Korean actress Oh Yean-seo on how fashion helps her get into character

  • Style
  • Thursday, 18 Jul 2019

Korean Odyssey

Clothes certainly have an impact when it comes to perceiving and interpreting a character, as far as South Korean actress Oh Yeon-seo is concerned.

“My attitude changes depending on the kind of outfits I’m wearing. Because the outfits also reflect the location I’m in and if I’m wearing something comfortable, it affects my attitude in that moment itself and I feel relaxed, so my emotions will change according to how I feel I look. So it’s very different from when I wear sneakers or heels. It definitely changes my mood and helps develop the character I’m playing,” she says through a translator.

The 32-year-old star was in Kuala Lumpur recently for the opening of the Kate Spade boutique in Suria KLCC where she dazzled in a bright pink patterned dress and heels with silver bows.

When met the night before at the boutique for this interview, we couldn’t possibly not talk fashion when we’re literally surrounded by a sea of bright colours and prints.Dressed in a Kate Spade black dress with pink flowers and her hair up in a ponytail, Oh confides that she really likes heart-shaped prints.

“I will pick up anything with hearts. There is a Kate Spade bag with a heart in the middle that (literally) captured my heart.

“It’s currently summer in South Korea. What I like about the current collection is that the colours are really vibrant. And it has prints and the texture is really lightweight, so if I wear it in Korea, I feel like I’m already on a vacation.”

Those who love their Korean dramas would be quite familiar with Oh, who has an upcoming romantic comedy with Ahn Jae-hyun called People With Flaws.

She originally made her debut in 2002 at the age of 16 with K-pop girl group LUV. However, she switched to acting the following year, starring in several films and drama series such as My Husband Got A Family and Here Comes Mr Oh (her first leading role) in 2012.

Oh Yeon-seo
Oh Yeon-seo at the Kate Spade boutique opening in KL.

She is perhaps best known for her leading role in Jang Bo Ri Is Here in 2014. The drama was ranked No.1 that year and she won the Top Excellence Awards at the 7th Korea Drama Awards and the 2014 MBC Drama Awards. She has gone on to garner several other awards – Excellence Award, Actress In A Fantasy Drama at the 2016 SBS Drama Awards for Please Come Back Mister and Top Excellence Award, Actress In A Monday–Tuesday Drama at the 2017 SBS Drama Awards for My Sassy Girl.

Other dramas include Shine Or Go Crazy (2015), A Korean Odyssey (2017–2018) and the film adaptation of Cheese In A Trap (2018).

Oh didn’t actually want to be an actress growing up; she wanted to be the president. But she said as she grew up, she realised something more realistic would be better.

When it comes to choosing a role, Oh likes characters that are independent and speak up for themselves. One role she hasn’t played yet is that of a villain so that’s something she would like to try next.

She feels that every role she has taken on has its own challenges: “When I’m actually playing a certain character, that’s always the hardest in every moment, just acting the different characters.”

On choosing scripts, however, she believes you need to love and understand the character to make it work.

We can’t be in front of a Korean actress and not ask her about skincare (she has lovely translucent skin). Oh says she has a skincare routine that she follows diligently. She also does facials at home. Self-care is important to her and she also likes staying at home to unwind.

She relaxes by watching anime, something that she finds is a relaxing and healing process just to clear her mind. She’s also into self-care such as indulging in massages.

Exercise, however, is another matter. “I hate exercise!” she says, suddenly bursting out in English before laughing.

“I really don’t like it. But I still make an effort to try to exercise. In Korea, health is a very important topic right now. So I do try to exercise even if I don’t like it. And I try to do stretches as much as possible.”

Since this was her first visit to Malaysia, can we look forward to see her here again soon?

Oh says she’s definitely coming back: “It’s a really beautiful city, the malls are really nice. I’m thinking of coming back with my mother in the near future. I swam last night and I really liked the scenery.”

Finally, what can we expect from her upcoming rom-com People With Flaws?

“There are a lot of comical aspects as you watch the drama. You can expect some great chemistry from the two of us. And a lot of handsome men are coming out in this drama, so you can look forward to that as well,” she says, laughing.

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