Actresses usually want to look as beautiful as possible when they appear in TV dramas or movies, but Park Hee-bon isn't afraid of playing either the ugly duckling or the fool.
"It's not how you look that makes you ugly on screen, but being unable to properly express the role you are playing. That's what I consider to be real ugliness," the 30-year-old said.
Park has recently been gaining popularity with her role in the KBS sitcom "Family." In the drama, she plays an overweight girl with no sense of fashion who wears thick glasses. To play the role, she put on 10 kg and had her hair permed repeatedly to make it look worn out and unkempt.
Before turning to acting, Park debuted as a member of girl band M.I.L.K. under SM Entertainment. "When I was 15, I got spotted on a street by a talent agency manager who persuaded me to seek a career in show business. So I began practicing to become a singer at the age of 17 and debuted two years later," she recalled.
The group made a successful debut with "Come to me" in 2001 but fell apart two years later when one of the key members left. Park continued her career by hosting radio shows and appearing in cable TV dramas, but gradually fell into obscurity.
When she was about to leave show business, she was offered a role in a sitcom on a cable TV network. "Since I had nothing to lose, I decided to give it a try and worked without feeling any pressure. It seemed viewers liked that feeling of ease I portrayed, and I received a good response," she said, adding that the project "saved" her career as it led to her latest role in a drama on a major network.
"People often ask me, how can you pay so little attention to your appearance given that you are an actress?" she said, as they don't realize her current look is deliberately tailored to suit her role in the TV drama.
"I want to be as truthful as possible to the roles I play. That's the most important thing to me as an actress," she added.