SM Entertainment had a truly lovely building. It was not a massive skyscraper that one would imagine for a company, but a lovely yellowish 4 story building with a truly simple and white interior. Instead of the coffee shop that one would expect, Ara’s interview took place inside the SM Entertainment head office. Ara arrived soon after we arrived and she had a truly stunning view indeed. With a black dress code and a bright smile, she definitely seemed to light up the whole room even though she was wearing black. A few moments of awkwardness that is usually inevitable, the interview progressed just as if she were a normal university student, with much more experience and potential than most.
Pacemaker and Papa
Q After your debut, you appeared in Korean movies for the first time in ‘Pacemaker’ and ‘Papa’. Are there any reasons why you suddenly chose to star in Korean movies? And are you planning to actively be an actress now?
A I starred in two Japanese movies before but it had been a while since I had starred in anything so I read the scenario script very thoroughly for a year and a half. After that, since I really liked sports and my seniors were people I held in esteem, I decided to take the part. Because of my image, most people find difficulty in imagining me loving sports as much as I really do. Another reason was that the character was very different from the other ones that I had already tried. This character, who is a pole vaulter, had many difficulties to undergo and so it was a challenge to me, but as a result I was kind of attracted to that character
Q You said that the reason why you decided this role was because you really like sports, do you do any sports activities or work-out on a regular basis?
A Yes, I work-out on a regular basis. But I really underestimated pole vaulting. I thought that all you had to do was to just jump over a pole (laughter). So I concentrated on the character’s personality trusting that pole-vaulting would be easy based on confidence that came from no-where. But when I tried, things were much more intense than I expected. I usually work-out using 2kg dumbbells, but I had to start with 5kgs and went on to 8kgs as well – which is about the weight that men use. So I had intensive training for a short period of time – almost like an athlete. It was definitely not easy and I had stretched my Achilles tendon while at it. After the experience I began to look at athletes at a new light.
Q Were there any happenings when filming ‘pace maker’?
Kim Myeung-min appears in pace-maker as the marathoner. One day I meet a person called Joo Man-ho where I begin to wonder about the road that I am going through. But I become so frustrated that I follow Joo Man-ho who is running in the sports grounds. That night, film-making took place from 9pm to 6am and I ended up running the massive sports grounds over and over again. But Kim Myeung-min can run really well. He didn’t even wheeze once while I was literally dying in exhaustion! I think I ran about 15 kilometers in total with Kim Myeung-min but he didn’t even sit once. I had to pretend to do some stretching by sitting down. Once again I realized that running was not easy.
Q Any happenings in “Papa”?
A There was a scene where there ought to be a car crash, but I really did make a car crash! (laughter) It was a silly mistake where I pushed the accelerator too hard for the likes of the brakes and as a result, a real car crash was made. The director was delighted and said that they could use the real car crash in the movie. (laughter) It was a very memorable incident. Luckily I wasn’t hurt much but only had a few aftereffects such as nausea for a day or two.
Q At your 2 years of so called ‘blank period’, what activities do you remember the most?
A Well mostly I attended school quite consistently and actually received quite good grades. When I was not able to attend classes, I did reports and extra homework instead. Well, it is difficult to get grades without a perfect attendance score after all. Other than this, I think I went traveling a lot. Just to the countryside to sniff some air – these kinds of memories are for some reason hard to forget. Since I grew up in the countryside while learning how to act, I really do love the countryside and the bits of nature all around.
Q I’ve heard that you played the piano, took photos and listened to music as a hobby. Are you interested in playing such a role like a pianist or photographer in a movie or drama?
A Actually, I draw art as a hobby these days, but you’ll probably laugh at my work. (laughter) My mother draws very well and I don’t. I draw abstract paintings. Drawing has something inside that can fill in the places that reading and taking photos can’t fill up. That was the reason why I started drawing, but I get puzzled when people laugh at my drawings when I tried to express some deep expressions. (laughter) So I got the idea just now that such a comical character might be very fun to act. A slightly comical character dreaming of becoming an artist but is not understood by many because she lives in a world of her own.
Q If your current acting career was picked on a time scale of 0 to 24, I would say that you are at 10 o’clock because now you are about to jump into the Korean movie business after years of acting experience. What do you think?
A I… think I’m still at 0 o’clock. Even though I’ve acted a lot, I still think everything I do is a new beginning. But it could be possible that I would be stuck on 0 o’clock in the future as well… (laughter)
Q It is said that your expression is very bright and that you have a very positive point of view of everything. How do you maintain that kind of positive point of view?
A How do I keep the positive point of view? Actually, it’s very difficult as it is. I think it’s becoming harder and harder. However I think being a real simpleton is the best way you can get rid of negative thoughts and change them into good memories. It’s also good for your health and your body so I try my best to keep it so.
Other than these, Ara turned out to enjoy writing poems as well to the surprise of many and is a keen poet whenever she has the motive to write. Finally Ara said a few words for the people who wanted to become actors. “I think that not only actors but it’s important that you pick the job that you enjoy the most. Always do the job that you can enjoy, be happy and always be enthusiastic. Many of my friends talk about what they want to do as a career in the future and I’m very glad that I’ve found my dream so quickly and that I can enjoy it as well. Even though it can be difficult in many aspects, if you can enjoy it, even difficulties can become joy.”
Ara is now beginning once again at 0o’clock as a new movie star in Korea. The CAH most definitely wishes best of luck for all the movies, dramas and CF’s she stars in.< 저작권자 © 중앙헤럴드 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >