Suzy sees striking similarity between herself, Netflix series ‘Doona!’ character

SEOUL, - Lee Doo-na, the protagonist of the Netflix series "Doona!," longs for an ordinary life, like stopping by a convenience store for a pack of cigarettes without having to cover up with a face mask or a baseball cap.

Singer-actress Suzy, who plays the titular character in the nine-episode series, said she was taken aback by the similarity between Doo-na, a K-pop idol in hiding, and herself, a former member of the now-disbanded girl group Miss A.

"I felt as if I was hit in the stomach when I read the scene in the script. Her (Doo-na's) situation was so similar to mine," Suzy said during an interview with a group of reporters in Seoul on Thursday.

In the convenience store scene, Doo-na, who abruptly quit idol group Dream Sweet under mysterious circumstances, becomes paranoid and jumpy when she hears camera shutter sounds, only to learn that the man behind her is only doing his own business.

Drawing on her own experience as a K-pop idol, she said she made a number of suggestions to director Lee Jung-hyo who is known for the popular TV series "Crash Landing on You," "Romance is a Bonus Book" and the Korean remake of popular British television series "Life on Mars."

For example, she suggested the store owner be changed to an old man, rather than a young guy, believing the last thing Doo-na would want is people recognizing her and gossiping about her.

"Doo-na would not go to a store run by a young guy for a pack of cigarette in the first place," Suzy said.

The director took extra care to make sure she immersed herself in her character, she said, helping her fully portray Doo-na's various, delicate emotional states.

"I've never worked with a director who had as many questions as he did. A good question is sometimes a good answer by itself," she said. "Whenever I was asked a question, it helped me understand and express Doo-na's emotions."

Based on the popular webtoon "The Girl Downstairs," the series follows the budding relationship between Doo-na and Lee Won-jun, played by "Temperature of Love" actor Yang Se-jong, as they befriend each other and spend more time together as housemates.

Reflecting upon her life as a K-pop idol, Suzy said she tended to "brush off" the difficulties and pressure she felt, and "distract" herself from any nagging thoughts.

"At that time, I did not even realize I was having a rough time," she said. "Some might think I was running away, but what I was really doing was trying not to get carried away by my own thoughts. I tried to focus on something else."

The 29-year-old, who debuted in 2010, said she always dreams about getting retired, but admitted that she does not have any concrete plans for after leaving the limelight.

"I am always saying to myself I can quit this business at any time, so my current project could be my very last," she said. "The thoughts actually motivates me to try my best at every moment."

Source: Yonhap News Agency