Society features

[Herald Interview] “Remarriage & Desires” Offers New Look at Society: Kim Hee-seon

Kim Hee-seon (Netflix)

Marriage, infidelity, divorce, low morals, social climbers, political and business wrangles were some of the main settings and themes that captivated Korean viewers until a few years ago.

With their seemingly identical characters and implausible stories, these series were labeled “makjang dramas” and considered trashy soap operas.

But while Netflix’s latest presentation revolves around similar themes – with an upper-class matchmaking society at the center of the drama – it seems to have caught on, not just locally but around the world. “Remarriage & Desires” ranked No. 2 and No. 8 on Netflix’s Korean and Global Top 10, respectively.

Finding a partner with an “acceptable” family, job, finances and education is considered important in South Korea, although arranged marriages have generally given way to blind dates arranged by friends , colleagues and even parents.

“Such practices may also be common in other countries. But I learned that matchmaking services specifically for marriage are a unique feature in South Korea. I was sure it would spark interest from overseas viewers,” actor Kim Hee-seon said in an online interview on Monday.

“Many Korean viewers might be surprised after hearing about the matchmaking company like me,” Kim added.

Although the actor knows about matchmaking services, she was shocked to learn the details.

“Seo Hye-seung (played by Kim) has a good physical appearance and an impressive academic background. But her value is devalued, as she is an old widow and has a daughter. It was a bit bitter to see people being ranked in the charts,” the veteran actor said.

Kim Hee-seon plays Seo Hye-seung, a widow and teacher in

Kim Hee-seon plays Seo Hye-seung, a widow and teacher in “Remarriage & Desires.” (Netflix)

“I didn’t expect so many young people to sign up for these services as well,” Kim said, adding that she thinks matchmaking is big business in Korea.

Playing the role of a widow and a teacher, Kim shared that it was an “interesting” experience to play a character completely different from herself.

“If I was Hye-seung, I would have slapped the bad guy Jin Yoo-hui in the first episode. Maybe I could have done something worse,” the actor joked. “But ‘Remarriage & Desires’ is an eight-part series and steady buildup is necessary. Hye-seung’s actions may seem a bit stuffy and hesitant, but please watch the entire series to see how his story ends,” the 45-year-old actor said.

Kim said she was lucky to be an actress at a time when various films and drama series are made by talented directors.

“In the past, most actresses in their 40s had few options when it came to roles. I think a lot of people played the hard-working moms,” Kim said.

“As so many directors have become fearless creating new series and trying to adapt webtoons into dramas, I have been able to play fascinating characters, like the grim reaper Goo Ryeon in the fantasy series ‘Tomorrow’,” said the director. actor at the Korea Herald. .

Although the actor doesn’t pay attention to rankings on the global chart, Kim said she got an idea of ​​the level of international interest from the growing number of followers and comments in different languages ​​on Instagram.

“I believe most of the actors, including myself, feel dissatisfied watching their performances when the show comes out, thinking they could be improved. But I can see that many viewers definitely enjoyed our show. With that, I’m satisfied,” the actor said.

The eight-part series, which premiered on July 15, is available on the global streaming platform Netflix.

By Lee Si-jin (sj_lee@heraldcorp.com)