Ko Hyun-jung on How to Play Tough

Ko Hyun-jung Ko Hyun-jung

It feels a little strange interviewing Ko Hyun-jung, who plays a tomboyish detective in the drama "Hit," as she sits demurely in her chair but still wears bruise makeup on her left cheek.

The first question was about complaints from fans who still remember Ko's feminine role in "The Sandglass" over 10 years ago. Why has she been playing a tomboy reporter or tough detective since her comeback? "I was asked the question many times when I was in 'What's Up Fox.' I was thinking about the answer and found the question doesn't make any sense. Were all of my roles feminine and innocent? My debut part in 'Love of Daechu Tree' was neither feminine nor demure."

Still, there must be a reason for the preference. "I am not picky in selecting a drama. Whenever I'm offered a role, I ask, 'Who did you think of for the role except me?' If the answer is, 'There isn't anybody else,' I accept the offer. But if they have other choices, I'm not sure I can do better than them."

Asked if she resembles her character in "Hit," Ko laughs, "It's not a documentary. How could a character in drama be my real self?"

Ko plays a tough detective who chases a serial killer. She lost a lover, and the hurt is so deep that she cannot wear pretty shoes but just put them in a shoe box. "Cha Soo-kyung is a sad character. She didn't used to be so tough, but she changed to adjust to life's hardships. She couldn't help but change. Everyone has those ups and downs. I hope I can play her well enough to give viewers who suffer such hardships some comfort. I want to be remembered as Cha Soo-kyung."

It has been three years since she returned to work after long absence. Since her debut in 1989, she has had 18 years in showbiz under her belt.

At the end of the interview, she says, "When I came back to work after a 10-year absence, actors and actresses were much more concerned about viewer ratings. Making a drama is so businesslike now that performers barely have time to go to dinner together after work.

While what she says shows how much has changed in a decade, her beautiful face is much the same. "You've got to fight against aging," she says.

englishnews@chosun.com / Mar. 23, 2007 08:57 KST