For those who followed the Hallyu Wave since its sudden boom in popularity between 2007 and 2009, most would remember Lee Sung Kyung as a popular model often making appearances on Korean variety shows catered toward music and fashion. Back in 2014 however, Sung Kyung pursued a career in acting with her first role being in It’s Okay, That’s Love as Oh So Nyeo.
K-drama fans praised Sung Kyung’s performance especially her chemistry with Lee Kwang Soo, who played Park Soo Kwang. As a matter of fact, Sung Kyung and Kwang Soo’s chemistry was so good, the producers of Running Man tried to reproduce it by pairing them together when Lee Sung Kyung appeared on the variety show with Park Shin Hye.
However, Lee Sung Kyung’s acting career does have one smear in it: her role in Cheese in the Trap. For those who do not know, Sung Kyung played Baek In Ha, a selfish and materialistic girl who is a childhood friend of Yoo Jung (Park Hae Jin). Fans of the Cheese in the Trap web comic panned Sung Kyung’s portrayal of In Ha, criticizing her over-exaggerated acting. For a while, Sung Kyung defended herself on why she presented In Ha in such a way but now she is ready to move on from her character in Cheese in the Trap as she goes into Doctors.
Lee Sung Kyung spoke frankly about her character, Baek In Ha, and the negative criticisms of fans of the Cheese in the Trap web comic had of her, as reported by AllKpop. This happened during a press conference for Doctors, which took place last week on Wednesday, June 15.
“In my previous work [Cheese in the Trap], because Baek In Ha has such a strong personality, when I’m standing still, viewers commented,’It looks like Baek In Ha is standing still,’ and, ‘Baek In Ha is pretending to behave herself,’ when I’m behaving myself. In a way, I’m also thankful that they see me as In Ha.
[Baek In Ha] was a character with a long history but I lacked the time to really make her multi-dimensional and I didn’t get to show those sides to her in the beginning of [Cheese in the Trap]. I had to show an impactful acting that would leave a strong impression and I worried that the character would not be explained well in the beginning. It was a good experience for me because I got to feel responsible [for my character] knowing that she’ll appear a lot in the latter parts of the drama, and I think it was a thankful moment for me because I learned of my shortcomings and tried to improve them.”
After explaining her reasons on why Baek In Ha did not live up to the expectations of Cheese in the Trap fans, Lee Sung Kyung made it clear her character in Doctors will have no trace of her character in Cheese in the Trap whatsoever.
“This time Jin Seo Woo (Lee Sung Kyung’s character in ‘Doctors’) can’t show any hints of In Ha. I wanted this character to seem different from In Ha because she is a different character. I hope [viewers] will understand [Jin Seo Woo] as a different character. She’s not a weak character but she acts hurtful because she was hurt. She acts like that because she doesn’t know [any better].”
To be fair, Lee Sung Kyung playing as Jin Seo Woo might be a lot easier for her since she is not portraying a character originally sourced from another form of media with a devoted fan base. Seo Woo was made specifically for Doctors, so Sung Kyung can make Seo Woo any way she likes as long as she can make her appealing to K-drama fans.
Doctors airs on the Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS), the same television production company responsible for the most popular medical K-drama of 2015 Yong Pal, airs on Mondays and Tuesdays at 10 p.m. KST. For those who do not have access to Korean channels, the entire series can be seen for free with ads, pending region, at DramaFever and Viki.
[Image via Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS) Promotions for Doctors]