[November 2013 – Cuvism] Gu Hye Sun – Interview [1/2]

Gu Hye Sun

The public first got to know her as an actress when she played in MBC “Non Stop 5” in 2004. After that, she displayed her unique acting in various projects. As she worked constantly as an actress, what else was going on in her life? In 2008, she began presenting herself as a movie director and not as an actress with the short movie “The Madonna”. As she produced three short movies and 2 full-length movies, she sublimates her emotions. Right before the special screening of “The Peach Tree” in the “Best Cinematography on Screen”, Cuvism met Gu Hye Sun and listened to her sensitivity concept.

Hello. Please introduce yourself.

Hello, Cuvism magazine readers. You may know me as an actress, but I’m here today as a movie director. I’m just someone who enjoys creating things. (smiles)

Cuvism finally gets the opportunity to meet you. I mean, we sent out an interview request a long time ago.

To be honest, when you sent your request the first time, it was at a time when I really hated doing interviews. It was a time when I was in a dilemma. Since you contacted me at a time when I felt that I just couldn’t do it, I was very sorry every time.

So how do you feel today? Since you accepted to do this interview.

It wasn’t for another reason. It makes me very uncomfortable to talk about myself. I think that was the reason back then. When I create something, I talk about it because I’m so excited. So it was because I finished “The Peach Tree” last year and right now I have no project going on. Fortunately, today there’s a special screening even for “Peach Tree”, so I felt that I had a few things to talk about.

Have you already read Cuvism magazine?

When you first requested an interview, I checked out the magazine. To be honest, I wasn’t inclined to do it willingly because you interviewed a lot of people. Should I say that I was a bit scared? I got scared because you had all these different people talking freely. For instance, it’s okay for people like singers who are always promoting something, but it wasn’t the case for me. I thought to myself that I wasn’t confident enough to do this.

Although we haven’t been talking for long, you’re eloquent?

I’m good at rambling like that. (smiles)

So let’s start by talking about your movie. Even this year, “The Peach Tree” had a special screening at the “Best Cinematography on The Screen” this October for Ciné France. How did you get the opportunity?

Here’s what I thought. Many Korean movies do well, but many of them don’t either. So there are big losses. It’s a movie I shot more than a year ago, but I wasn’t given the opportunity to show my movie because it was taken down in 7 days. This is the commecial movie logic, so there’s no way to escape it. If they say to remove the movie from the theaters, you have to. This movie I prepared and worked so hard for was gone in a week. I thought that producing something new was important, but it would also be nice if we earn money again when we reproduced contents from before. In the end, it’s a good opportunity for me and so it became a part of the special screening.

People who didn’t see it last year or many people who want to see the movie again will probably be there. Please make a simple introduction of “Peach Tree”.

“The Peach Tree” is about someone born with two faces and the problems that come with it. People can see them as monsters, but the message is that they can also be a reflection of who we are and the question is can there be love?. It’s a platonic movie.

I think the set-up with Siamese twins is special. How did you come up with this idea?

Instead of calling them “Siamese”, I think it’s more accurate to say it’s a person born with a body that has a fantasy element to it. There’s no way to describe it, so it’s called “Siamese” for a lack of better words. I worked on the scenario in 2010, so my plan was to make a movie dealing with the theme of someone having two faces at the same time.

The movie you directed premieres again. You must be in a different mood compared to when it premiered last year.

Indeed. I was excited the first time. I think the excitement is gone now and it’s about something else now. Like I’m wondering “will the screening go well and will there be a lot of reactions, can something new be created?”. Come to think of it, everything that disappears is very precious. Making movies is because of the desire of showing something to others. Even if it takes time, I realized it was important. You must try to make people keep viewing it.

I know you will talk with the audience after the screening today. If you were someone from the audience, what question would you ask?

I’m not sure… I think I don’t have the perception to see how the audience sees my movie. I can’t imagine it. Recently, I watched “The Madonna” which is the first movie I made 6 years ago and it gave me a new feeling. Although it’s a 15-minute short film, I thought to myself “which story is this movie telling?”. Six years passed, so I think I’m able to watch a little bit more like the audience would watch it.

What would you say if you were to make a comparison between today and back then? You directed three short movies and 2 full-length movies.

I don’t know. I can’t say I know a lot, but even if it was just a little, I ran into situations about technical aspects and such. I think that what I learned is fear. At first, I knew absolutely nothing, so I could be brave. Now that I’m aware of what it is about, it’s becoming difficult and scary for me sometimes.

What do you think is a strength for you as “director Gu Hye Sun”?

Originality, but I think having just the originality is a problem. (smiles) Before our interview today, a TV show director I’m close with told me this. “How can someone in Korea get the idea to create a movie like this?”. I think it was half-criticism, half-compliment. (smiles) I think him telling me it was brave was a compliment. As he said, “Hey, how do you dare trying something like this? Did you already know it wouldn’t work?”, it meant that originality is good, but he points out the ability of creating something people can relate to. The question is “do I think I’m able to communicate with the audience through my originality” and I make my movies because I think that it’s something I can do. Besides, it’s something anyone can do anytime.

Recently, Cuvism talked a lot about people working in the video making field. The reactions were as good as this field is getting attention.

We live in a great era because anyone can make a video, even by just using a Mac. I also edit my videos on my Mac because anyone can put files togethers. It turned out well. In the past, you had to find a place where to study how to do it. I think we live in a world where you can skip this process and anyone can become a director. So it means that everyone is a rival now. Everyone can immerse their hands in my work. It’s not just about video making, I think it goes for any content. That’s why I think it’s important to do a good job and to do it well. I think it’s important to ask yourself which concept you can find, which idea can make you win.

Do you directly do all the editing?

Yes. When there’s a problem about going for something more detailed, deeper or about technical compatibility, I must use my computer. However, I’m able to do a music video all by myself. To be honest, when it comes to music videos, editing is easy when it’s only about placing the music. All you have to do is to make sure the image match the beat, what’s boring is stuff like finding which font to use. (smiles)

As it’s accessible to anyone, I think we’re living in a competitive era.

Indeed. No matter how good I can be at it, my emotions can’t be exactly the same as others because the ideas coming from my mind cannot overlap with theirs. I think what I come up with is what no one else but me can do.

Until now, we’ve only talked about “director” Goo Hye Sun. To be honest, you were active as an actress before you became a director. You debuted in MBC “Non Stop 5” in 2004. It’s been ten years now. What does your 10-year career as an actress mean to you?

Being an “actress” is nothing special to me. I’m just an actor, and I’m a woman. It’s nothing else. Of course, being an actress itself is a great honor. To be honest, I’m wary about complimenting myself highly and to think that I’m special. I don’t know if it’s because the environment actresses live in make it very tempting, but if you don’t get a hold on yourself, you can have the illusion that you’re special. So being an actress means to me that I could observe myself more and I could reflect more on what I did. This was a big introspection.

You released the single “It’s You” this summer. You’re working in diffirent field. Is there something you definitely want to do in the future?

I just want to meet a nice guy. My true dream is to lead an ordinary life. I want to drink a cup of coffee with my boyfriend in a coffee shop close to my home, I dream of things like this. More than doing it to have people know me, I don’t know why I couldn’t do it all this time, but I guess I just didn’t get the opportunity.

I remember something you said in a TV show. You said “it’s not that I’m used to other people, I think they’re used to me.”

I don’t feel awkward now, but this situation was becoming uncomfortable back then. Me saying this doesn’t mean that I’m the type to hide my face and to make a big deal out of it. However, it happens more often that when I go somewhere with my friends, it’s difficult for them. I’m just having a meal, but when people recognize me, my friends become invisible. When I sign autographs, my friends have to stay put. I still get asked for autographs and I can’t turn them down, so I wonder if there will be a time when I can’t do it? Even if I don’t like doing it, I must do it anyway.

Translation: @thesunnytown – thesunnytown.wordpress.com


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