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[Interview] Inferiority Is What Makes Moon Chae Won Grow

Rating Rating more Three Stars

2011.10.24 10:31 Mwave Park, HyunMin


Her fans call her ‘Moon Bbong Gu’. Although this seemingly unfitting nickname seems to have come from nowhere, it actually (sort of) came from the actress herself.
While searching for a unique domain name for her mini homepage, she thought of her dog′s name, Bbong Gu, and put it together with her last name to come up with the domain ′moonbbong.′

Her fans later on thought it was cute enough to bestow on their young actress, and so the name became hers. Moon Bbong Gu.

The term ‘Bbong Gu speed’ branches out from this nickname. For her fans, it means the same thing as ‘slowly but surely’, as Moon Chae Won is pretty slow in speech and actions for a person her age, but is still exact in everything she does. Moon Chae Won especially keeps her ‘Bbong Gu speed’ during her interviews. Last year, when I first met her for an interview, I was surprised at how she contemplated each question and came out with a perfectly organized answer. This time, she was no different.

Her career this year followed in this ‘Bbong Gu speed’ also. Moon Chae Won never hurried into anything, but worked hard in her film The Ultimate Weapon and the KBS2 drama The Princess′ Man. As a result, her big screen and small screen bits both managed to become big hits, making 2011 her best year yet since her debut.

[Interview] Inferiority Is What Makes Moon Chae Won Grow

Relieving exhaustion with a family trip

Shooting for The Princess′ Man began just a day after shooting for the film The Ultimate Weapon had wrapped, giving Moon no time to rest. No one would have been surprised if she had been exhausted, but she wore her ‘it′s okay’ expression and said, “Physical pains go away with time. No matter how busy or difficult the shooting schedules are, I don’t feel much exhaustion.”

For a change of scenery she does plan to go on a trip to Spain for about two weeks with her mother.

“People who like dancing and singing do that, and people who like their friends meet their friends… Because I’m the type that finds comfort in everyday things, I chose to go on a trip with my family. Even if I go with friends, if I feel they’re uncomfortable I can’t go with them. I only go on domestic trips with my friends, and I have to go overseas with my family.”

She grumbles cutely that because of the flow of love calls and because she needs to choose her next piece, she won’t be able to be entirely relaxed during her vacation.

“I need to eat as much as I want, but I don’t think I’ll be able to because I have so much to do after I get back. I’m even taking my scenarios with me. Although I’ll be under the same sky, I want to read them with a better sense. I don’t think practice is the only thing that makes acting better. It helps to get away from what you always see and see many other things.”

[Interview] Inferiority Is What Makes Moon Chae Won Grow

Research is essential!

Moon Chae Won is famous for undertaking extensive research before going into a shoot. She not only prepares to act her own character, but also watches the other pieces previously worked on by her new partner, director and writer.

It’s not easy for an actress, who is always short on free time, to take time out of her schedule to go through all those old works. When asked why she does so, she answered firmly, “It’s something I have to do.”

“No matter how small a role, I need to research it beforehand. Traditional dramas add to its enjoyment as it progresses, so it’s important to know how my partner works. The reason why I watch his previous works is because it lets me shorten the time it takes me to get in step with him in the case I don’t get to talk with him a lot beforehand, because I’m not a very outgoing person. Even if it’s a different role, the actor doesn’t diverge much from his original ways.”

The actress showed she wasn’t kidding, as she kept saying things like, “Director Kim Han Min’s style is, like his previous works Paradise Murdered or Handphone…” or “Ryu Seung Ryong showed in Personal Taste and Righteous Ties...”

[Interview] Inferiority Is What Makes Moon Chae Won Grow

Her goal is to gain more confidence

You can’t even start to count how many times Moon Chae Won says “I still have a long way to go” or “I’m not at that level yet” during the interview. She’s topped the viewership rating charts for her time slot, recorded 7 million in movie ticket sales and was awarded the coveted Best New Actress award at the Daejong Film Festival, but she still seems to feel there’s something more.

Of course, this is better than having an interview with an actress who’s so arrogant she makes you shiver, but she’s so modest, she even seems to put herself down somewhat. I asked Moon Chae Won whether the thing that makes her grow was her ‘sense of inferiority’ or ‘self-confidence’.

Her first answer was, “It’s probably a very nice mix,” but the answer later on swayed more toward inferiority.

“I think inferiority helps me grow. Thoughts like ‘I want to have the energy that person has’ or ‘I don’t have that’. Even when other people tell me ‘traditional dramas match you well,′ I do want to be good at it, but I’m still so lacking... In order to like who I am, I need to win over my inferiority. I’ll work hard to gain confidence someday.”

Photo credit: Kim Byung Kwan

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