[Interview] Song Hye Kyo Talks about Sending Off ′That Winter′
No one will be able to deny that Song Hye Kyo has stayed at the top of her game for over 10 years. On the other hand, it is true that she has never really garnered much praise for her acting skills.
Starting with such writer-oriented pieces as screenwriter Noh Hee Kyung′s Worlds Within and the films Fetish and Today, Song Hye Kyo mainly concentrated on sharpening her skills, and finally she came to bloom with her most recent piece.
Though most were doubtful on whether she would be able to put on a convincing blind woman role for SBS′ That Winter, the Wind Blows, she pulled it off, and turned all doubts to love.
We met with this powerful actress in a cafe in Seoul′s Itaewon for an interview.
You′ve been hearing so much praise; how does that feel?
"I feel great because I haven′t heard such praise in a long time, and I′m really confused. I was so scared about my having to act as a blind person, but the reactions were great so I was so happy. I always feel I could do better when I watch myself act. What was good about this role, however, was that I managed to pull out a mysterious feeling I had never seen surround me before."
You′ve been in two pieces in a row with screenwriter Noh Hee Kyung. Did you choose this piece because it was writer Noh′s?
"To be honest, when she said she would be doing a remake of this, I said I couldn′t understand why she wanted to do it. She has her own colors... but she was so sure that it would be completely different and that she would be able to take a step closer to the public. So I trusted her and director Kim Gyu Tae. [Writer Noh] said she wrote Young′s character to match the cold expressions I sometimes put on for Jun Young in Worlds Within. I studied for every scene in order to fill in what I had lacked. I think she cast me again because she also wanted to fill what we weren′t able to in our previous piece."
It seems it would have been hard to act as a blind woman who loves her brother.
"It was definitely hard. I′m not the type that often has mood swings, but this piece forced them on me. It made me feel like a stranger to myself, and sometimes I would tear up while I was talking. I always feel empty whenever I finish a piece but That Winter was different. I wish I could suffer the way I did a bit more. It was hard to send it off. I believe the writer, director and actors will all feel the same way."
Didn′t many people often tell you that you go well with your co-star Zo In Sung?
"Even I got to thinking we looked good together. Since Mr. [Zo] In Sung is tall and I′m short, we looked like we came from a romance manga, and Young looked lovely. The reason I fell for Oh Soo (Zo In Sung) was because I could only see him through broadcast and not as we acted together. I found out how he looks at me through his acting. I know there are no men in this world like him, but still I came to watch him like every other female viewer. There were a lot of scenes in which Mr. In Sung had to carry me, and a staff member told me whenever we had such scenes his hands would shake as he ate. I was so sorry. (Laugh)"
Your unchanging beauty also made issues. What′s the secret behind your looks?
"It′s the lighting. I don′t look like that in person. Sometimes I feel I shouldn′t leave my home because I look so pretty on TV. I frequent the dermatologist′s and receive skin care. I never really cared this much, but I′ve come to care as I age. Now, my age shows. (Laugh) I was thankful that there had to be so many close-up shots. Since I′m supposed to be blind I have to speak through my expressions, and my shaking eyes and expressions were expressed nicely thanks to the close-ups."
In the Japanese original, the male lead got most of the attention. In ′That Winter′, however, Song Hye Kyo stole the spotlight. How do you think this happened?
"I thought Oh Soo was the popular one. If there are people who say [that Young was popular], I think that′s because they felt sorry for Oh Young. It probably made them pity how she′s rich for nothing. The people around me never really talked about me. They don′t think of me as a celebrity. They call me and say, ′I′m jealous. You′ll be seeing Oh Soo tomorrow.′ (Laugh)"
You′re probably still trying to send off the piece, but do you have any plans for your next piece yet?
"Next, I want to try being in a romantic comedy. I don′t think I′ll be able to take up anything like That Winter because I′m exhausted. I think That Winter would have been boring if it was merely a love story between a man and a woman. There were a lot of psychological processes and mysteries included, and that was what made the drama fun."
Do you have anything you want to say to those juniors who think of Song Hye Kyo as their role model?
"Are there such people? (Laugh) I just hope they enjoy what they can, because now that they′re actresses they′ll have to hold it in even though they′ll be hit by a lot of hardships in the future and be hurt. I hope they give their best efforts in acting and love. There′s no need to care for what others think. No one will compensate for whatever you didn′t get to do."
Photo credit: Kim Byung Kwan