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[INTERVIEW] Actress Baek Jin-hee

최종수정 2010.03.11 23:12 기사입력 2010.03.11 23:12


Interview with actress Baek Jin-hee

Korean actress Baek Jin-hee [Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]
My name is Baek Jin-hee.
My birthday is February 8, 1990. I can finally celebrate Adults Day this year! [The third Monday of May where young people in Korea celebrate turning twenty years old.]
I wanted to have a camera for my birthday, but I couldn't get one. When I was shooting the film "Hoya", the guy from Hoya often took pictures of me with his camera, and they looked so much better than ones taken by a digital camera. But my mother was like, 'What are you going to do with a camera when you don't even know how to take photographs?" But I can only practice taking pictures if I have a camera.
When I was young, I wanted to learn a lot of things. So when I was in elementary school, I learned how to play the piano, flute and got a certificate in word processing and Chinese characters. In fifth grade, when everyone was learning how to play the [traditional Korean instrument] short bamboo flute, I practiced until I had a headache and could play [traditional Korean tune] "Arirang" with it. Once I am given something to do, I am the type to work hard at it till the end.
I have two younger sisters. The youngest one is actually in elementary school. I don't remember my mother dressing me in skirts since I turned older in grade school, but my youngest sisters always wears pretty and adorable clothes. And she is the one who always turns on the charms at home. Of course, when I need something.. I can sneak my charms on.. Haha.
In the winter of my ninth grade school year, I was walking around with my friends wearing a school uniform and I got picked up by an agency. I am the living witness of a street casting. My first work was a commercial for a famous deodorant brand and I played a female student wearing a school uniform and glasses. My friends told me I looked like a different person and didn't recognize me in the commercial.
The money I had made up till now, I saved it all and used it for my college tuition! I want to shop and wish I had a bigger allowance, but I can't spend money like that. I have to open an installment savings account and prepare for the future.
When I was shooting the film "Bandhobi", the producer gave me a book titled "The 880,000 Won Generation". I read it after I finished shooting the movie, and it scared me because I thought I could become outdated in the world if I don't keep myself alert. And I realized how lucky I was that I still have things I want to do and doing them step by step. Compared to people who don't even know what they want to do, I am a really happy person.
After I finished shooting "Bandhobi", I felt like I had graduated from school. I really learned and mastered a lot of things, and that one film changed many aspects of my life. In particular, I learned to be grateful to the crew after realizing that although everyone worked hard, it is only the actors and director who gets the spotlight. I will not never forget this gratitude in the future.
In school, I was very bad in gym class. They tell you to run on hot, sunny days and do the horizontal bars in the snowy winter! I don't even go skiing because I don't like to be cold and tired. But I am a naturally competitive person, so I got good grades on the bars. Haha.
When I have free time, I usually watch movies or read books. I used to just read best-sellers that people said were entertaining but I try to read all kinds of classics these days. So I went out and bought the whole classics collection but it was still difficult to read them because I can't relate to them. To be honest, what I really like are essays. I like books by Monk Beop-jeong, Gong Ji-young and Paulo Coelho -- his novels are great, but I love his essay "Like the Flowing River".
Even my family can't easily relate to my taste in movies. They tell me, 'Why does someone so young like such movies?' I don't usually watch science fiction movies or romantic comedies because they are so unrealistic, so it is not easy for me to go see a movie with friends. When I was in high school, I once took a friend to see "Grbavica" at [Seoul's art film theater] CineCube and she dozed off during the movie. When she woke up, she told me "Go to the theater by yourself from now on."
I am very interested in world affairs. I read the international section in the newspaper every morning. What is happening in the world these days? There is a huge disaster! Some Israelis sneaked into Arab Emirates with fake passports and killed a high-ranking Palestinian official. The Israeli prime minister could get an arrest warrant for this.
I liked to watch current affairs TV programs since I was in elementary school. At one time, I even wanted to be a children's rights activist. Even now, I still hope that I will be able to help a human rights organization and go volunteering overseas when I become more famous as an actress.
Of course, I am interested in entertainment news as well. Especially when I was in high school, I used to take free newspapers from the subway and talk about it with my friends in the back of the classroom in between classes. You can get so much information from just reading those free newspapers. They were very useful.
The most amazing thing that has happened since I became an actress is that I have my own fan cafe! Sometimes I drop by there and leave a message. I have a lot of older male fans and when I did a stage greeting for "Bandhobi", they made me banners, wrote fan letters and asked for my autograph. I was so happy.
Actually I am a little afraid. Because my first movie "Bandhobi" received such a great response, and many people thought I acted very well even though I'm not really a good actor. But I feel like I will get smaller if I keep being afraid so I decided to stop being scared. The director will lead me well - I am going to believe that and work hard.

Reporter : Yoon Hee-Seong
Photographer : Lee Jin-hyuk
Editor : Lynn Kim, Jang Kyung-Jin
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