Actress Kim Hee-ae is set to return to the silver screen after a 21-year absence with "Elegant Lies," which is due to hit theaters on Thursday. Her last movie before this was "The 101st Proposal" in 1993.
Kim has been active in TV dramas and recently seen her fanbase grow following her appearance on the tvN reality show "Sisters Over Flowers."
"It was a quite novel experience as I hadn't made a film for 21 years," she said. "I felt that the process of producing a film has become more formulaic than it used to be. Maybe the growing popularity of Korean films has laid the foundation for this systematic change."
She said she was tempted to return to films by the power of the script.
"What I value most when I make a decision on which TV drama or film to do is the script. I can only make a choice after reading it and being moved by it," she said. "I couldn't possibly work on a project with a weak script, however attractive the character is. But 'Elegant Lies' was faultless. I thought to myself, 'How could I possibly reject this?' And because I'm now also raising kids of my own, the plot felt a lot more relevant to my life."
"Elegant Lies" follows the story of the mother and older sister of a 14-year-old girl who commits suicide without leaving a note. As the family members investigate what led to the tragedy, they discover that the troubled teenager took her own life after being bullied at school.
Choosing "Elegant Lies" gave Kim a great level of satisfaction due to its weighty subject matter, meaning she could relax a little about whether it proves a commercial success.
"Looking back, I regret some of the acting jobs I took, but I'm satisfied with other projects I worked on," she said. "I'm deeply grateful to my fans who remember me for the latter, even if those films or dramas weren't commercially successful. On principle, I now make choices that I won't regret later, rather than obsessing over things like commercial success, and I chose 'Elegant Lies' based on this idea."