Krystal Jung has a can-do attitude. I noticed this when I had the pleasure of meeting her on set earlier in the year, when we were shooting a video for a beauty brand. The concept required her to guess the origins of different scents—a task she embraced with verve and gusto. Had it not been for her spirited enthusiasm, I’m inclined to believe that the shoot might not have gone as well as it did.
That same fervour applies to how she approaches her career, facing scripts head-on and wilfully venturing out of her comfort zone. At just 29 years old, Jung’s filmography is a behemoth of its own; ranging from light-hearted romances to spunky action thrillers. In the last few years, her spirited approach to life has also caught the eye of American luxury fashion brand Ralph Lauren, earning her the title of global ambassador. It just might be her starring role in acclaimed director Kim Jee-woon’s black comedy film Cobweb, however, that catapults her name to even greater heights.
In Cobweb, Jung plays the unabashed Han Yu-rim, a rising actor in the South Korean entertainment industry in the ’70s, who shows a passion akin to Jung’s own for her acting career. With veteran industry names Song Kang-ho and Oh Jung-se in its cast, the film premiered at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, where it received a 10-minute standing ovation as the credits rolled. For her red carpet appearance, Jung donned a glamorous gown and looked every bit the part of her Cobweb character—a reminder of her commitment to transforming into her on-screen roles.
“I’m open to anything that can take my acting to the next level, so if I feel I can nail it, I’ll go for it.”
When it comes to choosing her next script, Jung prefers roles that are fresh and challenging as she believes they will develop her career as an actor. At press time, Cobweb has hit cinemas worldwide and Jung has just stepped off the Busan International Film Festival red carpet. As the radiant beauty and effervescent actor sits on the cusp of bigger things to come, she opens up to Vogue Singapore about her role in Cobweb, her relationship with Ralph Lauren and what’s next.
What was it like attending this year’s Cannes Film Festival?
It was a dream come true. It was such an honour to be there with my Cobweb team and I was so grateful. The funny thing is that I couldn’t decide on the final look until the day of the red carpet, so I packed three dresses with me. That pink satin gown from Ralph Lauren was my final choice because I wanted to convey that classic, old Hollywood vibe.
Tell us about auditioning for the role of Han Yoo-rim in Cobweb.
The moment I read the script, I knew that I wanted to be a part of it. Everything about it was so attractive; it didn’t matter what role or how many lines I had. The fact that I got the opportunity to work with director Kim Jee-woon and some of the most respected actors in the industry was a blessing in itself. I remember texting director Kim Jee-woon about how I really wanted the role and was certain I would have a lot of fun with it. It was something I had not done before, so I didn’t want to miss out on it.
What were the most challenging things about filming Cobweb?
I had to learn the acting style of the 1970s—everything from the accents to the body gestures. I even had a coach who helped me with the accents and I researched ’70s movie clips. Certain scenes involved some stunts which were pretty exhausting but overall, I enjoyed playing the role of Han Yoo-rim.
You tend to experiment with different genres and roles. What do you want to challenge yourself with next?
There is no specific role or genre I want to try next. I’m open to anything that can take my acting to the next level, so if I feel I can nail it, I’ll go for it.
You’ve lived and travelled to many cities around the world. How would you say your travels have inspired your personal sense of style?
Whenever I’m travelling, I love having nights out, enjoying outdoor activities in the day and just making the most of my trip. I always pack a range of outfits and try to find the best looks for various occasions. Travelling around the world has shaped my ability to plan ahead and think about how to look good for special occasions.
Describe Ralph Lauren in your own words. How does the brand’s aesthetic resonate with your own?
Classic and timeless. Since I was young, I have preferred clothes that are simple and elegant. My mother has Ralph Lauren pieces from over 20 years ago and the pieces are still in excellent shape today. I wear some of her vintage jackets quite often. Working with Ralph Lauren means a lot to me. It’s a brand that has been close to me since my childhood years and now that I have the opportunity to wear all these beautiful dresses from the house’s archives, it’s been an absolutely wonderful experience.
Our theme for our November issue is ‘Play’. When do you think you are the most fun-loving as a person?
I’m such an introvert that it takes me a while to get to know others. But I’m the type of girl who’s fun and playful when I’m around people I’m comfortable with. The shoot for Vogue Singapore was such a fun environment for me to work in because I was surrounded by people I’ve been working with for a long time and I know very well.
I’m open to all possibilities. It could be another film, another drama series or even an album, who knows?
Photography Hyeawon Kang
Styling Jibin Yun
Make-up Oh Ka Young
Hair Kyung Min Jung
Producer Sooh Hwang
Pre-order your copy of the November ‘Play’ issue of Vogue Singapore online or pick it up on newsstands from 10 November 2023.