Unlike other Korean actresses on the scene, Oh Yeon Seo (오연서; @ohvely22) has never been one to throw herself into multiple projects simultaneously.
Instead, she has always carefully chosen roles that fit the bill and challenge her skills as an actress with flicks like Come Back Mister (2016) and My Sassy Girl (2017). Her most recent success was playing the female lead for A Korean Odyssey (2018), a modern romantic reinterpretation of the classic Chinese fairytale, A Journey To The West, where she starred opposite Korean actor Lee Seung Gi.
Coinciding with her leading role as our November 2019 issue cover star, Oh is set to make her comeback to the small screen this 27th November with People With Flaws, a romantic-comedy she stars in opposite Ahn Jae Hyun.
When she flew down to Malaysia for an appearance at the opening of the new Kate Spade boutique in Suria KLCC, we jumped at the chance to meet the actress for a tête-à-tête and cast her as our latest leading lady.
Laidback, cool and effortless with a hint of mischief, Oh turned things up a few notches for the shoot and exclusive interview on the day.
Read on for our exclusive interview with Oh Yeon Seo:
Your new drama People With Flaws is making its debut this month. Can you give us a sneak peek about the new series?
People With Flaws is a romantic comedy-drama about a woman who hates handsome men and a man who is obsessed about looks; and about them overcoming their biases.
Ju Seo Yeon (my character) was raised with three handsome brothers. So, she hates handsome men and her ideal man is a man who is “not handsome.” She cries out that lookism is absurd but goes through changes in her bias on judging people by their looks after meeting Lee Kang Woo (played by Ahn Jae Hyun).
And before this, you are known for your role in the drama A Korean Odyssey and the film remake of Cheese In The Trap. Is there a big difference between acting for TV and for film?
I haven’t done a lot of film projects so far. For dramas, while we have a script, there are many improv instances where we adapt the script according to what we think works. So, in a way, we do create the drama as we go. It is less rigid compared to acting for film productions where scripts tend to be more precise.
And speaking of Hwayugi, it was a great success in Malaysia. Are there any memorable moments from the project that you can share with us?
I am very thankful for the love I received from my fans in Malaysia for Hwayugi. So, there was this scene my co-star Lee Seung Gi, who plays the male lead, and I shot under a giant Christmas tree where he would snap his fingers to turn the lights of the tree on and off. It was an extremely cold winter night when we filmed but the whole atmosphere made the scene look so beautiful.
With over a decade of experience as an entertainer, what do you think makes a great actor?
As an actress, the most important thing for me is to do the script justice. I always strive to be proactive and hardworking to improve myself and my skill set to make up for anything that I am lacking as an actress.
And what tricks do you have up your sleeve to up the game when you are acting?
As an actress, I think we need to be observant of all the things around us to learn how to bring out the best of the character we play in acting out the script. For example, if you observe how people react to others, be it the tone of their voice or their facial and physical expression, you will notice the many nuances and characteristics you can find within a personality. That really helps me develop my character for a project.
Within the industry, who would your role model be?
There are a lot of veteran actors in the industry that I look up to and respect. Right now, there are a lot of female-centric productions happening in Korea and one of the “sunbaes” (seniors of my industry) that I look up to is Kim Hye Soo. She is one of the veteran actresses who have been paving the way for younger female actors to star in bigger and more important roles. I want to be someone like her for my juniors as well.
Who is your dream co-star?
Leonardo DiCaprio? If I ever venture into the Hollywood market, he would be the one (laughs).
How would you describe your personal style?
I don’t have a specific style in mind. I think it is more about developing an identity that will resonate with people. I guess it’s an ever-changing process because we grow and change every day.
What’s your go-to look for fall/winter?
Winter clothing tends to be more muted and safe. So I like to make my outfit stand out with a colourful bag or a cool pair of shoes.
What about your accessory must-have?
Definitely a bag that can house all my daily items, from my phone to makeup and more. Personally, the Kate Spade “Dorie” bucket bag is just perfect for all that.
How would you describe your own personality in three words?
Cute. A little plain/boring? And maybe... sexy (laughs)?
Do you have any other upcoming projects that you can share with us?
I’m never the kind to take on a lot of projects simultaneously. I prefer to focus on one project at a time to give it my best. So right now, People With Flaws is the only thing I am working on that I can share with you. For the others that come after, you’ll just have to wait and see.
The L'Officiel November 2019 issue is now available on newsstands and bookstores. You can also subscribe and download our digital copy on our Subscriptions page.
Photographer: Nelson Chong @birdycantfly
Styling: Monica Mong @mongnica
Makeup Artist: Hye Young Hyun
Hair Stylist: Shin Ae Lee
Model: Oh Yeon Seo @ohvely22
Fashion: Kate Spade Holiday 2019 @katespadeny
Assistants: Joyce Fan & Noel Khoo & Asyraf Muhammad