Which word have you been saying the most lately?
Hm… It’s “hm”. I keep saying “hm” before I speak. When I’m doing an interview, if I’m asked a hard question, I keep saying “hm”, “err”.
Things get complicated in your head before you speak?
Hm… Looks like it. Hm… Also, I must speak well so the other person can understand exactly what I think and what I want to express. So it’s like doing some filtering in my head first? I think I organize my thoughts.
So you must hear a lot that you’re like an adult?
I think I hear a lot “you think a lot”, “you seem to have deep thoughts”. However, I’m not sure about saying that I’m like an adult. I think that it might be because I lived with my grandmother and my grandfather. I grew up looking at them, so the things I say, the way I act, the things I like… How can I put it? That make me look a bit uptight?
Do you think like an adult?
Hm… I don’t know how adults think, so I don’t know how I can compare my thoughts to their thoughts…
When do you think people start being an adult?
Hm… When they want to go back to the days when they were kids? Right now, school is hard, studying is hard for students, so they want to grow up fast. However, I think that when you’re actually an adult, you also experience a lot of hardships that will make you think “Ah, I want to go back to school”. I think this is when you have this thought that you’re an adult.
Haha. What do you think you’ll miss from your school days?
When I eat lunch, I’m like “Ah, I’m happy”. I start getting really really hungry starting from the third period because there’s no cafeteria in my school. During the 4th period, I can think about nothing else but the food service. This anxiety of waiting for food service isn’t something that will disappear when I’m an adult. So I’m a bit worried about when I will no longer have things like that.
School must have a different meaning for you than the meaning it has for your friends, right?
First of all, my dream is set now, I found my dream, so I want to study more things related to that. That’s why I’m not really stressed by my studies and when I have the time, in my spare time… When I look at my friends, they don’t know which way they want to go, so they do this and that. Seeing this makes me feel that it must be hard to go through this. When I’m having a hard time because I’m acting as well as going to school, I always think that things must be harder for my friends who are going to private academies as well as going to school.
Have you already cried on a set?
When I was 9-10, I would be grumpy and complain to my mum because I’d be sleepy? Except for acting and situations like this, I don’t think I’ve ever cried. Ah, if I can’t go to school because I have something to do and my friends go to a camp or on a field trip and I can’t go with them. When this happened on a day I had to be on the set, I was so upset that I cried a lot. It’s just that I was a little bit sad.
Have you already been scolded so hard that you got scared?
Hm… Until now, I have never been scolded like…. Ah, when I shot my first movie “A Brand New Life”. I experienced this kind of atmosphere when the director was talking with a scowl on his face to urge me in a very serious tone to do something. It was a foreign director, so the script person had to play the interpreter, but this person didn’t translate that part to me. Hehe.
From “A Girl At My Door” to “Manshin: Ten Thousands Spirits”, you will be in three movies released this year. When you’re in a meeting with a director, what do you try to show as an actress?
I just show who I am. If the director decides that I don’t match the role or the situation, that means this project isn’t for me.
Do you sometimes niptick with yourself about if you match a role or not?
“I match or don’t match”, I don’t see it like that. I’m still young and I must go through various experiences, so I think I can do any role I receive, I can express everything. More than me being too young, this job isn’t about saying this job matches me or it doesn’t. It doesn’t matter which role I’m given, I think that I must become this person [= character] so the viewers can be entertained.
Park Chan Kyung who directed “Manshin: Ten Thousands Spirits” said that your acting is instinctive and pure and you don’t calculate, you don’t imitate. What do you think of your acting?
Hm… Most of my roles were for movies and I only played dark characters, so it was essentially an acting of the introvert kind. Until now, I only had to say lines with just a few words, I never really had a role with a lot of lines. So since I’ve never really had to play a bright and talkative kid, I wonder if this isn’t what I should practice the most.
Isn’t it hard to play rough characters and tough scenes?
When I’m shooting a movie, I instantly become the character and I act. When I’m done shooting, I go back to my normal self. That’s because what happens to the character stops eventually, what happens to me is my life.
Do you feel burdened or a sense of responsibility as a lead character?
I leave the box-office or calculative thinking to my guardians or other adults. The thing I worry about is first and foremost being immersed in my character.
Time goes by, have you ever thought about which image an actress can have?
Hm… Ah… That is…
Like wearing fancy dresses…
No. I’ve never thought about that. If you want to talk about what I’m imagining now, I think I will be kind of tall. My face… I just think that it will probably keep this cross shape like a mannequin.
You don’t picture your face?
I don’t. I shouldn’t try to. Everday, like when I go to school and I see myself in the bathroom’s mirror, I don’t know if my face is changing, but when I look at pictures taken a few months before, I see how it’s completely different. That’s why I can’t imagine how I will look like. I thought I’d always be exactly the same. It’s like when my hair grows and it feels like it’s long when I go “why longer? let’s stay like this~~”. It’s amazing how you realize at some point that your hair is actually long, your face changes, you get taller.
And when more time passes, it’s hard to know if you’ll have to deal with more gossips and rumors.
I don’t think deeply about this stuff. I just enjoy what I have now and I must move forward through the situations that make things interesting for me. If I keep crying and going through a hard time, if things start being complicated in my mind, I’ll just start hating everything. If I get to shoot a variety program when I’m older, I think shooting “Healing Camp” will be a great experience. Seeing how they talk about their own experiences really seems to bring healing. We can relate to them and communicate, you know?
[t/n: Back in February, she was involved in a controversy. You can read it here]
Is there something that we get wrong about you?
Because I make a strong first impression and I’m very shy, people think “she’s really not talkative, she seems scary, she isn’t all that”. So when they actually get to kno me a little bit better, they say I’m completely different because they see I’m a bright person. I want people to know that I’m not a gloomy person. I’m not this kind of kid, it’s just the characters you see me play.
What do you do when you’re alone in your room these days?
I like scented candles. I real-ly like them. What I really like is when my room is lit up just by one candle and a yellow light. It’s so cozy. Then there’s the smell and the crackling sound… You know that sound the wick of the candle makes.
Day or night, which one do you like better?
Day, but I like summer nights. When the weather is cold and the night comes, there’s just this scary chilly atmosphere. My mood becomes gloomy at night. So I think a lot about how time is very short these days. There are times when I want to do things in the way at the fullest, things like my studies. There are times I want to learn how to play the guitar, and when I’m in moments like this, I feel like it’s a bit unfortunate. Instead of having longer days, it would be better if there were actually more days.
What do you like the best? Cats or puppies?
I like cats. I think there’s a lot to do to take care of a puppy. Everyone in my family is busy, so I’d be sorry for that puppy which could have met a better owner or I’ll worry and wonder if I can treat this dog better. Cats know how to handle themselves. There’s nothing really difficult to do. A cat’s presence can be big in a home and I like that.
Are you like a cat or like a puppy? Hm… Puppy! I have bright personality and I like sticking to people like glue. I’m not chic.
What will you do if your aspire to another dream?
I don’t think it will happen. Maybe, if I had been forced to do what I’ve been doing until now… Doing this and going through hard times, not being able to sleep, yes, I could have stopped, but I’m still doing it because I like it. It’s fun. Even when I’m done, I keep thinking about it. Acting is really a great thing. Looking at the outcome when I work hard at something, the reward for my efforts, things like that are interesting.
Original article: @GQ