[Note: This is a direct follow up to this interview Kim Tae Hee did that I translated here.]
If someone mentions the word ‘appearance’ in the Republic of Korea, which actress comes to mind? Isn’t it Kim Tae Hee? Of course normal fans do, and many stars have chosen Kim Tae Hee as their ideal type. She took a short break and now has returned through ‘Jang Ok Jung’. In order to put down the term of ‘beautiful actress’ and to be reborn as a true actress, Kim Tae Hee is working hard for the goal, and Kim Tae Hee agreed to meet the readers of Naver’s Star Column. Are you ready to listen attentively to ‘Everything About Kim Tae Hee’ directly from Kim Tae Hee herself? It starts now.
# Meet the changed ‘Jang Ok Jung’
Hello? This is Kim Tae Hee. Did you have fun reading the first part of the Star Column? This time we will talk about the actress Kim Tae Hee. Bringing up the topic like this is a bit embarrassing. You’ll read to the end this time too, right?
Later I’ll be going to promote sesame seeds. You know about my comeback through this SBS Monday-Tuesday drama, ‘Jang Ok Jung, Live In Love’, right? Maybe you have seen the first broadcast and the second episode that aired on Tuesday. The response isn’t as bad as I thought, which is giving me strength. I strongly have belief. In everyone! I really want to trust you all like that! ^^;
I was contacted from here and there a lot yesterday. I was nervous…I am closely watching the responses to the first episode. However, it’s a bunch of people writing that they love me. Of course there were a lot of people who wrote for me. As you expect, I embrace all of those words. Therefore, if the actress Kim Tae Hee is able to come out, I’ll be satisfied just through your words. Everyone, I love you.
There have already been quite a few seniors that have passed through the role of ‘Jang Hee Bin’, right? That’s also causing me to be a little burdened. However, the Jang Hee Bin being portrayed in this drama is different from the character acted by my seniors. It’s not about a ferocious evil woman, but it’s a story about the melancholic love she had for one man. In ‘Jang Ok Jung’, when she becomes Jang Hee Bin, there is an opportunity for her character to change a little bit, but by saying that, she won’t transform in the blink of an eye.
You may have all seen this, but in this drama, Jang Ok Jung comes from a slave origin. In reality, she comes from a ‘joong-in’ origin (joong-in is like a normal person back in the Joseon era), and while her father is a joong-in in the drama, her mother is a slave, which is the reason why Ok Jung’s identity is that of a slave. That is why they got chased by the slave hunters. She becomes unable to live with her mother. Those scars and pain have become inherent in her since she was young, so she’s a character that had no choice but to distance herself from the feelings of love. The work that allows her to forget the restraints of her status is making clothes. While Ok Jung makes clothes, she feels joy, and she fatefully falls in love. Of course, you all know the tragic ending, right?
Ah, you know what? Although I already slightly referred to it, Jang Ok Jung’s job is that of a designer. Although some people already know, my major was in Fashion Design. Thanks to the time I spent in school, I have done many sketches and designs, and I have made clothes by myself. From having that experience, I felt very comfortable while preparing for this project. I particularly had to learn how to sew a hanbok, but it was really fun. The memories of the past are rushing to me. Haha. The hanbok’s sense of color is very pretty. The details are very cute. Though I did do a lot of sewing, I even sewed it at home. ^^
The first scene in the drama ‘Jang Hee Bin’ that Kim Hye Soo acted in also comes out in our drama. Although it’s similar, the set up is different. Kim Hye Soo has a lot of charisma, and the scene started while she gave the appearance of an strong, evil woman. Though you saw on it Wednesday, I start off by magnificently opening a fashion show in the drama. The wife of an official doused me in water saying something while bringing up my status. Then I said something back. Although the situation may be similar, my character isn’t wicked like Kim Hye Soo’s character. [My character] Ok Jung isn’t mean, either. As for charisma..well… That’s something that the viewers will have to feel. ^^; I worked hard to show off my own strong and determined side…
# At least, it seems like I have mastered the method to act!
To be honest, acting isn’t a talent that I was born with. There’s a lot of talk about that, right? Someone with inborn talent can’t defeat someone who puts effort into something, and someone who puts effort into something can’t defeat someone who enjoys doing something. I’m working hard to beat those with natural talent, and there are times when I feel satisfied, so I feel joy at those times. Though I am striving to enjoy acting and working hard, there are times when just enjoying acting isn’t enough.
Back in the day, I had a lot of greed. I didn’t know how to act. Thankfully I have now seemed to have mastered that method a little bit. Before going into a project, I ardently worry and analyze, putting a lot of effort into it. However, right when I’m about to enter filming, I forget everything I have done during that time and immerse myself in the emotions and scene, striving to enjoy acting. That’s one method, but I used to do the exact opposite. I didn’t know how to practice, so I impudently spent my time and went to the scene just to work hard. If you go in with just the intention to work hard, on the contrary, you won’t be able to do well. There are important emotions I need to have going into a scene, and there’s a possibility that the need for new emotions will arise. How did I realize this? It’s been over ten years since I’ve been acting, so wouldn’t I realize that by now? Haha.
I’ve heard people around me say the same thing. “Since Kim Tae Hee is from Myungmoondae and is smart, she can memorize the lines very well.” I’m not the type to quickly look at the script. It’s not that I can’t memorize, it’s just that I can’t easily memorize. If I were to memorize a script, and if I were to think that I was taking a test, there has to be some kind of trick/method involved. However, it’s just not memorizing the letters in the lines of the script, we have to analyze the emotions in the lines and be familiar with them. It’s especially difficult to memorize for a sageuk because the words and vocabulary are different from the modern language.
# I worried a lot about the sageuk way of speaking.
At first, I worried about capturing the sageuk tone. When I watch an epic sageuk or an older project, the sageuk way of speaking is strong. However, there has recently been in increase in the number of people who speak closer to our modern language. In accordance with one’s status, the way one speaks is even different. For example, a maid in a rich person’s house would have a strong sageuk accent, but the lowest class of people can really speak comfortably. I worried about asking the director how I should go about using the tone, but at the first script reading when I saw the lines, it was very clear.
In this drama, seeing that Ok Jung comes from being a maid of Queen In Hyun, there’s a lot of sageuk tone used. In order to remove the difference (between old Korean and modern Korean), I’m working hard to say my lines through the feelings of our modern language. Though I do think that there’s a possibility that I could stand out, I’m worrying about to what lengths should I say these lines, and I worry again, but now I have grasped very clear lines. Though the dialogues have gotten longer, but if you remember my words as you watch the broadcast, you’ll be able to understand my position that much faster.
# This is a drama that has allowed me to feel the happiness that can be washed away.
Movies and dramas have their own charms. Though they’re difficult on the body, I like dramas more. Dramas have this strong, raging charm to them. So while they are difficult, when the response to the drama comes in, it makes it that much easier for the moments that you enjoy to come despite the conditions being tough on your body. While acting, there is no time to sleep, wash up, or even worry. I think that’s one of its good points.
I had a lot of scenes when I filmed ‘My Princess’. Looking back, that was 24 hours a day filming. Since the drama broadcast on Wednesdays and Thursdays, we spent all of Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday — four nights and five days — continuously filming. The only time I was able to sleep was when being transported in my car, and when the script came in, I had to memorize the lines. Even more, I fell asleep while the makeup artists were doing my makeup. At a nearby hotel I would wash my face and get my makeup done, and at that time I was thankful that I was able to wash my face. It looks like the filming won’t be easy for this drama, either. However, that means I’ll work that much harder to film and make it interesting, so anticipate it.
I kept talking and talking, and this is longer than I had thought. I don’t know how long this actually is. I don’t know whether or not you all will enjoy reading the Star Column that I wrote. Though I’ll end the writing here, I’ll meet you all every week on Monday and Tuesday through ‘Jang Ok Jung’. Therefore, don’t be too disappointed.
Also, I’ll become an actress that will always work hard. Thank you for reading up until now. Thank you. I seriously love all of you!
[The End of this two part series.]
Translation: The Real CZ @ Hallyu Interview