Lee Ji Ah Discusses " Shim Soo Ryun's Transformation Over Three Seasons and Playing Two Characters in "The Penthouse
Lee Ji Ah's first comeback to dramas in two years, "The Penthouse," was a ratings and buzz hit, with each episode's twists and turns becoming a hot topic as the drama ran for three seasons before ending.
Shim Soo Ryun, played by Lee Ji Ah, begins the film "The Penthouse" as the exquisite and affluent queen of Hera Palace, a luxurious penthouse condominium where a series of startling events occur.
The actress said, “Neither my first shoot nor my last shoot felt quite real. From the very first shoot, I had to do a dramatic emotional scene. It’s not easy to do an extreme emotional scene before you can build up experience with your character. As time went on, I became immersed into the character, until I’d spent a year and a half as Shim Soo Ryun. On our last shoot, it didn’t feel real that this would be the last time I would be her. I still don’t feel like ‘The Penthouse’ is over.”
In the drama, Lee Ji Ah also played Na Ae Gyo, a character who looks precisely like Shim Soo Ryun and has a mystery relationship with her. The first thing she had to do was think about the various lifestyles that Na Ae Gyo and Shim Soo Ryun had led,” Lee Ji Ah explained. Na Ae Gyo has struck rock bottom in her life and is harsher and more daring than Shim Soo Ryun, who has been nurtured and loved her entire life. Shim Soo Ryun had not yet experienced any big life events when the two of them met.”
In particular, Shim Soo Ryun undergoes a number of changes, both external and internal, over the three seasons of “The Penthouse. The actress continued, “The things Shim Soo Ryun goes through and her revenge are at the heart of the story. I had to be really careful in how I portrayed her, and I wanted to show how her pure white image was slowly overtaken by darkness. It was a big challenge for me as an actor, because she wasn’t a simple one-sided character. There were a lot of people who were disappointed that Shim Soo Ryun was no longer a ‘good’ character in season three”