Meet the queen of the Hallyu Wave: Kim Go Eun
Kim Go Eun plays Kim Yumi (Studio Dragon)

Meet the queen of the Hallyu Wave: Kim Go Eun

The talented actress in an exclusive talk with Panorama reveals her point of view on her character in Yumi's Cells

Have you ever thought that, maybe, all our choices are made in a small village populated by Smurfs-like cells that work day and night to improve our lives? We first discovered it might be the case by reading the first few episodes of the Yumi's Cells webtoon. It was April 1st, 2015. A few years later, Yumi's life became such a hit to the point that Studio Dragon chose to create a tv adaptation of the webtoon and transform Yumi's world into a K-drama.

Yumi's Cells is described as a cell-based psychological romance that unravels the daily life of an ordinary office worker Yumi (played by Kim Go Eun), through the eyes of the cells in her head. Work, friendship, and love are the ingredients of the common Yumi's life and her cells-based world. The series premiered on tvN on September 17th, 2021, and is now in the middle of the second - and final - season and revolves around the life choices of a thirty-something woman.

Yumi, the ordinary woman, is portrayed by Kim Go Eun. Born July 2nd, 1991, she's, without any doubt, one of the queens of the Hallyu wave. Kim Go Eun, with her sophisticated beauty, always delivers her roles. It happened since the beginning of her career when she starred in the film A Muse (2012), where she won several Best New Actress awards in South Korea.

Panorama spoke with Kim Go Eun in an exclusive interview for the Italian public.

Congratulations on Yumi’s Cells season 2. Can you please introduce yourself and your characters?

I'm Kim Go Eun and I play Yumi. Yumi will love again, and take a step forward in achieving her dreams again in season 2. Though Yumi lives an ordinary life working at an office, she shows a new and improved version of herself. Babi supports the dream that Yumi could not easily decide on and acts as an important catalyst who helps her make a decision on her own.

Yumi is a really complex character. What were your thoughts when you got the script?

From season 1 to season 2, playing the character of Kim Yumi felt comfortable to me, because the fact that we were in a similar stage in life – in terms of age – was very relatable to me regardless of the differences between our personalities and situations.

How did you prepare to play the role?

I read the entirety of the original webtoon. I also had to act in regard to the cells, so I continued to tell myself that the cells and I are connected as one at the beginning.

Can you tell us any fun behind the scene while shooting?

In the beginning, we had a shooting on Jeju Island. Due to the unpredictable weather on Jeju Island, there were many changes to our schedule. We still worked very hard, but the wind was very strong and things did not go so smoothly. Fortunately, it was sunny on a day we had an important scene. Shooting on Jeju Island was difficult, but the experience lasted as a fun memory for me.

Let’s talk about the cells. This is a really unique concept. How did you react knowing there is a whole storyline in the cells’ world of your characters?

I think the presence of the cells in this drama was a way to show an in-depth portrayal of the sensible emotions of the characters that the actors played, on top of providing the audience with something interesting to see visually. Specifically, there is something called the ‘prime cell’; there is a unique charm in the fact that the world of cells allowed a better illustration of the mind of the main characters.

Which do you think would be your primary cell and why?

I would want to be the ‘Housekeeping cell’ because he seems to be hanging around all the time instead of working, and he is very adorable.

How do you build chemistry between the characters? Was it hard?

Jinyoung and I get along very well, so it was easy to work with him. Thus, we were able to focus without any awkwardness during our shoots. I think we were able to form great chemistry because Jinyoung approached me entirely as his character, Yoo Babi.

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Marianna Baroli

Giornalista, autore

(Milano, 1986) La prima volta che ha detto «farò la giornalista» aveva solo 7 anni. Cresciuta tra i libri di Giurisprudenza, ha collaborato con il quotidiano Libero. Iperconnessa e ipersocial, è estremamente appassionata delle sfaccettature della cultura asiatica, di Giappone, dell'universo K-pop e di Hallyu wave. Dal 2020 è Honorary Reporter per il Ministero della Cultura Coreana. Si rilassa programmando viaggi, scoprendo hotel e ristoranti in giro per il mondo. Appena può salta da un parco Disney all'altro. Ha scritto un libro «La Corea dalla A alla Z», edito da Edizioni Nuova Cultura, e in collaborazione con il KOCIS (Ministero della Cultura Coreana) e l'Istituto Culturale Coreano in Italia.

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