Kim Suna [Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]
It seemed that neither her mind nor body had recovered. There was still a bit of Lee Yeon-jae left in Kim Suna who was promoting her movie "Tuhon" immediately after wrapping up SBS TV series "Scent of a Woman." "In my mind, I'm still going back and forth between Yeon-jae from 'Scent of a Woman' and Yoo-ran in 'Tuhon.' So it's been a bit harsh on me to have to talk about another project when I haven't let go of Yeon-jae yet. But I think it's helping me because in a way, it lessens the feeling of emptiness I usually get. I would've had a harder time if I had just stayed at home." This year was a particularly harsh year for Kim Suna who does not have an easy time letting go of the characters she plays. She was a wife with terminal cancer starting in January for the filming of "Tuhon" and then immediately crossed over to "Scent of a Woman" to live the life of Lee Yeon-jae with a terminal illness. Yes, there was a month and a half-long gap in between the two projects but she spent it busily, 'practicing tango, becoming Yeon-jae and preparing her hair and clothes.'
Yet that harsh time is not over yet. Yeon-jae and Yoo-ran both suffered from terminal illnesses. So the audience who got to see the two projects just a month apart from each other may think 'Again?' Yet Kim, who for a long time lived within the image of being Sam-soon from MBC's "My Name is Kim Sam-soon," calmly said, "I definitely played different roles after 'My Name is Kim Sam-soon' yet I was told that they all seem like Sam-soon if they resembled her in the slightest way. So for about a couple of years, I wondered, 'Why do they keep saying this? Then what am I supposed to do next?' But then one day I decided not to pay attention to any of that. I had a certainty about my characters in 'Tuhon' and 'Scent of a Woman' as well because they were completely different except for the fact that they have terminal illnesses. And they certainly were different from the characters I'd played so far."
From a certain point on, Kim has been associated with dramas telling of women and particularly about those who are exceedingly average women that gain everything in terms of love and work with nobody's help. A fat old maid achieved her dream of becoming a patissier ("My Name is Kim Sam-soon") and a level 10 public official became a mayor ("City Hall"). And like she went on an extreme diet to play a character with cancer in "A Scent of a Woman," that is when it became a habit for her to immerse herself into a role to the extent of torturing herself. "I think it happened starting with movie 'S Diary.' Up till then I played characters that are just funny, cheerful and at a standstill, not characters that achieve something or are agonizing on the inside. But I changed after appearing in projects where my character matures. And then I found myself crying after following that character's emotions and after I'm done, would find that I have matured a bit as well." It is the same with listening to music. Kim, who said she tends to listen to music whose melody is better than its lyrics, still gets moved by songs she has listened to for years. Below are song she recommends will enrich your heart when listened to in the fall.
"This is the song I always have as my ringtone. 'Cinema Paradiso' is a movie you can't help but be moved by, whether you watch it when you're sensitive or not. And isn't the last scene in particular what all women dream of? That's why I still feel so moved when I listen to the movie's soundtrack. Because I was so moved by the movie. It's as if my heart is brimming with the feeling that the melody to this song gives me. [laughs]" Ennio Morricone's cinema music has the magical power of making a good film even better. The movie's main theme song "Cinema Paradiso," which Kim recommended, is good but ending song "Love Theme" is well known by the public as well. It is not easy to forget the expression that Toto puts on as he reminisces on his childhood while looking at a montage of kissing scenes in a film that projectionist Alfredo gave him.
"I listen mostly to ballads but if you look at my playlist, I have everything from rock to hip-hop to R&B. I don't have a specific taste regarding music. I'll be into rock one day, then hip-hop, and once, I got hooked to tango. So I think I like a lot of genres and listen to whatever sounds good to me. 'Everytime' is a song I've been listening to for years as well and I really like its melody. Doesn't she sing in such a lilting voice?" "Everytime" may be strange for people who think that songs like "Oops!... I Did It Again" and "Toxic" are Britney Spears' main style of music. Spears wrote "Everytime," her main ballad song, where her delicate voice stands out.
"This is a song full of BoA's voice on almost no accompaniment. And I fell in love with this as soon as I heard it. [laughs] I didn't know who was singing it at first so I asked and then found out it was BoA. And I realized this is what prejudice is about because we usually think of her as a singer who does dance tunes. Up till then my favorite BoA song was 'No. 1' and then 'Waiting..' but my second favorite changed to 'Autumn Letter.' 'No. 1' is still my favorite. Even when I'm exchanging text messages with her, I write 'No. 1 BoA.' That's how hard of a worker she is. I also think I like this song even more because I like to write letters. I even wrote letters to some of the people I worked with for 'Scent of a Woman' while giving them picture frames as a present. I wanted to give them to everyone but I really didn't have enough time."
The fourth song that Kim recommended was "You Are So Beautiful," the main theme song to her TV series "Scent of a Woman." "When we first started talking about who should sing the original soundtrack to 'Scent of a Woman,' my sister recommended Junsu, saying that she thinks his voice will go well with the ardent atmosphere of our drama. So I briefly mentioned his name to the producer but he really ended up singing the soundtrack. [laughs] I don't know if they actually reflected my opinion but I was surprised. And my sister said she thinks she has great sense. [laughs] I got to watch him sing the song live while shooting the drama and I realized once again that singers look their best when they're singing. And not everybody is meant to be a singer. I got goosebumps while watching him singing and got goosebumps again while looking at the lyrics to the song." Kim Junsu, who made a surprise appearance on "Scent of a Woman," had the perfect sweet voice for expressing how character Lee Yeon-jae (Kim Suna) has a terminal illness and her sad love with Kang Ji-wook (Lee Dong-wook).
Kim is good at immersing herself in her work. "I was able to watch MBC's 'My Name is Kim Sam-soon' comfortably for the first time this year. But I still get choked with emotion when I hear the theme song to 'S Diary.' I also suddenly become my character. I guess that's just how immersed I was with my role. Us actors plunge into a role for three months and then have to come out of it. So we focus on just that during that time." That is why she does not listen to any music while working on a project, in case she loses focus, and falls in love with the music she listens to when on a break after a project. "It isn't like someone sang 'Right Here Waiting' for me but my heart starts wavering whenever I hear it. It happens every time, no matter how much I listen to it."
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