by Dojemi10, April 18, 2021

The Way Home's Kim Eul Boon passed away yesterday morning [April 17th] due to old age. She was 95 years old. 

Kim Eul Boon was seen farming at a mountain village in Yeongdong County, North Chungcheong Province, South Korea, when she was scouted by director Lee Jeong Hyang to play the lead role of the stoic, heroic speech-impaired grandmother in the 2002 movie "The Way Home."  At first, the then 77-year-old grandmother refused, but the film crew managed to convince her to take on the role after the director persuaded her family.

At the time of the casting, villager and non-actress Kim Eul Boon had no training nor acting experience. It was also revealed that she had never before seen a film. 

After the film's release, it was reported that director Lee Jeong Hyang visited her every autumn season. The director shared that Kim Eul Boon became more interested in movies. When she would visit, the director would oftentimes bring an actor or staff member who wanted to meet the beloved grandmother, Kim Eul Boon then would jokingly say, "The director changes her boyfriends often!"

Seung Ho: Hello grandmother, you can’t recognize me right? Let me take off my glasses too. Grandmother, it’s me Sang Woo (Sang Woo was the name of the character for the movie THE WAY HOME)

The person in the background: Seung Ho is in the 2nd year of middle school.

By the way the music in the background is Across the Universe by THE BEATLES. 

In the Text is says…”The 7 year old boy from the movie has grown this much”

Seung Ho: When we were filming THE WAY HOME, I think I was very happy then. Grandma really thought of me as her real grandson.  When You see me in the movie, I am like so mean to my grandma and even insulted her. In the last part of the movie she really cried you know and at the time I was really sad too but I didn’t cry though. I didn’t cry because I thought she would become even more sad. 

The Text: For 7 months there was happiness because of grandma

Seung Ho: Grandma, you really miss me right? I really really miss you a lot too grandma. I am taller now too and also I became stronger as well, so, when I visit you at your house then I will give you a piggy back ride and also try my best to make you happy. Until I go visit you, please stay healthy okay? Grandma, I love you! (Oh man, that smile again, even when he was geeky he had that smile that nobody can imitate.)

Grandmother: Thank You kid. (I guess she was watching his message on television in her room)

Interviewer: How do you feel after watching that?

Grandmother: Of course, I feel very good. I wonder if I will be alive until he gets married. Please come and visit me okay? 

Narrator: It was the happiest point in grandma’s life.

In 2008, Kim Eul Boon reunited with Yoo Seung Ho again after six years. In MBC's "Never Ending Story" Kim Eul Boon said, "Thank you" towards Yoo Seung Ho, who grew up very well. Yoo Seung Ho also asked, "I'm planning to get married late, but I hope my grandmother will come to me when I get married."

Many critics praised the style of the movie as well as the acting of the inexperienced Kim Eul Boon, who was nominated for the Best New Actress Award at the 2002 Grand Bell Awards, where "The Way Home" won the Best Film and Best Screenplay. The movie was also nominated for Best Asian Film at the 22nd Hong Kong Film Awards, but lost to the 2001 film "My Sassy Girl." 

Our deepest condolences go out to Kim Eul Boon's family and friends.