Restrictions designed to minimize the spread of COVID-19 have resulted in people spending more time at home, sometimes binge-watching fun escapist TV fare, such as the Korean drama Crash Landing On You. The drama stars actress Son Ye-jin as a South Korean heiress who accidentally lands in North Korea and falls for a North Korean officer, played by Hyun Bin. The drama was filmed before the pandemic prompted cancellations and quarantines. Since then Son, like most people, has spent more time than usual at home.
“I realize that I really like traveling,” said Son. “Seeing how frustrated I feel when I can’t go. Traveling to Africa is one of my bucket list destinations. I miss friends living abroad the most.”
The pandemic curtailed work-related travel, including fan events.
“It’s true that I’m worried about a lot of people gathering,” said Son. “I also canceled some filming schedules when the coronavirus first started.
Son was set to travel to the Philippines to participate in an advertising campaign for Smart Signature mobile services, but the pandemic forced her to film the campaign closer to home. The actress regrets missing a chance to visit the Philippines and meeting her fans there.
The Smart Signature ad, eventually filmed in Korea, shows Son riding a gleaming motorcycle and promoting the mobile services in polished English. Filming the ad took all night, but Son describes the experience warmly.
“The staff clapped for me at the end of each cut, so it was funny and I felt energized,” said Son. “We took it until dawn, but it was less tiring.”
Son is using her extra time indoors wisely, keeping up with her regular workouts, while trying to eat healthy. Relaxing is another important way to recharge, and the star of some binge-worthy k-dramas also enjoys the occasional entertainment marathon.
“I sometimes watch Netflix,” said Son. “I tend to binge-watch. All I need is a sofa and a TV on my day off. And also my smartphone.”
Son relies on her phone not only to stay connected during a time of social distancing, but as a way to update her skills.
“I use the camera app a lot,” said Son. “Also, I am using apps when I drive, to listen to music, and study English.”
Even if fans can identify with the way Son spends her down time, it might be hard to convince them that she is, as she insists, quite ordinary. Her most recent drama, Crash Landing On You, is the third-highest rated drama in Korean cable television history and because the tvN drama aired internationally on Netflix, Son attracted an even wider fan base.
“I never think of myself as an international or global actor,” she said. “I’m so amazed and grateful that Crash Landing On You has created a lot of international fans.”
Son was already a star before Crash Landing On You, previously appearing in the dramas Something In The Rain with Jung Hae-in, Don’t Look Back: The Legend of Orpheus with Kim Nam-gil and Personal Taste with Lee Min-ho. She can also be seen in the recent films Be With You with So Ji-sub, The Negotiation, also with Hyun Bin, and The Last Princess with Park Hae Il.
The actress is thankful for her fans’ ongoing support.
“Your support gives me so much strength, and I always thank you,” said Son. “Thank you for sending me so many letters, flowers, cakes, gifts, and many more and I will surely repay you with a good project!”
This article was originally published on forbes.com.