Actress Hwang Jung Eum is known for her hit dramas such as ‘Kill Me Heal Me’, ‘Secret Love’ and ‘She Was Pretty’. In conjunction with the drama, ‘Endless Love’ starring Hwang Jung Eum, Ryu Soo Young and Jung Kyung Ho, which is currently airing on ONE HD, we finally got a chance to get acquainted with this romantic comedy queen. In the first part of a two part interview series, we will share with our readers her intimate thoughts related to her life.
1. Is having stamina the secret of being able to shoot constantly?
It might be because I was a dance major, but my physical condition was indeed good. It is no longer the same today, I am over 30 and my stamina’s definitely dropped. I was actually born on 25 December 1984, but my parents were sad that I will turn 1 year old in just five days. So they listed my birth year as 1985. So I am actually 32 years old. (Laughs) It is also written on my bio and I thought it would be a good thing for broadcast too.
2. What are your travelling habits/ style like?
I am either shopping or chilling. I hate to have my itinerary planned. I don’t find shopping as fun these days though. When I first started working and earning money, I bought everything that I wanted. I still have that desire to get what I want, but the urge to spend is way lesser than before. To be honest, life isn’t as fun compared to before. (Laughs)
3. How are you like back then compared to now?
I was a ‘dictator’ and very ambitious back then (laugh). I was 26, so I was still young and I had a killer schedule. I slept like one or two hours a week, I shot 3 to 4 CFs a day. I didn’t have time to understand others and I didn’t have enough energy to help others understand me. I don’t know if the staff saw me as a selfish and a mean person. Back then, I chose work and gave up on being someone nice. I’m different today. I realized that I do well because of the people around me, who helped me.
4. Right now, would you choose work or people?
My answer would always be work (laughs). Life is constantly about choices and this is clearly mine since the beginning. It is more important for me to be happy when I work than living up to the reputation of being a “good person”. If anything, now is it’s the time for me to work harder in order to achieve better results for my acting.
5. “Kill Me, Heal Me” had casting problems since the beginning. Were you not worried?
I didn’t really think about these problems. I knew the director had me in mind as the female lead since the start, so I wasn’t particular about the other candidates. For me, even if the role was first offered to another actress, I would still take it up if I feel that it is meant for me.
6. Oh, you are ambitious?
The producers (Kill Me, Heal Me) wondered if I’d be the only one coming through because I’m ambitious, if I’d push the character while making the lead character stand out. Viewers were important, but it was necessary to get the recognition from the producers because of their sharp eyes.
7. The scene everyone remembers the most is the scene where Oh Ri Jin (Kill Me, Heal Me) cries when Yo Seo Bie, one of Cha Do Hyun’s persona, goes to rooftop and attempted suicide.
That scene, after it was broadcasted received nearly 5,000 comments online. We did not have any NGs for that scene. It was so cold, and we shot the scene while saying ‘we don’t know what we are doing, it’s ruined!’ but it turned out really well. I think my ability to focus grew without me knowing. (Laughs) To be honest, I wasn’t satisfied with the outcome even though it had so much reaction because I didn’t think I put much effort into it.
8. “Kill Me, Heal Me” and “Golden Time” were raved by fans and the media. But how do you, as an actress, feel about the 2 dramas? What makes an acting job satisfying to you?
I would like to forget the time when I was working on “Golden Time” because it was very exhausting, “Kill Me Heal Me” is a drama with memories for me to cherish preciously. It was very challenging for me to film “Golden Time”. I felt like I was in a slump. I am glad that I overcame that feeling, and that people started to recognize my efforts and compliment me. I told myself after shooting this drama that I should shoot a project once a year, so I can become a person with more maturity. Having said that, “Golden Time” was definitely a project I needed to boost my career.
9. Between “Secret” and “Kill Me Heal Me”, you also shot “Endless Love”.
When I did “Secret”, my heart was softened. I wanted to keep this feeling, so I started working on new project right away. However, “Endless Love” totally consumed me. The communication between the director and writer didn’t go very well. Let’s just say that there were many unfortunate things that happened on the film set.
10. One of an actor’s jobs is to be able to spot a good script and jump on a good project. How true is that?
Honestly, I don’t know how things will turn out, but my instincts have been right so far (laughs). I am lucky enough to be offered really good projects, so I didn’t have much to hesitate. I think it’s truly a matter of luck.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of the interview! ‘Endless Love’ airs every Tuesday to Friday at 7.45pm on ONE HD (Astro B.yond Channel 393). The last episode will be aired on 4th March 2016.