“The Glory” star Lim Ji Yeon has shared some interesting behind-the-scenes stories of the hit drama in a new interview!
Penned by hit writer Kim Eun Sook, Netflix’s “The Glory” tells the story of a former victim of brutal school violence who swears revenge on her bullies after becoming the elementary school homeroom teacher of her bully’s kid. Song Hye Kyo stars as the vengeful protagonist Moon Dong Eun, while Lim Ji Yeon plays Moon Dong Eun’s main bully Park Yeon Jin.
On March 17, Lim Ji Yeon sat down for an interview to discuss her character as well as her experience shooting for the drama. Asked if she realized the current immense popularity of “The Glory,” Lim Ji Yeon smiled and confessed, “I do. To be completely honest, I thought the [drama] would do well even from the beginning. I had confidence that it would create a lot of buzz and receive much love. However, I couldn’t believe that each character would receive so much attention and love.”
About approaching her role, Lim Ji Yeon shared, “At first, I considered approaching Yeon Jin as someone with no emotions — like a sociopath or a psychopath. Then I also tried approaching her as a completely emotional character. But after coming up with as many ideas as possible, I eventually came to the conclusion that I should create a villain only Lim Ji Yeon could portray. So I decided to not watch and refer to previous villains of past famous productions at all. I was determined to make my own voice, expression, walk, gestures, and style.”
Lim Ji Yeon elaborated, “[Park Yeon Jin] was such an important role so I had a hard time [playing her]. I thought that only when Yeon Jin was properly portrayed could viewers develop an emotional connection and empathy for Dong Eun. I put a lot of effort into truly capturing the character because, after all, Yeon Jin was the reason why Dong Eun so desperately wanted revenge.”
Describing Park Yeon Jin as a character she loves and hates at the same time, Lim Ji Yeon explained that although she has a soft spot for all characters she’d played, “It is hard to like her considering her evil deeds,” she remarked. “After reading the script and while preparing for the role, I had hoped that everyone in the world would hate me [after they saw the drama]. I also said that to the director and writer. I thought, ‘Only then can I say that I did a good job.'”
Lim Ji Yeon ultimately proved herself when her stellar and realistic acting eventually got people to even question if she was indeed a bully in her school days. Regarding this, Lim Ji Yeon smiled and remarked, “There were a lot of responses that said, ‘You were really a bully, weren’t you?’ I even got a lot of calls from my friends from middle and high school.” She then quickly cleared up the wild rumor, saying, “I was a pure and normal student. I don’t have a significant memory of my school days. I dreamed of becoming an actress since I was young… During school days, I was pure and uncomplicated.”
Nevertheless, she candidly shared another aftermath of acting out such a vicious role, “When I filmed all day, I had to be in that temper all day too. There were days when all the intense scenes were back to back. It was like that when I did the prison scene too, but whenever I went home after filming something like that, the world would just get on my nerves. It was because I had to maintain that [ill] temper and emotion all day.” She jokingly added, “I’ve already gotten many wrinkles between my eyebrows as the result. I once thought, ‘Why am I so angry?’ ‘When did I become so temperamental?’ I told the staff at the set as a joke, ‘I’m going to do a really kind role after this!'”
However, when it comes to something positive that she gained from the drama, it’s beyond a doubt, the newly found friendship she has formed with her cast members. Mentioning Song Hye Kyo, Lim Ji Yeon sent her generous praises, saying, “I like Song Hye Kyo so much, I love her. I wanted to get close to her, so I thought about what to do, but without having to do anything, we got close quickly and filmed [the drama] comfortably. While looking at her solid acting, it’s ingrained in me once again that you truly can’t look past her experience. Song Hye Kyo always adjusted herself to everyone —not only to me— when we were acting so that the other person could spread their wings and show their best performance. I learned a lot from her and I’m very grateful to her.”
Finally, she also brought up her friend group in the drama, the so-called “five villains,” and how she’s now best friends with the actors — Park Sung Hoon, Kim Hieora, Cha Joo Young, and Kim Gun Woo. “These days, I only meet up with them,” Lim Ji Yeon said while laughing. “We go to the mountains, exercise, and talk about acting together. We always hang out very innocently,” before concluding the interview on a more sincere note, “While doing this project, I met real friends who supported both the actress Lim Ji Yeon and the human Lim Ji Yeon. I am terribly grateful to meet such precious people that sincerely support each other. I truly have gained a lot from ‘The Glory.'”