It’s your first time in Okinawa, right?
I heard a lot from my friends who already been to Okinawa how much of a beautiful place it is. It’s unfortunate that the weather wasn’t great during our stay. I sent them my Okinawa and sea pictures and they said that the sea was usually much bluer than that.
Which activity do you remember the most?
You know unexpected stuff always happen when you travel. The fact that the plane took off 4 hours late, I looked for a famous Okinawa soba noodles shop, but it was close. The fact that it rained a lot. However, having all this stuff overlapped made it fun. When we’ll think about it after some time, all of this will be memories.
I knew you’d enjoy this trip? Did you experience the Okinawa traditional culture?
Painting the traditional shisa [t/n: lion-dogs that protect Okinawa houses] was fun. If I had been travelling with my friends, I wouldn’t have known about stuff like this.
What would you like to do next time you come to Okinawa?
Snorkelling. When you’re in Okinawa, they say that you don’t have to go too deep to see tropical fishes.
It seems that you usually enjoy travelling.
I really like it. Even when I’m in Seoul, I enjoy going for a drive. A few years ago, I even went to Paris all by myself. I took the subway and went to meet my friend who worked at the library. I felt quite happy when I arrived safely and texted my friend “I’m here”. I guess it’d be nothing to other people, but when you’re an actress you have different people taking care of you, so you can be awkward and confused when you have to do something on your own.
Was there a specific occasion for you to toss away this kind of hesitation to do something?
It’s not that I had many occasions. I can’t remember precisely when it was, but there was this movie that I really wanted to see. I wanted to see this movie on that day, that time, but I had no one who could go with me. I wondered if I should go see it another day, who to contact to set a date to see it, and as I was thinking about it, I told myself I was very stupid.
So did you go see this movie in the end?
I did. I was on my own, so I was able to focus on the movie and it made it even better? Before, when I was going for a drive by myself and I discovered a beautiful path I wanted to walk on, I was afraid to get out of the car. However, now I tell myself “I want to walk, why shouldn’t I?” and I get out of the car.
It seems that you cross lines one by one! For some people, eating on your own, going to see a movie on your own are nothing, but for people who find it hard, it keeps being hard.
I don’t know if I find those things hard to do because of my job, or because that’s my natural inclination. What’s important is that those times I cross lines like this one by one are meaningful to me.
We can feel this side of your personality you’re talking about when we look at your filmography. From melos to action movies, you played various different roles.
You’re right. Even if I’m scared of things I’m not familiar with, it’s my desire to do it that wins in the end. Because I tend to worry all the time but still challenge myself to do the things I want, it may look that way indeed.
Which role made you hesitate the most?
It’s the role of Soo Ah in movie “Blind” because it was my first time playing a blind person and there was the thriller aspect. It’s a role that required to use the body, so I practice with the help of the staff and that’s how I was able to do it. And it was also an emotional role and I had to bring out things from within, so Soo Ah was a character completely different.
You received the best actress award for this role. I remember how you said during your speech that acting was so hard that you tell yourself every time that you want to quit.
Because I feel like I’m not capable, I’m torturing myself with the idea that I’m harmful to others. Still, people keep coming to me and making me discover a new image of me, so I end up doing it because I find strengths in me that I didn’t know. It gives me hope, makes me want to strive harder.
Do you like the nickname “the queen of rom-coms”?
I think it’s not a bad thing for an actor to have a nickname. I played innocent characters at the beginning of my career, then it changed into bright and cute characters. I was happy that these projects received good reactions. Now I want to play characters that are a bit more mature and feminine. Then it would earn me another nickname, right?
Wasn’t Seo Yi Soo in “A Gentleman’s Dignity” a rare character? I mean the fact that the characters were in their 30’s, 40’s and date.
Seo Yi Soo was close to a bright and lovely character. To be honest, it’s one of the characters that were the hardest for me to play. I played a few bright characters in rom-coms movies, but I had never tried for a drama, so it was really hard for me to stay in sync with my character on the long run. I felt that my acting was boring.
It is often said that actresses have more limited roles than actors. What do you think?
It’s something that any actress can relate to. There aren’t many projects and the roles are very restrictive. As time goes by, the situation gets even worse.
You were recently cast in the new movie of director Kim Tae Yong who directed the movie “Set Me Free”. Tell us about the movie “The Teacher”.
It’s a story about a woman, it’s about human nature. What I really liked was how it portrayed different feelings people can have like ambition, jealousy, humiliation. It’s a type of character I had never tried before, so I’m also quite looking forward to what I can show acting wise.
Because of the title, I thought it’d be like in your movie “Romance”, but I was so wrong!
The plot is completely different from a cougar story or a love story between a teacher and her student. It’s a challenge. It’s the way I do things.
It seems you want to do many things. Do you have plans to do something else right now?
I want to learn horse riding, I want to travel around and stay in guest houses. There are many things I want to do. When I take a break, I’m actually busier than when I’m filming. I make my one-month schedule table. After my guitar and English lessons, and working out, I usually relax in the weekend like other people do.
I heard you checked out the weather report about Okinawa before coming here.
I like finding info on my own. When the Okinawa soba restaurant I was planning to go to was closed, since I wanted to go, I found another one. It was very far away, so I couldn’t really insist on going to go, though.
You were the lead character in different romance movies. Have you ever thought “I wish I could have this kind of relationship too”?
The proposal scene in “A Gentleman’s Dignity”. Their friends show up singing for them. When I’m filming, they’re really my friends. However, it was really touching to see people making so much efforts for my boyfriend and I. I was crying so much from the moment the camera filmed me from behind.
This is surprising. I thought you wouldn’t like this kind of street event with people walking by and staring.
Oh my God! That’s the way it would be! Back then, I thought “it’d be nice if this was real life”, but I actually hate being stared at by a lot of people. So it shouldn’t happen in the street then!
Translation: @thesunnytown – thesunnytown.wordpress.com