EXCLUSIVE: Beloved actress Hyeri opens up about what cheers her up, her favourite projects & more

The My Roommate Is A Gumiho actress opened up about her career so far and more in an exclusive interview with Pinkvilla!
A still image of Hyeri from My Roommate Is A Gumiho A still image of Hyeri from My Roommate Is A Gumiho, courtesy of Studio Dragon
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One of the most beloved artists in the Korean entertainment industry, equally as talented in acting as she is in singing, dancing and all of the arts, Hyeri is a household name, to say the least. Having been in the industry for a prolonged amount of time, first as an idol and then as an actor, Hyeri is one of the most hard-working and sincere artists representing the South Korean entertainment world. She rose to global fame with the path-breaking slice of life drama 'Reply 1988' and made her place in fans' hearts forever. Hyeri has a way of endearing herself to the audience regardless of the character she is playing and she has played a versatile range of characters over the years, exploring all her unique colours.


Hyeri is currently playing Lee Dam in the tvN drama My Roommate Is A Gumiho, a young college girl who encounters a 999-year-old nine-tailed fox, Shin Woo Yeo and accidentally ends up swallowing his fox bead that holds the potential to kill her or make him mortal. With both their lives on the line, Lee Dam and Shin Woo yeo decide to cohabitate and hilarity ensues. 


My Roommate Is A Gumiho is produced by the inimitable Studio Dragon. Studio Dragon is South Korea’s largest scripted television studio whose businesses involve everything from planning and development to financing, production, and distribution. The company was founded in 2016 as a division of CJ ENM Media Content and has created over 179 series with its team of 231 creative professionals, consisting of writers, directors, and producers. By the end of 2020, Studio Dragon has produced 28 series for both Korea’s terrestrial and cable broadcasting networks, and Netflix. In addition to its recent global hit Netflix series, Crash Landing on You (2019), Studio Dragon is also credited in the creation of The Arthdal Chronicles (2019), Mr. Sunshine(2018), and Guardian: The Lonely and Great God (2016). The New York Times listed Stranger (2017) in The 10 Best Shows of 2017, while Mother (2018) was included in the official competition selection of the Cannes International Series Festival. The 10 Best KoreanDramas to Watch on Netflix, an article recently published by Time magazine, listed five Studio Dragon series: Crash Landing on You (2019), Mr. Sunshine (2018), Hi Bye, Mama! (2020), Signal (2016), and Stranger (2017). Studio Dragon, having established its US branch in early 2020, hopes to collaborate with leading global production companies to plan and produce local TV series for the global audience.


Pinkvilla had the incredible opportunity to interview Hyeri and delve deep into her creative processes, her favourite characters and more. Considering her cherry reputation as the very human embodiment of happiness and joy, we also spoke about how she feels about the same and what makes her happy. Keep reading until the very end for a special message for fans all over the world and especially in India!



1. Thank you for making time for this interview. You have a lot of fans in India. How do you feel about accomplishing so much in a short period of time?

It’s been 11 years since I made my debut, and my fans have always been there for me. I’ve come this far thanks to their love and support, and I want to continue to work hard for them.


2. Of all the characters you’ve played so far, which one do you relate to the most?


I relate to Lee Dam, the character I play in “My Roommate is a Gumiho,” the most. She’s not afraid to speak her mind and she is candid with her feelings like myself.


3. When acting, what’s the most difficult emotion to convey and what’s the easiest?


I find it difficult to portray something I’ve never experienced before. For the character I played in “Miss Lee,” I had to ask friends and staff members what it was like to be a low-level employee as I’ve never been one myself. I play a 23-year-old college student in “My Roommate is a Gumiho,” so I keenly observed younger people around me for character development.


4. Did you read the original webtoon before you took on the role? How did you feel when you were offered the role and why did you decide to take it?


I found Lee Dam’s candid personality portrayed in the synopsis and the script to be charming. I wanted to play her as she’s very different from other characters I’ve portrayed before. I read the original webtoon after reading the script. It’s a very popular webtoon, so I thought that I should really do my best.


5. I heard you can only live for a year once you swallow the bead. What did you focus on when you played Lee Dam?

I wanted to show how lovely Lee Dam is while delivering humor successfully. After swallowing the bead, Dam uncovers the secrets of the bead, and I wanted to portray her emotional development through that journey.


6. How would you feel if you met a gumiho (nine-tailed fox) in real life?


I would be scared to death, and I’d never be able to even consider living with it. There is a scene where Dam gets terrified by the sight of a bloody fridge and U-yeo holding a sickle in the first episode. I think I’d feel the same if I saw a nine-tailed fox in real life.


7. You and Jang Ki-yong have great on-screen chemistry. What’s the secret behind it?


We spent a lot of time together on set for the past six months and became close. We talked a lot about our drama and became a support system for each other during the shoot. He’s a great actor to work with, and we became good friends.


8. What is your relationship with your co-stars like off camera? Any fun memories to share?


All the actors and actresses were of a similar age, so we all became friends. We’d eat together on our day off or hang out after filming. Everyone gathered on set to celebrate the last day of filming, and I received so many flowers from the cast that day. I cried a lot because I was really thankful for their kind gesture. It was a very touching moment.


9. How would you describe “My Roommate is a Gumiho” in three words or sentences?

I’d like to say that the genre of our drama is Com-Rom (comedic romance) rather than Rom-Com (romantic comedy). There’s a lot of humor, and all the cast and staff focused on delivering it effectively. It has a lot of comedic energy so I’m sure watching it will be very enjoyable.


10. Of all the characters you’ve come across so far in projects, whether you played it or not, which one did you like the most? Why?


I fully immersed myself in the character Sun-sim in “Miss Lee.” Sun-sim struggles to make ends meet for her family and to save the sinking company, but she is resilient and never gives up hope. She goes through a lot but still remains warm-hearted. I felt bad for her at times, but I admired how she never gives up even in despair. I got to portray how she develops throughout the show, so she holds a special place in my heart.


11. You are a ray of sunshine to many people. What helps you feel renewed or cheers you up?


Many people say that my positive energy lights up the room, but I think it’s the people around me who give me strength. Spending time with my friends, colleagues, and staff gives me energy, and that’s how I can lift up others’ spirits.


12. I really enjoy your YouTube videos. How did you start your own channel?

I rarely shared my personal life or what I’m like off camera. I started my own channel to show a different side of me and to connect with fans.

13. When do you realize that you have fans all around the world? How does it make you feel?


I knew I had some international fans, but I learned that my international fan base is larger than I thought after starting my YouTube channel. At first, I didn’t add subtitles to my videos, but after learning that, I always add English subtitles when I upload a video. I hope to connect with my international fans more.


14. Who was your role model when you were young?


I didn’t really have a role model. I tried to believe in myself and stay positive at all times. I guess that’s how I became who I am today, and I think that’s what my fans like about me.


15. Will you come meet your fans in India once the pandemic is over? Please say a word to your international fans.


Hello, Indian fans! Thank you so much for your love and support. It saddens me that I can’t meet you guys in person due to the pandemic, but I wish I could in the near future. Please send your love and support for “My Roommate is a Gumiho.” Stay safe and I hope to see you soon!

ALSO READ: EXCLUSIVE: My Roommate Is A Gumiho actor Jang Ki Yong talks of finding himself through his characters & more

Are you watching My Roommate Is A Gumiho? Share your thoughts with Pinkvilla in the comments section down below!

Anonymous 4 days ago

I love the series

Anonymous 5 days ago

I love them both (kiyong and hyeri) they have a really chemistry