There is an amazing person who played the lead role in her debut musical, after passing the competition of 400 to 1 in her first audition. She’s the musical actress Hong Seo-young! In the large-scale creative musical called “Dorian Gray”, Hong Seo-young played a double role as Syville and her sister Charlotte. Her charismatic and intense performance was shown in this musical to the world. Acting with prominent actors such as Kim Joon-su and Park Eun-tae, she successfully completed her first musical and also won the Rookie of the Year Award at the 2016 “Stagetalk Audience Choice Awards (SACA)”. Since then, she has been actively working not only on musicals, but also on TV dramas including “The Liar and His Lover” and “Drama Special - A Bad Family”. With her excellent singing skills and stable acting techniques, she is now considered as one of the up-and-coming rising stars. CAH met and interviewed Hong Seo-young, a student in the Department of Theater and Film at CAU.
CAH: On the OCN new weekend drama “Children of a Lesser God”, you are playing the role of “Chun Soo-in”, actor Kang Ji-hwan’s younger sister. Please briefly introduce the story of the drama and your role.
Hong: The drama “Children of a Lesser God” is a detective and mystery drama. The story is about an elite detective with an IQ of 167, “Chun Jae-in” who only believes fact, logic, and numbers and a female detective, “Kim Dan” who has unsurpassed abilities to see things that she shouldn’t have. Completely different characters meet and track down secrets surrounding an unprecedented mass death. My character “Chun Soo-in” is the younger sister of “Chun Jae-in” and she is an ambitious new reporter who has lots of curiosity. Soo-in had a big accident and unfortunately died from that accident, and then that’s how the drama begins. Through this character, I show a realistic brother and sister relationship by appearing as a realistic younger sister.
CAH: We heard that you wanted to be a singer when you were a high school student because you loved singing. Is there another reason for becoming a musical actress? What really lead you to perform in musicals?
Hong: It’s amazing how small opportunities can result in an unbelievable conclusion. First, since I was young, I knew that I wanted to become a singer or some kind of celebrity because my belly itched whenever I watched and saw all those famous singers and actors on television. I wanted to become just like them, so I decided to enter a high school that specializes in arts. During my high school years, I also studied acting at an academy with my best friends. One day, my teacher asked me if I was interested in performing in a musical. At that time, I was not so into musicals, but I was always open to trying anything new. So, for the first time, I auditioned for a musical named “Dorian Gray” and luckily I was accepted and debuted with this musical.
CAH: What made you to enter the Department of Theater and Film at CAU?
Hong: Back then, I really knew nothing about the film department because I only studied practical music when I was in high school. However, all of my friends said that Chung-Ang University is the place to go. They all said that Chung-Ang University is the greatest university for arts and theater. So, from then, I thought that Chung-Ang University is the university where I needed to go for my career. Moreover, I was so determined to go to CAU after I watched a mask performance on campus that was performed by CAU’s students. Therefore, I applied to Chung-Ang University and knew that if I got in, I would become the greatest actress of all time in Korea.
CAH: You made your debut in the musical “Dorian Gray” in 2016 through experiencing the tough competition. It’s also unbelievable that it was your first audition. We wonder about your know-how to pass the audition and your own special charms.
Hong: At the audition, there were so many talented and remarkable people. So, obviously, I was discouraged and nervous. But I thought doing my best is the most important thing to do. I really did my best so that I would not have any regrets after the audition. I personally think the directors and judges highly appreciated my best and confidence performances on the stage. I think this is what allowed me to pass this tough audition.
CAH: Since this musical is your debut film, you must have a special affection towards it. What does “Dorian Gray” mean to you?
Hong: It really means a lot to me. “Dorian Gray” is like a tiny scratch on my little finger. When I started the musical, the scratch was small but it hurts. Because it hurt, it’ became attaching and I tried to be careful not to be scarred. The scar is scary but I don’t hate it. From “Dorian Gray”, I learned a lot of things and without it, I would not able to do my next acting well. “Dorian Gray” is my debut work heavier than the first start.
CAH: You seem to have worked hard enough to show off your excellent skills in school performances such as “The Devil”. What is the most memorable moment of your passionate school life?
Hong: I liked and enjoyed musicals and acting, so the process in which I prepared for the performances together with seniors, friends, and juniors remain in my memory. When we built the stage all night, sometimes we fell asleep on the stage. At that time, the stage light was so pretty, making a nice window shape shadow on the ground. Even though the stage was quite cold and dusty, after a while the memory with my team has become a precious moment that is so dear to me.
CAH: Is there any lecture class or professor that was impressive during your university life? If there is, please tell us why.
Hong: Professor Kim Chul-seung was an especially memorable professor to me. I am taking a leave of absence right now but when I attended school, I took all of his courses. One of the interesting classes was the lecture in complete silence. When students are standing quietly, the professor says a phrase in each of the students’ ears, such as “Hug each other”. It was a unique experience. Moreover, I think my daily life has changed a lot through the words that professor Kim Chul-seung told me.
CAH: How does/did CAU help your current work?
Hong: The things I learned at CAU was really helpful. If I hadn’t entered Chung-Ang University, I wouldn’t have been able to make it on stage. University is like a small society, so I could meet various thankful seniors. Lectures about musical theory and practical work were a great help when doing musicals and filming dramas. I also thought a lot about how I could express all the necessary emotions if I hadn't met my professors.
CAH: It is known that your debut drama was “The Liar and His Lover” and that you took the role of “Chae Yu-na.” Also, you have participated in making the OST as well. How did you appeal your charms all in different ways?
Hong: First of all, I did not expect that I could do drama. One of my directors recommended me to audition for a drama, which was “The Liar and His Lover.” At that time, since this was the first time for me to experience drama, I really did not expect to pass the audition. But, I did and I was very speechless in a positive way. Filming the drama, I received a lot of help from many staff members and directors that helped me in acting and in becoming “Chae Yu-na.” All I really tried to do was to become the real “Chae Yu-na” and show my acting to the fullest.
CAH: Recently, you have finished the musical “Napoleon” in the role of Josephine. How was the cooperation with all the different actors and actresses?
Hong: Especially in this musical, the cooperation and harmonizing with other actors and actresses was very interesting. That was because this musical was actually a triple casting. So, I had to act on stage with all the different actors and actresses every time. Every time I was on stages, I received a new impression even on the same scene and the same dialogue. It was an awesome experience for me and I remembered that this particular musical was the one that I always looked forward to.
CAH: It is true that there is a huge difference between stage acting and camera acting. What do you think of the charm of each acting type?
Hong: Yes, I do believe that both types of acting are totally different in terms of how to act. For the musical, you have to act straight, from beginning to the end (nonstop) with making no mistakes. Moreover, all the actors and actresses have to be focused so that they do not miss any lines or their parts. One of the attracting charms that the musical has is that the musical itself has a power and I do feel the power inside actors and actresses as well. On the other hand, camera acting a has different charm. Since camera acting can be stopped and re-filmed over and over again, it has its advantages where actors and actresses have many opportunities to perform their best acting. Thus, both types of acting have their own specialty and both are fun to act in all different ways.
CAH: In “Drama Special- A Bad Family,” you took a variety of roles such as a high school student, a French lady, and even a singer. Is there any role or part that you want to take into future musicals and dramas?
Hong: I personally want to take a part in roles that are not human. I want to act in roles that are not human, such as being witch or a, dead zombie in musicals. In dramas, I want to take a role that has my opposite characteristics which is being an intellectual detector. Also, I thought of taking a part as a sport player since I do love to play sports. All these acting opportunities seem to be exciting and interesting.
CAH: You are currently filming a drama and playing in a musical at the same time. Are there any struggles or difficulties that you are currently facing?
Hong: I usually do not find any difficulties in doing both jobs at the same time. However, one thing I can say tis hat I always try to be cautious not to be confused or combine both characters in the acting. These days, I am just thankful that I am busy with all the acting in musicals and in dramas.
CAH: It is known that your older brother is a volleyball player at Han-yang University. Also, just like your brother, you like a variety of sports as well. Which sport do you often enjoy?
Hong: There’s no real sport that I play these days, but I really enjoy playing basketball type games. This is where you insert coins and play a basketball game by just shooting the ball. I am horrible at dribbling and playing actual basketball games, but I am pretty good at shooting and making points. So, I often go to the game stations and play basketball game with my friends.
CAH: Despite having a short acting period, you have a variety parts of filmography. What is your next goal that you want to achieve?
Hong: For now, I want to focus on my acting both in musicals and in dramas. However, if I have the opportunity to do other things, I would love to be in a magazine as a model. Since I personally love jewelry and clothes, I would love to be on the magazine representing certain products. Also, I dreamed of being a main star in advertisements and in commercials as well. If I have the chance, I would be honored to be a part of it and would do my best at all time.
Hong Seo-young, the optimistic actress, is such an energetic girl. One of the factors that are special about Hong is that, as a musical actress, she has the powerful energy that no other actresses can defeat. On top of that, she also possesses innumerable facial expressions that capture all the attentions and the eyes of everyone. CAH will always anticipate Hong Seo-young’s energetic and challenging adventures that will make her on of the greatest actresses and an all-time favorite.< 저작권자 © 중앙헤럴드 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >