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Park Bo-young gets stronger after each and every role : The young actress finds herself in the spotlight again with hit drama

Apr 25,2017
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Park Bo-young
Little did child actress Park Bo-young know how influential she would grow to be when she was starring in the drama “Secret Campus” in 2006.

Since her on-screen debut 11 years ago, the 27-year-old actress has starred in a number of hits on the silver screen, including “A Werewolf Boy” (2012) and the comedy “Speed Scandal” (2008). Park extended her career with her first lead role in the tvN romantic comedy series “Oh My Ghost” (2015), which hit a 7.3 percent viewership rate at its highest, according to market research firm Nielson Korea.

Two years later, Park successfully pulled off another romantic comedy role on the small screen. JTBC’s “Strong Woman Do Bong-soon,” which wrapped on April 15, received rave reviews and saw a 9.6 percent viewership rating at its highest.

“I didn’t expect [‘Strong Woman Do Bong-soon’] to have such high ratings,” Park told a reporter last week in Nonhyeon-dong, southern Seoul. “In fact, I felt more and more afraid before every episode aired.”

Though Park is well-known for her cute and vulnerable-looking appearance, her small frame has long made her self-conscious.

Perhaps that is why she was mesmerized by Baek Mi-gyeong’s script for “Strong Woman Do Bong-soon,” in which she plays a character with superhuman strength.

“Since I have such a small frame, I have always wondered what it would be like for me to be very strong like Do Bong-soon. If I were strong, I wouldn’t have cried when I confronted a trench coat man [referring to a man who flashes others while wearing a trench coat]. In fact, I wasn’t able to get many romantic roles because I looked too young,” Park added.

Upon reading the script, Park decided to join the series right away.

But since it was one of the rare shows that revolved around a female character, it took quite a long time for the male leads to be cast.

Though Park had to prepare for a variety of scenes for the JTBC series, which include action sequences and a romantic plot, the shooting went smoothly once it kicked off.

Park, who co-starred with two younger actors, Park Hyung-sik and Jisoo, was envied by those around her for having “the best working environment.”

“I have been lucky to work with lots of good people. Through ‘Speed Scandal,’ I learned how to pull off comedy thanks to Cha Tae-hyun. This time, I learned agility and flexibility from many senior actors like Kim Won-hae and Shim Hye-jin,” Park said.

When asked what she would have done if she truly had superpower strength like Do Bong-soon, Park replied, “I wish I could have lifted the Sewol ferry,” which sank in 2014 and killed more than 300 passengers, most of whom were high school students.

“One of the greatest merits of being an actor is being able to represent someone else through a role and identifying problems in society,” she said.

BY MIN KYUNG-WON [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]



2006년 청소년드라마 ‘비밀의 교정’을 찍던 아역배우는 알고 있었을까. 충북 증평에서 서울을 오가던 이 소녀가 커서 시청률 보증수표가 될 줄을. 어느덧 데뷔 11년차를 맞은 박보영(27•사진)은 tvN ‘오 나의 귀신님’(최고 시청률 7.3%, 닐슨 코리아 전국 기준•2015년)과 JTBC ‘힘쎈여자 도봉순’(9.6%)을 연속 히트시키면서 ‘뭘 해도 되는’ 배우로 자리매김했다. 두 드라마 모두 전작 시청률이 간신히 1%를 웃도는 수준이었다.

‘힘쎈여자 도봉순’을 마치고 17일 서울 논현동에서 만난 박보영은 “이렇게까지 시청률이 잘 나올 거라 예상하지 못했다”며 “회가 거듭될수록 겁이 나기도 했다”고 행복한 고민을 털어놓았다. “아직 20대니까 깨지고 넘어져도 괜찮지 않을까”란 마음에 영화 ‘과속스캔들’(2008)의 고교생 미혼모 역부터 ‘늑대소년’(2012), ‘돌연변이’(2015) 등 어느 하나 쉽지 않은 역할을 골라 들며 당찬 도전을 계속해온 그녀다.

지금은 대체 불가능한 ‘뽀블리’가 됐지만 사랑스러운 외모와 자그마한 체구는 오랫동안 그의 콤플렉스였다. 괴력녀 봉순이가 나쁜 놈들을 혼내준다는 설정은 단숨에 그녀의 마음을 사로잡았다. “제가 실제로 너무 작다 보니까 항상 봉순이처럼 힘이 세면 어떨까 하는 생각을 했었어요. 그렇다면 학교 앞에서 바바리맨을 만났을 때도 울지 않았을 텐데. 사실 너무 어려 보여서 그동안 멜로 배역도 잘 안 들어 왔거든요.”

백미경 작가의 극본에 푹 빠진 박보영은 일찌감치 출연을 결심했다. 하지만 여자배우가 타이틀롤을 맡다 보니 연출과 방송사를 비롯해 상대 주연 남자배우가 결정되기 전까지 적잖은 시간이 걸렸다.

로맨스부터 액션신까지 준비할 게 많은 작품이었지만 막상 촬영에 들어가고 나서부터는 순풍에 돛단 듯 순항이었다. 박형식(26)과 호흡을 맞춘 박보영은 ‘멍뭉커플’(둘 다 강아지를 연상시켜 팬들이 붙혀준 별명)로 남다른 궁합을 자랑했고, 또다른 남자 주인공 지수(24)까지 연하남들에게 둘러싸여 “최고의 근무환경”이라는 부러움을 샀다. 박보영은 “확실히 인복이 있는 것 같다”며 “‘과속스캔들’에서 차태현 선배와 함께하면서 코미디를 알게 됐다면 이번엔 김원해•심혜진 등 많은 선배들에게 순발력과 유연성을 배웠다”고 밝혔다.

그렇다면 진짜 괴력녀가 된다면 가장 하고 싶은 일은 무엇이었을까. 박보영은 조심스럽게 “세월호를 들어올려주고 싶었다”고 밝혔다. 이어 “배우라는 직업의 가장 큰 장점 중 하나가 역할을 통해 누군가를 대변하고 사회의 잘못된 부분을 꼬집을 수 있는 것 같다”고 말했다.


글=민경원 기자, 사진=권혁재 사진전문기자 storymin@joongang.co.kr