Kim Hye Joon, who showed a solid presence as one of the major villains of Kingdom, shared how she felt about overcoming the controversy over her acting prowess in the first season and making a great leap forward in the second season.
During an interview with Star Today, she said, “I would be lying if I said that there was no burden. Of course, I was really scared, but the director, writer, and fellow actors supported me a lot. Thanks to them, I was able to pull myself together.”
She added, “I am grateful for all the favorable reviews I received for this season. Rather than being proud, I believe that this is the right thing. I worked really hard because I knew I was lacking.”
Kim Hye Joon played the role of a great villain in Kingdom. She is at odds with Lee Chang (Ju Ji Hoon) the entire season and even wins over her father, Cho Hak Hu (Ryu Seung Ryong).
“In season 1, she was more of an immature queen, whereas, in season 2, she became more aggressive and ambitious, so I tried to solidify the overall tone and atmosphere so that she doesn’t seem excessive or unreasonable. Actually, I didn’t know that my character was gonna go that far, but I was personally surprised to see to what extent she went.”
When asked about the most memorable scene, she answered, “It’s hard to pick just one since I paid so much attention as if I were grinding my soul into every scene.”
“However, if I have to pick one, I would choose the final battle scene in episode 5 and 6,” she said. “There were many people I met for the first time, and we poured a ton of preparations and energy. I will never forget it,” she added with a bright smile.
About her “zombie acting,” she recalled it as a “series of new experiences.” She jokingly added, “In fact, I was able to warm up quickly since the ‘zombie act’ was the first scene to film for season 2.”
“I realized that it is hard as I tried it myself. I couldn’t help but respect those who played the zombies. As I dressed up, prepared, ran, and filmed together as one of the zombies, I felt their hardship with every sense of my body. I was grateful for them once again.”
As for the ending of her character, Kim Hye Joon said, “As I have lived as the queen for nearly three years, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the character. The evil must be punished, but I didn’t feel so good as she turned into a zombie despite the fact that she used to stand above anyone else.”
Lastly, she said, “As a viewer, I loved the speedy development, the upgraded action scenes, and the refreshing story.” She also continued, “I’m curious as to what will happen to everyone in season 3, but I’m especially looking forward to Jun Ji Hyun the most. I wonder Kang Hoon, my son, will appear in season 3, and if Beom Pal would become a villain (laughs). Now that I’ve become one of the viewers, I’m more curious and more anticipating.”
“I think any work or role is a big challenge for me. If I get a chance to work overseas through Kingdom, then I won’t give up and work even harder. I’ll enjoy anything with gratitude.”
Kim Hye Joon, who has grown with Kingdom, will be returning to the small screen. She will star in MBC“s new Monday-Tuesday drama United Effort to Accomplish One Thing (literal translation), which will air in June.