[Interview] Song Ji Hyo Says Every Emotion She Shows is a Part of Her
What image comes to you first when you start thinking about Song Ji Hyo?
Avid viewers of SBS′ Running Man would think of an outgoing and agressive character, defined by the nicknames ′Blank Ji Hyo′ or ′Ace′, while those who enjoyed her heavy, dark or traditional roles in the films Whispering Corridors 3 : Wishing Stairs and A Frozen Flower, as well as the drama Gyebaek, will remember her by her calm and serious attitude.
Of course, this goes for all celebrities, and not only Song Ji Hyo.
Still, it doesn′t change that locking anyone up in one type of image or an illusion is a dangerous thing to do. Everyone needs to understand that celebrities are human beings just like everyone else, who feel emotions and live their lives. In other words, the images shown in variety or, for actors, in their pieces alone don′t represent who that person really is.
The image Song Ji Hyo puts on for her new film The Jackal is Coming seems familiar yet distant at the same time. The role contains the unpredictable self she shows in variety, yet is different from all the other roles she′s previously taken up for her acting bits.
The personality of the humane Bong Min Jung, her role in The Jackal is Coming, is actually very similar to the character we′ve thought Song Ji Hyo to be throughout her career. This fact gave Song Ji Hyo a hard time.
"I have a lot in common with [Bong] Min Jung, but I felt a gap because I had never acted as such a character. I was sorry this showed in the finished movie. I needed to overdo it more to fit Min Jung′s character or pull the emotions to bigger extremes, but instead the concerns that I had in the beginning managed to survive through to the ending."
It was her first time acting as a killer in her career. The role of the perfect killer wasn′t very different from her previous heavier roles, but it was actually more difficult to express the killer′s humane and clumsy side.
"Showing myself in variety and acting are two different things. In dramas and films, I have to work with my partner based on a tight script and follow the movements we agreed on beforehand, so it′s different from variety. For Running Man, I just have to work hard in the situation given me; this method isn′t really a big help in acting."
Song Ji Hyo also had to learn how to do new things for her new role. Many items such as sprays, champagne bottles, ropes and whips appear in the film, but the one item that Min Jung never lets go of is her knife. Song Ji Hyo isn′t very familiar with using knives, so she learned how to use them by always keeping a wooden knife by her side or in her hand.
"When we started filming and I got to use a real knife, though, it was completely different," she confessed. "Of course, we did make the edge blunter so that it wouldn′t be dangerous to use."
This wasn′t the only difficulty. The story of The Jackal is Coming mostly takes place in one fixed location, a hotel room. The shoots, which took place in such a limited space, became a burden on the actors′ side.
Song Ji Hyo said, "It was the first time I filmed in one set without any other movements or changes in scenery, and I found it′s not easy to act in such a limited area. Korean audiences are used to seeing extravagant settings, so the actors had to fill in with their acting what the setting lacked."
It also wasn′t easy to connect all the different emotions flying around in the small room.
"People don′t always feel the same, and I felt even more confused when I couldn′t get the same feeling I got in a previous scene."
Choi Hyun (Kim Jae Joong) is tied down to the bed almost from start to finish, so Song Ji Hyo was the one who had to use the set to its full extent. She was the one who had to pull everything out of the same setting and its one camera angle.
The scene where she gets Choi Hyun to pee while he′s tied to the bed would especially have been shocking for Kim Jae Joong′s fans. Song Ji Hyo said Kim Jae Joong was also very worried about the scene.
"Jae Joong was worried a lot. We filmed this scene when I was wearing short hot pants, and I think he felt embarrassed. (Laugh) I didn′t feel embarrassed though because I was used to being around men thanks to the Running Man members."
Song Ji Hyo still has a lot to show even after she′s been all over the place in variety, dramas, films, commercials and photo spreads. Some may be taken aback every time she takes up a new image, but it would be best if they could just accept that everything Song Ji Hyo shows is a part of her.
"If I show myself laughing brightly a lot, I think people start to expect to see that from me even more. There are, however, no human beings in this world who have just one personality. I feel human emotions like everyone else. My laughter, my tears and my anger are all a part of me."
Photo credit: Hea Jung Min