[October 2015 – Marie Claire] “Reply 1988” Ryu Hye Young – Expectations – Interview

Marie Claire - Ryu Hye Young

It’s a drama that receives a lot of love each season, so how did you feel when you got a role in “Reply 1988”? The director told me he saw me in the movie “Ingtooki” and thought I’d be good for this role as he said “who’s this ugly strange kid?”. (smiles) When I actually went to the cast meeting, my acting wasn’t good, so I was very happy when they contacted me to say I got the role. I’m truly anticipating to see how the drama will look like.

On the other hand, there can be some pressure too.

Because it’s a drama that many people have big expectations about. So I sometimes have this “won’t I be trapped in my character’s image?” feeling. Fortunately, I play a three-dimensional character with a changing personality and great emotions.

Wasn’t the process to understand a character living in 1988 quite particular?

The preparation time between when I got the role and when filming started was long. That’s why I had the time to really get to know my character. It’s like a close friend you see every day. I tried my best to create a connection with my real image.

While trying to find similar points one by one?

When I received the script, I wondered if I’d be able to understand and relate to a story from the past, despite the fact I was born in 1991. However, reading the whole scenario made me realize it’s a heart-warming family story transcending time. Of course, I can’t forget to imagine minutiously 1988 to get into character because “Reply 1988” is a drama with the fabulous fashion style from 27 years ago.

You and the actors you’re filming with probably get along like a real family.

There are the friendly sunbaes, and there are many actors around my age I can be friends  with too. It’s really a lot of fun. Especially with Go Kyung Pyo whom I have been friends with since college. And I’m becoming friends with the other actors too. We get together so often that we tease each other by saying “we party more than we film, let’s work a little now”. (smiles) [t/n: I use “party” here for the Korean word “huisik” which is kind of like a “drinking party with your colleagues”]

How did you start acting? After middle school, I attended a high school of arts because I wanted to get rid of that “school – academy – reading room” daily pattern. I thought it was more important for me to enjoy the exciting moments of this time of my life instead of clinging only onto studying for my future. So as I was studying acting at my high school, I tried shooting a short movie, then as I shot “Ingtooki” which was my first full-length movie, my filmography started growing little by little. Ever since high school, I enjoy the fact of being on a set itself to the point I even thought I had to find a job to allow me to be on a set, be it as an actress or as a staff member.

Now matter how much you enjoy being on a set, there must be times when you get exhausted, how is it for you? Filming isn’t exhausting. The thing is there are times when living as an actor is more of a struggle than people think it is. Your life is influenced by which project you do, which role you play, and how the audience reacts. Becoming an actress is only the job I chose to be happy in my life as a human being. There are times when the line between my career and my life gets blurred. It’s obvious that I must focus on the project I do and acting, but I think my own happiness is my priority.

What do you do to overcome these moments of confusion? I listen to music. I’m really into classical music these days. I buy many CDs, and I just keep playing them. What’s awesome about classical music is that you hear it differently every time, according to the mood you’re in. I’m try ingto attend live performances too now.

An actress who worries about her happiness and listens to classical music, it’s quite charming! How would you describe yourself as an actress? People say a good actor is like a white blank paper, but I want to become an actress like a painting palette and not a blank paper. I hope I will be able to express any color in a new way if I’m given the brush. Right now, although I’m filling the picture only with two colors, I want to use many more colors in the future.

Marie Claire
Translation: @thesunnytown – thesunnytown.wordpress.com

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