Do you remember Ji Eun-tak’s nasty cousin named Kyung-mi in the drama called “Dokebi”? Innumerable people are surprised after realizing that Kyung-mi in “Dokebi” and Eun-kyung in the movie “Spirit’s Homecoming” are portrayed by the same actress, Choi Ri. She was able to show and publicize herself to many people only through two pieces of films by playing two completely different characters. She officially became a new rising star after she won the “New Rising Star’s Prize” at the Dae-jong Film Awards last year with the film “Spirit’s Homecoming”. As everyone can see, Choi Ri is one of the actresses who currently receives great attentions in Chungmuro. Unlike other actors and actresses that majored in acting, she is currently majoring in Korean dancing at Chung-Ang University. Choi-Ri danced for more than 10 years and she was the one who stood out from other new rising stars because most new rising stars major in acting. CAH interviewed Choi Ri, an official new rising star who is enthusiastic about both studying and acting.
CAH: Recently, you were cast in the film, “That is my World” and you are currently filming with many famous actors and actresses such as Lee Byung-hun, Yoon Yeo-jeong and Han Ji-min. Please tell give us an introduction about the new movie and the movie character that you play.
Choi: In the movie, there is one older brother who is a washed-up boxer another younger brother who is physically handicapped but is gifted in playing piano. The movie depicts how the brothers are building relationships with their mother. The character that I play is named Su-jeong, and she is high school student who lives in the same house. She dreams to become an idol singer but she is neither good at singing nor dancing. She is basically a goofy girl who plays with her physically handicapped brother every day.
CAH: Unlike other actors and actresses, you graduated from the National High School of Traditional Arts and majored in Korean Traditional Dance. What made you change to become an actress when you were only interested in dancing for more than ten years?
Choi: The main reason that I became an actress was through my debut film “Spirit’s Homecoming”. Very luckily, director Jo Jung-rae offered me a scene in the film and I felt and realized that I was really interested in acting. Although I was good at dancing and had spent most of my life dancing, I was also really passionate about it. I thought that acting could express more than dancing. Dancing can only be expressed through the body. However, acting can be shown through facial expressions, words, and the body. As a result, I was able to accomplish my new dream as an actor because my film director trusted me and led me so well. Thus, after my film, I really began to think about acting more deeply and seriously.
CAH: If you hadn’t chosen acting as your new path, which career do you think you would have chosen in the future? And Why?
Choi: If I had not become an actress, I probably would have become a dance teacher or a professor who teaches dance. Since I was a high school student, I was very interested in the history of dance. I loved learning about the theory of dancing and how the dancing came to be. Because I am more interested in the theory of dance, I would be teaching students about the history of dance and not how to dance.
CAH: When you were attending Chung-Ang University, what was your most memorable moment or an episode that you remember?
Choi: During my freshmen spring semester, every students in my dancing class wanted to go outside because the cherry blossoms were in full bloom. We all begged our professors if we could have a break from the class and go outside to enjoy the spring. At last, our professor let us out to just chill outside and have fun. I was so excited because I dreamed this when I was in high school. I remember every student ran outside of the class and had the best time taking pictures, playing and chilling on the grass area.
CAH: Do you have a most admired class or professor at Chung-Ang University? If you have, please tell me why.
Choi: There are two professors, Choi Hyang-soon and Song Hyun-joo. Firstly, Choi Hyang-soon professor is my major lecturer and she taught me so well that I could ever forget her. When I was taking that class, I was also preparing for movie films. Therefore, it was hard for me to attend or participate. However, whenever I was busy and missed the class, the professor would help me out by teaching me till I fully understood the class materials. I was so thankful and blessed to have a professor who is passionate in teaching. Through her kindness, I tried even harder to study more and to do well on the test. Secondly, Professor Song Hyun-joo taught me the subject “Healthy life”. The contents of the class were so difficult for me to understand. So after the class, I frequently asked the professor many questions for which I could not find the answer during the class. I was so desperate to do well in class, so I even called her and disturbed her with her daily life. One thing that I admired about my professor was that she never got angry at me for asking too many questions. Every time she would explain all the questions again and again when I had trouble understanding the concept. I really thanked her and I appreciated her for all of her kindness.
CAH: A few days ago, there was a photo uploaded on social media with Han Jin-min. Is there any secret ways for managing your skin?
Choi: One of the things that I do in order to keep my skin healthy and clean is drinking lots of lemon water. Whenever I drink water, I often squeeze in lemon juice and pour the sparkling water. Moreover, I usually eat a variety of fruit. I think that this helps me a lot in maintaining good healthy skin. Furthermore, I try not to put on make-up when I am not filming any movies or dramas.
CAH: For your debut film “Spirit’s Homecoming”, how. did you prepare for this film and what does it mean to you?
Choi: I was cast in the film when I was a junior in high school, and I had one year to prepare. The role I played is Eun-kyung who honors the delicate girls from Japanese military sexual slavery. My character was somewhat difficult to study than other characters. In order to really get the feeling and fully know the character, I didn’t meet my friends for seven months and spent time alone. I tried to be isolated from social media and out of contact. Also, I read collections of Japanese military sexual slaveries in order to build my background. I believe that the film “Spirit’s Homecoming” represents a turning point in my career. Although I had hard times during the preparation, I was very thankful at the same time because this movie turned me onto a new adventure “actress” road. This movie is such a lifelong reminding film and precious film for me.
CAH: Through the Drama “Dokebi” a lot of people started to recognize you as a new actress. Is there any funny or memorable episode that you remember when you were acting?
Choi: Of course, there was a scene where it was funny and painful at the same time. So, one of the scene was where I am fighting from falling asleep. I had to act like I am so sleepy but trying to stay awake. I put a pain relieving liquid “mulpas” underneath my eyes. It really hurt my eyes and the filimg went on for quite a long time. Once I got to my car after that scene, I could not even open my eyes because I had put pain relieving liquid under my eyes probably more than ten times. However, although this was very painful, I felt good because I knew that this scene will turn out very funny.
CAH: So far, you have done one drama and one movie, which are “Dokebi” and “Spirit’s Homecoming”. Among these two productions, which do you think is the closest character that matches or shows your real personality?
Choi: I definitely think that the character that I showed as “Kyung-mi” in “Dokebi” matches well with my characteristics. I am personally very active and optimistic. In “Dokebi” “Kyung-mi” has that exact same characteristics except that she is mean and evil. I do personally consider this way not only because “Eun-kyung” in the “Spirit’s Homecoming” is a girl who has the opposite personality but also because I had to put much more effort and actually had to study her unique characteristics. So, I can say that I am closer or almost the same personality type as “Kyung-mi” in “Dokebi.”
CAH: How did Chung-Ang University help you in becoming an actress?
Choi: First of all, I am currently majoring in Korean Dance. Since my major is about Korean traditional dance, there were a variety of things I had to learn, such as “Pansori” (a song that represents Korean traditional culture and acting). I was able to learn all these kinds of different majors at Chung-Ang University because this school is the best school that has synthesized all the art academies into one department. Compared to other universities, this would be the advantage of being a Chung-Ang University student.
CAH: If you could pick, which role would you like to play? And why?
Choi: Personally, I really want to play a role in a romance movie or just a romance. I have played several roles such in horror, comedy, and tragedy. However, I never have taken such a part where I fall in love with someone or in a relationship with someone. If I have to pick one Korean celebrity for the romance movie partner… I would pick Park Bo-Gum!
CAH: Who is your idol actor or actress that you want to follow or learn from? Tell us the reasons as well.
Choi: I have two actresses that I admire and want to follow and become like in the future. The first actress is “Kim Hae-soo”. She is such a positive person that I have ever met. At the filming site, or while we film a movie or a drama, she was always enthusiastic - no matter how long the shoot took. Also, when I saw her at the movie award festival, she shined and stood out from all the other famous actors and actresses. The second actress that I admire and respect is “Han Ji-min”. Recently, I learned so many valuable things from her while we were filming a movie together. She is not only passionate about her career, but also a person who shows great respect for others. Moreover, when there is a struggle or obstacles that we all need to go through as staff, she actively solves problems with wise decisions. I am so thankful that I got to meet such actresses that really helped me in becoming a better actress and a better person. My goal is to follow their path and never forget all the things that they advised me.
CAH: Which kind of actress do you want to be remembered as by people?
Choi: I want to be reminded as an actress that gives trust. I want my fans and people to watch my movies and dramas without worrying that the productions might let them down. I want everyone to consider “the movie or the drama would be great because Choi Ri is in it”. This would include the meanings of high quality of acting skills and also a great person as well.
CAH: From the start, the first movie “Spirits’ Homecoming” had such a long and a difficult time whether the movie should be released or not. As you have also gone through many struggles during your career life, please give any advice for Chung-Ang University students that may help them now or in the future.
Choi: Firstly, I want to tell all Chung-Ang University students to never give up. I personally think that not giving up and having a grit is the most significant part and is a first step in becoming a successful person. Even if one does not have confidence, it is important for her or him to keep faith in themselves. Whatever the situation that individuals are currently in, to keep trying harder might be the fastest way in accomplishing their dreams and hopes. For my last word, if you actually try your best at all times, your dreams will definitely come true!!!
The new rising star that CAH met was not only very energetic and has the most beautiful eyes. From the start of the interview, she showed us how grateful she is to be part of CAU People. At first sight, we felt that she both has affection and passion towards Chung-Ang University and her acting career. CAH hopes Choi Ri to successfully finish her movie and keep her faith towards walking on a path of “acting.” < 저작권자 © 중앙헤럴드 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >