Actress hones her craft through living

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Actress hones her craft through living


Sin Se-gyeong. By Park Jong-keun

For most of her early teens, Sin Se-gyeong was known as the “Seo Taiji girl,” after she debuted in K-pop icon Seo Taiji’s music video, “Take Five,” back in 1998. Her long locks as well as her mysterious and mournful eyes made her presence as a child actor distinct.

“They [the music video staff] told me to cry so I just did. I guess it came out as quite mysterious. They really liked it,” she said during a recent interview with the JoongAng Ilbo.

Although the actress subsequently appeared in smaller roles on television, she failed to gain a large following until her breakthrough role on the second season of the popular TV sitcom “High Kick” last year. Her role as a housemaid won her both critical and popular acclaim.

The last episode of the sequel - a cliffhanger in which her character and actor Daniel Choi’s character seem as though they are on the verge of a tragic death - was one of the most talked about TV episodes in recent years.


Sin Se-gyeong

Building on her sitcom fame, the 19-year-old actress can now be seen in numerous television commercials and print advertisements. She is also set to appear opposite veteran actor Song Gang-ho in director Lee Hyeon-seung’s new film “Blue Salt,” which will begin production next month.

Before saying more about Sin, I must confess my dislike of interviewing young celebrities, due to my memories of when I was a cub reporter at the culture desk.

Most of the young celebrities I interviewed back then all gave succinct “yes” or “no” answers to any question I had. The joy of meeting these beautiful people was therefore short-lived, because my agony over making the interview interesting felt much longer.

To avoid that situation, I decided to make Sin feel at ease.

“I must be your father’s age, so I hope you think of me as a comfortable person to talk to,” I said. “So how old is your father?”

Sin replied, “61,” and then went on to say that her father and her mother have a 10-year age difference and that they couldn’t conceive a child for a number of years.

During high school, she said she hardly did any acting because she felt it was an important time for her to grow as a person and experience things, just like other people. In her free time, she said she wrote a lot, especially short stories, although she never showed her writing to anyone but her friends.

“Because of that decision, it was the happiest time of my life,” she said, adding that she feels “very lucky.”

In fact, all throughout the interview, she often referred to herself as lucky.

Even though “High Kick 2” is a sitcom, Sin’s character didn’t have one funny or comedic scene. When asked if that bothered her, she said, “Actually, I worried that my role was too plaintive. But the director cut the seriousness just enough so it was okay. I actually feel lucky to have played a traditional dramatic role in a sitcom, and as a result I’ve received a lot of love from viewers.”

Sin described herself as moody and a typical blood-type-B personality.

“I’m shy sometimes and a tomboy in certain moods. My emotions fluctuate easily. People say that great actors must never show their emotions up front, but for me everyone knows what I am feeling just by looking at my face.”

She says her ideal man is Optimus Prime, the lead character in the 2007 film “Transformers.” “I think [Optimus Prime] is so manly and cool. He also has a great voice,” she said.

“Have you ever had a boyfriend?” I asked.

“Well, it would be a lie if I said I never had one.?.?.um.?.?.I haven’t had one,” she said.

As with this bewildering statement, Sin, throughout the interview, was different from the other young actors I have interviewed. She seemed grown up.

On the question of acting versus life, she concluded, “A director once told me that it is most important to reveal oneself at a time when you are needed the most. If I were to achieve this, don’t you think I would need more life experience? That is why I want first to have life experiences rather than act.”

By Lee Hoon-beom []
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