The Korea Herald


[Herald Interview] Ra Mi-ran feels she could not ask for more from 'The Good Bad Mother'

While grateful for the drama’s popularity, Ra Mi-ran tries not to dwell too much on her latest success

By Lee Si-jin

Published : June 11, 2023 - 14:27

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Ra Mi-ran (CJeS Studios) Ra Mi-ran (CJeS Studios)

When veteran actress Ra Mi-ran walked in for an interview with a group of local reporters at a cafe in Gangnam-gu, southern Seoul on Thursday, the traces of her latest character, Jin Young-soon, were long gone.

Sporting a platinum blonde hairstyle for her upcoming project and speaking in a low tone, she appeared to have metamorphosed from her role as the rural pig farmer and single mother of “The Good Bad Mother.”

The actress, who has starred in more than 60 projects -- including musicals, dramas and movies -- shared that she usually does not feel it difficult to let go of her previous roles and works.

“The Good Bad Mother,” however, was a little different, Ra said.

“The series deeply delves into the life of my character. I think it is natural for anyone to be drawn into a character with an amazing story like that of Young-soon,” Ra said.

“The drama also sends a great message about maternal love and presents fascinating characters each with their own charms. It is a very rare chance to be part of a splendid project like ‘The Good Bad Mother.’ I would have begged to be given a part in the series. Everything about the series simply captured my heart,” she added.

Though Ra initially felt that poetic justice was an old, outdated format in dramas, she became confident of her ability to win viewers’ hearts after realizing how the stories would be delivered to the audience.

“‘The Good Bad Mother’ is not necessarily focused on a specific character. It is a well-balanced series between the lead role’s stories and the supporting characters’ subplots. As the individual plots led the viewers to the major storyline in the final episode, I got goosebumps,” said the actress.

While studying her character, Ra sympathized with Young-soon but never had a chance to understand her completely.

“I would not raise a child like Young-soon did. But, who am I to judge her? I have never experienced any tragedy like Young-soon did. I think she had no choice but to become a cruel mother. Her actions were desperate,” Ra said.

Ra Mi-ran plays Young-soon in Ra Mi-ran plays Young-soon in "The Good Bad Mother." (DramaHouse, SLL, Film Monster)

After losing her dreams, parents, brother and husband, Young-soon was diagnosed with stomach cancer, while taking care of Choi Kang-ho, her only son whom she had raised be a successful and powerful prosecutor, but who later experiences a tragic accident, leaving him with the brain of a 7-year-old child.

“I asked the screenwriter to minimize the scenes of Young-soon suffering from cancer. It was very hard to watch Young-soon going through great pain after overcoming so many hardships in her life. I think I was really immersed in my character,” Ra explained.

“She was a strong, independent woman. I wished for Young-soon to rest in peace,” she said.

Ra agreed that some might say Young-soon had a miserable life. But, because she was surrounded by the bright, heartwarming neighbors of Jou-ri village, the actress believed that her character lived a rather happy life.

“The scenes with the people in Jou-ri village were so precious. They were lovely characters. It’s a shame to move out from our home in Jou-ri. We had a great time,” the actress added, reminiscing about “The Good Bad Mother.”

When asked what kind of mother she is in real life, Ra revealed that she is a little different from many Korean mothers, who typically sacrifice a lot.

“I tried not to barge in on my son's life. I told him that he should be the one responsible for his life. If I were to raise my child like Oh Eun-young suggests, I would never have my own life,” the actress laughed.

Oh Eun-young is a popular child psychiatrist, who is considered a top inspiration for first-time parents and adults, offering her deep understanding of child care, child behavior and education.

While "The Good Bad Mother" experienced local and global popularity, Ra shared that she plans not to dwell too much on her latest drama success.

“Nothing has really changed for me. I am not a type of person who feels a great responsibility because I took a lead role, or who performs half-heartedly as a supporting (or less important) character,” Ra said.

“I am grateful for the viewers' love and support, but I have to move on. I am an actress who can adapt to versatile roles. I will just work hard,” Ra said.

“And I want to enjoy the spotlight at this year's Blue Dragon Film Award, once again!” the actress added with a big smile on her face.

The 14-part series, which came to an end on Thursday, is ranked No. 8 on global Netflix’s global top 10 chart as of Friday.

“The Good Bad Mother” is available on Tving and Netflix.