The movie you’ve been waiting for will finally premiere in a week. Aren’t you nervous?
The last day of filming was on January 2nd, I think? It was around that time, so it’s been almost a year. I didn’t think time would fly by like this. As the movie secured its premiere date and I started doing the PR activities, the memories about filming came back to my mind. Everyone is just in a happy mood. The atmosphere on the set was nice and I learned so many things while filming this movie that I cherish these moments I’m thankful for. I hope the premiere day will come fast.
I heard filming was tough, so that’s an unexpected answer? Of course, the pansori learning process was hard, but you also had a hard time because you filmed all around Korea on days when the weather was very bad.
There are many scenes of practice that were filmed in the mountains, in the fields, by waterfalls. Most of my scenes were outdoor and in the countryside. I really had a hard time when we were even caught in a midwinter rainstorm because it was so cold, but it was heartwarming because the sunbaes and the staff members took good care of me. To be honest, I feel that from a manager point of view, it seemed like a struggle to always chase after time and drive me to far places, but these were great times for me. My daily life is only to be either at the rehearsal room, at the broadcast station or on a filming set. Going to the Hapcheon Hwangkye waterfalls was the first step to a different atmosphere for me. There weren’t many people around, so it was quiet and the scenery was beautiful and it made me want to travel. When I had a short resting time after filming, I would look for a nice restaurant in the area. I felt like I was going to play at my grandmother’s house, so it turned into healing moments for me and I enjoyed them.
After “Architecture 101”, I was very curious to see what your next movie would be. It took longer than I thought and it was also an unexpected choice. It seems you must have been getting tons of scenarios of various genres.
Many people think that way. Do you know that I didn’t actually receive that many scenarios? (smiles) I wanted to find a project that grabs my heart instantly, rather than to make a careful rational choice. And this movie was definitely that. As I read the scenario, I was into it instantly. As soon as I read the last scene, I contacted the director right away and said “I definitely want to do it”. To be honest, the fact that my previous project was also a sageuk (the drama “Gu’s Family Book”) and the fact that I had to learn pansori made it a bit burdensome. I did have a couple of worries, but still I wanted to take on the challenge. I felt that I would be very sad if another actress would give an image to Chae Sun. More than anything, I felt a deep empathy for the lead female character.
It’s based on the life of a real person, but except for her name, we don’t know much about her. It’s a character that goes through a big change in this story. Were there many similarities with yourself?
I really felt the charm of this strong Chae Sun who doesn’t give up no matter how difficult things get. So there’s the fact of having the dream to become a good singer and being frustrated because reality is an obstacle to this dream. Still, there were similarities like the process of making constant efforts for this dream I want to come true, experiencing the trainee life. I’m the type to laugh “hehe” and look at everything in a bright way whatever it is, so I don’t know if it doesn’t show, but I also have this strong “kkang” hardcore worker side. That’s maybe why I could really relate to Chae Sun’s life.
As you portrayed Chae Sun, you really displayed this “kkang” and tough side in the right way. And Park Ae Ri who taught you pansori also complimented you by saying to be “surprised by the passion and the skills you showed from the first day to the last day”.
To be honest, getting used to pansori itself was a big challenge for me. It’s something difficult I wasn’t familiar with. And even worse, there was this pressure, even from me, that I had to be good at it because I’m a singer. However, everything is different about the regular basic singing technique, so starting all over again made it difficult. I think what gave me strength is that the teacher complimented me by saying I have a voice for the pansori and she didn’t spare me her encouragements. Well, yeah, there must a be technique, so I could do nothing but to practice without resting. I was very intimdated and uncomfortable, but I found some peace of mind. No matter how hard I would work, I would have never been able in just one year to sing like the great singers. Instead, just like Cha Sun, I tried to work harder and be more passionate than anyone else. While learning with all sincerity. I fell in love with the charm of the Korean traditional sound. To the point I want to keep studying it. I think this movie was a great opportunity for me to learn about and get more familiar with pansori.
No one knew that your first movie would be such a success and you’d get so much love. Now that we know, you can also probably feel some pressure or oppressed for your second movie.
I don’t know. I don’t feel this kind of pressure. I do want to do well and show a good image. I do have worries like “will I be able to portray well the role I was given?”, “will I really be able to read these lines and act out this behavior to turn into this character?”. And when it comes to filming, “instead of being the sloppy rookie actress, will I be able to fullfill my share among the people I work with to bring this project together?”. The usual representation of Jin Chae Sun, like the way she is represented in ads, is very different from my image, so I was scared of what would happen if it would be awkard for the audience to see me like this. I mean, I hope people will fall for the life of this character I portray and will relate to what I convey. I hope people will be able to focus on the story and not think “it’s weird” when they look at me painting my face with charcoal and tying a topknot. Creating the character this way is clearly about my acting skills. I tried my best, so I must trust myself and wait.
Hearing you talk about your character or your movie, I really get the feeling that you’re an “actress” now. Even during today’s photo shoot, I found you very elegant and mature.
I hear a lot these days that I am more mature. To be honest, I really don’t know about that (smiles). I think it’s a compliment I’m thankful for. I never tried to create a new image for myself on purpose or to force myself to change the image I already have. And I don’t want to either. I just want to be sincere in every moment and to enjoy what I do and to be happy. I don’t force myself to throw tantrums or to work more than I can handle. In the past, I had more moments of “it’s good to lay out a big goal and to confront myself violently to reach it”. However, as I had more and more thoughts like this, I also became scared of things I was certain of. I think it’s not always just a bad thing. Even if I go slow, I think it’s more important for me to go to my own pace and enjoy what I do than to follow an obssessive drive.
There must probably be many difficult aspects about living this life without taking a break which took you to the top today. The fact that you’re already having thoughts like this makes me feel that time really flew by for you who are just 22. There’s not much time left before the end of the year. What was the year 2015 for you? You must probably end this one in a great way in order to be happy next year.
I think this year kind of allowed me to catch my breath. I went on vacation, I did photo shoots, but I also traveled. Thanks to that, I was also able to look back at myself. I wonder if this wasn’t a year that allowed me to think a lot. I thought about the image I’ve had until now, the things I wanted to do in the past and the things I want to do in the future. It was a precious and special year for me that I will remember for a long time. I hope there will be a special event at the upcoming end of this year, though (smiles). I think I will be busy with my drama. I’m playing the role of documentary PD who gets tainted by reality. I’m anticipating this because it’s a new character for me. And it’s been a long time since I’ve greeted the public with a drama, so I’m half-impatient and half-nervous. I’m anxious too. Tension? Well, I must get rid of it by eating something tasty. I decided to go out to eat spicy tteokbokkies with the unnies today. Hahaha.
Do not screencap, do not take out
Translation: @thesunnytown – thesunnytown.wordpress.com