Song Hye-kyo [Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]
<#10LOGO#> As you grow older, your spectrum of acting may widen but I think you must also feel that there are a smaller range of roles to play as an actress in Korea.
Song: I do. People may ask me why I do Chinese movies but there actually aren't a lot of projects to choose from. And all actors want to play roles they haven't tried before and experience new genres. Yet on the other hand, the people who make them tend to want to make choices in genres or with characters that are safe and have been proven to work with the public. And there aren't a lot of people who try to discover new sides to actors and make something out of that. Male actors tend to have a wider variety of choices but that's not the case for actresses so there'll be less scripts to choose from and when there's a good character to play, competition for it goes up. [laughs] There are a lot of actresses around me with precious talents. And people may ask them why they're not working and not changing but I'm hoping that an environment where actresses can play many and new roles gets created before they start asking about that.
<#10LOGO#> I don't think you've made safe choices though. Your filmography, including "Hwang Jin Yi," "Fetish," "Camellia: Love for Sale," and "A Reason to Live," show that you're quite the brave actor. Even if you look just at "Fetish," the script was close to being about the occult and was about a woman who has the blood of a shaman within her, so in a way, it looks like you took on an adventure.
Song: I can be timid but I also have a bit of a 'gutsy' side to me. [laughs] To start with, "Fetish" was about a new subject and the character was refreshing as well so I really wanted to do it. It also wasn't that burdensome because it was an independent movie that took only about a month to shoot and that too in New York so I was also curious what sort of place that would be like. So it was a bit of an adventure. [laugh] I decided to do it because I thought it would be fun and as I expected, I had a lot of fun shooting it.
<#10LOGO#> Was it not difficult to adapt to shooting a movie not just in New York but also in China as well for "The Grand Master"?
Song: I didn't face any difficulties in New York because there was a lot to see, it was easy to get around to places and I was shooting an independent film so I didn't feel any pressure. But with "The Grand Master," director Wong Kar-wai is a perfectionist and works very slow. So when I'd be getting ready to go to bed for a shoot the next day, he'd call the night before to say it's cancelled. Plus the set was about a three-hour ride from Guangzhou and we didn't know when another shoot would get scheduled so we were basically there the whole time. There was also nothing to do other than study Chinese and exercise on the days that I didn't have a shoot. So that got me bored and even wonder what I'm doing. Thankfully, my interpreter was always with me so she cheered me up a lot.
<#10LOGO#> Nothing is known about "The Grand Master" other than what we've seen in a short preview of it. To the point that we don't even know what role you're playing.
Song: I actually don't know either. [laughs] To start with, it's not a movie I decided to do because of its script or my character other than the fact that it's about Ip Man, that Tony Leung will play Ip Man and that I'm his wife. And other than the fact that everyone is connected to Tony Leung in some way, there are no scenes in which we all appear together. So this movie is truly an adventure for me. I may even end up appearing in just one scene. [laughs] Even when I'm shooting a scene, he'd shoot me once after asking me to think of myself as a very frail girl and then the same scene again but this time as when I'm an extremely tough woman. And on some days he'd ask me to act like I'm a very sexy woman. So like this, we shot every take with a different vibe to it. That's why I have no idea what my character is like. [laughs]
Song Hye-kyo [Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]
Song: More than once I said, "What on earth is this!" [laughs] Up till now, I'd played my roles with a somewhat accurate idea of my character in my mind but director Wong Kar-wai would keep changing the idea I have of my character so it sometimes got me angry. That's why I even disobeyed him a few times. But what good does that do. He would just let it slid past after responding with a mere grunt. And I'd be on fire on the inside. And then I guess it looked like I was on the line because one day, he asked my interpreter who has my passport and when she said that I have it, he said, 'Hey! Take it away from her now!' so I guess it looked like I would really run away. [laughs]
Song: He wouldn't waver, no matter how many takes I'd have to shoot for a scene with whatever kind of acting. It's usually easy to lose your pace or act differently once you shoot a scene several times because your scene partner loses energy. But Tony Leung remained unchanged with his acting no matter how many takes I had to shoot a scene and even when I pronounced my words wrong. I wold have burst out laughing if I was in his shoes. He's an amazing actor.
<#10LOGO#> The Chinese media is extremely interested in everything about you and you are probably the most active actress in your age range in China. What sort of changes has pursuing your career in such a big market like China brought to you?
Song: I can't tell directly because I'm not a singer who stands on stage. Oh! But I was surprised when we once went to shoot around Tibet and some elderly people in the countryside recognized me. [laughs] But I think it has changed me, regardless of the acting or my popularity. People usually get stimulated and then mature from travelling overseas right? I too discovered the unsophisticated sides to me by pursuing my activities overseas and improved through my relationships with new people.
<#10LOGO#> What about you was unsophisticated?
Song: In how bottled up I was? It seems like all of those things are gradually clearing up after being stimulated by this and that in the bigger world. Even with people, I don't just go for my own gains but look for ways to help everyone gain and I think the mindset I take on regarding the world has broadened as well.
<#10LOGO#> Do you think you're competitive?
Song: I think I am when I start on something new. And it's not just about the person I'm competing with but also about wanting to do better. I don't think I need to be competitive with how well a movie does because it's not entirely the actor's responsibility. But within a movie, I'm fighting with myself from my previous work. The strongest thought I have is that I need to be better than before because I don't want people to say that I've regressed. [laughs]
<#10LOGO#> It's already been three years since you interviewed with us for "The World That They live In." What memory do you have of your character Joo Jun-young that you played back then now?
Song: To start with, it was the first time I'd had so many lines [laughs] and I learned about a lot of things in so many ways during the time I spent on it. It was a project that I felt the most satisfied with, for almost every scene. Those times that I was able to take on "A Reason to Live." And manage it. These days I've started to think that things will be fun from now on. Of course, I'll only find out once I start but I believe that a different sort of fun will be waiting for me. Different from when I was in my twenties.
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