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Cosmopolitan Showcases Wonder Girls′ Yubin’s Thin Figure

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2011.08.19 10:43 Mwave Choe, MinJi

Wonder Girls came back with a rocker-chic concept for Cosmopolitan′s September issue. The girls discussed their current lives, future plans and even their love loves.

Cosmopolitan Showcases Wonder Girls′ Yubin’s Thin Figure

Yubin especially made waves with her revealing black sleeveless dress, which emphasized her perfect body and her slender arms. She also came up with a perfectly matching, strong facial expression.

Photo credit: Cosmopolitan

Cosmopolitan Showcases Wonder Girls′ Yubin’s Thin Figure

Lee In Hye, “I’m surprised at my own transformation from a weak, fragile girl into strong action star.”

On a sunny April afternoon, we met Lee In Hye at Café Mooto in Garosugil, Seoul. She had come to Seoul right after finishing her shooting in Munkyeong, North Geongsang Province for KBS1’s King Gwanggaeto the Great, which is set to air in June. Even though she was seriously sleep-deprived, her face remained as sunny as the weather. She ordered grapefruit tea, ice-cream, and chocolate brownies, saying that she wished she could relax at least for a little bit, even though she would have to rush off to give a lecture at the Korea Broadcasting Art School right after the interview. When we asked her, “You’re an actress – shouldn’t you be watching your calories?” she responded, grabbing a fork, “When you’re eating food from a tray, six days a week, on the set in the mountain, you miss this kind of food. Whenever I return to Seoul, I spoil myself with treats as much as I like.” And soon enough, all the food was gone.


The beginning of this year bode good things for Lee In Hye: her book of study tips, published last year, topped the bestseller list, selling more than 100,000 copies in March. She is also displaying her comic talents at QTV’s Ranking Woman 2. Lately, a photo of her face if it were symmetrical proved a big hit on the show. In King Gwanggaeto the Great, she is expected to show both charisma and elegance, playing opposite to Lee Taegon (who plays Gwanggaeto the Great).


“Numerous celebrities have published books, but many of them failed to attract attention. I agonized over how to write a book that would be practical and useful, shedding the celebrity label, and I sometimes even jumped out of bed when some ideas came to mind. These days, I’m very happy that I’m getting calls from publishers and requests for interviews,” says Lee.


About the facial symmetry photo, she spoke up, “I didn’t know the picture would attract that much attention.”


“Photos of all ten female cast members were unveiled, but only mine became a hot topic. During the show, I thought mine wasn’t bad compared to the other more shocking photos. So I wasn’t concerned, but after a few days, only my photo was shown on portal sites and ranked high on internet hit lists. And I got a lot of texts from acquaintances, which read ‘What’s this?’ Maybe it’s good thing that I made people laugh. I don’t know. Haha.”


Following the strong character she played in KBS1’s Comrades last year, she is again portraying a woman warrior in her new drama. She’s doing her own horse-riding and archery, even performing in dangerous action scenes like shooting fire arrows at the castle walls, without a stand-in.


“To date, I have already shot more than 20 people to death with fire arrows in that drama (laughs). I’m playing the daughter of a general, fighting in a war with Lee Tae Gon. I did well in archery and swordsmanship even though I kept telling them ‘I couldn’t do it’, so now the producer’s asking me to do more difficult things. They wanted me to perform artistic martial art like Zhang Ziyi, but that’s still beyond my ability. But I’ve learned a little about action, and it is refreshing and exciting,” said Lee.


She said she became very close to her costar Lee Tae Gon. The two are now like brother and sister. Once, when they ran into each other at a restaurant, they ate together and happened to stay there till two in the morning.


“He ordered soju with pickled radish, I ordered gimbap and ramyun, and we talked endlessly. We got along right away due to his cheerful personality. Nam Sung Jin, who acted my brother in the drama Comrades, treated me like an actual comrade, emphasizing the rough times we had gone through together, calling us “suffering-role specialty actors” Lee said.


When asked about difficulties during the shooting, she replied food and height difference. Since Lee Tae Gon is 187cm, she was worried that she might look too short next to him, even though her height is average. Also, when she gets sick of the food on the set, she sometimes has to ask her mother to deliver homemade food. But despite all these difficulties, when she gets a day off, she finds herself only thinking about work. When we ask about her plans for marriage, she shook her head.


“I don’t know when I could marry. I feel so swamped already with what I’m doing now. I have to shoot six days a week out of town, I lecture on the one day I have off, and am also taking a graduate course. I have to work harder because this is my last semester. I’m already 31 – but I’m still young enough to marry, right?”

Cosmopolitan Showcases Wonder Girls′ Yubin’s Thin Figure

Lee In Hye’s treasure box: “I was in an educational video with little G-Dragon”


When asked about the items she treasures most, she surprised us by taking out a video tape with a young G-Dragon (of Big Bang) and herself on the cover, along with a small worn dress. When she was 17, she was cast as a teacher for a video aimed at kindergarteners. “I don’t know if it’s ok to disclose this video because G-Dragon has now become a top star,” she said cautiously. “Back then, when I said ‘come here’, little G-Dragon would run over and hug me,” recalls she with a smile. Paek Seong Hyun also appeared on the program with G-Dragon and Lee. She adds, “In fact, this video was like the cradle of today’s top stars. I can recognize kids from this video who debuted as singers a while ago, not to mention G-Dragon and Paek Seong Hyun,.”


As her nicknames ‘perfect daughter’ and ‘youngest-ever college lecturer’ show, she has experience hosting a variety of educational TV shows. The skills she acquired at the time might have helped her in her career as a lecturer and writer.


A well-worn, vanilla colored dress is another one of her treasures. She wore the lucky dress at KBS’s Creative Children Song Festival back when she was an elementary school student in 1992. “My mother kept it, so I sometimes took it out and looked at it. I think that it was my good luck charm. I won an excellence award in that dress, so I used to wear it for special occasions when I was a member of the MBC chorus.” She was also wearing the dress at a music award ceremony in 1992, when the camera caught the winner Kim Guk Hwan giving her a kiss. Lee says “It looks like it’d still fit me. I want to cherish it forever because it brings back memories. “I didn’t bring it today, but the OST album and video that contains the song I sang for KBS’s School 3 is precious to me, too.”

Cosmopolitan Showcases Wonder Girls′ Yubin’s Thin Figure

A woman embraced by both Na Hoon Ah and Seo Tae Ji?


But the seemingly perfect girl Lee In Hye also has a surprising history. Her childhood nickname was ‘ugly little girl’. Lee In Hye’s mother said, “When she was born, she was a big baby, so we called her ugly little girl. Growing up, she was so quiet that I made her learn many things including public speaking.” On the contrary, her older brother was good looking and grabbed attention anywhere. Worried about her daughter’s looks, her mother would adorn Lee In Hye with pretty ribbons and pins.


She started her activities in the entertainment industry as a member of MBC’s chorus in middle school and high school, which gave her the chance to share the stage with famous top singers such as Na Hoon Ah and Seo Tae Ji. She still owns a picture that she took with Na Hoon Ah. She said that the moment she saw him she felt his top star power. She also had chance to talk to Seo Tae Ji, but she was too shy to say anything. Seo Tae Ji asked her first “Why don’t you wear the same hat I’m wearing and take a picture with me?” But worried that her hair would get mussed up, she just took the picture with her hat in her hands.


Last but not least, Lee expressed her gratitude to her mother, saying, “Without my mother, I couldn’t even imagine being where I am today.”


Translation Credit: Misun Lee

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Wonder Girls 20110819 Yubin 20110819
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