Song Hye-kyo [Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]
Director Lee Jeong-hyang does not allow actress Song Hye-kyo to show even an ounce of her loveliness in film "A Reason to Live." And instead, she spent time learning how to move the small muscles in her face to depict on the fine changes in emotion her character Da-hye goes through after making realizations about 'forgiveness' during a year following her fiance's death. Song, who for "A Reason to Live" broke away from the images and personalities she took on during most of her 15-year career, spoke to 10Asia to reveal her thoughts on acting, relationships and her future.
<#10LOGO#> I felt that your character Da-hye in "A Reason to Live" had always been sort of closed off and never really showed her emotions, regardless of the terrible experience she went through of losing her fiance a year ago.
Song Hye-kyo: Her personality gradually became what it is starting from when she was young because there was a line where she said, "My mom and dad parents fought so much when I was young that I always stayed quiet because it felt like everything would break if I shouted too." And that's why she was able to be so forgiving as well. But I was never frustrated by her. She's actually someone that's similar to me in many ways.
<#10LOGO#>That's quite surprising given the more cheerful image you've been loved for by the public shown through your past TV roles and commercials.
Song: I'm sure that my actual personality rubbed off in all of the projects I've been in. But I think that on the inside, Da-hye from "A Reason to Live" is the closest to who I really am. Of course I'm on the cheerful side and talk a lot when I'm with people I'm close to but that's not actually who I am on the inside. I used to not express what I like and dislike and I'm still not that good at it. It's to the point that the moment I feel that the person I'm talking to is uncomfortable because of what I said, I forget about everything we say from that point on. Did I not need to say this? Did this ruin her feelings? Should I say something else to cover it up? These are the sort of things I start worrying about and it gets agonizing so I tell myself that I should just sit quiet and not say anything. But in the end, it's still stressful in the same way and it accumulates. So I go home and agonize over it and then let go of it by myself.
<#10LOGO#> I think that while growing up, a lot of people must've told you that you're mature.
Song: Yes, I did think a lot of people told me that. I wasn't even good at just talking to people when I was young. And I think that I probably wanted to but didn't know how to. It was embarrassing too. I think the fear of feeling ashamed by not getting the response I want from the other person when I say something kept me quiet. But I'm older now and I think I've come to be more comfortable with talking to people. It's even fun these days.
Song: That's probably when she held my hands because they were freezing from the weather being so cold. I'd expected her to be very scary on set because in the past, I'd seen a video of her on the set of "The Way Home" and she was scolding actor Yoo Seung-ho very harshly. Of course, that's why I was also looking forward to her pulling out my emotions for my acting but I'd been telling myself not to expect the atmosphere to be warm on set. [laughs] Yet things actually turned out to be the complete opposite. And when I told her that I didn't expect her to be so heartwarming, she half jokingly said, "It's been nine years. Time has made me like this." But she was still extremely meticulous, halting shoots if there were problems to even the smallest props.
<#10LOGO#> Do you think actors should leave everything up to the director or that they should participate actively on what goes on set?
Song: In my case I think it should be both. I place my faith in the director for the most part because of course I read, analyze and prepare myself for the script but they're the ones that spent much more time thinking about it. And instead I ask about things I don't understand and give my opinion in parts. I probably told you this before too but it hasn't been that long since I've come to feel responsibility over my projects and gained a thirst for acting. [laughs] Before, everyone I worked with were such great actors that they're the ones that mostly communicated with the directors. And in a way it was because I didn't think my opinion would change much and also because I was scared of them saying, 'What are you talking about?' when I say something after giving it thought. So I think it was starting with TV series "Sunlight Pours Down" that I discovered the fun to acting. And I started wanting to do more after seeing my opinions get reflected for "Full House."
Song Hye-kyo [Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]
Song: I had heard of director Lee Jeong-hyang from a lot of people. And that it's a shame that she's been on such a long break when she's so talented. So I think this slowly drew my interest to her. And when I heard that she's started on a new project, I said that I wanted to meet her. She first said that from a general standpoint, "A Reason to Live" and I don't seem to go together so I said we should just meet comfortably then because I can't do anything about her not liking me. But I think she ended up asking me to do it because after meeting up a few times and several conversations, she probably realized that I'm not who she thought I was.
<#10LOGO#> That makes me think that you're the type that approaches a project or character very actively when you're interested in it.
Song: I'd be lying if I said I'm not greedy when it comes to acting but I'm not the kind of person that goes for what's not in my hands. Instead, if fate places something in my hands, then I get greedy about it and try to do my best with it. I'm not the type that says I'm going to do that, I'm going to have that, when it's not even mine. I think that if something is meant to be mine, it'll come to me one day very naturally and if it leaves me, it'll be because it's not meant to be mine. Whether it's with projects anything else.
<#10LOGO#> With work and people as well?
Song: Yes, I think so. If someone is meant to be one of my people, that person will stay by my side no matter what happens and however much it takes and if it's not meant to be, that person could get hurt by even the smallest thing and leave me.
<#10LOGO#> Once you get to know someone, your relationship with that person lasts a long time, right?
Song: As long as that person and I haven't hurt each other badly or that person hasn't stabbed me in the back, [laughs] I don't think I've ever let go of someone first. They're the ones that probably left for something better. And of course it hurts and I feel lonely and empty the moment someone that I cared for a lot leaves me. But I then tell myself that that's probably as far as our relationship was meant to go. I may have a hard time because of it but what can I do when they've made the decisions for their own lives? But there are also people who I keep thinking about even after I've let go of them. And in that case, I contact them first. But if not, it's really goodbye.
<#10LOGO#> I guess you've sort of come to resign yourself to how relationships form and break while being in this industry.
Song: Regarding meeting and parting... I think I naturally came to be like this from working. And of course, everyone makes mistakes. Because I do too. But despite that, I think I draw a line that when it's crossed, I can just naturally organize my thoughts.
<#10LOGO#> Are they any incidents of forgiving that you've regretted on in your lifetime?
Song: I don't think anything big enough has happened to me to use the word 'forgive.' [laughs] Things only went to the extent of whether we understand each other or not. And it's not like anything major would change by me forgiving.
<#10LOGO#> That's how big of a word 'forgive' is for you now. [laughs]
Song: It's definitely come to mean more than it did before I shot this movie... And I think I'm afraid as well. I used to think it's just a good word but after filming "A Reason to Live," I don't think I've been able to mention that word easily for whatever the purpose.
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