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This is a summer photo shoot done in a cold day. It was so cold that I was even sorry for you. Thank you for being brave and putting up with it.
My face was cold in the end, so I was really worried it would show on camera. I really made big efforts. I’ve been doing photo shoots in an environment like this since I was a child, so I’m used to it. I’m okay with it. It was cold, but the staff had a harder time. It seems that the pictures will look nice, so I can’t wait to see them.
What have you been up to these days?
I have a fan meeting in Singapore soon. It’s exciting to get the opportunity to meet my fans overseas. Not long ago, I got on stage at school for a play I did with my friends. I’m a senior in high school, so we don’t have much time left together. This kind of memories is precious to me. My life has always been about doing school work and acting. Getting to work with my friends and erasing this limit gave me new energy. Creating something from the scratch with my peers was fresh. It was my first time doing a play, it gave me a delight and a thrill I couldn’t imagine.
This year marks the 16th anniversary of your career.
Regardless of how long I’ve been acting, I think theater has a different charm. I’ve been so into theater lately. To the point I even think I’d like to do a play if I get the opportunity. Movies, dramas, even being an MC, I’ve experienced freely various fields, so theater is something I approach in a different way.
You’re an actress by nature. It really feels like you do this because you’re good at it and you’re good at it because acting gives you a different thrill. To be honest, there are many actors who were child actors walk down this path with no opportunity to choose it.
I was 4 when I got my first acting gig. It’s true that this path opens up for me naturally. Right now, my other friends are at a moment in their lives when they worried a lot about their future and make decisions. I’m thankful for what I have. Because I have less struggle to make the efforts in order to make my dreams come true or to find what my dreams are. However, if you want to talk about the downside of it, I end up getting the “is this job truly my dream?”, “is acting something I do because I truly enjoy it?” doubts. I’m 19 now, will I enjoy acting with others for a long time? I doubt myself twice a day. I thought I had no worry, but even if it’s fun to be a senior in high school, I don’t know if having this senior status isn’t because I worry so much. The common link between these questions is “finding myself”. Finding what I like, what I want, where I want to go, what I want to eat is about finding my balance and I realized it’s extremely important. Every problem seems to have a solution when you look at things in this perspective. This play got me thinking a bit more seriously about acting and I looked back at my career. I think it was the opportunity for me to get new dreams for the future. The fact that I do this job because I like it is directly connected to my dream in the end. I’m fully aware that being able to be good at a job I like, living my life and having for a job something I can be good at, is bigger than any kind of happiness.
It seems that this play you did with your friends left a long-lasting impression on you. Don’t you feel any regret about not having a regular childhood like your peers?
I have no regrets about acting. I know very well how precious this moment of my life is. I heard that my class was going on a school trip while I was in the middle of shooting. I was so out of my mind that I had completely forgotten about it. I checked my classmates’ social medias and I saw the school trip pictures they had uploaded. However, I was in none of these pictures. I got emotional suddenly. I was all “why am I not there?”. I didn’t experience this time of happiness that my friends seemed to have enjoyed. I had all these complicated thoughts in my head and it made me sad. I probably didn’t know before, but I think thinking that I’m living the last days of my childhood that will never come back made me feel the emotions more. The emotions the theater setting give me were big, but playing on stage with my friends made the experience even more meaningful.
You’re almost 20. Ah, it’s an age full of thrill even when you just hear the word. When you turn 20, you want to wear high heels, you want to travel, you want to go on dates. Compared to your peers, these are probably things you’ve already tried, so how do you feel about it?
One of the school days fantasy is wearing a school uniform and dating. I think I won’t do it. Haha… I do want to date, but I think it’s not the right time for me to do so. I’m working on my career and I’m working on getting my diploma at the same time, and the fact that I’m going through the process of becoming an adult put limits to my emotions and the energy I must have for the future. I think there are many places where they can be put in good use. Dating will probably give me many emotions, but I can’t afford it for now. Meeting someone I fall in love with would definitly bring new emotions to my acting, but I don’t think to myself “I’d like to date”. It’s true that for now, I’m still ambitious about acting. I go all in for acting. I’m lacking a lot and I must make more efforts. There’s a right time for everything. I think your heart opens naturally when you find your balance first.
Your acting greed is remarkable. You don’t seem to go through the conflicts or dilemas child actors go through as they move to adulthood. Which kind of actress do you want to be?
I’m always cautious about this topic. Each year, I’m getting more and more cautious about saying “I want to do things that way”, “I will do this” about stuff that hasn’t happened yet. I probably realized at some point that I’m at the age when I’m responsible for my behavior or my words. I mean even saying “I will become this kind of actress” is something I must give deeper thoughts to before I speak. Right now, I want to portray characters that match me. My days of wearing a school uniform will never come back, so I think there will be no better moment than now for me to portray these roles. When I’m 20, I want to portray 20-year-old characters. This thrill, this anticipation of becoming an adult, I will portray them. What I feel when I look at myself in the mirror these days is that I really looked a 15-year-old girl when I was 15. Now that I’m 19, I have the face of a 19-year-old. I never really felt like there was a difference and my face had always been like this. I’m actually astonished by how my physical appearance changes each year and gets more mature. Each one of these changes are recorded through the projects I shoot, so I think it makes the change even more obvious.
There are many articles about your physical appearance since you’re growing up. What do you think of people saying you’re incredibly pretty? You’re at an age when one is usally interested a lot by their physical appearance.
I think I’m less interested in fashion and makeup, compared to my peers. I often don’t care about my appearance to the point I hear that my style is wack. On my days off, even when I don’t go out, I enjoy spending some me time at home. I draw/paint, I listen to music, I get some peace of mind. Of course, I do enjoy the ordinary life activities once in a while. I’ve always enjoyed musicals or taking pictures, so I pick up my camera and go for a walk sometimes. These kind of moments are very important to me. I guess that might be the reason why I’m not that much interested in beauty compliments, fashion or makeup. Of course, it’s always nice to hear that I’m getting prettier and I’m thankful for that. I’m still in my teen years, so it’s still premature to talk about maintaining my figure. I’m just enjoying eating, laughing and doing the things I want to do.
Musicals, music, photography, so many art-related hobbies!
I think the emotions I went through while acting stimulated me. I draw, I take pictures. Aside from acting, I think it’s a different way for me to express the emotions I feel. On the contrary, musicals or movies are the way to fill up my emotions. Especially musicals. What makes me watch is the way the actors move, their power of expression. I really like “Cats”. To the point I even want to go along as I watch the movements and the gazes of the actors who portray cats, and when I listen to their voice when they sing. I’ve always enjoyed doing sports, so I’m not scared at all of physical roles. I said to myself that I will definitely be able to do a role like this one day. Obviously, singing and dancing while acting at the same time aren’t things I see myself doing, though. What I enjoy is how different fields give me a new thrill about acting.
Talking with you makes me quite anticipate the 20-year-old Kim Yoo Jung who keeps improving.
I can’t tell you yet about my next roles or plans, but one thing for sure is that I will become a stronger Kim Yoo Jung as time goes by and I focus on myself and embrace who I am inside. Isn’t it the time for me to repay the many fans who have been supporting in my career while I was improving? In my photo shoots, on the TV screen, on the big screen, on stage or in any place I’m given, I want to meet the audience with constant fresh and renewing passion about acting. All high school seniors, keep your head up, we can all succeed!
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Translation: @thesunnytown – thesunnytown.wordpress.com