Seohyun plays the character Seul-bi in Jinxed at First, the Korean fantasy romance about a powerful female shaman and her pure-hearted fish-shop-owning prince, played by Na In-woo. Seul-bi has a special ability. She can see a person’s future by touching their hands, but those who want to monopolize her gift keep her locked in an ivory tower. Her only knowledge of the world is from the few books she was allowed to read. But she can instantly recognize love and when she meets her prince charming, Soo-kwang, played by Na In-woo, she must follow.
“Her heart is clear and innocent,” said Seohyun. “It’s hard to overstate how innocent she is. Though she loves everything in the world, she doesn’t believe in fate. She has enough courage to do anything for love.”
After Seul-bi runs away from her imprisonment, the character’s enthusiastic embrace of freedom charms everyone she meets, including the merchants in the market where her prince sells fish. Seohyun, who debuted as a member of the k-pop group Girls Generation and appeared in the dramas Moon Lovers and Private Lives, cheerfully delivers the magic in this fairy tale comedy that evokes both Rapunzel and The Little Mermaid. To portray the sunny yet sheltered Seul-bi, the actress looked for traits that she shares with the character and found plenty of similarities.
“I think we both see the world in a positive way,” said Seohyun. “We like people, clearly know our likes and dislikes, and want to take control of our own destiny.”
Seohyun considered the best ways to accurately reflect the character in Jinxui Yeonin, the Kakao webtoon that her comedy is based on, while still incorporating her own feelings.
“The look is also very important to me,” said Seohyun. “So I tried to work out a plan and talked with the staff. Through lots of trial and error, I found a way to portray Seul-bi. The hardest part was I hadn’t had the same experience and growth as Seul-bi. All I could do was imagine and then act it out. It needed a lot of thinking.”
Her favorite scene in Jinxed At First is when Seul-bi runs away from Geunhwa Hotel to see Soo-kwang. They were separated for two years and it’s raining as she runs to him.
“The moment she saw Soo-kwang, the rain stopped,” said Seohyun. “It demonstrated how much Seul-bi missed Soo-kwang and the relationship between them.”
Jinxed at First offered the actress her first comic role and she obviously has a flair.
“I’ve tackled many kinds of roles, but Seul-bi is one with surprising charm, and it’s the first time I played such a role,” she said. “So during the shooting, I was thinking about how to make each scene more interesting.”
Acting in a fantasy drama was an easy choice as the actress celebrates the power of exercising your imagination.
“I like imagining in my spare time,” she said. “When you’re exposed to things that don’t actually exist in the real world through TV series or movies, you feel your world view is expanding. It feels great.”
In the past few years she has tried different kinds of roles, including one role that did not align with her previous image. She recently appeared in the romantic comedy film Love and Leashes, which is also based on a webtoon. In the film Seohyun plays an office worker with some kinky romantic interests. While the subject matter shocked some fans, it didn’t discourage the actress from continuing to expand her repertoire.
“I set no limits on what roles I play, so anything is possible,” she said. “I want to try to play an extremely realistic woman or an emotionless villain.”
Can the message of Jinxed at First be summed up in a few sentences? Seohyun says the message is simple.
“Everyone has their own destiny,” she said. “Instead of completely accepting it, I’d much prefer everyone to explore and create their own destiny.”