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Ahn So-hee transforms into professional instructor in 'The Daechi Scandal'

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Actor Ahn So-hee plays the role of Yoon-im in the new drama film

Actor Ahn So-hee plays the role of Yoon-im in the new drama film "The Daechi Scandal." Courtesy of Songdam Studio

By Lee Gyu-lee

Singer-actor Ahn So-hee is returning to the silver screen with the new drama film "The Daechi Scandal," marking her first movie appearance since the independent film "Vestige" (2022), nearly two years ago.

The new film, scheduled to hit local theaters on June 19, centers on Yoon-im (Ahn), a blunt and nonchalant woman in her 30s who works as a Korean language instructor at a "hagwon," or private cram school, in the Daechi-dong neighborhood of Gangnam District. This area is renowned for its intense and competitive educational environment. Yoon-im is well-received at the academy and appreciated by her students for her teaching skills.

One day, Yoon-im receives a visit from Ki-haeng (Park Sang-nam), a teacher at a nearby school and her former college boyfriend. Their reunion sparks rumors that Ki-haeng leaked the school's exam to her, forcing Yoon-im to confront the traumatic past involving her college friends that she has long tried to bury.

The film is led by director Kim Su-in, whose previous work is the mystery film "Toxic Parents" (2023).

Ahn shared that she got a lot of help from the director, who has previous experience of working as an instructor in Daechi-dong.

"After getting the script, I studied videos of different instructors to gather as much information I could. But the person who helped me and shared (the experience) the most was the director," she said during a press conference for the film at CGV in Yongsan District, Seoul, Wednesday.

"I learned directly from her about her time as an instructor in the neighborhood, which taught me a lot. I would say I used her as a model for the character."

A scene from the film

A scene from the film "The Daechi Scandal" / Courtesy of Songdam Studio

The director said her personal experience in the neighborhood gave her the idea for the film.

"I worked at a Korean language academy in Daechi-dong for two years, using my undergraduate major in creative writing. During that time, I was preparing the students for their school exam and had a misguided belief that it would be nice if someone could tell me what questions would be on the test," she said.

"About a year after I quit the academy, I suddenly remembered having such an idea. And I thought it would be interesting to expand on it in a cinematic way, so I wrote the script."

Yoon-im wasn't always aloof, but after the betrayals she experienced from close friends in college, she puts a wall around her surroundings, until she finally comes face to face with her past.

Ahn said she focused on adding depth to her character.

"Yoon-im was deeply hurt by her friends. As she navigates from her 20s into her 30s while carrying the trauma of becoming a skilled instructor, she must have experienced considerable pain, some of which she preferred not to reveal," she said.

"That's why I think she expressed herself that way. So I focused on the type and thickness of the armor she developed as an adult to defend herself."

Lee Gyu-lee gyulee@koreatimes.co.kr


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