'Hiding is never the solution': Park Min-young on ‘Marry My Husband'

Park Min-young [3HWCOM]

Personal life aside, Park Min-young has proven herself an undisputable pro when it comes to acting.

Her latest soap feature “Marry My Husband” wrapped up on Tuesday evening as Amazon Prime Video’s top 10 TV show worldwide, according to analytics company FlixPatrol. Domestically, it ranked at the top of its time slot on the cable network tvN.

“I had to face the fact that Park Min-young the person couldn’t be perfect, but I realized that I still had Park Min-young the actor, and she has been working tirelessly for nearly 20 years,” Park told the press on Feb. 16 at a cafe in Gangnam District, southern Seoul.

Actor Park Min-young in a scene of the recent tvN revenge fantasty drama "Marry My Husband" [TVN]

Last year, she was discovered to have been in a relationship with a businessman who committed fraud and was accused of taking part in his activities, though she has since been cleared by the police.

“She is the reason I can keep going and why I took on this show.”

Park Min-young [3HWCOM]

“Marry My Husband” is about a terminally ill woman in her 30s named Kang Ji-won, played by Park, who dies after witnessing her husband’s affair with her best friend but is given a chance for revenge when she is brought back to life and transported 10 years back in time.

“We all want a second chance,” Park said. “And it is tempting to imagine we can have a do-over like my character in ‘Marry My Husband.’ Add to that the quick speed at which the plot unfolds — partly stemming from Korea’s unique ppalli ppalli [hurry hurry] culture — I think the show was able to garner global popularity.”

Park Min-young, right, and her co-star Song Ha-yoon in a scene of "Marry My Husband" [TVN]

A typical makjang — a genre in Korean television that jumps the shark — the show is largely farcical with scenes like intense hair-pulling and blood-boiling betrayals.

“We had a lot of fun filming it,” she said, adding that almost all the scenes she had with her character’s ex-husband, played by actor Lee Yi-kyung, were ad-libbed.

“There were so many ideas that arose on set that we just kept adding things on.”

Park Min-young, right, and her co-star Lee Yi-kyung in a scene of "Marry My Husband" [TVN]

But even as many scenes in the series were comedically exaggerated, Park didn’t want them to appear like a complete joke.

She lost weight to look more like a real terminal cancer patient, gave up makeup for the first few shoots and took the silly scenes seriously.

“All the actors wanted to keep everything real,” she said.

Park Min-young in "Marry My Husband" [TVN]

Park added there are also deeper themes overlaying “Marry My Husband,” beyond what can be seen in the short, edited clips floating around social media.

“There are some sincere parts as well, and scenes that are very close to reality and very relatable to everyone living in Korean society today,” she said. The show in some ways acts as a social commentary, shedding light on topics like sexism in the workplace and modern-day marriages.

Park said that she felt most connected to the character’s sense of loneliness.

“I seem like a very outgoing person, but I experience a lot of loneliness like Ji-won,” she said. “There's a line in the drama where Ji-won says that, from some point in her life, she feels alone and like she is constantly on a boat and never on solid ground, and that really resonated with me.

Park Min-young in "Marry My Husband" [TVN]

“I recall crying a lot while filming the scene in the second episode when she gets a complete makeover and is looking at her new self in the mirror. She could be this pretty and confident, but Ji-won in episode one was so busy and insecure that she couldn’t take care of herself. I thought that if I, too, could get a second chance in life, I would like to love and take care of myself more.”

Park Min-young [3HWCOM]

Her latest role Ji-won, as well as many of her iconic characters, display resilience despite difficult situations — something which Park said she is able to act out by tapping into her personal experiences.

“I’ve only ever acted since I was in my teens, and looking back at my life, I didn’t give myself enough time to love myself,” she said. “I sometimes feel sorry for myself and use that when acting these characters.”

Park Min-young, right, and her co-star Song Ha-yoon in a scene of "Marry My Husband" [TVN]

Park debuted as a model through an SK Telecom commercial in 2005 and rose to stardom through the historical coming-of-age drama series “Sungkyunkwan Scandal” (2010) on KBS2. She has since starred in many hit television series such as “City Hunter” (2011) on SBS, “Healer” (2014-15) on KBS2, “What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim” (2018) and “Her Private Life” (2019) on tvN and “Forecasting Love and Weather” (2022) on JTBC.

Park Min-young [3HWCOM]

“I’ve had burnouts and also experience a lot of emptiness while working,” she said. “I know now that life has its ups and downs and time heals pain and scars.”

“Marry My Husband” came to Park at an especially difficult time in her career.

Last year, she was accused of being part of businessman and former boyfriend Kang Jong-hyun’s money scam, for which he is currently undergoing trial. She was summoned as a witness by prosecutors but was cleared of “ever participating in or benefitting from any illegal acts,” according to her agency Hook Entertainment at the time.

“Filming ‘Marry My Husband’ felt especially precious,” she said. “This drama was really like medicine to me.”

Park Min-young in "Marry My Husband" [TVN]]

Park Min-young, right, and her co-star Na in-woo in "Marry My Husband" [TVN]

She said that she has been to therapy as well and that what people see of her in the press isn’t the full picture.

“I spent a lot of time rebuilding myself — going to therapy, exercising and taking up new hobbies,” she said. “Some people have said that I have some nerve and mentality to go in front of cameras and the press, but I don’t. I don’t have a stronger mind than the average person. But I believe in facing your problems. It takes a long time to accept what you did wrong, but once you can, there is no shame in apologizing, and it is also the first step in moving forward. And then, I want to be better for everyone who supports and loves me and live life under the values that I believe in. The scars may take a long time to heal, and may possibly never heal until I die, but I have hope that I can show better sides of myself.

Park Min-young in "Marry My Husband" [TVN]

“My life’s goal is to be a good person and a good actor, and I still want to strive for these things. I don’t want to give it up now. So, I plan to continue to live my life facing any other problems that come my way. One thing that I am sure of is that hiding is never the solution.”

To learn more about Park Min-young, visit Celeb Confirmed!

Park Min-young in "Marry My Husband" [TVN]