Actress Jeon Do-yeon appears in a film inspired by the 2014 ferry disaster that took the lives of over 300 people, which is set to be released next month to coincide with its fifth anniversary on April 16.
In the film "Birthday", Jeon plays a mother who lost her son in the disaster.
Struggling to accept her son's death, the mother survives each day by suppressing her emotions. "I thought I would regret it if I didn't do this film. It was tough, but having done it, I think it was worth the effort", Jeon said at a press event ahead of the film's release on April 3.
The actress had already mastered a similar role of a mother who lost her son in the critically acclaimed "Secret Sunshine" in 2007. With the film, she earned the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival the same year to become the first Korean actress to take the honor at the prestigious international film showcase.
Asked to define the difference between the seemingly similar mother roles in "Secret Sunshine" and "Birthday", Jeon said, "I guess I was more able to sympathize with the latest one, as I'm now a mother of a 10-year-old daughter, while I was single when I shot the film "Secret Sunshine".
Jeon said she twice turned down the role in "Birthday".
"I was scared because I cried so much as I read the script". But she plucked up the courage after all, as she figured that the film is focused on carrying on with life after a tragedy, rather than the tragedy itself.
After building a successful career in the film industry, her passion for acting remains undimmed. She has another film due out in the fall. "I want to be a prolific actress and hope to play as many different roles as possible before I turn 50", Jeon said.
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"Jeon Do-yeon Talks About Difficulties of Ferry Disaster-Inspired Film"
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