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International Celebrity Son Ye Jin Has Stayed Simple and Authentic Throughout Her Career

Her drive and humility made her the perfect ambassador for this local campaign.

Oct 27, 2020

"In front of the camera, I’m always in character with the given role so I tend to stick to it. But behind the camera, I think I’m just ordinary."—Son Ye Jin

No true blue K-drama fan is unfamiliar with the work of Son Ye Jin. Her 20-year career has blessed our screens with TV and movie gems like The Classic, Summer Scent, Something in the Rain, and international hit Crash Landing On You. Not only is she a talented actor as evidenced by her many awards, but she’s also one of our favorite Korean style icons.

Photo courtesy of Smart Signature

Son Ye Jin, the A-List Actress

Ye Jin made her debut as an actress when she was just 18 in a movie titled Secret Tears that was released in the year 2000. From then on, she tirelessly jumped from project to project, making the most of every opportunity that came her way.

It’s this eagerness and drive to excel that led her colleagues to tease her for working as hard as a farm animal. During a panel interview at the 2016 Busan International Film Festival, she shared that colleagues would tease and call her “So Ye Jin,” “so” meaning cow in Korean. But this only flattered the actress who prizes professionalism and hard work above all.

Ye Jin quickly earned a reputation for playing lead roles in romance-dramas. But not one to be type casted, she took on diverse roles that veered away from her established image. Those who’ve seen her in The Art of Seduction, Open City, and My Wife Got Married can attest to the actress’ range and flexibility.

It was her work for the latter that ultimately led Ye Jin to win her first Blue Dragon Film Best Leading Actress award. Of course, she would go on to bag numerous acting awards from other prestigious organizations, such as the Baeksang Arts Awards and Grand Bell Awards, not to mention awards she had received for popularity and style.

Photo courtesy of Smart Signature

But even Ye Jin could not have foreseen the global fame that came when she crash-landed on our screens as Yoon Se Ri in Crash Landing On You. Addressing her fans in an interview, she shared, “I’m so amazed and grateful that Crash Landing On You has created a lot of international fans. Your support gives me so much strength, and I’m always grateful. Thank you for sending me so many letters, flowers, cakes, gifts, and many more. I will surely repay you with another good project!”

The Superstar is All of Us

It’s hard to imagine how someone who has top-billed so many dramas and films, as well as graced magazine covers could manage to stay down-to-earth, but it’s surprisingly the case with Ye Jin. When asked how she keeps herself grounded, the actress says she doesn’t even consider herself a global star. “There’s really nothing special about me. In front of the camera, I’m always in character with the given role so I tend to stick to it. But behind the camera, I think I’m just ordinary.”

Away from the spotlight as filming schedules have been pushed back because of the global pandemic, the Hallyu star shares that she’s been spending more time at home. Unable to travel and see her friends, she says the one thing she’s realized about herself during this time is how much she misses being on the road. “I now see how frustrated I feel when I can’t go anywhere to travel. I miss friends living abroad the most.”

Photo courtesy of Smart Signature

Given the situation, Ye Jin is enjoying her downtime at home binge-watching her favorite shows. The Korean celebrity perfectly captured our collective quarantine mood when she said, “All I need is a sofa and a TV on my day off. And also my smartphone.”

Did the pandemic change her digital routine? She admits that she has been spending much more time on her phone. The actress claims that she uses her camera app a lot and that she relies on her connection to listen to music and study English.

A Smart Match

It is this humility in light of her many accomplishments that caught the particular attention of Smart Communications President and CEO Alfred Panlilio, who thought her image fitting for the telecom giant’s new campaign. “She’s composed, very empowered, confident, and at the same time, she’s also very simple and genuine. The brand promise of ‘Simple. Smart ako.’ fits her very well,” says Panlilio, who’s had the chance to meet and chat with the actress via Zoom.

A few months after Smart launched its ‘Simple, Smart Ako’ campaign in May featuring her CLOY leading man, we saw Ye Jin join the Smart family as the new ambassador for Smart Signature. And as Smart Signature is the telecom’s postpaid plan designed to help go-getters like Ye Jin achieve their goals, it couldn’t have been a better match.

In stark contrast with her trademark sweet and demure image, the TVC had her boldly zipping across the cityscape at night riding a Ducati, clad in a leather jacket and knee-high boots. It reflects the other side of Ye Jin that people don’t usually notice—strong, determined, and out to conquer the world.

A True Professional

While filming during normal times can get challenging enough, it’s an entirely different experience shooting a commercial online. Smart’s Senior Vice President for Consumer Wireless Business Jane Basas explains that the whole thing was done via Zoom and supervised by international partners. “You know, we wanted to be there physically, but we’d take this anytime,” she quips.

Given the language barrier and the technical difficulties that usually come with online coordination, Ye Jin admits that she initially worried about communication. But ever the professional, she strived to make the best of the situation and dazzled everyone with her performance.

“It was so much fun. The staff clapped for me at the end of each cut—it was funny and I felt energized. The shoot lasted until dawn, but it was less tiring,” the actress shared.

Photo courtesy of Smart Signature

The shoot took place in July, but Basas shares that Ye Jin asked for a copy of the script two weeks in advance. “She wanted to see if she could actually deliver 100 percent of the English speaking lines by herself, so we had prepared two storyboards: One with a voiceover and another one where she had to deliver it completely on her own. We were just so ecstatic when she said, ‘I’ll do this.’”

In between takes, Ye Jin would take the time to chat with the team. Talking about her warm personality off cam, Smart’s CEO shares, “She’s very simple. She doesn’t seem to know that she’s popular, she’s very humble. She really spent time with us and she would have talked with us longer online if we wanted to, but we knew she was in the middle of a shoot so we actually had to let her go. At the end of the shoot, even Jane remarked, ‘She’s so nice!’”

So what’s the one thing Ye Jin wished she could have done differently for the shoot? The celebrity only had this to say: “I felt sad that I didn’t get to do the shoot in the Philippines.” Despite this, she adds that she was thankful to have worked with Smart albeit virtually and that she looks forward to visiting the Philippines and meeting her fans once circumstances are better and safer for all.

Photo courtesy of Smart Signature

True enough, Ye Jin proves that the first step to success is having the right attitude. Simplicity and humility go a long way when combined with the determination to get things done.

The same can be said for Smart, as the brand strives to stay on top of the game while keeping service at the heart of everything it does. In this regard, the telecom’s postpaid plan, Smart Signature, hopes to help Filipinos reach their goals amid the challenges of the new normal by simplifying the postpaid experience. Smart Signature offers huge data allocation that lets subscribers access the internet anytime they want for anything they need. Moreover, usage, billing, and payment are made simple and straightforward using the Smart GigaLife App, available in both Google Play and App Store.

Smart also rolled out its 5G network to strategic sites across the country, paving the way for the next evolution of wireless communication.

With Smart Signature, Filipino goal-slayers are empowered to not just binge their favorite K-drama and content, but to ultimately upgrade their digital lifestyles and achieve their goals like Ye Jin.

Visit Smart Communications’ website and follow Smart on Facebook for more details.

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