This is your first photo shoot since the end of “Empress Ki”. Do you like your make-up?
Doing a beauty photo shoot is always fun. I usually do them with a look going for a skin tone that looks healthy, so the focus for this kind of make-up felt unfamiliar. I’m also the type to have lip make-up that goes just far enough to look natural.
Your make-up in “Empress Ki” was also impressive.
The intention was to express her character through her eyebrows and the color of her lips. She takes authority, her eyebrows got longer as her status went higher! The lips color matched the outfit. The image that gets remembered is the fancy and elegant one, more than the dark and strong image.
So that’s why your eyebrows were so long!
With just having my eyebrows longer, I had a boost of self-confidence like when I had to wear high heels. I felt that I was charismatic even without having a strong expression.
You’re about to shoot the movie “Chronicle of a Blood Merchant”, right? How do you spend your time?
“Empress Ki” had 51 episodes. I shot the commercials I hadn’t been able to meanwhile. I also went to LA. I’m doing the reading before we start shooting the movie. So, actually, I just keep working.
And you also have a fan meeting in Japan by the end of June?
Indeed. I have also promo activities in Taiwan, so I’m studying Japanese and Chinese. I live like a student who is about to take a test. Still, I want to do well in my fan meeting. I received a lot of love from my Japanese fans, but the opportunity to meet them in person is rare. It’s not an event like a talent show. I want this fan meeting for my fans and me to share something so that they can see Ha Ji Won, the human being.
I think you can do it. I read your essay book “At This Moment” and I thought “Ha Ji Won is really this kind of person”. I mean, when stars write essays, my reaction is usually “he/she wants to be seen like this”, so it feels like reading a photo book.
Thank you. These are the words I wanted to hear when I released this book.
So you do think “it’d be a good thing if I was seen as this kind of person”?
I like hearing that I smile/laugh a lot. So I smile/laugh often and I think smiling a lot makes you seen as someone who overflows with energy and who laughs a lot. The sunbaes I’m on the set with even tell me “do you smile even when you stay up all night?”. Smiling is a way to cheer myself up, but other people also enjoy looking at someone smiling. Even when you’re going through a hard time, the atmosphere gets better if you smile.
Hearing these words puts you in a good mood?
Of course. Hearing things like “you look healthy, you’re full of energy” is good. I’m seeking the things to live like this. If I didn’t do it, I didn’t do it. When I decide to do something, my intention is to live hard and enjoy it. I prepare in advance instead and I take time to attend meetings.
So I’m curious to hear your reason for choosing “Chronicle of a Blood Merchant”. The novel it is based on is famous, but Ha Jung Woo is still unknown as a director.
The scenario was really interesting. I was curious about the story and the character called Heo Ok Ran.
Although you can do melo, sports, action, you chose projects with the potential to become a “nation film”. With that in mind, your choice of shooting “Chronicle of a Blood Merchant” that tells the story of a man who has to sell his blood because he’s too poor is unexpected.
I chose this project among the scenarios that were already in talks with my previous agency. I think the agency could do nothing but care the box-office results. “Chronicle of a Blood Merchant” is a movie that I came across as I was founding my own agency last year and looking for a movie with a different direction. If my choice seems different compared to what I did before, it’s because of that.
“Empress Ki” was your first project since the opening of your one-celebrity agency, right?
Basically, it was. I’m very relieved that the drama did well. There were things to be concerned about. The controversy about the historical accurency, the action aspect, the fact that there were more than 50 episode got people asked me sometimes why I made this difficult choice. But I liked Ki Seung Nyang even more because she was strong. With her being completely strong, she [?] had this “I’m going to win no matter what”, “I will conquer it all” mindset.
Either when you’re acting or when you’re choosing a role, I think the fact it must be a challenge for you is very important. You’re currently the most popular actress and people feel close to you. To be honest, you were the queen of horror movies when you debuted.
That’s why I think my thirst is bigger for movies than dramas. Because when it comes to dramas, I think you can relatively have various roles and you receive the love from the viewers in real time which I think is something a bit lacking when it comes to movies.
In “Chronicle of a Blood Merchant”, Heo Ok Ran is Heo Sam Kwan’s wife and the mother of three children. She’s a beautiful woman, but the reality she lives in is dry and crumbling.
Heo Ok Ran was a challenge for me. I worried a lot, but the reading went well and everybody and I went well together. What I mean is that there are scenes with lines such as “buy corn, buy corn” because the story takes place right after the Korean war.
In the ending of “Secret Garden”, we briefly get to see your children, but isn’t it your first time playing a mother?
More than being a mother who sacrifices herself to raise her children, I want to show the image of a mother who plays with her children and who is like a friend. I want to be this kind of mom in real life.
Yu Hua’s novel is famous for its use of vivid swear words and descriptions. I suppose there are scenes where you thought “we can’t do this”.
When I read the script, there was a lot of unappealing swear words. I couldn’t swear like this, so I’m looking for a way to cuss that would go well with Ok Ran. Ah, and the fights too. Women fight by grabbing each other’s hair. Although I played roles that required martial arts, action scenes and with wires, it was my first time fighting like this, so it was hard.
Swearing and fights with hair-grabbing are the keywords!
I don’t know because my current goal is to do well in the swearing part. This time, I will do everything by following what I want to do.