“The Glory” Actress Song Hye Kyo Spills On How She Got Into Character For Her Intense Role

She started preparing months before they filmed.

Content Warning

This article includes descriptions of body image issues or eating disorders that may disturb some readers.

Netflix‘s recent K-Drama The Glory has been receiving rave reviews. The dark drama tells the story of a woman who exacts revenge on those who mercilessly bullied her as a teenager, which is horrifyingly based on a real-life incident.

But aside from the show’s captivating plot, viewers are in awe of the actors’ phenomenal performances, as both the child and adult actors for each character gave amazing performances.

Poster for The Glory | Netflix

In an interview with Netflix Korea, actress Song Hye Kyo spoke about how netizens were praising her acting, impressed by her “new acting style.”

There were a lot of reactions like that after seeing the trailer, so I felt a little bad. I wondered what I had been doing. I realized that I hadn’t been showing the viewers this side of me until now, so I thought I have to work harder.

— Song Hye Kyo

Actress Song Hye Kyo | @kyo1122/Instagram

But, as viewers of The Glory already know, Song Hye Kyo’s performance was already astounding. And in the same interview, Song Hye Kyo opened up about how she got into character for Moon Dong Eun.

In one intense scene between Song Hye Kyo and Lim Ji Yeon (who plays the role of Park Yeon Jin), Song Hye Kyo shared that she didn’t want to monitor herself. Although monitoring is an important part of filming, so actors can review their scenes and make improvements, Song Hye Kyo wanted the scene’s intensity to flow more naturally. The actress had worried that she “might get boxed in” if she had focused on monitoring herself.

I didn’t monitor myself when we filmed this time, so I didn’t see how I did on set. I was worried that I might get boxed in if I saw myself in character, so I decided not to monitor myself in this [scene].

— Song Hye Kyo

(Left) Producer An Gil Ho, (right) Song Hye Kyo as Moon Dong Eun in The Glory | Netflix Korea/YouTube

In another pivotal scene, when Song Hye Kyo’s character walks back into the school gym she was bullied in and begins “clapping fiercely to her bullies,” the actress admitted that she “wasn’t sure how far [she] should go.” But for the fierce intensity of the scene, the director encouraged Song Hye Kyo to take Moon Dong Eun’s reactions even further, creating the stunning final product.

When we were filming that, I wasn’t sure how much she was expecting. I wasn’t sure how far I should go, but the script said… I’m not sure if I can say this, but it said I should act like a crazy b****. I had in my mind how crazy I should be, so we did one take of it, but then, Director An came and said, ‘Act even crazier.‘ So I think the intensity kept going up.

— Song Hye Kyo

(Left) Moon Dong Eun in The Glory, (Right) writer Kim Enu Sook | Netflix Korea/YouTube

But even before The Glory started filming, writer Kim Eun Sook revealed that Song Hye Kyo was already working hard to get into character.

One scene Kim Eun Sook felt was essential to the show’s plot was Moon Dong Eun showing the burns all over her body. But, knowing the exposure that the scene would take, Kim Eun Sook warned Song Hye Kyo before the actress took the role.

I had that scene in my mind from the start, so when we offered the role to Hye Kyo, I told her that I really need that scene but it might be uncomfortable for her, so I asked if that was okay with her.

— Kim Eun Sook

| Netflix Korea/YouTube 

Song Hye Kyo agreed to film the scene but asked for time first so she could diet to create the perfect image for Moon Dong Eun.

And she asked me to give her just two months. I asked if she was going to exercise and she said, ‘No, I have to lose more weight then.’ She wanted to look emaciated and small instead of looking pretty in that scene. Then, she really did it. I asked her what she was eating and she said konjac rice. I was so grateful for her efforts and also felt bad. So it really made me tear up when I saw the completed scene.

— Kim Eun Sook

| Netflix Korea/YouTube 

Song Hye Kyo added that her goal wasn’t to “look pretty” but to elicit sympathy from the viewers. Especially since Song Hye Kyo felt that Dong Eun “didn’t have the time or energy to take care of her appearance.”

I thought I shouldn’t look pretty in that scene. Firstly, after I got the role of Dong Eun, I didn’t think of looking pretty at all. She didn’t have the time or energy to take care of her appearance like that. I thought maybe she isn’t taking care of herself too much as a human being, but it seemed like something Dong Eun would do, so I didn’t really worry about things like that in this drama.

Especially in this scene, as [Kim Eun Sook] mentioned, I wanted the viewers to feel bad for her when they see her skinny body instead of something pretty. I thought that’s where the focus should be.

— Song Hye Kyo

| Netflix Korea/YouTube 

Although Song Hye Kyo has always impressed viewers with her acting, from the time and care she put into her role in The Glory, it’s abundantly clear why fans can’t look away from this drama.

You can read about a spoiler for The Glory Part Two here.

Writer Kim Eun Sook Mentions A Slight Spoiler For Netflix’s “The Glory” Part Two

Source: Netflix Korea

The Glory