by Lily Alice, February 21, 2024

Actress Song Ha Yoon (37), who played the villain Jung Soo Min in the tvN drama Marry My Husband, dishes about her experiences. 

The actress had an interview at the Starship Entertainment building in Seoul on February 20, and it is reported that she repeatedly coughed dryly during the interview. She said it was because her throat hadn't fully recovered yet due to the strain it suffered as a result of screaming in anger in scenes of the second half of the drama.

Song Ha Yoon, who has mainly played innocent and lovely characters, experienced a turning point in her acting career after 20 years since her debut. She immersed herself in the character and put in immense effort, and to say the least, her efforts paid off, as it is believed that one of the key reasons behind the K-drama's popularity is Song Ha Yoon.

Talking about the reason she chose the drama, she said, "To be honest, I felt like I was always at a standstill. I was weary of my life as an actor, [acting the characters with] the same patterns. And when I came across this script, I immediately decided to take on the challenge."

She continued, "I think a character like Soo Min is a great opportunity for any actress. It was something I couldn't afford to miss."

Continuing, she said, "Marry My Husband was a work in which I really put everything aside to act [as the character]. Since it was a character I hadn't tried before, I felt I had to completely let go of my [real] self to show a new face. I felt like my old self was holding me back and wouldn't let me go, so I [even] deleted all the photos I had posted on social media." 

Song Ha Yoon also stated, "I started (the project) in February last year and worked on it for almost a year. I never once openly spoke out about the difficult emotions I felt as a human being. I felt like I would completely break down if I said, 'It is hard.' I kept it in and filmed. And when it ended and I said, 'It was tough,' tears welled up. I didn't shed tears last year. I don't know how I managed to do it." 

Talking about her character, she said, "Soo Min was a character I couldn't understand no matter how much I thought about it."

She continued, "I have always expressed characters with emotion, but this time when I tried to put emotions into it, I got sick and suffered. So, I separated myself rationally, built an ego, and kept persuading myself. If that didn't work, I tried to memorize the emotions and continued (on my own). I tortured myself."

"I blocked all contact with acquaintances. That's how it was for a year. It was my first time playing a villain, so I didn't know how to handle it. I did what I could do. Although it was cruel to Song Ha Yoon, I took Song Ha Yoon's misfortune and turned it into Soo Min's happiness."

"When you watch a fun entertainment show, you might feel a moment of relief. I didn't even do things like that, but instead accumulated stress and poured it into Soo Min's emotions."

Song also mentioned seeking professional help when she couldn't understand the character of Jung Soo Min. She said, "Jung Soo Min has the exact opposite personality to mine. So, I met a psychiatrist and a profiler and asked 'why does she have such emotions.' I studied such emotions and expressions from a technical point of view." She added, "But as I analyzed the behavior, the conversation got deeper." "I really don't know how Soo Min lived [the way she did]. No word or disease could define it."

Elaborating about the professional help she received, she said, "It's not that I received help because I was mentally struggling (laughs), but when I was filming, I was emotionally immersed in the character, and my whole body was trembling, and I felt sore. It was so tough. I felt like I could never finish if I continued like this. I felt like I wouldn't be able to endure it, so I thought I should thoroughly separate myself [from the character] and act with reason. The questions I asked the profiler teacher were also about that psychological aspect. Even the experts said Soo Min is a sociopath."

Talking about her experiences, she said, "I was so immersed in the filming that I couldn't even remember how I acted. When I was filming, as soon as I heard 'action', I went to another world. I don't have that experience very often, but when I played the role of Soo Min, there were a lot of things I couldn’t remember. There was a time when I collapsed after filming everything."

"One time, the emotions I was feeling were so overwhelming that I even said, 'Please help me!' on set without even realizing it." "Without any extra effort, I naturally became very angry when I heard harsh words from Park Min Hwan and Kang Ji Won on set. My face and neck would turn as red as a sweet potato, so there were times when I had to cool down before shooting. My hands were shaking so much that I had to hold on to my clothes while acting."

Song Ha Yoon cited the scene where Soo Min is abandoned by her father and bursts into tears as the scene that best reveals the true character of Soo Min.

She explained, "Soo Min shed fake tears when she was cornered, as she is not a person who shows genuine her emotions in front of others. It was the only scene where Soo Min, who had lived a life of a lie, revealed her true self."

"After filming that scene, my throat started to ache, and it was such a heartbreaking scene that made it difficult for me to breathe while filming."

Commenting about how she improved as an actress, she said, "I gained so much as an actor. My acting range has widened. My personality is changing too. I used to be a person who didn't take up challenges, but playing Soo Min, I think it's good to take on a challenge even if you regret it."

Song also said she would like to play more villain roles, "I'm thinking of playing a villain again. I'm open to all [kinds of] roles."

Looking back on her memories from the time of filming, Song Ha Yoon choked back tears and even shed some. Then she smiled as if she  was embarrassed, and said, "These tears are an after-effect."

She jokingly said, "Song Ha Yoon is also a victim of Soo Min. It feels like Soo Min used me." She laughed.

Talking about her experience with her co-stars, she said, "It was all good. There were so many good things, so I learned from them and envied them. However, Soo Min's relationship with other people is like water and oil. To express that feeling, I felt like I shouldn't become too close to others, so I was alone on the set all the time. I had to be like that. If I became close to other actors, it might show in the drama. The viewers can notice such details easily." "Instead, I expressed my affection once in a while." "Min Young and I cried just by looking into each other's eyes. That's why we didn't meet a lot."

When asked about who was Ji Won to Soo Min, she said, "She loved her as a friend. I'm sure of that. And she also hated her. She was sincere when she said [to Ji Won], 'I love you,' and she was also sincere when she said, 'I wish you would disappear.' It was really complicated. There doesn't seem to be an answer."

When asked about who is the best villain in the drama, she said, "I didn't act thinking of Soo Min as a villain. She just lived a hard life, so why is she being criticized like this? (Laughs) I'm sorry, but to Soo Min, the villain was Ji Won."

Before this drama, Song Ha Yoon was an actress who did not enjoy as much popularity as she should have, considering her solid acting skills.

In regards to this, she said, "I think everyone has their own time," and "If I get angry when I see others succeeding early, it only makes me miserable, so I think it's important to stay healthy and seize the opportunity when it comes."

Sources (1)(2)(3)(4)(5)