Minha Kim recalls the moment she found out she got the coveted role of Sunja in the AppleTV series + Pachinko like it was yesterday. Technically, that was two years ago, but she got the call near her birthdate after four long months of interviews and hard work for interviews and chemistry readings. “Obviously, it was like a birthday present for me,” she said as she smiled during the FaceTime call. But the funny thing is that Kim appeared calm and surprisingly attractive when she received news of a career change. “Aren’t you happy?!” casting agent asked.
Looking back, Kim admits she was a bit shocked about the whole thing. Yes, she was happy, but she almost prepared herself not to get the role. The actress was still a relative newcomer in Korea when she was approached by a local casting agent about auditioning for the film. It will be a huge opportunity and her first project in the United States. The series is an adaptation of Min Jin Lee’s 2017 best-selling novel Pachinko, a sweeping historical tale of epic scope — a 20th-century family’s journey across four generations across Korea, Japan, and the United States — but with an intimate tone. It’s a beautiful story of love, loss, and triumph, focusing on the trials and tribulations of the matriarch of the family, Sunja. After reading the first script, Kim bought the book and read it overnight.