious.” (Then again, perhaps producers were playing up the role of the actresses’ alter-egos in the film?)

Kim Ok-bin said she took on the role “because I didn’t want to lose the chance to meet these sunbaes. But with regard to acting, I wasn’t able to grasp the emotions quickly, which was tough. I wanted to act a part that was close to my real self. I was trying to show myself but the director told me, ‘I think we need something more,’ which was difficult.”

Meanwhile, veteran Yoon Yeo-jung said, “I was cast because I’m the only actress in her sixties that Director Lee Jae-yong knows. I made my decision after having drinks with Go Hyun-jung.”

Kim Min-hee said of Yoon, “I thought she would be scary, but the way she thinks is young and it was comfortable conversing with her.”


Via Star News, Asiae, OSEN

Tags: , , , , , ,

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WOW. The relationship between Go and Choi sounds really intense. The movie sounds interesting, but at the same time, I don't feel comfortable with their blur between reality and acting. I despise reality shows that thrive off people's discord. I don't mind it in fiction, but to hear that the fight between Go and Choi was real is a bit offputting for me.

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^ ^ ^

Ditto! Situations like this make me physically uncomfortable...knowing that it's more or less real makes me squirm just thinking about it. ;-)

This is why I'm not a fan of reality TV!

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I normally hate blatant drama (and reality television), but this has me really interested. Maybe because I really like the actresses and think the premise is rife for possibility. Just think of it as them going really, really Method?

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it sounds confusing though for, i don't know which is which. i mean the plot, and acting..

a lot of questions, what is the story all about?

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It sounds intresting. I find it facinating that Choi Ji-woo and Go Hyun-jung basically admitted that they get along for work purposes but don't really care for each other. It maybe me, but with the actors using their real names - it gives me a quasi Soulmate-ish feeling about this movie. I can't wait!

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I'm torn. On one hand - I think this movie will be fascinating to watch, and all these ladies are good actresses who will probably bring their A game in order to keep up with each other. On the other hand - it reinforces the "bitchy" actress stereotype that is rooted somewhat in reality, but we're not going to see a movie about 6 male hallyu stars out muscling and out flexing each other when shooting a CF together.

Well, I'm just happy that there is a movie starring top hallyu actresses, without a single man in sight. Go ladies!

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Well, I do think that Yoon Yeo-jung is all that and a bag of Cheetos, so I might have to check it out just to see her give the youngin's hell. :-D

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I loved Go Hyun-jung... I just finished watching HIT yesterday. This looks really interesting.

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LOL @ going really, really hardcore method! haha.
this DOES look interesting.

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i'm interested, and i can't wait to watch this movie.

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OOh...this does sound interesting. And it will attract both men, and women! I think it's great actresses can "bound" together even if for a short while or for the camera as it is true, how many of them actually get to know or hang out with each other at the same time?
I also think it's a good mix of actresses, never would have put them together at the same time!

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I actually saw this last week on an early morning show. The show focused on Go Hyun Joong when she shot her last seen on QSD. Right after the wrap up, they mentioned that she was doing a movie with all this famous other actresses. They showed them shooting the scenes as one by one all the actresses arrived at the taping. Go Hyun Joong, Lee Misook, and Yoon Yeo Jeong arrived first, followed by Kim Min Hee whom Go Hyun Joong is friends with. They hugged each other and both talked about not being able to see each other for the longest time. Then Kim Ok Bin arrived all excitedly greeting her seonbaenims first and then Go Hyun Joong and Kim Min Hee. Go Hyun Joong complimented Ok Bin for being so pretty. When Choi Ji Woo arrived, you can see that Go Hyun Joong was sort of glaring at her. Ji Woo seemed awkward and shy to greet the actresses because she was the last one to arrived. I knew that something like a heated argument would come up. The shooting was indeed intense already.

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Just reading Javabeans recap made me confused about which parts were real and which part weren't. Talking about blurriness between real vs. reel. sounds very interesting. I will definitely watch. As fans of many korean actors, I learn about them from their characters in their dramas/films, so it is intriguing to learn the truth about them.

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For those who are interested , here is the trailer for The Actresses. just like some of you, the thought of Choi and Go were actually fighting made me uncomfortable. However, after seeing the trailer, I feel really good because it shows them getting along together, making up, finding reconciliation. I like the kind of film that shows redemption, vulnerability, and honestly. It's so human to see them jealous of each other, being competitive and stuff. and that's attractive to me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YLv6ddWkDI

kudos to the director that created this "conflict" atmosphere and provoke the actresses to show their emotions.

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opps the link I provided earlier is not the trailer. Sorry..wrong link

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Yoon Yeo-jung is like my favorite k-drama grandma. And Lee Mi Sook is just gorgeous for her age.

All the youngins are superbly beautiful and talented too.

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Blank!

Don't know what to say, or I have already said too much in Soompi that I feel I need to shut up and go to bed!! :) zzzzzz......zzzzzzz.......

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Ahaha!! I sooo wanna see the fight!! Dang..sounds crazy.

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I'm a huge fan of Lee Mi-Sook, an actress of non-bombastic greatness and an accurate conveyor of the subtler shades of the human passions. If you have not seen her in An Affair or An Untold Scandal then I advise you to purchase the dvds prontisimo (although I expect the fans of Yon-sama would argue until blue in the face that the latter belongs to him). Choi Ji Woo has never been my cup of tea, there again I would not refrain from watching something because she's in it (the problem I have, for example, with Nickolas Cage).

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If anybody puts so much as a single blemish on Ji Woo's beautiful face they'll have to deal with me! What a great cast. This should be a good one...

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@20, Emma

Oh gosh, you're so right! I completely forgot that Lee Mi-sook was the actress from An Affair. I loved that film and I loved her in it...never mind. I'm in. I'll just watch through my fingers occasionally!

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Ooooo sounds super intriguing since it, to a certain extent, reflects their real actions and personalities under the situation. Awesome :)

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@langdon813,

I soooo agree re: Yoon Yeo-jung -- would love to see her in this. I also love the role she plays with [time out for googling] Kim Ja Ok in Worlds Within. They're like the two old men in the balcony on Sesame Street. ^^

btw (excuse this note from another thread): YYJ is also in Hotelier!

@pp, thanks for the video! yowie, there's some tension.

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THIS is VERY VERY INTERESTING!!!!

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Oooh I'm excited for this, as well. It doesn't sound like it'll be one of those gaudy, so-called reality shows that US television is glutted with, but sort of a "scripted documentary"? Anyway, I like the idea.

I'm really into this, and I have the strong feeling there are many examples of this reality blurring, but help! I can't think...except for a movie that followed an imaginary 70s rock band around. What was the name of that?? Hmmmm...

@6~~I would totally pay $10+ to see male Hallyu stars make fools of their egos with each other! I'd do it with glee...I don't think "Actresses" is meant to be disparaging of the rivalry between women (really hope not!) but just illustrating a part of the business's character. If there were an "Actors" version of this, I'd die.

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@26, tinyviolin

Spinal Tap? :-D

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I'm intimidated just by looking at their pictures. Imagine all of them in one room? Kim Ok Bin seems to be the most amiable one, Choi Ji Woo on the other hand scares me the most. But then again, looks can be deceiving.

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Oooh I love this already... not too sure about Kim Min Hee and Kim Ok Bin... but I love the rest of the cast..

@Emma & langdon813.
ITA... I love Lee Mi Sook, I wasn't even paying attention to Yonsama when I watch Untold Scandal... it was Jeon Do Yeon and Lee Mi Sook that caught my attention and Lee Mi Sook subtle acting actually makes me feel so sad for her in An Affair which stars the gorgeous Lee Jung Jae as well... She was awesome in "ing" as well as Im Soo Jung's mom... which exude such warm and patient quality in her acting... the part where to talks to her late hubby stuffs and potrait(if I dun remember wrongly) was so touching...

Go Hyun Jung, I love from her quirkiness from What's Up Fox... I think she is underated, and her personal life more in the spotlight than her being a good actress, I am glad Queen Seon Duk gave her the recognition professionally.

Choi Ji Woo... she is my Queen of Tears, but she does can act, so am gonna check the trailer out to check out the intensity...

Yoon Yeo Jung... ah I recall, she is the adorable granny I saw in so many K-dramas... I love how she can do "high society granny/matriach" and "poor granny" characters all the same and all so well...

One word - EXCITED TO SEE THIS!

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The movie looks intriguing. Looking forward to watching this one.
It reminds me a little of The Women meets a Robert Altman film.

Lee Mi Sook isn't just gorgeous for her age.
Lee Mi Sook is gorgeous. Period. :D

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Not in time to edit... Just want to add, @6 & 26... I so wanna see an "Actor" ver as well... The thought entertain me no end... *____*

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@26 Is it Almost Famous?
@pp thanks for the clip.

The movie looks pretty good. I wish I can catch it here in the states. It gives out a pretty good vibe. I like the feel/direction of the movie. Plus, the top notch actresses doesn't hurt either!

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i think the person who wrote the description did a great job.
i went to check out the trailer but it seems pretty blah.. not at all like the tension-y feeling i get from reading the description...

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=="16 pp"== thanks for the link.... seems interesting to watch...

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Choi ji woo always plays an innocent, kind, patient kind of characters in most of her dramas. I think in real life, as stated by her co-workers, she is not a prima donna at all and quite a humble person. So the thought of seeing her "pissed" excites me. I want to see what she looks like when she is bloody mad. I will definitely watch

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I think Yoon Yeo-jung is Korea's National Treasure. She is never less than wonderful and Everybody's Mom.
Obviously PDs love her too. Glad to see her included. movies like this are either
a hot mess or really great.

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I agree with etsy. Just reading this made me feel uneasy but I might end up watching it anyway.

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i'm all curious..six awesome actresses got together..wow!
of coz who would ever forget Lee MiSook video arcade romp with hottie Lee Jung Jae in 'An Affair'..*fans self*.
Kim OkBin is my favourite of the lot.

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@Porcelain
"ITA… I love Lee Mi Sook, I wasn’t even paying attention to Yonsama when I watch Untold Scandal… it was Jeon Do Yeon and Lee Mi Sook that caught my attention and Lee Mi Sook subtle acting actually makes me feel so sad for her in An Affair which stars the gorgeous Lee Jung Jae as well… She was awesome in “ing” as well as Im Soo Jung’s mom… which exude such warm and patient quality in her acting… the part where to talks to her late hubby stuffs and potrait(if I dun remember wrongly) was so touching… "

Untold scandal was all about Lee Mi Sook and Jeon Do Yeon. BYJ didn't factor at all in my enjoyment of the film and in fact I thought was a total miscast. This was the first film I've ever seen Jeon Do Yeon act and I literally sat up straight in my chair and was so gobsmacked to see so much talent so unexpectantly. At the time I felt an overwhelming regret that she would never get a bigger arena to showcase her acting never thinking she would one day win a cannes award. Ing is another movie that like untold scandal that is all about the woman. Im Soo Jung who I'm a huge fan of, along with Lee Mi Sook was a such a joy to watch in their interplay as mother and daughter. The acting was so natural it was so believable that they are related. BTW the Ing OST is one of my all time favorite and one of my favorite screen visual is when Im Soo Jung is smoking outside her window.

I'm not sure I would watch this movie but if gets enough positive reviews here I might. I need to save my kentertainment hours and use it sparingly otherwise I'd have no life.

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Lots of fun (and perverse giving that LMS is intimidatingly beautiful even as she approaches 50) watching Lee Mi Sook playing a grandmama in East of Eden. Also Go Hyun Jung and Yoon Yeo-Jung were family in What's Up Fox.

Know what? All paths go back to My Man (Lee Jung Jae)

LJJ + LMS = The Affair
LJJ + CJW = Air City
LJJ + GHJ = That Little Show In the Mid-90s that 60% of Korea watched
LJJ + KOB = Disturbance in the Ballroom
LJJ + KMH = Asako in Ruby Shoes

WTH Vogue. This movie should be called "My Man's Untold Scandal"

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omg i'm getting all tingly! this sounds awesome!

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BTW, noticed that both YYJ and KOB like to light up a cancer stick. The eldest and youngest? Who'd thunkit?

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One of the things that excites me is seeing Go Hyunjung and Yoon Yeojung together in one screen again. I almost wished that Go Junhee would be cast instead of Kim Okbin, hehehe..

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@27 langdon~~Yes! Spinal Tap...that's what I was thinking of. Thank you! ^^

@32 cecee...hm, I liked "Almost Famous", but that was a full on movie, just about a rocker band. Langdon got it..."Spinal Tap" actually mocks being a documentary. It's a slightly similar idea, right? Fake rocker doc, "fake" actress doc, but with the real actresses..getting in real fights...but still set up scenes....

I think this could be really cool. People are always interested in what it's like behind the camera, so putting a set-up like that in front of the camera makes for watchable stuff.

Again, if this turns out well, I really really really want to see the "Actors" version!

Ohhh..It just occured to me, as well: has anyone seen Ricky Gervais's "Extras"? Possibly the funniest show on the planet, each episode had a famous actor play "themselves", in a disparaging way. That show was so hilarious.

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@ belleza,

yup. :( but i always figured as much with that raspy voice of YYJ's.

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@21 Tundra: Honestly, I will be watching Actresses only because of CJW. Frankly, I have no idea who are the other 5 actresses. Emm...the former Miss Korean, sorry not my type.

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Yoon Yeo-jung- a great actress...love her dramas...

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Nice to see that so many appreciate and love Dame Lee Mi-Sook. I did not see fit to expand on An Untold Scandal in my first post but thankfully others did. I agree with the general assessment that the film belongs to the two main female characters and the actresses who played them. Yonsama -and I'm saying this as someone who understands his appeal- was dwarfed by them , to the point where he felt miscast. I thought his portrayal lacked that certain infernal, menacing, Don Giovanni like, libidinal panache, the character was crying out for. Bae Yong Joon showed, surprisingly, a complete lack of understanding of his character and played the Korean Vicomte de Valmont as the neighbourhood philanderer. As for the extraordinary An Affair, playing coy prevented me from shouting from the rooftops how devilishly sexy and unforgettable Lee Jung Jae was (and all that in an efortless manner which increased his allure). My enthrallment with the two lovers, their encounters as well as their chagrins, has not reached any point of satiety yet and my dvd copy is now worn out from repeated viewings. I first saw An Affair on veoh without subtitles and with no knowledge of Korean. Now, put yourselves in the shoes of an English bumpkin and try and watch 108 minutes of a film in a language you don't understand. How many films have the power to beguile thus? Not many, I should think. As soon as I clapped eyes on Lee Mi-Sook I could not turn away, she just commanded my attention, my eyes, my mind, my imagination. And as if that was not enough, along came Lee Jung Jae. Somebody kindly do humanity a favour and post the film with English subtitles on the web.

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I only know Choi Ji Woo. I have never heard/seen the other ladies but from what I've read, the cast are solid. Looking forward to another performance by Choi Ji Woo. I think her acting has improved a lot since Winter Sonata. She is still my drama queen.

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Im waiting ...

I must watch this movie ^^

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