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"Actresses" is a miracle achieved, says Koh (Part 1)

최종수정 2009.11.24 09:06기사입력 2009.11.23 23:59

Film “Actresses” Press Conference

(From left) Actresses Kim Ok-bin, Kim Min-hee, Choi Ji-woo, Ko Hyeon-jeong, Lee Mi-sook, Yoon Yeo-jeong and director E J-yong pose during a photo session of a press conference for film "Actresses" held at a the Megabox Multiplex in Seoul, South Korea on November 17, 2009. [Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]

“What is the difference between an actress and an actor?” Kim Ok-vin asks in the filmmaking video interview for film “Actresses”, set to open on December 23. Whether it be the public’s jealousy-filled curiosity or overwhelming affection, it is what differentiates the actor from the actress. Actresses are more vulnerable to rumors and scandals than male actors and that vulnerability forces them crawl only deeper into their shell. So if six actresses were to come together in one setting and were given the chance to speak as themselves instead of acting out lines written by someone else, what would happen? We got a glimpse into what could happen at the press conference for the film “Actresses”, held at Seoul’s Megabox Multiplex on November 17.

Scenes from the film "Actresses"

Contrary to the director’s humble desire to make a female-cast-only movie, the cast of “Actresses” is nowhere close to being humble. From Yoon Yeo-jeong, Lee Mi-sook, Ko Hyeon-jeong, Choi Ji-woo, Kim Min-hee and Kim Ok-vin, the actresses who represent each generation, is an all-star cast that consists of the master, the Hallyu star and the protegee. One Christmas eve, these actresses gather for a fashion photoshoot under the concept “the actress who is more beautiful than jewelry” and the result is something that is equally glamorous and dangerous as a blockbuster movie. With each actress portraying themselves and each exposing themselves more than they ever have, as they all wrote the script together, the movie offers a series of surprises, one after another. Choi Ji-woo and Ko Hyeon-jeong, who meet for the first time, raise their voices and get into a fight. Choi Ji-woo even ends up running off the set of the movie. Kim Min-hee gets upset after being told that men do not find her attractive and Kim Ok-vin is miserable because she can’t fit into Kim Min-hee’s clothes. On top of that, Yoon Yeo-jeong insists she will not have any make-up put on her and Lee Mi-sook makes an appearance with her personal stylist in tow. With six stars who are all used to being at the center of the spotlight wherever they go, it is only natural that a catfight would ensue. So will the meeting -- or “Christmas nightmare” as one editor described it -- of these actresses end in peace? But the Q&A session among the six actresses, whose “casting process should have been made into a film,” as one said, was filled with laughter, warmth and straightforward remarks.

Actress Yoon Yeo-jeong [Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]
Q: “Actresses” is slightly different from usual movies in that the actors appear as themselves. What is it about?
Yoon Yeo-jeong (Yoon): The synopsis is that we are all cast for a fashion shoot on Christmas Eve. A group of six actresses who are in their twenties to sixties, and you may think this is quite strange because everyone is beautiful except for me. I think director E J-yong cast me because I was the only sixty-something actress that he knew. I got involved in this film while having a drink with Hyeon-jeong and the director. Ok-vin, how did you get involved?
Kim Ok-vin (Kim): I really wanted to meet with these great actresses and I didn’t want to miss this opportunity.
Koh Hyeon-jeong (Koh): It was an honor for me to get to work with everyone, I loved it. It’s simply a miracle that the film got made and that we got to hold a press conference like this.

Q: In the trailer, there is serious tension between Ko Hyeon-jeong and Choi Ji-woo. Was it real or acted out?
Koh: Of course it was real.
Choi Ji-woo (Choi): We aren't on the best of terms. (laugh)
Koh: I wasn’t trying to start a fight, Ji-woo just seemed a bit overly sensitive.
Lee Mi-sook (Lee): Hyeon-jeong wasn’t that famous at the time [of the film’s shooting]. It was before she did [MBC TV series] “Queen Seon-deok”. (laugh) But Ji-woo was a big Hallyu star, so even I was a little self-conscious about that and Hyeon-jeong stepped forward. Everyone was surprised.
Koh: She made me angry. (laugh) It’s not like I said something too out of line, but it was a long time ago so I don’t remember exactly…

Actress Lee Mi-sook [Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]
Q: So when did you shoot the fighting scene?
Choi: It was the very first day of shooting. I had to shoot that scene on the first day that I met Koh. My heart was shaking and I couldn’t control my facial expressions. What you see on the screen is not acting. (laugh)
Koh: I was looking at her in the eye when I was saying my lines but I was bordering on my limit. And Ji-woo is very pretty, so I got jealous and I thought, ‘Heck, this is not a joke.’ We not on particularly bad terms but not particularly good either, so it came out the way things had been between us at the time of shooting.
Choi: But I was angry when she hit my forehead. (laugh)
Koh: I stopped there because I didn’t want to get in any legal trouble. (laugh) I actually wasn’t planning on doing that but actresses are simple-minded. So we started fighting and it was all the more intense because we are similar in height as well. (laugh)

Q: Besides Koh Hyeon-jeong, were any of you ever jealous of other actresses?
Kim Min-hee (Kim MH): In the film, the male make-up artist says that Kim Ok-vin is the type of woman that men like and that I’m the type that is not popular with men. I will admit to it, but I was still jealous. I was like, hey, I’m popular with men too. Hmmph. (laugh)

Q: Kim Ok-vin, how did you feel when you heard that?
Kim OV: It was a compliment, so I had no reason to feel bad. (laugh)

Actress Ko Hyeon-jeong [Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]
Q: In the interview video with the director, Lee Mi-sook says she thinks the world revolves around her. Is that true? (laugh)
Lee: I’ve known director E J-yong for ten years, so he knows me really well. When I was first offered the part, I said straight away that I would do it. But watching the video that was released today, I think I need to get a bit more serious. When we were shooting, we weren’t acting out our parts according to the scenario. We were just handed a situation and the actresses would talk about it for a couple of hours, and then the director would just turn on the camera and start filming us. (laugh) So I don’t really remember what I said in that situation. But I remember certain scenes upon watching the movie now. I think we think we really did talk from the bottom of our hearts.

Q: Then are you saying that the director did nothing after casting the actresses? (laugh)
E J-yong (E): Um.. you shouldn’t say it like that. (laugh) I want to make something different from the conventional movie. I had established the basic situations and conflicts for each character beforehand but since “Actresses” is a story about actresses, I thought it would be a lot more genuine if the story was delivered through their lips rather than being based on fiction that I created. I had prepared a certain space for them but many elements depended a lot on the skills and talents of the actresses.
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