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Gong Hyo Jin Cast In ‘Educating Rita’

BY Julie Jones | Oct 24, 2014 10:30 AM EDT

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Gong Hyo Jin, who was last seen playing a psychiatrist in the romantic comedy "It's Okay It's Love," is expanding her horizons. Next, she will play woman who wants to expand her horizons in a theater production of "Educating Rita." While the actress has a long resume in dramas and films, "Educating Rita" will be her first theater role.

As the acknowledged queen of such romantic comedies as "The Master's Sun" and "Pasta," Gong Hyo Jin's decision to act in this play has surprised some. It's not as if she needs to show she can do another kind of role. Besides mastering the art of romantic comedy she has given strong performances in films such as the black comedy "Crush and Blush, where she played a woman with a crippling inferiority complex. She also played an angry young woman in "Family Ties," a tough girl who bosses her schoolmates in "Conduct Zero" and a single mom with an HIV diagnosed daughter in "Thank You."

According to her agency, Soop Entertainment, the 34-year-old actress will play the main female character in "Educating Rita." That character is a woman who is dissatisfied with her life and takes a class in literature. The man who teaches the class is a middle-aged alcoholic who is also disenchanted with life. The class will turn out to be about more than just educating Rita. The interactions between teacher and student ultimately change both their lives. She is impressed with the wider world he introduces her to. He is impressed with her fresh approach to life. Eventually the two are empowered to move on in a new direction.

The British play was written for two actors and was also made into a 1983 film, starring Michael Caine and Julie Waters.

In the Korean stage production, Jeon Mu Song will play the alcoholic teacher Jeon Mu Song can currently be seen in the hit film, "My Love, My Bride" and his last drama role was in "A Tale Of Two Sisters."

Gong Hyo Jin will share the leading role with another actress who also happens to be her good friend. She will alternate performances of the play with actress Kang Hye Jung, last seen in the drama special "Lump in My Life" and the 2014 film "Hill of Freedom."

The play begins its run in December and will run for about 10 months.

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