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Sungkyunkwan’s big man on campus: Park Min-young interview

Sure, there’s Team Moony, Team Smarty, Team Dopey, and Team Sneezy. But the make-or-break character of Sungkyunkwan Scandal was actually big man on campus Kim Yoon-hee, aka Daemul. Because I don’t care how many beautiful boys you throw onscreen (and there were an exceptional number in this drama); I won’t give a rat’s ass about anyone if I don’t love the main character, and root for her journey. And boy, did I ever. Yoon-hee was bold, brassy, and adorable, and I didn’t care that she had a 21st-century sensibility in an 18th-century world. Because I’m a 21st century girl.

Days after wrapping Sungkyunkwan Scandal, 24-year old actress Park Min-young sits down to share her thoughts about Yoon-hee, her castmates, the time she almost quit acting. Methinks she needn’t worry about that anymore. Here’s to her bright and shiny future. [I’ve translated her responses from two separate interviews and edited them together. Warning: SPOILERS AHEAD.]

“I was so thankful I cried. I was tired enough to fall asleep standing up in front of the camera, but the cast and staff was of one mind and heart, and we raced to the finish line. I spent 23 hours of each day in full makeup, and didn’t sleep for three days at a time. My dark circles were starting to go past my cheeks. But I was happy. During the summer I had my chest bound so tightly that I had difficulty breathing and couldn’t eat for two days, but being Kim Yoon-hee made me so happy. We began at 6% ratings, but when we inched forward and finally crossed 10%, I jumped around the set like an idiot.”

“I’m kidding, but if I had studied this hard, I could’ve gone to Seoul University. I lost 4kg in six months. I’m surprised I didn’t collapse. I just told myself that I couldn’t miss a single day. The head of the production company even came by and brought me herbal medicine.”

“The set was so constantly busy, that I finally learned the meaning of being so busy you don’t have time to be sick. There were lots of scenes in the rain when we were soaked through and through, but didn’t get sick. But as we were wrapping I must’ve un-tensed my nerves, because I got sick immediately.”

“I’ve talked about this with Ah-in, that everyone: Park Yoochun, Song Joong-ki, Yoo Ah-in, was so passionate about acting that we spurred each other on. The teamwork was so good that even when doing reactions for each other’s shots, we were diligently acting. But I have one complaint. All three of them have such baby faces. Especially Ah-in, when he cuts his hair and shaves his face, he looks like a total kid. Next to the three of them, I look old! On top that, I think the stress of the shoot has aged me.”

“Actually I never originally had plans to become an actress. But when I was applying to college, my mom out of nowhere told me to try applying to the theater program. I thought, ‘Okay, should I try it?’ and applied. Later I found out that my mom went to five fortune tellers and they all told her that I would become an actress. (Laughs) Now I think, what would have happened if I didn’t act? When I’m acting is when I’m happiest.”

“I succeeded right away when I debuted, so I was lucky. I thought that was just what happened. I thought it would all be that easy. But then things became difficult for me career-wise, and I lost confidence. For the last year I became depressed, and I ran up against a lot of walls. I seriously considered changing my career. That’s when I encountered Sungkyunkwan Scandal. I loved it so much that outside of trying to succeed as an actress, I was just grateful to be a part of this project. ”

“I was given a lot of roles as the manipulative girl, but my real personality is much more like Yoon-hee: I’m pretty spunky and bold. I think because my situation when I was cast was so dire, that I was able to completely lose myself in the role. Yoon-hee was contemplating her studies, and I was contemplating acting, so we matched up that way. The way that Yoon-hee, when faced with the worst circumstances, fought her way through everything with an iron will, I thought if I acted her role, I would grow with her. More than having the confidence to think I could play a cross-dressing girl, I thought that I could really play Yoon-hee.”

“She’s such a pure and innocent kid. She sacrificed so much for her family. When she enters Sungkyunkwan for the first time, she meets friends and takes classes, and it opens up a new world to her. It was a feeling of having a series of lightbulbs turn on, one at a time. As I immersed myself in Yoon-hee’s happiness at every little moment, I think those expressions just came out. Truthfully, it’s the most I’ve ever lost myself in a role. It was a role I wanted so much, and in five months’ time, we only rested three days, so I didn’t have the time to think about anything else. I focused completely on the role and I think I just became Yoon-hee.”

“I expected that since I’d be acting with three ‘flower pretty boys’ that I’d increase my anti-fanbase. But the audience was so generous and understanding, that I actually decreased in number of antis since before I started this drama. (Laughs) Thankfully, instead of hating Yoon-hee, the audience saw her as someone they wished they could be. I’m thankful that they loved her.”

“Because I’ve experienced the downturn that follows popularity, even if Sungkyunkwan Scandal has succeeded, that’s not where my happiness lies. I’m not going to get swept up by that. I just want to be proud of doing the best job that I could.”

“It feels like I’ve been given a huge gift. Truthfully before doing Sungkyunkwan Scandal, I had a lot of projects that were overturned, and there were so many obstacles I faced, that I considered quitting acting. Yoon-hee reignited my passion for acting. I’m so grateful for this project, in so many ways.”

“To think of Park Min-young in Kim Yoon-hee’s terms, it’s like I’ve just finished my term as a freshman at Sungkyunkwan. Now my homework is to stick it out until I graduate. My end goal is to, like Yoon-hee, become a professor. Not that I know what it means to be a ‘professor’ at acting. (Laughs) More than anything, I like that I can say that I was part of a major work. I was so happy the entire time I was filming. I’m happy that I now have a piece of work that I’ll be proud to show my daughter someday.”

Via Yonhap, Sports Khan

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LOVE HER!

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me too

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Me 3.

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Me 4 LOL.

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Me 4. LOL.

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Me 5

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AGREE YOU TOO! ^_________^

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i love her too!!!

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"I don’t care how many beautiful boys you throw onscreen (and there were an exceptional number in this drama); I won’t give a rat’s ass about anyone if I don’t love the main character, and root for her journey...Yoon-hee was bold, brassy, and adorable, and I didn’t care that she had a 21st-century sensibility in an 18th-century world. Because I’m a 21st century girl."

Couldn't agree with you more. I generally shy away from sageuks but keep getting pulled in by these non-traditional/fusion types (i.e. Goong, Tamra, SSK). I think its the anachronistic characteristics -- a 21st century sensibility in an 18th-century world -- that made me love this drama all the more. (However, having the pretty boys around sure didn't hurt.)

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Love her from the show and love her even more after the interview. She seems very down-to-earth and driven. I think we can expect great things from her.

But man, someone better give that girl a mirror, because she does NOT look old!! She looks like she's the same age as her "baby-face" co-stars.

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So pretty and cute. XOXO

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It's so weird to see her without the traditional man garb.

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One thing I really like about Park-Min young is her voice (or at least in the role as Kim Yoon Shik in Sungkyunkwan).

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agreed! i love that mellow voice of hers.

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Yes, and her laugh! It is so rich and real.

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Gorgeous girl with a gorgeous personality.

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hope to see more of her in the future!!

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She's beautiful..I love her character in SS..hope to see more of her soon!!

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She is beautiful,can't wait for her newest drama.I imagine that she is partenered with Hyun Bin :)

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couldn't agree with your more, GF...love ma girl, YH/YS! She did such an awesome job in portraying her character that I've become completely enamored of her character and was rooting for her character from the beginning to the end of the race. Gah, I'll surely miss SKKS and I will certainly be looking forward to her future projects. PMY, fighting!

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awwww love her! I haven't finished the drama yet, but didn't find anything too spoiler-y in the interview.
Can't wait to see the final episode! will definitely miss her, and the other three pretty boys :)

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She is absolutely DEEEELIGHTFUL!!!!

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I found myself falling in love with her and if I was a dude I'd dig her "in that way" too.

Honestly I've only ever loved 2 Korean actresses since I started watching Kdrama. One is Park Shin-hye and then there is Yoon Eun Hye. Now I've added a third.

I am so looking forward to her next project, her star just shot out of the playing field.

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Wow, all those three have cross-dressed for a drama!!! XD

I really think Park Min-young is awesome and incredibly sweet ^^ Wow, so many sweet young actresses...who's going to play the villains? XD

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she's beautiful! i especially liked that last picture of her and i'm glad that SKKS was the vehicle that opened her eyes to her true passion - acting!

i hope that she will chose her future projects well and that she'll have the drive as her KYH role.

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She is so sweet

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Gahhh. I love her! But I feel kinda bad because ever since Episode 12

(SPOILER IN CASE)

... when Yong-Ha was saying he questioined his masculinity because of his feelings for Jae-Shin

(SPOILER)

I pretty much looked forward more for the scenes between YH and JS rather than the main couple. :P

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You're not the only one who thinks that way :) The bromance is of epic proportion.

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Love how she complains that they're looking too young.

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But seriously, I still can't grasp how popular this drama is... was this the same kind of thing Yoon Eun Hye went through after Goong?

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It definitely shows in SKKS how much she loved and enjoyed being Kim Yoon Hee/Shik. The audience and her co-stars just responded to that accordingly.

It's awesome to learn that the role did more for her than just professionally in terms of acting but also personally as it taught her to be a stronger and more courageous woman.

Indeed, what makes this show extremely powerful are the characters with whom we can identify with and also aspire to become as they search for a sense of purpose and meaning to life.

We love that her role was bold, spunky and ahead of her time and she built healthy relationships around her. We love more that PMY delved into this role with all of her own self poured into it. And her own and KYH's dreams became one...her journey was truly a joy to watch!

Thanks so much, girlfriday! This interview recap is an inspired and inspiring read!!!

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me too. i'm so used to her period drama costumes that i can't really link her modern look to the drama..haha..

she is really cut out for period drama..she is really so pretty!!! even me, a girl, can't help falling in love with her in SSK....not to mention the 3 guys in the drama...haha...

i really like her chemistry with Yoochun in SSK.. the reason why i'm watching this.. plus Soong Joong Ki.. he is so cute...haha..

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Took the words out of my mouth. I rooted for her from the get go and literally fell in love with her character.

SKKS is such an appealing drama for me because the female characters (even Cho Sun) don't make me want to pull my hair off when watching it, unlike *coughsplayfulkisscoughs*.

Anyway, just my two cents.

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**nod in agreement**

Thank goodness the female protagonist doesn't make me want to pull my hair out. I'm glad she is strong, but still has common sense.

SKKS is a sweet little drama that makes me smile, and I would not mind one bit if they have another season to tell the story of the other flower boys.

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If season 2 focuses on the story of the other flower boys I am on board that ship for sure! As long as they don't mess up with Yoonhee and Seonjoon storyline.

Yeees, Yongha and Jaeshin deserve their own happily ever after (preferably with each other *gets shot*).

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*Throws confetti at irene*
No "getting shot" from me. I've never wanted a couple to get together more so than these 2 lovely boys.

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fully agree.I kind of watching PK and SKKS together and cannot help compare the two main female characters; and YooHee is the one that I really admire,smart ,strong driven ,have her own stand point and cute,caring all in one .

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i hated the lead girl character in Playful Kiss more than I did the robotic male lead character. and that's not because KHJ is pretty, but because the girl's level of insipidity is beyond comprehension. as a girl, I take offense with the way the female character was handled.

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Fully agreed I were horrified by how the main lead girl character is portrayed.The way she accepted being humiliated by the male lead. But I have to honestly admit the robotic male lead equally put me off .I really cannot help myself contrasting his acting with Micky in SKKS.Is just way different.I know both guys are good friends and believe both are with good personality, but
still.

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she is so cute

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I remember first saw her in "I am Sam", and then I saw her in Big Bang's MV "Haru Haru"... I always like her.
But then she acted in that horror drama "Hometown Legend" which I strongly avoided.

I always think she has the talent, but unfortunately hasn't got a great opportunity in getting a right role. Luckily she got this one in SKKS.

She's pretty and cute, and I love to see and read that 4 of them seem close, particularly her with Yoo Ah In.
If I didn't know for sure that YHee would end up with Sun Joon, I'd ship her with Jae-shin, because I feel that they got a better chemistry together! ( and look adorable together too! oh how I love the way Jae-shin looks at her.. )

It's a great interview.. I guess most of SKKS' s interviews are interesting. I've read the one with the writer, with Song Joongki ( love love ), and with Yoo Ah In.
SKKS, will be always have a special place in my heart.

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she is indeed the big man in campus .... i will admit i like youre beautiful because of the boys but in ssk i love th boys more because of yoon hee , she is beautiful and she smile so warmly ..... more positive role for her or more project with micky yoochun

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she's cute....where are the rest of the cast's interviews???

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I can't imagine anyone NOT liking her after watching the series.

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she seems really sweet, humble and down to earth.

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SKKS, Best drama for 2010, better than Dongyi, Cindrella, I love it, due to excellent acting cannot skip any episodes.

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LOve her.Fully agree that even with 3 flowerboys if we do not love the main girl, it will not work. Love her chemistry with YooChun. She can really act and i can
feel like she is really into Yoohee.PMY you should be really proud of yourself.Your character is the one that stay in me the most , You have succesfully portray an inspiring character.Thank you

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I agree with every other comment here. She is one of the very few female leads that I LOVED. I loved her spunkiness, her confidence, her wittiness, everything.

I also loved that she referenced Ah-in multiple times in this interview. Jaeshin, you shall have my heart forever!! I do agree though, I saw a video of Yoo Ah-in from the wrap party or something or another, and he looked like a child! Without his long hair and facial hair, it is hard to believe he is just a few years older than me. He looks barely legal (in American terms). But... as Jaeshin... he will forever be oh so sexy....

RAWWRRR.

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She's definitely an inspiring role model. I wish her the best in the future.

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Plus....

Jaeshin + Yongha = <3 FOREVAAAA

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Oh, thank you so much for putting this interview up, girlfriday! Much appreciated and I agree with everything you said... :)

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PMY's Yoonhee was so much more modern than many female roles in contemporary dramas.
She had drive, determination, agency, intelligence and loads of courage.
I am really tired of the wishy washy weak girlies that populate most k-dramas - she was a breath of fresh air.

I hope we'll see PMY again very soon.

p.s.: Yongha and Jaeshin forever!

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so true! she was the one who saved the male lead, Sun-joon, several times- when he was looking for the account book, when he got sick, and when he was thrown in jail. She could be dunked in the water and not even get sick. I love Kim Yoon Shik! She's got Sun-joon's brain, Jae-shin's physical prowess (she can shoot an arrow off a sharp piece of string, climb up shelves, punch like a man, build a fire), and Yong-ha's charm.

it is so weird to see PMY in modern female garb now! I can't wait to hear about future PMY projects!

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When I read how busy she was during the last 5 month, my mind started to think about Park Yoochun who at the same time busy with JYJ concert and all that.. wow.. he must be super human...

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Yes I think the same thing, how busy Micky is. I can't help but understand when I read that one of the reason why JYJ concert at Hawaii is canceled because he's sick (I don't care if it is just an excuse for having lack of audience or whatever). Some JYJ fans seem can't understand it with the reason they had already buy the concert ticket & flight ticket to Hawaii which is not cheap (yeah I get it I have to take flight to another country too for attending K artist concert). Fans just give this boy some rest...

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what a beautiful interview! thanks so much DB team for translating this and the entire series in general! i started off only reading the recaps but as the J4 grew together and became more solidified i just HAD to go back and watch all the episodes from the beginning!

much love to SKKS <3

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I like her.....since mv haru-haru......and more like after watching SKKS,,,,,, great girl,,,,,PMY fighting!!!

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KYH is totally my Korean Buffy but now PMY will face the same peril SMG did for me -- if she ever acts as a 'token' female in a show, I will find it absolutely unbearable to watch!

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IMHO she made SKKS a success, I do not think that any other actress could have embody the role of "Daemul" the way she did, she is also a very beautiful Lady, and the only reason why I watched the drama!!!!

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Is she really 24? She doesn't look like it at all. Wow~

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That's what I'm sayin'! She must have the young gene or it must be the uh, you know ps?

I love what she said in one of her interviews: “To think of Park Min-young in Kim Yoon-hee’s terms, it’s like I’ve just finished my term as a freshman at Sungkyunkwan. Now my homework is to stick it out until I graduate..." Awww, makes me love her even more!

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So glad she didn't quit the industry and hung in there.

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Big man on campus, indeed. Thanks so much for the article, girlfriday!

Park Min Young did a great job with making the Yoon Hee character lively and memorable. I love that she was spunky and adorable without being annoying and without coming across like she's trying too hard to be cute.

I recently watched the first episode of Hometown Legends *shudders* It was disturbing. Thankfully, afterward, I followed that an episode of "I Am Sam" to get back to my happy place. Anyone who hasn't seen "I Am Sam" and is a newly minted fan of Park Min Young, like myself, check it out. Her character is a hoot!

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"All three of them have such baby faces. Especially Ah-in, when he cuts his hair and shaves his face, he looks like a total kid."

LOL...so true!
I love this girl ^_^

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I love her already and will be looking forward to her future projects. She did a good job on SKKS and like she said, i totally agree that she had became Yoonhee...that role fits her and there were never awkward moments on her acting. Not a scene I can say that she should do much better. Hmmm...I wish though that Yoonhee at least gave Jae Shin that look she casts on Sunjoon...lol

I am so glad I discovered two great actresses that I can look forward to their future projects...Park Min-young and Jung Su Min...they have their own unique talents and looks and I know given more great projects..they will totally excel.

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She is really beautiful. I loved Yoonhee in SKKS. too! She's the soul of the drama.

Now, how I miss SKKS... ;(

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LOVE Yoon-hee...that how 21st girl suppose to be.

What's wrong with this drama even Park Min-young look cuter in man hanbok than modern cloth...

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i love you!!

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Park min young, you're so awesome!!! you portrayed Yoon Hee very well. I wish you more great (and challenging) roles in the future. i'll be keeping an eye out for you. love you so much! ^_^

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crazily waiting for the last episode subs..

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I really admired this girl. I also liked her in High Kick...and Running..she's just plain adorable.She's not afraid to speak her own mind and enjoying herself while acting together with the other leads of SKKS. I already missed the 4 of them...
I wonder who among the 3 actors developed a crush on her while on the set of SKKS...or maybe they're just keeping it to themselves...oh well who knows one of them might call her ...hope its Jaeshin!
Anyway good luck on your next project , and be a better actress or a great fashion model, but i don't think your height fits you in that category, though...kekeke!.You have a lot of fans from all over the world..that's how you're well remembered in this drama.
And 20yrs. from now, i too will agree that SKKS was once a great drama with superb casts.I'm pretty sure, your family as well as your grandchildren will forever remember you as a legend.!BOW....

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