K-rush of the Week: Seo Yea-ji
Updated: Aug 30, 2022
Welcome to GwenchaNoona’s “K-rush of the Week,” where we feature the latest Korean actors and actresses who’ve caught our fancy. This June 2022, we're putting the spotlight on Eve herself, Seo Yea-ji!
Born in April 6, 1990, Seo Yea-ji debuted in the oddly-titled 2013 drama "Potato Star 2013QR3" where she played the sister of Go Kyung-pyo's character. The next year, she starred in the 2014 KBS drama, "The Three Female Runaways." She continued to take bit roles here and there, until she grabbed the mainstream audience's attention as a cult follower in the disturbing "Save Me". The rest, as they say, is k-drama history.
Let's take a tour of Seo's more memorable roles.
Seo Yea-ji played the strong and stalwart princess Sookmyung who shares an attraction with "Dog-bird" (Park Seo-joon), a peasant with unclear ancestry who takes over his best friend's name early on in the show.
"Save Me" (2017)
Seo Yea-ji's turning point as a serious actress to watch came when she gave a harrowing performance as a young girl who is inducted into a strange Christian cult in OCN's "Save Me."
So demanding and tedious was her role that she claimed to have nightmares nearly every night of the four months spent filming, and even fell into a depression after the show had wrapped up. In certain demanding scenes, she would inhibit the character so much that most of her bizarre and difficult scenes were actually off-script and ad-libbed.
"Lawless Lawyer" (2018)
In 2018, Seo Yea-ji teamed up with k-drama favorite Lee Joon-gi, and the chemistry between them was instantaneous. As the strong-willed lawyer Ha Jae-yi, she perfectly matched the intensity of her co-star, and was as tough and as ready to fight as he was. But it was not all fire and brimstone, as she also proved that she had comedic timing and could banter comfortably with a veteran such as Lee.
"It's Okay to Not Be Okay" (2020)
Seo Yea-ji broke the mold of the typical "good" female lead and introduced the world to the memorable Ko Moon Young in 2020's "It's Okay to Not be Okay." Icy and immaculately-dressed, Ko is more nightmare than fairy-tale princess in this Gothic reinterpretation of a bedtime story. Seo's acting skills shone when she made Ko both brittle and human. While her unconventional friendship saves Gang-tae, she also allows herself to be healed by him, and together, our unlikely couple fight to free themselves from the trauma imposed on them by their pasts and their horrible parents.
After the success of "It's Okay to be Okay," Seo Yea-ji returned to cinema in as a woman who cannot trust her memory. Paired with Hallyu leading man Kim Kang-woo (Artificial City), "Recalled" performed strongly at the box office and received critical praise for Seo's acting despite the ongoing controversy surrounding the actress at that time.
Seo Yea-ji's comeback turns her into the titular "Eve," a gorgeous woman out to seduce the richest man in Korea as part of a grand vendetta. While it is a little racier and sexier than what we're used to, "Eve" is essentially still a high-society makjang with the usual upper-crust shenanigans and exaggerations, much like "Penthouse" or "SKY Castle." Seo is in her element as the cold and calculating Eve, and while she is working with reliable actors such as Park Byung-eun and Lee Sang-yeob, it remains to be seen if "Eve" will attain the heights or surpass the success of her past dramas.