JTBC “My Country” is one of the most interesting currently airing kdramas and I honestly didn’t expect it to be this good.
Today, I wanted to discuss how I felt about Seolhyun’s acting and how she managed to change my perception of her abilities.
Note: This article is subjective since it’s about my own opinions. If you don’t like such type of articles that are critical of your fav idol, please don’t read.
Initially, when Woo Do Hwan and Yang Se Jong confirmed for the drama I was stocked but my excitement went down the drain when I saw that AOA Seolhyun was going to be the leading lady.
Instead, I became worried about the drama. AOA Seolhyun is, in my memory, not that good of an actress. It’s not about hating on her or trying to find flaws with her but it was difficult for me to watch her act. She was obviously lacking but playing the main lead which is unacceptable in my opinion.
When I watched “Orange Marmalade” it was very difficult to get through her acting, she was also paired with Yeo Jin Goo who is a great actor who has been acting for almost all of his life, the discrepancy between their acting abilities becomes even more highlighted when they shared scenes together. I also saw snippets of her acting in various roles after that and was honestly not impressed.
To explain myself better, I became a kdrama fan before I became a Kpop fan so my loyalty will always be towards good scripts and good performances. It pains me to see unknown actors getting shoved on the side for a popular idol to get the leading role when they obviously don’t deserve it.
Also, this isn’t only my perception, many share the same sentiment. This is why idol-actors struggle more to prove themselves, because of other idols who get roles they didn’t earn.
As I said before, it’s not about hate, in most cases I am a fan of those idols groups but it still irks me when it happens. This is why I wasn’t on board when I found out about Seolhyun joining “My Country” cast.
However, I was shocked and proven wrong and this is why I am writing this article.
I think it could be that I went in with lower expectations, but “My Country” blew my mind, the script, the acting, the directing and the custom design, everything was picture perfect.
I liked that “My Country” moves in a fast pace and doesn’t ponder on moments that should be dealt with immediately, the cast is always on the move and we see huge steps being taken at every episode, which makes it even more interesting.
Historical kdramas are very difficult to make and even more difficult to act. Even some of the most seasoned ACTORS not IDOLS honestly state that they don’t do such dramas because they don’t have confidence in their abilities, some of them are Lee Jong Suk and Gong Hyo Jin who openly spoken about why they don’t take on historical dramas previously.
This is why I was initially afraid because acting in those historical dramas is extremely tough, I wasn’t sure Seolhyun was going to be able to prove me wrong, but she did.
Her character has grace, she’s elegant but a fighter, she makes mistakes but tries to correct them; she also tried to take matters into her own hands like the strong female character she is. She was not advertised as the character that stands up for herself and is strong-willed but she’s one of the strongest smartest female leading characters I’ve seen in historical kdramas in a while.
Usually, the production and PR would try to advertise the female characters in historical dramas as strong-minded and independent, but they’re often not and especially during that period of time when it was even more difficult to be that, so I appreciate the PR team and the production team for not trying to heavily advertise Seolhyun’s character as such.
Seolhyun’s character, Hui Jae, is perfect for her time; she knows when how to get what she wants and how to navigate her way around it. She knows that everything falls in the hands of men but she still tries to call the shots behind their backs influencing those men using cunning methods. Hui Jae is a well-written character who realizes her limits and tries to push the boundaries.
I like also liked that Hui Jae tries hard to protect Yang Se Jong’s character, Seo Hwi, from behind the scenes. I found that pretty admirable and bold.
Seolhyun does a good job highlighting her character strengths and weaknesses. At the start, I noticed hesitation on Seolhyun’s side when acting but I felt that she became better as she became more comfortable with her character. Now, instead of finding myself focused on whether she’ll nail a scene, I am more focused on her character actions, I am no longer finding obvious serious flaws with her acting. I am impressed with her.
I find Seolhyun admirable. I watch a lot of kdramas; this is what I do for a living. I see many idols do lazy acting or half-ass their roles, many of them show little to no improvement between different projects.
I am a firm believer that you don’t have to necessarily start out being perfect but you should definitely step up your game and try to improve yourself. It’s okay if your acting isn’t perfect or even great when you start but you should definitely listen to feedback and try to improve by taking acting lessons.
I suspect that Seolhyun took acting lessons for her role; I can sense that she prepared earnestly for her role and I admire that. I can tell that she’s trying her best. Of course, she’s not as good as actors who trained to become actors or those veteran actors but she’s on the right track to becoming one.
K-netizens also share my sentiment. I previously translated some of their comments on Seolhyun’s improved acting, you can read it here.
You can’t blame people for having low expectations of her initially, since, as I had previously explained, she didn’t always do this well. We’re [the kdrama community] used to seeing idols do the minimal when acting and many of them don’t even attempt to try and improve.
I am glad she was able to change my perception of her acting and I am really enjoying her character. It’s one of my fav historical female characters.
I wish Seolhyun the best! Fighting!
What about you guys? What did you think of her acting?