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'Star Next Door' offers fun on Chuseok

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Scene from comedy film 'The Star Next Door' / Courtesy of Storm Pictures Korea
Scene from comedy film 'The Star Next Door' / Courtesy of Storm Pictures Korea

Han Chae-young returns with comedy

By Kim Jae-heun

Actress Han Chae-young returns to the big screen for comedy film "The Star Next Door," targeting audiences during the Chuseok long holidays from Sept. 30 to Oct. 9.

"The Star Next Door" is about star actress Hye-mi, played by Han, living next door to her daughter So-eun, played by Jin Ji-hee. So-eun has to keep it secret that Hye-mi is her mother and they are neighbors. But the teenager won't accept the fact that her mother is dating her favorite idol star Ji-hoon, played by Lim Seul-ong, and she turns to cyberbullying her mother.

The comedy film, directed by Kim Seong-uk, features actors Han, Jin, Seul-ong and Lim Jun-hyung.

Han and her character Hye-mi share many similarities such as that they are both top stars and mothers, the actress said. The most prominent commonality is their sloppiness.

"Yes, my character is very sloppy, and at the same time, a little bit like a child," Han said during a press preview at CGV Theater in Yongsan, Seoul, Friday. "But Hye-mi is a warm-hearted loving mother for her daughter. She may be clumsy at expressing her emotions but all moms are the same in that they love their child. Hye-mi shares many similarities with me looking at her sloppiness and her role as a mother."

Asked if Han has actually been the target of cyberbullying, the actress said sure.

"It is a difficult question. To be honest, I don't read malicious comments about me. There are many reasons why. One of them is because I don't want to get hurt and they could influence what I do. Please don't leave hateful comments about me," Han said.

Jin agreed that internet bullying hurt her mind deeply and she tries to take it lightly and ignore it. But the young actress could not forget one comment saying she is not a good actress.

"Internet bullying is really a bad thing. Please love people around you," Jin said.

Director Kim has stuck with the comedy genre throughout his career, directing popular movies such as "Unstoppable Marriage" (2007), "Lovely Rivals" (2004) and "Kick The Moon" (2001).

Kim said he chose the script for "The Star Next Door" not because it was another comedy but because it is an ordinary story of a family with a distinctive mother-daughter relationship.

"I don't particularly follow the comedy genre with family stories in it. It was my first time reading the scenario and the concept of this film. I thought I could draw a different story out of the unique relationship between Hye-mi and So-eun who cannot reveal secrets to the outside the world," Kim said.

Kim said he wanted to emphasize the dark side of mental conflicts that could rise between mother and daughter but the comedy genre turned out different from his original wish.

"The Star Next Door" will be released at local theaters on Sept. 21.

Kim Jae-heun

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