The Korea Herald


[Herald Interview] Kim Hyun-joo, Park Hee-soon explore paradoxical nature of family in 'The Bequeathed'

By Lee Yoon-seo

Published : Jan. 28, 2024 - 16:00

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Kim Hyun-joo (Netflix) Kim Hyun-joo (Netflix)

South Korean veteran actors Kim Hyun-joo and Park Hee-soon said, through their latest work "The Bequeathed," they wanted to ask their audience about the meaning of family.

Netflix's six-part mystery thriller "The Bequeathed" tells the story of Yoon Seo-ha, who becomes mired in a series of ominous events including the murder of her husband, after inheriting a family grave site from her deceased uncle.

The series explores the concept of family in depth, while incorporating elements of occult horror.

Kim Hyun-joo, who plays Yoon Seo-ha, said she was drawn to the role of Yoon as it was a type of character she had never played before.

"I have mainly portrayed characters who suppressed and controlled emotions, but this time, expressing emotions honestly and realistically without holding back felt incredibly refreshing. It was liberating and satisfying on a personal level to express emotions openly," Kim said during an interview with reporters in Seoul on Tuesday.

Kim said through her role, she wanted to throw the question "What is family?" to the audience.

"The last line I say in the series is 'It's family.' The sentence conveys all the confusion she feels about the situation she is thrown into," said Kim. During the course of the drama, Yoon finds a shocking revelation about her family involving incest.

"In reality, there are people that treat their family members like strangers, or even worse than they would a stranger. (Through the work) I wanted to say all those relationships could be defined as 'family'," she said.

Park Hee-soon (Netflix) Park Hee-soon (Netflix)

Park Hee-soon, who plays the detective investigating the death of Yoon's husband, said director Min Hong-nam told him he was well-suited to portraying the dual image of Choi Seong-joon, a competent detective with a broken family.

"(Min) explained that I have a dual image -- that I possess a 'worn face' which can aptly express Choi's pain regarding his own family and a 'sharp face' that appears when actively investigating criminal cases," said Park, during an interview held with reporters in Seoul on Tuesday.

"I tried to play Choi by first taking on the role of a narrator, guiding the audience through the investigation of (Yoon Seo-ha's case), and by secondly trying to unravel the personal narrative of Seong-joon," he said.

"I believed that it was crucial to simultaneously act the part of unraveling the story of (Yoon Seo-ha's case) while becoming entangled in plots unfolding for (Choi's narrative) -- and, as such, I tried to portray Seong-joon differently when he is working as a detective and when he is not working," said Choi.

Park said that he wanted to portray the paradoxical nature of family through the series.

"'The Bequeathed' propelled me to think a lot about families," said Park.

"I believe family is the entity that understands me the most, loves me the most, and gives the most without reservation," said Park.

"However, because of them, I am also most concerned and worried. I think families are something that can only be completed by embracing both aspects."