|Jeon Do-youn [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]|
I remember being surprised when in a past interview, I read that your dream is to get married because very naturally, I'd thought of you as someone who'd only want to work.
Jeon Do-youn: Back then, I had a hard time outside the time that I'd be working. I didn't know what to do nor how to enjoy myself when I was all alone after work. And when a rush of various emotions such as emptiness would come over me, I thought that I'd be able to find an answer from getting married. Because it's a path I hadn't been on. I thought that all the answers would lie within marriage.
And did they? [laugh]
Jeon: I found out that the problems I couldn't solve then, don't get solved after marriage. It's not about having someone next to you. In the end, it's my problem so it's not something that would get solved by a change in my environment or having someone listen to me.
Your daughter will already be three years old in January. Has your attitude toward life changed now that you have a child and husband where your life is rooted?
Jeon: Life just gets a bit more tiring than me changing my attitude. [laugh] At first I wondered if I'm a weird woman. I thought I'd become a woman like my mother after I got married and had a child. Without even having to try. But it's not like you say, 'Yes! I'm a real mother now' just because you have a child. You have to constantly work towards becoming a mother. But both my child and work are important to me and I want to do my best at both. So it tires out my body yet the compensation is worth it. I think that's why I keep moving forward and deal with everything.
Actresses themselves tend to think that things will change after marriage and birth. Do you feel that there've been any changes to you as an actor after forming a family? Do you think things would be different if you shot a movie like "Secret Sunshine" right now?
Jeon: I think that whether you do or do not get influenced by each incident or change in life is different from person to person instead of being special in any way because I'm an actor. And I'm sure it has influenced my life in some way or another but I don't think I express myself in a way that wants to make that infuence show. What would I be able to do better in "Secret Sunshine" if I shot it again now? I don't know what could change. There are things I did and felt back then that were only possible because it was then.
The film industry in general has contracted these days and most Korean movies cast around the male actor. So in a way, actresses have to find their own paths now. How are you looking for that path?
Jeon: It definitely isn't easy. But what can I do about it other than just be satisfied with what I'm given and be and devoted to what I do? Some people have told me to try producing my own movies but I don't think I'm that aggressive. I think taking on the best choice from what I can do is most like me. One needs to continuously be passionate and desire things but I don't have anything beyond that. I'm not really interested in doing anything outside acting.
|Jeon Do-youn [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]|
Jeon: I wouldn't because it would hurt my pride. [laugh] If I asked someone to write a script with me in mind but I didn't like it, it's not like I wouldn't be able to do it. I just think that naturally, they'd give me a project if they thought it suits me and the character would suit me. I don't like starting up things that I can't take responsibility for.
I recently met Gong Yoo and he said he was moved by the text message you sent him after the premiere for "The Crucibles."
Jeon: We're competitors so I don't want to talk about "The Crucibles" [laugh] but when I read the book, I was shocked by the fact that all of it actually happened and what's really scary is that similar things are still happening frequently even at this moment. So because I had a hard time reading the book, I felt that shooting the movie for it definitely wouldn't be easy. So I think Gong Yoo and Jung Yu-mi held out well. And I was proud of them for that.
I didn't bring up your competition on purpose. [laugh] It's just that I wanted to tell you that I realized you've reached a level where you need to take care of and encourage your juniors.
Jeon: No. I really don't encourage them. How could I when I'm the one that needs encouragement? [laugh] And I'm not saying that I don't think encouraging is necessary but I just don't think I'm in the position to encourage anyone. Of course some actors are more senior than others but I don't think that matters when it comes to acting.
Whether you want it or not, you're at the center of actresses in their thirties and you are bound to become someone's role model. Have you ever thought that you have too much of a burden placed on you?
Jeon: I think I'm the type of person who wonders what I want rather than wondering what people want of me. Not to say that I ignore their thoughts but I pay more attention to my own demands. Becoming somebody's role model or being called the 'queen of Cannes' are ultimately the me that people demand of me. And of course I'd live like that if that's where I want to be but I don't think that's what I want. I don't know how high people's expectations are of me and how much more they want to see of a certain side to me but I just want to live my life working hard at what I want to. It's nice to know that expectation exists but I'm not pressured to be thought of as a certain actress. At the end of the day, we're all alone. Our job is about making our own choices, standing in front of the camera alone and bearing it alone.
You always make me think that you're always in a relationship, whether it be work or people. It's also what'll take you a long way as an actor. What are you in a relationship with these days?
Jeon: Hmm... There are too many things. There's work and my family. But in the end, myself? It's not that I don't trust others but for example, like when I'm in front of the camera, when the moment comes that not a single person can help me, the only thing I can trust is myself. That's why I try very hard to love and understand myself. There have been many times when people don't understand you, right? But how would they when you can't understand yourself. That's why instead of wondering why I'm the way I am and blaming myself, I try to love and understand myself. Telling myself, 'Yes, Jeon Do-youn, you're allowed to.' [laugh]
※ Any copying, republication or redistribution of 10Asia's content is expressly prohibited without prior consent of 10Asia. Copyright infringement is subject to criminal and civil penalties.