Actress Kim Ji-soo is drawing female viewers from their 30s to 60s to the SBS drama "One Warm Word," which airs twice a week. As the soap approaches its halfway point, it is rising in popularity due to its in-depth portrayal of extramarital affairs in a way that is mature and subtle rather than exploitative.
"It does not simply deal with affairs, but also the rehabilitation of wounded hearts in times of tension when such affairs happen. It deals with their psychological struggles and emotional changes in quite a sophisticated way," said drama critic Yoon Seok-jin.
Kim plays the role of a woman who suffers due to her husband's affairs as she tries to deal with her feelings of betrayal.
"The power of the drama comes from the script. The script writer is very good at describing the details of emotional turmoil and confusion that any couple who have become estranged due to adultery would experience," the actress said.
In the soap, Kim can be seen crying her heart out with bloodshot eyes to portray a woman who is wrestling with the pain caused by an unfaithful husband. She said she drew on her own experience to elicit such a convincing performance: her six-year romance with fellow actor Kim Joo-hyuk ended in 2009, and in 2013 she broke up with her boyfriend who was 16 years her junior.
"I'm over 40 now and I wouldn't say that my love life has been uneventful, even though I don't want to go into any details about this," she said. "But I think a broken heart can serve as a source of inspiration for an actor, because the depth of sorrow you can express becomes much deeper."
Kim is still single. "My view on marriage hasn't changed because of this drama. But it's not such a big deal for me now if I marry or not. Until three years ago, I was very anxious that I wouldn't be able to find my Mr. Right, but now I see more of the burdens that come with marriage," she said.
Her hobbies have also changed in reflection of her more relaxed attitude to life. "In the past, I loved golf and snowboarding. But nowadays I prefer watching movies and reading books. After all that I've gone through over the years, these things keep me calm."