«Mask Girl» has a new actress. Finding a leading role in a highly anticipated Netflix series is like fulfilling a dream for any rising actor, and that’s exactly what Lee Han-byeol felt when she secured her role in «Mask Girl.»

«Mask Girl’ marks my first experience in a leading role,» Lee shared during an interview with local reporters in Seoul. «My previous works were smaller, done while I was still a film student. I prepared for four months for the character of Mo-mi, and finally got the role in one of the three performances.»

Three actors bring the protagonist Mo-mi to life at different stages of her life. Lee portrays Mo-mi when she works as an office worker. Nana embodies her after quitting her job and undergoing plastic surgery, while Ko Hyun-jung plays Mo-mi when she is in prison trying to rescue her daughter. The series topped Netflix’s ratings and ranked in the top 10 in 14 countries since its release on August 18.

“Mask Girl”

Mo-mi is a woman who struggles with an inferiority complex due to her appearance. Playing a character considered «ugly» by today’s standards might have been a challenge for Lee in her early days, but she is unfazed by it.

«I was thrilled to get the role,» she confessed. «I appreciated the opportunity I was given and grew from what I learned from playing Mo-mi. Although the character of Mo-mi might be seen as a monster to some, Lee considers it hopeful.

«Mo-mi has dreams that society crushed, but she manages to break free and finds hope,» Lee shared. «She makes decisions that may seem extraordinary and destructive, but I wanted to portray her as someone who makes those decisions because she has suffered injuries.»

Seeing her character played by different actors also broadened Lee’s perspective and provided valuable lessons.

«Seeing Mo-mi portrayed by other veteran actors showed me how a character can be played in many ways,» she added. «Director Kim Young-hoon directed us in a way that highlighted the different characteristics of each actor playing Mo-mi. This resulted in a fictional character rich in nuances.»

"Mask Girl" has a new actress

Lee also praised Ahn Jae-hong’s acting as Joo Oh-nam, a colleague of Mo-mi in the series. The scene where Ahn says «I love you» in Japanese to Mo-mi was improvised and amazing. Ahn also proved to be a great co-worker.

«Mask Girl» tackles lookism, but Lee feels the core message is about how we all face pain and hope simultaneously, and how our decisions affect others. Lee hopes to continue acting in roles that show detailed emotional developments and feels gratitude for the opportunities «Mask Girl» has afforded her.

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por Laura

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