|Park Shin-hye / Courtesy of Netflix|
By Kwak Yeon-soo
Park Shin-hye, well-known for her roles in romantic comedy TV shows including "You're Beautiful" (2009) and "The Heirs" (2013), said she has enjoyed taking on a darker role in "The Call," a female cast-led thriller.
"This film made me feel more confident. It made me think it's okay to be more honest with expressing myself," Park said in an interview with The Korea Times.
The 30-year-old actress revealed that she actually turned down "The Call" because she was both physically and emotionally exhausted at the time she was offered the role.
"I received the script by the time I finished filming tvN series Memories of the Alhambra. The script was intriguing and interesting, but I initially declined the project because I was too tired to begin filming right after wrapping up the drama series," she said.
"However, the film studio head asked me to reconsider and I ended up having a meeting with director Lee Chung-hyun. After the conversation, I could feel his confidence and commitment toward The Call. So I changed my mind to join."
Adapted from "The Caller" released in 2011, the film revolves around two women who are living two decades apart but are connected through an old phone.
Park plays Seo-yeon, who lives in the present day and accidentally stumbles across an old telephone in her home. Then, she begins to receive mysterious calls from a stranger. Over time, Seo-yeon discovers that the caller is a woman named Young-sook (Jun Jong-seo) and the two develop an unlikely friendship.
One day, Young-sook suggests that she will save Seo-yeon's dad in 1999, and in return, asks her to learn about her whereabouts in 2019. As she foresees her death, Young-sook threatens to take revenge and change her past. Feeling haunted by the disturbing calls, Seo-yeon tries to save herself and her family.
Park said she focused on demonstrating the growth of her character.
"At first, I felt like Seo-yeon is too defensive because she is tricked and drawn into a risky deal," she said. "But as she finds her parents in danger, she begins to actively take action to fight off Young-sook."
"The Call" is a well-made thriller film that centers on four strong female characters.
"It's a film where four captivating women skillfully craft their own narrative without being swayed by others," she said.
Park added, "There are many time travel movies, and most of those movies center on people who have regrets and want to turn back time so they don't repeat the same mistake. However, The Call focuses on how one must deal with the consequences when you turn back time and try to change the past."
She also gushed about Jun. "I got goosebumps watching the range, flexibility and depth of her acting. She's lovable, smart and clever."
On debuting exclusively on Netflix, Park said, "Of course there are regrets about skipping theaters, but I'm pleased that I can show our film to global audiences through Netflix. I also hope The Call opens the door to a new wave of interest in Korean cinema and new opportunities for Korean film crew staff."
She also expressed excitement about "#Alive" topping Netflix's movie chart in September. "I was dumbfounded by the news because I couldn't physically feel it (by going to theaters or checking the number of visitors to cinemas). But I was so happy at the same time," she said.
Park debuted in the drama series "Stairway to Heaven" at the age of 13, and since then starred in TV dramas including "Pinocchio" (2014) "Doctors" (2016) and "Memories of the Alhambra" (2018). She has appeared in films like "My Annoying Brother" (2016) "Heart Blackened" (2017) and "#Alive" (2020).
"The Call" will premiere on Netflix, Nov. 27.