Lee Mi-yeon Ventures into Uncharted Waters

      March 20, 2010 08:08

      "I'm very happy that I'm playing a bright, happy role for the first time in a long time. I'e had so many gloomy parts," says Lee Mi-yeon. In recent years, Lee played the last empress Myeongseong, who has to withstand the burden of the historical past, a prostitute who has to hide her family history in the film "Typhoon," and a widow who falls in love with a man who killed her husband in SBS drama "Crazy in Love." Even when she played a brave and spirited woman, her part still had a gloomy side. But now, in KBS weekend drama "The Great Merchant," Lee shouts, runs around, and laughs out loud.

      "The Great Merchant" follows the life of Kim Man-deok (1739-1812), the first female merchant to enjoy success in the Chosun Dynasty. Lee plays Kim, who became the richest person in Jeju Island despite her orphan origin, and then rescued thousands of people from hunger at her own expense. It is her second historical drama after "The Last Empress Myeongseong," but she feels a lot of pressure as she is making a comeback after three years of absence.

      Lee Mi-yeon

      While her contemporaries were busy playing the usual hardened housewife parts, Lee at 39 took a step back. She had many proposals, but had nothing that really captured her imagination. "I think if you want to change your image, you should do it by making gradual compromise between your expectations and the public's. Because I tend to be very picky about who the writer and director are and what their past work is like, I have hard time choosing projects," she says.

      It has been 10 years since she got divorced. She has dated some people, but these relationships all broke up. "There were times when I couldn't accept the reasons for the break-up and was that desperate for marriage. But now I tell myself not to be too desperate to make relationships happen. I go with the flow," she says. "And to be honest I'm very happy being single."

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