[December 2017 – Marie Claire] Lee Sung Kyung – London Calling – Interview

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It was a short stay, but how was London?

I thought I’d like it even before coming here and I definitely enjoyed it indeed. When you hear people talk about London, they are very certain about liking it or not. Someone said it’s a boring city with tasteless food. (laughs) I think the opposite.

This goes for the photo shoot, but you spent the time between takes in a very conscentious way. To the point that I was happy as an editor.

When I’m on a trip, I’m not the type to rush and do many things. Although I can’t see everything, I try to take in
the lifestyle of where I am. This time, I think I was diligent. I think London is a city that feels new anywhere you go. Each neighborhood has its own style, its own atmosphere, its personality. Anywhere you go, be it a small marker or a restaurant, you have the certainity that you’ll discover something new.

And the process from shooting the movie “Lovesling” to the wrap-up party was long, right?

It’s my first movie, so I learned a lot. I’m lucky that I’ve always gotten to work with a nice team. It had always been this way until now. They were all simple and heart-warming people, so the atmosphere on the filming set was always great. Of course I had a sense of responsibility, but Yoo Hae Jin-sunbaenim was someone strong I leaned on, so I was able to spend less energy and to focus on my acting. I liked this project so much that I even thought it was the best working environement ever that I’d never get to find again in my career.

There are actors who prefer the slow process of a movie filming compared to dramas. What do you think?

The working process for a movie is nice, but I think it’s about being mentally strong for it. When you shoot a movie, you end up focusing on nothing else but the movie. During filming, I had little media exposure, so I was able to remove a cover and I realized I was at ease. For a drama, you get reactions for every episode. There are times when it’s sensitive, times when it’s shakening, times when it makes you shrink. I went through many experiences this year and there were hard times, but I feel like it was the opportunity to remove a cover and to go back to my old self. This project allowed me to take a break.

“Taking a break” is usually used when you’re actually not working.

I ended up rethinking the meaning of “taking a break”. When I finished filming the drama “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo”, I spent two weeks in Milan, but I wasn’t able to rest. I was thinking about my next project, I had to make a few decisions for my career, I had to keep thinking, so my body was in Milan, but my mind was in Korea. There are times when you need to do nothing and to rest, but I figured out that a project can actually give you time to breathe. This doesn’t mean you take it easy for a while. Not at all. I had to prepare a lot for the first half of “Kim Bok Joo”. I worried about the reactions for each episode, so I wasn’t able to rest, but filming was actually always a moment to pause and to heal.

What is the difference between who you were before getting into acting and who you are now?

I don’t know if it’s because I changed after starting acting or because I’m a bit older now, but one thing for sure
is that I want to become someone who feels life in a detailed way and through the smallest things. Crying made me
feel awkward, but I’m very good at crying now.

Do you mean the way you express emotions is becoming more and more natural?

Emotions are covered up in our daily lives. When you try to express them, you worry about the consequences or the person in front of your, so you put up with it. I don’t hold back my laughter, tough. (laughs) I didn’t cry even when I was all by myself. In the past, when I had tears, I twisted my face and looked weird as I tried to hold back my tears. Now, I no longer hold back. I just let every emotion flow out. That’s why I’m fine. Each small and inner emotion, I see all of them as precious and I developed the habit of looking more into my emotions and trying to remember them.

It’s an habit you unconsciously developed while acting, isn’t it?

I think it happened because my concerns are released through acting. It’s not just about my emotions, it’s also about the emotions felt by others. It’s not having someone thinking “why is she like this?”, but thinking “it can be this way too”.

You cried hard during the last day of drama “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo” shooting this year. Did you cry as much as you loved this projec?

My personality wasn’t like that in the past, but Bok Joo’s story… Each project is precious to me and I want to do well, regardless of the role I’m given, but there are so many things I gained thanks to Bok Joo. Bok Joo is a girl I really really love. This project was like a gift. As in it’s more than just having the satisfaction of giving your all to the object of your affection. It’s more about what this person brings to you and what this person gives you. I think [drama] Bok Joo is the same. It’s not about how I did my best and went all out for it. I’m thankful for what this drama Bok Joo got me. I thank the many people who loved Book Joo. It’s a project I didn’t deserve [t/n: the word she uses can also be translated as “excessive” or “generous”].

What do you trust yourself with? I’m someone with upright thinking. Although it’s not 100% of the time, I think I’m someone who tries to have positive thoughts most of the time that will influence my life in a good way. The side effect is that I think a lot. I try to take into consideration countless variables to get there through upright thinking.

Did you get through something that made you experience this process?

Sometimes, you overwork yourself. That’s why there are people who seem to torture themselves. However, it’s not about “let’s start having positive thoughts from now on” or I frown hard and say to myself “think now!”. It’s about your thinking process about what’s going on in your life and stuff you don’t pay attention to. It’s not planned, it’s through instinct. It’s about a thinking process like a clock. Tick tock, tick tock.

You’re so lively and so lovely…

That it seems that I don’t think at all? (laughs)

No, it’s not what I meant.

When I was a kid, hearing the misconceptions about myself or the easy judgement people gave me really upset me and depressed me. It hurt. It wounded me for a long time. Taking lightly stuff that got me thinking so hard and pretending it was nothing was distressing. And I gave up that now. It looks like I live my life in a simple and cool way, but when I go through a hard time, I pray at dawn, I cry hard while praying at home. I have a nice image, but there are times when I make mistakes too, there are times when I’m selfish. There are also times when I live my life according to my own standards. Every time it happens, I blame myself, I’m downhearted, then I just let it go and I worry about how to get back on my feet. And then I find back my composure. I’m living exactly like anyone else. I’m not someone who goes through life with no thought at all.

You were very busy this year.

I think it was a moment that taught me how to become a better person. What still hurts me is that I saw less of my
fans for the first time. Ever since my modeling days, I had fans who liked me, but I never gave them an explanation about what happened to me here and there. It shocks me sometimes how I can’t know how my words will come out and be received. Still, my fans gave me a lot of strength. They made me feel like I was enough. Next year, I want to spend even more time with them to thank them for making me realize that.

How would you describe this year?

It was the year in which I shed an old skin to reveal a new one. This process made me find again who I am. It brought along some “ah, this is the kind of person I was” reactions, I often get the impression that who I truly am used to be this way. I’ve become healthier. There was never a time when I was not thankful. I’m okay now. To the point I can even say I’m happy. I hope this serenity that took me so long to find will go on for a long time. Of course, enormous stuff might happen again, right? (laughs)

What are your plans for 2018?

My schedule is organized until the first semester of 2018. Meanwhile, I want to do good things, I want to meet my fans a lot. I was determined to do it this year, but there was no opportunity to do so. My hope and my goal for next year is to meet my fans often. Even if I have to beg my agency, I’ll get to see my fans often, so please write it down and let people know.

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

3 Comments Add yours

  1. anonymous says:

    Thank You very much!

  2. kfangurl says:

    Yes, so glad she did Kim Bok Joo.. I was skeptical when she was first cast, but ended up loving her so much, in the role ❤ She sounds like a thoughtful person, and it's great that she feels like she's growing and maturing. Her answers feel honest and candid, this was quite lovely to read. Thanks as always, for your hard work translating, dear Sunny! ❤

  3. Zelle. says:

    My girly! Wahh. Thank you so much for translating! It made me know her more. This interview gave us a glimpse of who Lee Sung Kyung is and what she thought at times. Wah I’m loving her more 🙂 ❤

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