[December 2015 – Arena] Shin Min Ah – First Lady – Interview

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You’re here as the cover girl for a male magazine. What meaning do you give to the fact it’s the cover of a magazine for men?

I’ve already done many photo shoots for fashion magazines and magazine covers, but magazines for men have their own charm. I got to do concepts I had never done before and I feel there’s just something special about the fact it’s a magazine men read. And there are always aspects appealing to feminity. How about to say it’s a medium giving the opportunity to be appealing, regardless if it’s through a sexy image or an innocent image? It’s also meaningful to me that I’m the first Korean actress to be on your cover.

When you were doing the photo shoot, did you worry a bit more about your poses or the vibe to express since it’s a magazine for men?

There was some skin exposure at some extent, but I hope it wasn’t too much of sex appeal. Shouldn’t I express a natural vibe? I asked myself stuff like this. The photographer was a man, so I don’t know how the pictures will turn out, though.

What do you think about your own sexiness? Do you think you din’t show it well but unexpectedly had a lot of it or had none, or did you discover it?

I don’t know… I have this fantasy in my mind. A fantasy that any woman has. I think this sexy fantasy is a bit different from the sexy fantasy men see. I think what is sexy to me is this image of someone somehow thin and giving off some sort of a decadent vibe, but I realized men actually like the healthy look. I don’t know. Because I don’t have this thin and decadent image anyway. Still, I do wonder if expressing this healthy vibe isn’t the right thing for me.

That’s what I’m saying. This is the sexyness men like.

It is! Haha.

You hear the words “you’re pretty” so much that it’s like a greeting. I wonder how you feel when you get this compliment from anyone. When you hear a compliment, doesn’t that also make you remember more the flaws that you’re the only one to know?

Before they think that, women always enjoy hearing this compliment. Haha. Whenever I hear it, I’m thankful. Since they know theire complex or their flaws, they will keep worrying about those too. Me too, when I see a beautiful person, I say “you’re beautiful”. That’s why I just take the compliment and appreciate it. Saying “I’m not this, I’m not that”, if I take the compliment this way, I feel like my life will get exhausting. Haha.

It’s true that women always give compliments. Do you have a complex?

To be honest, a lot. I have many of them, but if I talk about it, you might just focus only on that, so… Haha. I know my flaws, so I end up thinking about them a lot, but I try not to. They’re not things I can fix by working hard, so if I keep obsessing over that, they will truly become flaws. I’m trying not to think about that either. Especially these days.

Why especially these days?

It’s just that I think about that a lot these days. I’m about to start filming a drama and there might be some sensitive stuff.

Your character in “Oh My Venus” is someone with a complex. The fear of a charming woman being deprived of her charm!

I think this aspect can become the charm of this drama. She’s a woman who was very beautiful when she was young, but she gave up on her looks in order to become a lawyer. However, even if they don’t put on weight, women always worry about how their body change. I thought it would be nice to express this feeling in my acting. The charm of this drama will be about how well I manage to pull that off. That’s why it’s a bit of burden.

Does worrying about this before filming start influence you a lot?

It’s different with each drama I make. I guess it might be because I’m ambitious about this drama, so I worry a lot more. I hope I will put these worries to use to get a good outcome.

The characters you’ve played until now were either extremely happy or extremely mysterious. And it goes like this too for your movie characters. Do you enjoy portraying a character at the antipode of what you usually do?

Instead of going for a specific character I want to play or for the type of character I like, it’s more important to me that the character goes well with the drama and it goes well with me. Of course, I like a certain tone or mood. However, because I’m an actress, I don’t think it would be a good thing for me to go only for what I like. An actor must get into what the movie has to offer. This is how I feel these days. It would be nice to reveal the exact same thing in a movie, but what will rub off on me? This is what attracts me.

It seems that you think a lot about this these days.

Becuase I’ve been thinking a lot about it. Haha. I haven’t done a drama in a long time and I enjoyed the script, so I hope the viewers will feel the exact same way. What if this feeling doesn’t come out enough? This is my worry. I think my sense of responsibility is a bit different. In the past, I was just there to shoot, now I have a lot of thoughts like “it’s mine, it’s my drama, so I hope it will do well”. Many people are expecting it. I think this sense of responsibiliy turns this time into self-torment.

I have yet to forget your image in “Gyeongju”. Can I say you gave off a mysterious vibe? I think you must have felt this way when you were alone.

Director Jang Ryul goes by a tempo really slow. He just sets the camera and lets it roll. To be honest, I’m impatient in real life and I speak fast, but my behavior isn’t on a fast mode. So it made it comfortable for me. This quiet stillness, the character pouring out the tea and speaking slowly, this feeling is similar to my life rhythm or tempo. Maybe that’s why people find this image a bit different and charming. This slowness put me at ease too.

I was bit surprised when I found out you shot “Gyeongju”. I felt like you’d obviously get something out of working with director Jang Ryul. I was very curious.

The image the audience sees can either not be me or can be really me. I’ve always worked a lot since I was a child, so I got to show various images and there are times when it gets confusing even for me. I was curious about the sadness director Jang Ryul slipped into his movie. That just pulled me in. This was the charm. Because I liked this aspect, I anticipated showing a different image of me.

It’s been 10 years since your debut. What have you gained and what have you lost?

In the past, I thought I had lost more things because I had no history. Now, I think I gained more things. First of all, I did earn a lot of money and I did meet a lot of good persons. People who come to the set and work really hard as they care about the project. I like this feeling of sticking together and working together with people I connect with and not because of money.

Which image of actress Shin Minah do you wish people to remember in the far future? This question isn’t about what you hope, it’s just the natural course of things.

Well… There is a lot of actresses. When I was a little girl, I hoped to become a great actress like Audrey Hepburn. Now, I’d say “as a good person”? The audience is one thing, but I want to become an actress the people I work with will think of as a good actress. This is the price of happiness for me right now. I must be happy in order to live well. This is how I think these days. It might change, though.

You’re right. The problem for a question like this is that the answer will change according to the time when it’s asked. If I had asked you this question when you were in your early 20’s, the answer would have been different.

Once I went into my 30’s, I think that I lived well during my 20’s, so can I can live well in the future too? I have worries like that. I’m worrying about who my true self is. Can I really be hapy? How will I live during my 30’s? My 40’s? It may be this vague worry like thinking about death. This is my biggest worry these days. This drama is also about some of the worries I have right now. How my looks change, marriage…

It seems you’re going through a time when you have many personal worries. And that’s definitely because you’re in your 30’s now.

I think I’m exactly the same, but I think that’s how society makes us feel. Because society tells us that being in your 30’s is something that is supposed to be meaningful for a woman. What is important is that you must deal with it in the proper way. I think I can become a nice woman, a cool woman according to the answer I want to give to the question “how do I want to spend my 30’s”.

Arena

Translation: @thesunnytown – thesunnytown.wordpress.com

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