2009 New Actress Discovery: Moon Chae Won

I started this post over a month ago and only published it now, partly because of my vacation and hectic schedule, partly because this post is just as much about MCW as it is about my viewing sentiments.

After over two decades of Asian entertainment viewing, I’ve developed a certain sensitivity to “potentials,” or more aptly put, a gut feeling about actors/productions. Moon Chae Won first popped onto my radar when Brilliant Legacy, or Shining Inheritance, starting airing in Korea. I was instantly turned off when what seemed like a 10-minute, cliched, korea-has-no-police-no-cameras-nor-traffic-laws, car-chase scene by the 2 leads appeared in the drama. But Moon Chae Won’s, whom I did not know her name at the time, pensive and soulful eyes caught my attention. I remember thinking, “who is this actress?” and feeling the urge to look her up…but the lack of intrigue from the 2 lead characters/actors, other entertainment, and life threw me off that train of thought.

 Credit: dramailuvu

It wasn’t until My Fair Lady that I rediscovered her and officially researched her repertoire to have an extensive understanding of the actress and person, Moon Chae Won. Perhaps its because I’m innately fickle, so I adore actors who diversify their roles and works. Having seen glimpses of MCW’s previous character, I knew MFL‘s role was a contrasting one. But a strong contrast in roles does not make a good actress – it depends entirely on the successful embodiment of that character – and Eui Joo of MFL was a refreshing, creative, witty portrayal. That character became my focal point of the entire drama. And yes, I did make comparisons, as reluctant as I was to MFL’s leading actress, YEH. But before I go any further I must express a few sentiments.

I believe:

  1. natural talent is just as important as hard-working perseverance.
  2. instantaneous grasp of a role/character is more inspiring and creditable.
  3. instantaneous acting chemistry between actors is more awe-inducing and laudable.
  4. creative, original, and/or unique acting mannerisms or dialogue expression attests to an actor’s talent, whether natural or learned.
  5. actors who can successfully switch from one vastly different role to another and maintain equal if not greater charm than his/her previously successful role(s) is worthy of acclaim.

Therefore, I am not easily impressed with actors who take a long time to embody a character, achieve chemistry with their co-stars, develop character charm in front of the camera, or switch to a new, entirely different role. What construe as “a long time?” It depends. But I seem to applaud a performance and become passionate about a particular portrayal/character within the first 10 minutes of onscreen appearance, and an actor within the first several works I’ve seen. I attribute my quick assessment to having watched too many movies/dramas for my own good and knowing myself well, that it only takes me a relatively short time to know whether a) I’ll love the acting portrayal b) I’ll love the production c) I’ll want to watch it at that particular time d) it’ll be enjoyment, enlightenment, or both that I’ll be getting from watching.

That said, it may be due to the lack of immediate embodiment of characters and chemistry between the other leads of the drama that made MCW’s EJ more attractive, innovative, and inspiring to me. So I moved onto another MCW work, Painter of the Wind, a drama I’ve been meaning to watch because of my great liking for Moon Geun Young. Needless to say, I was again impressed that MCW was able to hold her own and have such amazing chemistry, with another female no less, in the first major drama work of her career.

I haven’t had the desire nor opportunity to go back and watch Brilliant Legacy, but the many proclamations of Chae Won’s acting in this drama, and the below MV, has lulled me to attempt this somewhat daunting task.

Brilliant Legacy – Moon Chae Won and Lee Seung Gi

MV Song: Lost Without Your Love

Singer: Amy Pearson

Credit: beolacuatui

Regardless of whether I do watch BL or not, Moon Chae Won is one of my biggest discoveries this year, and I am definitely going to keep my eye on this astute and talented actress.

Having discovered Amy Pearson with her song, Now and For Always, from the wonderful days of We Got Married – Season 1, I have provided her marvelous debut album, Who I Am, at J-Box.


6 Responses

  1. Hi Kgirl! Came along to browse your site… and totally agree! I loved Moon Chae-won in MFL. Hmmm I wasn’t so into Brilliant Legacy so I stopped watching it, though I did think she acted well. But when I saw her in MFL, I was in love. She’s so spunky–kind of like our girl Lee Min-jung in Smile 🙂

    • soyjoy! *hugs* I’m thrilled we share similar taste in actresses and onscreen charisma. Check your email. ^_*

  2. I wish she’ll take a leading role soon.
    I love her in BL, though her role supposed to be the ‘evil’ one
    I sympathized her so much that I don’t think I like the lead couple at all.
    I haven’t watch MFL, but since reading this post and soyjoy’s comment about her role’s similiar to our Seo Jung-in, gonna give it a try.
    *run offs to download*
    By the way, I really enjoy reading your post over at Smile, You soompi thread.

    • I am also highly anticipating Chae Won’s new project and hopefully leading role. Yes, EJ does have some similarities with JI – spunky and charismatic.

      Thank you ^_^ I need to do some posts on Smile You, if only I’m not so preoccupied with watching Soo-In. lols.

  3. Sigh, after watching this MV, I feel like I should have mentioned Shining Inheritance in my year-end reviews…

    I’m of such mixed minds though. I never really got into Shining Inheritance because it felt so formulaic in my mind…. maybe I should give it a re-watch. What a wonderful MV though.

    *wave* kgrl!

  4. i really impressed her since she acting on Painter of the wind series…she’s a great actress in any role…hope she’s going to be a leading lady in any Korean movie or drama very soon
    encourage mcw/honestly

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