There’s a member of a drama company that comes to mind when you think of an actress that has the name ‘Run Until You Die’. That’s Jin Se Yeon. She appeared in three straight dramas as the heroine, but it seems like she’s the type of person who can express herself by saying getting uncomfortable sleep fits her more than getting comfortable sleep in her bed. Jin Se Yeon is challenging the theatre stage this time. She’s playing the role of Stripper Alice. Jin Se Yeon even has international fans coming to Korea to find the venues and watch her play.
The image she has in the play ‘Closer’ is the exact opposite of her image in dramas, which is very shocking. Middle-aged men are nothing to her, she offers others cigarettes, and she holds a bottle of liquor in her hand. This shocking, complete image reversal acting of Jin Se Yeon who has such on image on stage as opposed to her pure image in dramas can’t just be a transformation. I met Jin Se Yeon, who’s playing the role of Alice in ‘Closer’ in Daehangno.
– If you did have any dating experience, you would understand the play’s situation a little better, but since you’re in a position where you’re immersed into the play without having that dating experience, it seems like there would be some difficulty.
“It seems like the character I’m playing, Alice, has met a lot of men because of her job as a stripper, but she’s not that kind of woman. She’s a woman with a lot of emptiness in her heart. In order to fill in that emptiness, she wants to lean on anyone to do it, and there’s where Dan comes in, and they fall in love. Alice only loves Dan.
Because I do understand myself that on a fundamental level that I have to think that I only love on person, I can really understand the Alice that only loves one man and I find her very pitiable. When looking at Alice only through her character, she’s bright and has the dignity of a 20-year-old woman. She’s a character that I can enjoy acting.
‘Closer’ is a project that has a lot of dialogue. It’s true that it was difficult to not have any feeling come to me when the seniors suggested that I have to put some emotion into my lines. There are a lot of things that I realized while acting, saying remarks such as ‘So that’s how that is’.”
– In ‘Closer’, there’s a beginning and ending to the love, but we don’t see the process.
“In total, there are 12 acts. The first four acts show the characters of the play meeting each other for the first time. In the first act, Alice and Dan meet, and that continues through Act 5. However, in Act 5, there’s the situation where Alice and Dan have already broken up. It’s like that until they suddenly get back together in Act 11. The process of falling in love isn’t shown.”
– At the press call, you said that you wanted to stand out as Alice. Are there any aspects that you would deem transformative the more you act as Alice?
“Going up on stage in the early portion, it was hard acting the character my own way and the way I had analyzed the character. I thought she was a tough and manly character at first. I thought she was an egotistical character who thought people were invading her space. However, the longer I stood on stage, the more bubbly and lovable she turned into.”
– When you met Dan for the first time, you removed your shoes and maturely had to raise your legs up.
“(Laughs) Just like what Seo Beom Seok senior told me, ‘This is the first time I’ve seen an actor work so hard at brushing their teeth’, I sprayed a lot of perfume so that my feet wouldn’t smell. (Laughs)”
– You were holding a bottle of liquor in your hand, and you had to offer Larry a cigarette without any hesitation.
“I didn’t know I had to smoke, so when they told me that I had to smoke for real, I just thought they were joking. On the outside I said ‘Really?’ while on the inside I thought ‘It couldn’t be’. It wasn’t just that I hadn’t smoked at all in my life, I hadn’t even held a lighter before, so I had to work really hard. While acting, there were times the lighter wouldn’t work, so it left me perplexed.
Since Alice was a character I wanted to act, I had to endure the act of drinking and smoking for my own acting. However, from the view of the audience who’s looking at me, they can see it as shocking. Kim Young Pil once said ‘An actor must know how to drink alcohol in an awesome manner and to smoke cigarettes in the same fashion’. I followed the advice of holding an empty bottle at home to practice, and I practiced a lot.”
– They had to take concept pictures of you leaning against 40-year-old actors.
“You know the feeling of taking a picture with your father? It’s very cozy. (Laughs)”
– In 2012 you were very busy with dramas and this year you spent a lot of time recharging.
“Before working, I went on a filming/overseas trip. I had the thought of wanting do act in a theatre. I thought it would be awesome if I found an opportunity to go up on stage, and an opportunity came to me very quickly. I went up on stage with the feeling that I earnestly had to start acting, just like the feeling of starting an engine. It became a healing feeling for my acting. As I work, I’m able to meet a lot of new people.
In dramas and movies, we act for the best ‘cut’. It’s not the same with theatre, as they have to think of everything and work at it. For example, when delivering your lines while looking at your opposing actor in a scene has to be right. However, when the audience is looking, you can feel the response of the people right in front of you as you read your lines a lot more [as opposed to dramas, movies], so it is a bit difficult. Despite that, we practice for the performance for more than two months, and realizing that this is a genre where you strive to approach the audience with a perfect appearance, there’s no doubt that this genre is fascinating.”
– When looking at your acting palette, what color would it be?
“All actors say it’s white. (Laughs) Whatever color one wears, it’s a color that matches and allows them to look pretty. I think my color is red when I act as Alice. Wherever one looks, it’s a color that can stand out. Red is also a color that can be seen as a pretty, passionate color, and on the other hand seen as a scary color. Aren’t you anticipating what color I want to show you in the future?” (Laughs)”
– ‘Closer’ is your debut work on stage. After the performances end in December, how do you think the project will remain with you?
“I think I’ll be very disappointed. Though I have been in other works, it’s difficult to meet charming characters such as Alice in ‘Closer’. I think this will be the project in my acting career that will be my red color.”
– How do you feel when you finish a drama?
“Every time, it feels like it isn’t over. Despite the filming for the drama being over, I wake up the next morning with the feeling that ‘I have to go film, so why am I at home?'”
– Is the feeling different when you are awarded the Rookie Actress Award?
“I won the award in 2011 at SBS and last year at KBS. Whenever I win an award, I’m very thankful. I go forward with my acting, since I was awarded for showing myself as the actress Jin Se Yeon.”
– It’s difficult for people to act in one drama as the protagonist, but you did three last year. It seems like a lot of people must have learned about you.
“Every time I go in for casting, I have feelings of doubt and ask myself ‘why did the director choose me?’ (Laughs) At the same time, there’s no other thought in my head except that I have to act very well, and looking back, it’s something I’m very thankful for. even in my neighborhood, there are a lot of people that recognize me. However amazing that is, as soon as I leave the neighborhood, the people don’t know me very well. (Laughs)”
Translation: The Real CZ @ Hallyu Interview