Singer/actress Uhm Junghwa recounted her experience of challenging stereotypes throughout her career.
Un Junghwa guested on the November 20 episode of a YouTube show hosted by K-pop boy group BTS member SUGA.
While talking about her recent success with JTBC's drama 'Doctor Cha', Uhm Junghwa opened up about how she feels about her future in the entertainment industry.
"I feel like I'm always carrying this fear. 'Doctor Cha' was my first drama in a long time, as I had been focusing on the movies for quite some time. In the past, I used to get the next project lined up after finishing one. But things started to change as I reached a certain age. I had to wait for the next chance to come my way. I found myself being more and more pushed aside due to my age. Since then, every project felt even more valuable because I started to think that any of them could be my last in this industry. The longer my career goes on, there's a growing sense of uncertainty about how long I will be able to last.", she said.
Uhm Junghwa reflected on her career and the difficulties she faced while being both a singer and an actor.
"In 1993, I started as both a singer and an actress, which led me to face many prejudices.", she recalled.
"I sensed that the film industry was unwilling to validate me as a proper actor, and it gave me a hard time balancing between my two careers. I've got to be in 'Marriage Is a Crazy Thing' (2002), my second film, about seven years after my first one. It was hard for me to get recognized as a legitimate actor."
Uhm Junghwa then said, "But you only live once, so you should do what you want. I loved both acting and singing, so I found a way to do both. I didn't want to give up on one to gain more recognition in the other."
"When I debuted, there were strict expectations about the age of singers and actors.", she continued, "That stereotype was very strong. People thought that singers should only sing ballad songs when they were in their thirties. Even if they are still healthy and can dance.", to this, SUGA laughed and said, "I'm thirty years old. Perhaps I should focus on ballad songs."
Uhm Junghwa, 54, resumed, "I had no problem singing and dancing after turning thirty, forty, and I still can. But the whole time, I kept asking myself if my career in show business was over. So, I decided to be a role model for others. And now, there are some hoobaes who call me their role model."
(Credit= 'BANGTANTV' YouTube, CJ ENM, JTBC Doctor Cha)
Uhm Junghwa Reflects on Her Career Where She Constantly Challenged Stereotypes
By Cho Yunjung | Nov 21, 2023