The 31-year-old Song Chang-ee, who plays the gay character of Yang Tae-sub in the weekend drama “Life is Beautiful” (SBS), told about his latest small-screen role in an interview with Yonhap News Agency Thursday in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province.
It was only four months ago, when the series first began to air, that he confessed this role was difficult for him to fulfill. Now, he approaches the part with poise.
The drama saw ratings shoot up to 20 percent after the coming out of Song’s character and is now following the storyline of his upcoming wedding to partner Kyung-soo. The bold move in the drama is due to scriptwriter Kim Su-hyun ― a legend in the screenwriting business ― who approached the relationship without hesitation, giving detailed development to the homosexual characters.
Although Kim has been both praised and panned for her openness with the subject, ratings have shown that viewers are largely accepting the relationship that is delicately handled in the plot.
“If I was told to take on a difficult role, I wouldn’t be able to do it like this”, Song said. “If I’m embarrassed do you think I’d be able to act? In the script, Kim Su-hyun uses expressions that are within my limits to do”.
I think that I’m able to act naturally because she unravels the story to a level that I can understand”.
In fact, the success is truly Kim’s, the actor added.
“The strength of the writer is immense when they work in a way that the actor can understand and perform, even if the expression is difficult or if there are problems”.
“I knew that Kim Su-hyun was an impressive writer but reading this script I was surprised again. I was impressed that every emotion was so subtly defined and that, so much more than I was expecting, the details were alive”.
Song said some of the more touching scenes to him included the date his character had with Kyung-soo and the first time his partner’s mother came looking for him, enraged and unable to understand the relationship.
“I was thinking of what I would do if I were the character, and the writer had already written it that way into the script”.
When asked if his opinion of homosexuality was changed by his role in the drama, Song hesitated for a moment.
“That’s a difficult and important question, but I don’t think my thinking has changed. It’s just that I’m more familiar with it”, the actor said. “I think that our drama has made viewers talk about homosexuality, whether they like it or not. And if people complain about the story of Tae-sub and Kyung-soo, I don’t think that they look at them (the couple) poorly. I think that is a distinct comfort to homosexuals”.
Song added: “I don’t know if Tae-sub and Kyung-soo will get married or not, but I hope that, like the drama’s title, everyone will be happier”.