“Yesterday I started realizing that it was over. I was at home watching a movie and was thinking ‘I’m watching a movie at this time?'”
On November 15th, I met up with Moon Chae Won, who enthusiastically portrayed Seo Eun Gi in the recently finished KBS 2TV Wednesday-Thursday drama Nice Guy, at the cafe in Nonhyeon, Gangnam, Seoul.
Moon Chae Won solidified her position as the melodrama queen by freely assimilating into her character Seo Eun Gi in Nice Guy since she perfectly fit her character and her emotive acting displayed cool-headedness and purity.
As it is common with other dramas, Moon Chae Won didn’t have any time to sleep in the last three weeks of filming. She just washed herself and was thankful that she was able to complete the tight schedule. It was hard on her body, but Moon Chae Won gained a lot through Nice Guy while acting as Seo Eun Gi, who is very different from herself.
“Due to the environment, I became friends with Seo Eun Gi. Before Eun Gi lost her memory, Eun Gi’s father formed her personality, but in the second half after Eun Gi amnesia, she became a friend. The two sides to Eun Gi were both different compared to me because I’m not a person who’s personality was formed in the same environment Eun Gi had. I wanted to act as Eun Gi even more since there was nothing in common between us.”
Is the road between Eun Gi and Moon Chae Won’s quiet personality far apart? From the beginning, it was difficult for Moon Chae Won to become the Eun Gi who didn’t have certain things and the Eun Gi who would spit out foul language. After suffering amnesia and having a 180 degree change in personality halfway through, she just had to act as Eun Gi.
“In the beginning, there were a lot of lines in the dialogue. One time when I started speaking, I went off script so the opposing actor had to strangely attack back. I practiced a lot because of that. Also because Eun Gi’s image that I had to show in the second half was loveable. Once Maru started to genuinely have feelings for Eun Gi in the second half, he had to appeal to the viewers’ sympathy with loveliness in order for his swindle. I had acted as a cold-hearted person who shot off a fierce look through the first nine episodes and in a day came a situation where that had to change. I didn’t just have to change Eun Gi’s look in her eyes and her clothes, the process of making Eun Gi loveable was also difficult but at the same time very fun. I personally liked the change.”
Moon Chae Won spent about three months showing two different sides to Eun Gi. What did she see Eun Gi as watching it on TV?
“In a situation like mine where I didn’t receive private acting lessons nor proper acting lessons, there seems to be no leniency to me acting out that kind of character. I strive so that no one is lenient toward me. When I’m done with a project, I still have an attachment to that project, but it’s not because of a good character. Since it’s a job where I’m happy and enjoy myself, I make good memories. I do feel regret when I film a scene because I think “If I had done it this way, it would have been better.” I have greed because I’m also a person. Being satisfied with my own acting is tough.”
Meanwhile, Nice Guy received a lot of praise for the synergy between top actors that include Moon Chae Won, Song Joong Ki, Park Si Yeon, Kim Tae Hoon, Lee Kwang Soo, Lee Sang Yeob, Kim Young Chul and others. We went back in time to see how Moon Chae Won met these people before the casting.
“I have seen a lot of works written by Lee Kyung Hee. When I was young, I watched ‘Knob’ and I personally had fun watching ‘A Love To Kill’. There’s a distinct human feeling in her works and there are many lonely characters. We just came to meet like that. At first we made a lot of kimchi together and before she went back to working on her work, she personally invited me for a meal and that surprised and touched me.
Moon Chae Won relatively chose to be the heroine of Nice Guy quickly. Alothough Song Joong Ki took an hour and Lee Kwang Soo took two hours to decide to appear in the drama, the person who was the fastest to choose to appear was none other than Moon Chae Won.
“When choosing projects, there are two things that I look at. The first is that the melodramatic parts should be distinct and the second is that I have a preference for deep things, so a melodrama with love-hate relationships is good. If not, the character can’t be passive and if it’s the first time I’m acting as a certain type of character, it shouldn’t overlap with other characters I’ve done before. If there’s only one thing I’m satisfied with, I regard it as a ‘choice’ and if I’m satisfied with both things, I regard it as an ‘opportunity’. I chose Nice Guy because I liked the melodramatic parts, but I also liked the character, so I decided in a short amount of time. Since it was a work from Lee Kyung Hee, I had a lot of faith in the project. In that situation, I decided within a few minutes. That was a very urgent situation for me. Looking back it wasn’t a situation where I had to choose quickly, but even one minute was too long and it felt like I had to do it.”
Although it was a rash selection, the result was a success. Moon Chae Won showed the various facets of herself and upgraded herself as an actress. All of her projects so far have been a success, from SBS’s ‘Brilliant Legacy’, the movie ‘Arrow The Ultimate Weapon’, KBS 2TV’s ‘The Princess’s Man’ and ‘Nice Guy’. She is making a meteoric rise as the Queen of Ratings.
“I want to meet you all next year, but I don’t know what kind of project or what kind of character I’ll be meeting you with. Once I find a good project that I can have fun doing, I’ll greet you all again.”
Translation: The Real CZ @ Hallyu Interview