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BIFAN, "One and Only Son Yejin"

"It's such an honour to be the first to host an actor's exhibition, and I'm overwhelmed to be following in the footsteps of my esteemed predecessors." (Son Ye-jin)

She is literally 'One And Only'.

Upon her debut, she was dubbed 'Melo Queen'. Her visuals are reminiscent of a first love, and her eyes are pure and pensive. Chungmuro was enthusiastic about the appearance of the young actress.

Her half-moon smile added to the immersion. The actress has acted in many of Korea's most popular melodramatic films, including 'Lover's Concerto', 'The Classic', and 'A Moment to Remember'.

Her next step? Challenge, challenge, challenge. She didn't stop at being a melo-queen. She changed her face to play a provocative love interest (The Art of Seduction), a wife with two husbands (My Wife Got Married), and even a swashbuckling pirate (The Pirates).

She's moved between genres. She has played a chaebol fiancée with a dark past (Midnight), a politician's wife driven to madness (The Truth Beneath), and a princess who has lost her country (The Last Princess). She has broadened her acting spectrum by constantly changing.

That's why the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFAN) chose her for this year's actress special exhibition. For the past 23 years, she has been struggling and breaking through. She has struggled to play different roles. Just as BIFAN has continued to innovate and evolve.

The 28th Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival held a press conference for the actor special exhibition at Hyundai Department Store Middle East in Bucheon, Gyeonggi Province on the 5th. Son Ye-jin was present.

As usual, she attended the festival-related events. Son Ye-jin gave birth to her first son in November 2022 and has been raising him for about two years.

She said, "Those of you who have been married and given birth know too well, but it's a different world. Raising a child for nearly two years has taught me the value of everyday life," she laughed.

"Before, it was all about work and I was struggling through it. Nowadays, I'm so happy if (my child) eats one good meal of baby food, I'm like, 'I made it through the day,' and that's a different kind of happiness."

The exhibition is subtitled 'One and Only Son Yejin'. He has been at the forefront of Korean cinema for the past 23 years. He has carved out a niche for himself with his 'One and Only' appeal.

"When I heard the title 'One and Only,' I thought it was so cool," says Son Yejin. As an actor, it's something you want to hear at least once," she confesses.

"There are so many unique actors, I can't even name them all on this stage, and my colour is a little bit unique? I'm still dumbfounded and don't know myself."

He followed in the footsteps of seniors like Ki Rasung. Jeon Doyeon, Jung Woo-sung, Kim Hye-soo, Sul KyungGu, and Choi Min-sik were chosen by the festival. He will be the sixth actor to have a special exhibition.

"When I first got the offer, I thought it was only for seniors. I doubted, 'Do I have that kind of filmography, age, and capability,'" she confessed.

"I thought, 'Am I a good enough actor to do it,' but then I thought about it and realised that I'm getting older. (Laughs) I'm having a special exhibition after my seniors. I'm really honoured and overwhelmed."

The special exhibition will showcase Son Ye-jin's diverse acting career, with six films including 'The Classic', 'A Moment to Remember', 'My Wife Got Married', 'Dec 01', 'The Truth Beneath' and 'The Last Princess'.

"In the beginning, there were a lot of melo films, but I chose (the films) to show a variety of roles in terms of genre and character," he explained.

"At the time (when I started acting), there was a limited image of actresses, and a lot of them were sad and pitiful, and I think I kept thinking that I didn't want to be limited to that image."

Organising Committee Chairman Jung So-young echoed the sentiments of director Kwak Jae-yong (The Classic). "When I first met her, I thought she was perfect for innocence and sadness, but as I got to know her, her spectrum widened. She never stays in one place," he praised.

When asked what it means to be an actress, she thought long and hard. "I still don't know," she says. I think an actor who works hard and acts well is a good actor," she said.

"Many people always say, 'I want to be a good actor,' but I don't know how to define it. I think a good actor is an actor who can make the audience feel a little bit of emotion and soothe their hearts."

We also hear about his future work, which he describes as "Chapter 2". "I think (the actor special exhibition) will be an opportunity to take a leap forward. I don't want to set limits anymore," he said.

"When you don't know anything, you've been a divorcee, a mother of a child, and two husbands. I think I would act differently if I did the same film, and I'm curious to see what I can do."

What is her end goal as an actress and as a human being? "I feel like I'm always running 100 metres. I've always been in a hurry and struggling with myself, but I think I need to take the long view," she says.

"There was a lot of stress and responsibility, 'What if the film doesn't do well,' but I don't want to do that. I want to act in as many different ways, as often and as long as I can, and I want to be an actor who will be by your side for a long time."

"I've been working very hard, and I'm going to continue to work very hard. I want to act in a more relaxed way, unlike before when I was beating myself up.

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