Kim Bo-ra is back in school: After her breakout role in ‘SKY Castle,’ she plays the lead in ‘Goodbye Summer’

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Kim Bo-ra is back in school: After her breakout role in ‘SKY Castle,’ she plays the lead in ‘Goodbye Summer’



Kim Bo-ra, the 23-year-old breakout star from the JTBC drama “SKY Castle,” has put on a school uniform once again for the indie film “Goodbye Summer,” which is now in theaters.

This coming-of-age story stars Kim and rapper Jung Jae-won, whose stage name is ONE, as two students with feelings for each other try to figure life out during their final year of high school. Although Soo-min (Kim) is interested in Hyun-jae (Jung), she doesn’t welcome his approaches when she realizes he is terminally ill. The film is director Park Ju-young’s full-length feature film debut and was submitted in the Korean Competition at the 2019 Jeonju International Film Festival.

Earlier this year, Kim was praised for her performance in “SKY Castle,” where she played a smart and calculative high school student with a complicated life who is eventually murdered. Kim is a veteran actress with 15 years of experience under her belt, having appeared in countless TV dramas and movies since 2006.

In a recent interview with Ilgan Sports, an affiliate of the Korea JoongAng Daily, Kim talked about her new film and her career since the success of “SKY Castle.”

The following are edited excerpts from the interview.


“Goodbye Summer” is a new indie film starring Kim Bo-ra, the breakout star from “SKY Castle.” The film, released last week, stars Kim as a high school student who finds out that the classmate she likes is terminally ill. [INDIESTORY]

Q. Your character in “Goodbye Summer” likes someone who is terminally ill. Was that a challenging relationship to portray?

. The director told me not to bring out too many emotions, so I didn’t think too much about the situation. I felt that teenagers wouldn’t have such complicated emotions since they don’t have much life experience. I was only focused on the simple issues of the present, like classes and university.

You frequently play the role of a straight A student. How did you do in school?

If my acting [reflected my] reality, I wouldn’t be here. I attended school diligently. I enjoyed going to school wearing my uniform. Even on the days when I had to shoot something, I still dropped by my classes and actively participated. But, I’m not so sure about my studies.

How do you feel about continuing to play the role of a student even in your twenties?

I have a youthful look so it’s a bit tricky to take on adult roles. I think many people expect me to be acting while wearing a uniform. This caused a lot of stress for me until two years ago. I wanted to take on various roles and was afraid I would be stagnant. But many people who look young for their age still play school-age characters. I have recently decided that I want to wear a school uniform as much as possible. I think one day I’ll miss wearing them.

How was it working with Jung?

Jung isn’t the talkative type. I debated whether I should try to befriend him or not. In the end, I think we bonded by joking around with each other.

Since we only have a one-year age gap, we had many interests in common. I think Jung’s personality was really compatible with his character, who is awkward at expressing his emotions.

“SKY Castle” is still the talk of the town. How was your experience working on that show?

“SKY Castle” is the most memorable project I’ve ever worked on. It’s because it was difficult. I couldn’t adjust well at first. After I understood how to approach my character, the acting became easier. I still keep in touch with other cast members.

Have there been any big changes since “SKY Castle”?

Although I’ve been acting for 15 years, a lot changed around me after “SKY Castle.” It’s hard for me not to feel the drama’s popularity.

Recently I’ve noticed people writing more comments about me.

If I show one side, people think that I am that person. They all have their own ideas of who I am. I’ve been working all this time, but people look at me as if I’ve just started out acting. Sometimes that hurts.

I’ve discussed these feelings with my older sister. Because these are things I need to deal with no matter what, I’ve started not caring too much about them. If I really didn’t like it, I would’ve quit earlier. I guess I do really like my job.

Have you been getting more role offers since?

I myself haven’t changed. But I’m surprised when producers want to meet me, instead of calling me in for auditions. It’s not like I changed. The drama was just successful.

When I went to Bali for a magazine shoot, I was given a nice plane seat. Sitting there, I began asking myself questions. I had only participated in a three-month long project. I think it’s really amazing.

Do you ever regret being in this industry?

Two years ago, I did not get one callback all year. I wondered if I wasn’t making progress as an actor. Then I discovered short films. After attending some short film auditions, I realized that I really like this work. That made me even more attached to my job.

I still like going to auditions, because that’s the only place where I can be judged by strangers. I like receiving critiques. That’s how I’ll improve.

You don’t seem to be too concerned about what other people think. Is that correct?

When I was in school, I didn’t like teachers who only treated me as an actor. At home too, I try to not talk about work if possible. When I’m working on a project, I’m actor Kim Bo-ra, but when I’m home, I’m just my father’s daughter.


'굿바이썸머' 김보라 ”20대 중반 교복 연기, 과거엔 스트레스였죠”

배우 김보라(23)가 다시 교복을 입었다. 같은 교복 다른 김보라다.

영화 '굿바이 썸머(박주영 감독)'에서 그는 같은 반 '썸남'이 어느 날 시한부 판정을 받아 혼란을 겪는 여고생 수민을 연기한다. JTBC 드라마 'SKY캐슬'의 해나처럼 모범생이지만 성격은 다르다. 평범해 보이는 수민은 덤덤하게 일상을 살아가다 영화 말미 감정을 터뜨리는 캐릭터. 해나가 살벌했다면 수민은 아련하다.

'굿바이 썸머'는 시한부 인생이지만 지금이 가장 중요한 소년 현재(정제원)와 다가올 미래가 더 걱정인 수민(김보라)의 뜨거운 여름날을 그린 영화다. 제20회 전주국제영화제 한국경쟁부문에 초청된 바 있다. 김종관 감독의 연출부로 여러 작품에 참여했던 박주영 감독의 장편 데뷔작이다.

특히 김보라는 이 영화에서 래퍼 원 혹은 배우 정제원을 비롯해 신인 배우들과 호흡을 맞췄다. 데뷔 15년차, 박주영 감독보다도 촬영 현장이 익숙할 그는 연기 뿐 아니라 촬영 현장을 이끌어가는 역할을 해냈다.

-이른바 '썸남'이 시한부라는 설정인데, 연기하기 쉽지 않았을 것 같다.
"감독님이 '(감정을) 깊게 가져가지 않았으면 좋겠다'고 하시더라. 가볍게 생각했다. 10대들은 경험이 많지 않다보니 깊지 않을 거라고 생각했다. 10대의 감정, 아직 아무것도 모르는 그런 상태에서 연기했다. 학원, 대학, 현재에 관한 단순한 생각만 했다."

-우등생 역할을 자주 맡는데, 실제 우등생이었나.
"연기가 현실이 됐으면 여기 없었을 거다.(웃음) 학교를 열심히 다녔다. 교복 입고 등교하는 걸 좋아했다. 촬영이 있는 날에도 무조건 학교는 들렸다. 선생님을 뵙고 열심히 참여했다. 공부는 잘 모르겠다. 하하하."

-스크린 주연작이라 부담감이 컸겠다.
"단독으로 나오는 것보다 친구들과 부딪친다. 크게 부담은 되지 않았다고 생각한다. 원래 부담을 잘 안 느끼는 성격이기도 하다. 그냥 '그렇구나' 생각한다."

-박주영 감독으로부터 어떤 디렉션을 받았나.
"감독님이 '많이 친해졌으면 좋겠다'고 하셔서, 최대한 친해지려고 많이 다가갔다. 그 외에는 크게 없었다. 너무 감정을 딥하게 가지 않았으면 좋겠다고만 하시더라."

-정제원과의 연기 호흡은 어땠나.
"(정제원은) 말이 많이 없는 편이다. '오빠와 친해져야 하나, 말아야 하나' 생각했다.(웃음) 많이 부딪치다보니 친해졌다. 장난치면서 친해진 것 같다. 한 살 차이다보니 공감대도 많았다. (정제원의 원래 성격 때문에) 어색하게 웃거나 이런 감정 표현이 캐릭터와 어울렸다고 생각한다. 감정 표현에 서툰 아이 역할이다보니 어울렸다."

-25세(만 23세)인데 여전히 교복이 잘 어울린다.
"앳된 이미지가 강하다보니 성인 역할을 하기엔 애매하다. 교복 연기로 더 많이 찾아주시는 것 같기도 하다. 불과 2년 전까지만 해도 이것에 대해 스트레스가 많았다. 다양한 연기를 하고 싶은데, 발전이 없을 것 같기도 했다. 그런데 동안 이미지가 강한 분들은 여전히 교복을 입기도 하지 않나. 영화 '바람' 배우들도 다 성인이다. 교복을 최대한 많이 입자고 생각이 바뀌었다. 앞으로는 입고 싶을 때가 올 것 같기도 하다."

-정제원과는 이 영화에 이어 '그녀의 사생활'에서 재회했다.
"처음 '그녀의 사생활' 미팅을 할 때 바로 앞 차례에 정제원이 미팅을 했더라. '굿바이 썸머' 당시에는 생각보다 마주치는 장면이 별로 없었다. 드라마에서는 더 많이 못 만났다. 만날 때보다 반가웠다.(웃음)"

-친해지면서 정제원은 변했나.
"웃음이 많아졌다. 그걸로 감사하게 생각한다. 하하하."

-이 영화를 통해 어떤 평을 듣고 싶나.
"크게 어떤 평을 받고 싶다는 생각은 없다. 다 다르게 해석하실 테니까. 강요하고 싶지 않고 넓은 시야에서 다양한 해석을 부탁드린다. 이번 영화를 계기로 더 많은 독립영화를 했으면 좋겠다고 생각한다."

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