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Choi Ji Woo Has Learned To Deal With Criticism

BY Julie Jones | Feb 16, 2016 12:45 PM EST

Choi Ji Woo
(Photo : Twenty Again)

Choi Ji Woo is one of the stars credited with starting the Hallyu because of her performances in the international hit dramas "Winter Sonata" and "Stairway to Heaven." And she's worked in dramas and films for the last two decades, playing widely different roles.

She recently played a 38-year-old woman returning to school alongside her son in "Twenty Again." She played a robotic housekeeper in "The Suspicious Housekeeper" and a glamorous business owner seduces a married man in "Temptation." On February 18 she can also be seen in the film "Like for Likes," which is a romantic comedy about relationships that start online.

Choi's many successes have not protected her from criticism about her dramas and about her acting.

Choi has been criticized for only acting with her face and not her body and for not saying her lines clearly. After appearing in "Stairway to Heaven" she tried to break into film, playing a terminally ill character in "Now and Forever" and one of three sisters in love with the same man in "Everybody Has Secrets." Neither film got good reviews and both did poorly at the Korean box office.

But Choi, who debuted in "War and Love" in 1995, has learned to roll with the punches. In a recent interview with the Korean media outlet OSEN, she talked about her evolving reaction to criticism.

"I don't get hurt easily," said Choi. "I forget things quickly. I do think about what happened at night when I go to bed, but it doesn't last very long."

It wasn't always that way. Choi is not naturally indifferent to criticism but a career of successes and failures has helped her come to terms with the fact that you can't please all of the viewers all of the time.

"Most of my approach developed during my career," said Choi. "I just found a way to protect myself and having experience helped me."

She listens to criticism but only pays attention to it if it is constructive.

"I accept what helps me and I reject that hurts me," she said. "I don't need to suffer because of hurtful words."

In her latest film, she plays Ham Joo Ran, a stewardess. Kim Joo Hyuk, plays her housemate Sung Chan. Ham Joo Ran would love to fall in love but is a little naive about how to find someone, so Sung Chan helps her look for love online. Then he falls for her and things get complicated.

The film also stars Lee Mi Yeon, Yoo Ah In, Kang Ha Neul and Esom and premieres on February 18.

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