Kim Hee Ae cried. During the press conference for “Elegant Lies”, it was her first time watching the movie she did and she cried to the point she couldn’t say a word in front of the reporters. “Actress” Kim Hee Ae, “Mom” Kim Hee Ae, that was the reason behind her tears.
“I’m alone whenever I monitor myself. Watching my acting is a distressing and painful moment. When I must watch it again, I can do it alone if it’s a drama, but there are a lot of people around you when it’s a movie. I was so focused on my acting that I couldn’t see anything else, so it was hard for me to watch from the viewer’s point of view and it seemed that a storm came out.”
This year, Kim Hee Ae is celebrating her 31th anniversary since her debut when she was 16. In “Elegant Lies”, she worked with Kim Hyang Ki, Kim Yoo Jung and Go Ah Sung who are at this age or passed through this age. “The kids greeted me brightly when we were on set. When it was time to work, they stayed perfectly focused, so I was very thankful for the acting they show and I felt this emotion through the audience’s point of view. They’re the same age as my own children. My kids are really kids. They’re childish and babies who are taller than me. Although they’re the same age, the girls could control their emotions through their acting, should I say this was something touching and to be proud of?
Because she debuted at a young age, Kim Hee Ae thought that debuting in the entertainment industry at a young age wasn’t a good thing. Her concern was that leaving behind the things you must do with your peers and experiencing the adult world could cause depression. However, while working on “Elegant Lies”, Kim Hee Ae actually learned from her young friends and she said it was a good thing that they led a healthy life without missing out on the thing they enjoyed. As if she were bragging about her own daughters, she let out a sigh of relief.
The one talking about children was Kim Hee Ae, the mom. When asked if she complimented Go Ah Sung, Kim Yoo Jung and Kim Hyang Ki to her sons, she replied in this cool motherly way that “what is there to say? Everything would be heard as nagging and it would even be stressful for them to hear about someone else’s daugther. I think there’s no other choice but to realize it and grow up eventually. Besides, kids don’t listen to their mom, but wouldn’t they understand if it’s from a close hyung-nim?”
In “Elegant Lies”, Kim Hee Ae portrayed Hyun Sook, a mother who survives her youngest daughter Chun Ji (Kim Hyang Ki) and tries to move on bravely with her life with her eldest daughter Man Ji (Go Ah Sung)
Although her own child is dead, she’s a mother who tells Man Ji in a over-confident voice, “because we need to keep on managing our lives in a strong way, let’s eat well”. As a mother herself, it must have been hard to accept with no hesitation the role of a mother losing her child. She decided to do it because of the scenario and the theme itself that was meaningful to her
“As a mother raising her kids and as an actress, it’s the kind of very hard role you want to avoid. However, I think “Elegant Lies” is more about how people can grow and become mature as they encounter hard times in their lives than focusing on the pain of losing a child. What is the reason for us to keep on living no matter what?”
Leaving her scenes aside, Kim Hee Ae chose the scene where Man ho (Sung Dong Il) calls his two daughters and have dinner with them as the one that left her the biggest impression. In this scene, Kim Hee said to the children “there’s no need to have a lot of hate, life is about living through the things you hate”. And Kim Hee Ae added, “this is how I think. No matter how you live, there will always be people you love and people you hate. Life still goes on rather things go your way or not and that’s how we get older.”
Probably because she thought about her movie, but it was the first time Kim Hee Ae actually suggested her sons to go see a movie she did. “It’s not about school problems. There are also things that children must be aware of from now on and these aren’t things that can be taught in front of a blackboard. I told them to go see this movie because I hope that it could help them to think about about how to treat people even after their graduation. I definitely want them to see this movie. My sons are still young, so if you only tell them sad stories, they will be sad, but I think “Elegant Lies” is a heart-warming story that can be helpful to others.”
We asked her if she put into practice what she experienced with “Elegant Lies”.
“Work suddenly piled up and I’m so busy doing the drama (“Secret Love Affair”) and promoting the movie that I feel like I’m dying because I want to do the things I can’t. But if we switch perspective, if I go to buy clothes at the mall or any kind of shop and someone calls my name, I’m thankful. It’s already out there, so whoever asks “are you having a hard time”, I purposely just laugh it off and say I’m fine. When you do this, people don’t ask you why you’re this way. “No matter how much of a hard time this person is having, he/she acts this way”, you know it all. If I’m already having a hard time and I face people in a pleasant way, it makes me happy too and I think you need to often make efforts for things like this. What is being brave? This is being brave. Even if it’s not the courage of fighting against injustice you see in your life, I think you’re also being brave when you show concern and adjust to the mood of people around you through small things.”
Is there a Korean actress who’s been called “amazing” for such a long time? However, even when she hears this, she replies in a cool manner full with sincerity, “I’m amazing. If I say this, is it normal? I think it’s an image that was created by ads. They make me look beautiful and I’m thankful for that. If I keep on maintaining my body and keep acting for a long time, wouldn’t it be also a good path for my hoobaes?”
“I just live taking things one day at a time. It comes out as “let’s work hard again today”. It was this way for the dramas and for the movies I shot. I give my all for any project and I think that’s how I built up my career step by step. As I get older, I’m feeling how precious my work is for me. I want to keep doing it a bit longer. If I can develop a bond of sympathy with people from my generation, if it can be a source of comfort, if we can become friends, it’d be good, you see? When I see the unchanged and pleasant image of an actor from my generation who plays a lead role, it’s great. When they look wrecked, it’s sad. I’m talking about things like that. That’s why I want to keep working hard to keep my pride as an actress.”
Just like she said, when we hear the name “Kim Hee Ae”, we’re happy. When she appears on the screen as a tough mom, when commercials show off her beauty through this amazing appearance, when she plays in a serious melo with a man 20 years younger than her, the audience “can never forget about Kim Hee Ae”. [t/n: it’s a play on words based on that famous catchy phrase for SK-II beauty products “I can never miss it/forget it/let it slip”]. So just like she said, as an actress who formed a bond with us and gave us comfort, as a long-time friend, sometimes as a nuna more beautiful than a flower, we hope to keep having her by our side for a long time.
Original article: The Star