“It’s Okay, It’s Love” is the hazing phase of your acting career. Congratulations.
I wonder what the viewers think of my acting. I didn’t get to start the project with the perfect preparation, so I’m lacking a lot. Fortunately, the character I play is very similar to my real personality, so I’m comfortable. Still, there are many things I must study about acting. (How was the atmosphere on the set?) It was my first time being on a drama set, so I was very nervous since the very first recording. There were many things I was unfamiliar with and the sunbaes and the staff helped me a lot. That’s why I was really happy when I was on my way to the set. And of course, the atmosphere was great.
It’s been a while since you graduated from high school, was there something difficult about playing a high school girl?
It’s been 5 years since I stopped wearing this school uniform. When I heard I’d be playing a high schooler, I was quite excited. It was nice that I was still considered to play teenagers and to get a role. That’s because I think I’m still quite immature and I haven’t changed since my high school days. So the fact that this role was a high school girl made it more comfortable for me from this perspective. Besides, the school uniform in this drama is very pretty. I totally loved it. These days, I have moments when I wear various clothes and I want to act.
In one word, this is the “model turned actor era”. Which kind of actress do you want to become?
To be honest, I got this role by coincidence. Compared to my skills, this was quite an undeserved opportunity. However, I think about it and tell myself that I really want to try do it right. While I was working as a model, my dream was also about being in musicals. I got to study acting and singing through this drama, so I want to become a well-rounded actress. I want to become an actress who is recognized and get the “model turned actress” title in a positive way.
How was it to work with great actors who used to be models such as Gong Hyo Jin and Jo In Sung?
They’re all great people. I was the baby of the group, so they took good care of me. I can only be thankful for that. To be honest, I was really worried when we started shooting the drama. I was so scared. Especially because of Gong Hyo Jin-sunbaenim who has great experience as an actress. I thought facing her would be very intimidating. However, when I actually faced her, all my worries were in vain. No matter how exhausting the shooting was, she would always openly talk to me and treated me like a little sister. I will always be thankful.
You’re a model from YG. I wonder how you got to become a YG member. How are your activities with such a big agency?
Being a part of an agency that built up this good system is an honor. Me joining YG was also luck. The CEO of my previous agency really took good care of me, so I think he said good things about me. YG also saw me in a good way. YG is an environment of trust, so the agency celebrities can focus only on their job and it’s good. (You probably see the agency singers often) The singers usually come to the agency at night to work on their songs, so we don’t really see each other. Will we be able to meet each other often in the future?
Modeling or acting, which one do you think is the best for you?
Now that I’m a rookie who actually made her acting debut, I don’t think I can comment on my skills. Acting was a dream of mine before, so right now I’m just enjoying doing both things. (The difference between the two?) When you’re a model, you don’t have a script, there’s no fixed result, so you have a bit more freedom when you’re on the runway or in front of the camera. However, for acting, there’s a definite mold and your expression must be more immediate compared to what a model can do. That’s why I must keep my own personality in the fixed script. Acting makes you think a lot and you must stay focus. I think this is something hard to do.
I wonder how you got to debut in acting.
I guess “It’s Okay, It’s Love” director was looking for an actress that wasn’t in a mold. He was specifically looking in the model area and we met by coincidence. I had never studied acting, so I didn’t have big expectations and I was comfortable with the director. He liked that I was talkative and reckless and he gave me the role. It was the best luck of my life. I guess it’s why I still want to have a sense of responsibility. I can’t disappoint the director who believed in me and chose me. I want to thank the director the most and I want to tell him that I love him.
It’s been already 7 years since you debuted after you joined a super model competition in 2008. Are you used to live while receiving the public’s attention?
I can’t say I’m used to it. I think it’d be better to say that I have adjusted a little now. At first, having people recognize me was just amazing. When they asked to take a picture together or when they said they were fans, I would always ask: “how do you know me?”. This feeling was everything. Now, I’m just thankful first and foremost. I’m really thankful that people remember my face and my name while there are so many models and rookie actors out there.
You’re very close with male models. Who are you the closest with?
It’s just that my pictures with male models stand out a lot. I’m close with both male and female models. Ever since I was a kid, I got along well with boys, so it may seem I get along well with them more. The models I’m close with are (Jang) Ki Yong and (Baek) Ji Won. (Many people wonder if you have a special relationship with model Jang Ki Yong). That’s definitely not the case. It probably looks like this because I upload many pictures and videos with Ki Yong. If you actually see us when we’re together, will you ever have this kind of thoughts? He’s a friend I’m more comfortable with compared to my female friends.
Every picture or video you upload on your SNS always get hot reactions. Why do you use SNS?
To be honest, there’s no specific reason. There’s no great reason. It’s just that I like it and I do it like a hobby. I’ve been using SNS for quite some time. The reason for me to start back then and the reason I still do it today are the same. It’s because it’s fun. (do you get bad negative comments?) There must be some , right? I don’t really care about them. I listen to what my fans say. My job is about being seen, so I’m trying my best to be out there for those who look at me.
You don’t expose yourself in variety programs, so many people are curious about your real personality.
My nickname is “Kkapkyung”. I have a bright personality. I like talking with people. The people close to me know me as someone who is very loud. On the contrary, I can be very shy for many things. I like being on my own. I like sitting down in a coffee shop and write, read or just think. (Is your blood type A?) My blood type is B. Everybody think that if I were not type A, I’d be O. I usually get rid of the stress on my own, so people around me often see the bright side of me. However, I do get hurt and I’m tender-hearted.
It was often said that you look similar to Son Yeon Jae. Do you think so yourself?
First of all, it’s an honor. I can only be thankful to look like an athlete who represents Korea. She’s younger than me and she has a cuter style too, so I don’t know if she’s okay with this comparison. I heard before that we look similar. The person in charge of my make-up saw my pictures and said she thought it was Son Yeon Jae. She’s someone who sees my face up close and touch it, so that made me go “ah, do we really look alike?”.
I think you must have this model-like fashion sense. Which style do you prefer?
I don’t like one particular style. I usually pick my clothes according to my mood. On the days I feel like dressing up, I get all dolled up. On the days I don’t feel like to, I wear comfortable clothes. I have a lot of men clothes. Sometimes, I’m into the loose and baggy style because it can be chic in a subtle way. I also like mixing different concepts. I like wearing feminine pants with a boyish t-shirt or mixing basic accessoiries with fancy ones.
What’s your must-have item?
Accessoiries. Just wearing something small like a ring or a bracelet makes you look like you have sense of fashion. I definitely have earrings, a ring and sunglasses in my purse wherever I go. Having basic accessoiries that can go with every style, this is my must-have thing.
Where do you essentially do your shopping? I want to know about the hot spots only you know.
It’s been quite some time since I did some shopping, so I can’t think of any place right away. In the past, I often wore clothes made by upcoming designers because I like the fact that their clothes are unique and timeless for a proper price. No matter how pretty clothes can be, I really hate common designers. You find many good designers’ clothes with very good quality in those non-brand places. Talking about it makes me want to go shopping right away.
Is there an actor you’d like to work with?
I’m tall and not petite, so I’d like to be with someone who can cover my frame because I have a bit of shoulders and hips. However, this put aside, I’d choose Sung Dong Il-sunbaenim. I fell for his charm while working with him on this drama. I want to work with him on a drama or a sitcom. As you probably know, he has a great sense of humor, but he’s someone who knows how to make the actor he’s acting bring out the best, so I definitely want to have him as my acting partner.
Do you have a role model?
If I can’t choose an actor or a model, it’s baseball player Clayton Kershaw of the LA Dodgers. I respect that he’s about living through actions more than living through words. He makes a lot of donations. Every time the season is over, he does volunteer work. It’s touching. Of course, his skills are the best. Our lives and our jobs are quite different, but I want to have a similar personality and similar values. I always tell myself to live my life by practicing that more than just talking about it, but it’s actually not somethinge easy to do. My role model is Clayton Kershaw who gives his time and dedicate his life to others despite his busy schedule.