Son Ye-jin's new movie "Chilling Romance," which comes out later this week, shows how the actress is keen to challenge herself with new roles in movies that don't fit easily into generic stereotypes.
Although the film is billed as a romantic comedy, it also features elements of horror and melodrama. For heroine Son, it marks a departure from the kind of roles she has been comfortable playing in the past.
"Frankly speaking, when I first read the script, I doubted whether the role would suit me," Son said last week, adding that she decided to give it a shot as she was enchanted by the story and the scope for reinventing herself.
"Sometimes even I feel tired of looking at my face and listening to my voice or mannerisms, so I want to ditch [my old image]," she said. "As an actress, I want to show my versatility, so I continue to try new things and develop my acting skills."
Having debuted in a commercial for a cosmetics brand in 1999, Son has starred in about a dozen films, at a rate of one movie a year. She is now filming a disaster movie, suggesting how she has added depth to her acting choices as she matures.
Looking back on her early 20s, she said she felt she constantly had to do better and often worried about her acting ability, but she now feels more comfortable with her career and skill.
"Instead of just trying to achieve my goals, I have a greater sense of composure," she said. "I can take time to reflect on my life and what I want to do."
Son said is looking for a moving melodrama for her next film. "I feel more confident in my acting ability now," she said. "Now when I play a role, I seem to have a better grasp of analyzing the character. It makes it more of a challenge, but it's also very fulfilling."