Kim Hyang-gi© GettyImages

Kim Hyang-gi On ‘Poong, The Joseon Pyschiatrist’ And More

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Puja Talwar

Whike kids her age were learning the alphabet, Kim Hyang-gi was already a pro when it came to facing the camera. The 22-year-old’s expansive career spanning 15 years is not only well decorated but comes with an enviable filmography in television and drama.

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From her debut as a six-year-old in the animal farm film, Heart is..( 2006) to her recent drama Poong, The Joseon Psychiatrist ( 2022), the actor is making her way as one of the talents to watch out for.

Wrapping season one of Poong, The Joseon Psychiatrist, her first ever historical drama the actor says, “I really loved the script of the show, it conveys a message of warmth.”

Here’s she’s playing Seo Eun-woo, a young widow of aristocratic birth, whose empathetic nature leads her to cast away her noble status and devote herself to healing the ailing and heartbroken at a village hospital.

As her character, Seo Eun-woo, transforms from a free-spirited curious, young girl to a woman wronged by the many situations in her life, Hyang-gi describes her character as “an iron fist in a velvet glove.” “I thought it was important to show the growth of human beings and to express the transformation Eun-woo goes through after tragedy strikes her and the resilience she shows in overcoming the pain,” says the actor in an exclusive interview to HELLO! India.

But when asked if there were any similarities between her character and her, Hyang-gi thoughtfully answers, “There will be differences depending on experience, but I thought this was an important point since Eun-woo is a psychiatrist. The similarity between me and my character is that we both like observing things.”

Having showcased her versatility early on in her career, from playing a bullied young teen in Thread Of Lies (2014) which won her the Baeksang Arts Award for Best New Actor to playing a Grim Reaper in Along With The Gods: The Two Worlds ( 2017) which won her the Best Supporting Actress trophy at Blue Dragon Awards, the actor says she is driven by her love and ambition for her craft.

“My decisions usually depend on the many elements in a script: the message theme and the characters. If there is anything interesting in the script, I like to try it out It. I look at the whole picture rather than just my role, and what I can deliver to the audience as an actor through my part in it,” says Hyang-gi.

But when asked if there was a ‘dream role’ on her wishlist, she says, “I want to play a character who is responsible for a source of evil or a character in a very ordinary love story.”

Poong, The Joseon Psychiatrist charts the journey of Poong played by Kim Min-jae (Dali & The Cocky Prince, Do You Like Brahms), a royal physician who is unfairly banished from the royal kingdom after a conspiracy. Poong and Eun-woo, in the face of their own trauma, join hands to treat the ailing and heartbroken and their innocent chemistry lend a spark to the narrative.

“We both have very flexible and soft images, which goes well with the atmosphere of our drama,” says Hyang-gi.

South Korean content has been gaining global popularity and breaking viewing records across platforms as well as dominating social media platforms. South Korean Actors and K-Pop idols are steadily climbing the popularity index worldwide. Hyang-gi credits it to South Korea’s ability to adapt. “I think not only K-drama but also global content is already widely shared around the world. Korea’s strength is that it quickly picks up the world’s trends and absorbs them very well.”

Produced by Studio Dragon, Poong, The Joseon Psychiatrist steadily climbed viewing charts with strong word of mouth. Season 2 is finalised for January 2023 with Kim Min-jae and Kim Hyang-gi to return as Poong and Eun-woo.

Poong, The Joseon Psychiatrist is available on Rakuten Viki.