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[INTERVIEW] Lee Jieun and Yeo Jingoo in the August 2019 issue of ‘Marie Claire’ (Part 1)
[intro about drama truncated]
Q. The drama “Hotel Del Luna” was a hot topic even before it started. That’s because actors Yeo Jingoo and Lee Jieun decided to work together for the first time. Was there anything both of you prepared before working together?
YJG: I checked out her recent works. But I still think meeting her personally, having a chat and reading the script together is still the best wat to prepare. So I always ask when we can meet. I feel it’s best to meet as early as possible and work on improving our chemistry.
LJE: I usually tend to check out the previous works of the actor I’m working alongside, but I’ve already seen many of Jingoo-ssi’s works. Many of them are big hits after all. Whether it’s the recent dramas like ‘The Crowned Clown’, ‘Moon Embracing the Sun’, or movies like ‘Hwayi, I’ve watched many of his shows, so there wasn’t really a need for me to search for his works.
Q. How was it like meeting each other for the first time?
LJE: I take a long time to warm up to people. Sometimes, I don’t manage to get close to the rest of the cast even by the end of the whole filming. But this time, I think my character is someone that doesn’t really need to be close to my acting partner. Even so, it’s great that Jingoo-ssi starts conversations with me, so we got closer quickly.
YJG: To be honest, it wasn’t easy. I tend to be shy around others too.
LJE: (laughing) That’s right. You tried really hard.
Q. When two introverts meet, the issue of who’s going to start the conversation is the key thing.
YJG: That’s right. This time, I started the conversation first. But after I did that, I felt there wasn’t much meaning to being first. Anyway, the person who talks needs someone to listen and respond to him. So I felt grateful too. I once felt uncomfortable when people tried to approach me and get closer to me quickly. I was worried she might feel uncomfortable like I did then, but I’m glad it didn’t turn out that way.
Q. In the behind-the-scenes, after trying out a scene together several times, Jieun said, “It’s different.” What did you mean by that?
LJE: When I’m reading the script on my own, when we practise the script together and when we’re actually acting it out, the way I act out the scene it’s all different. For a certain scene, I would think to myself that I should use a certain tone. But if Jingoo-ssi goes down a different path, I adapt to that and act in a different way. It’s a really amazing experience. It was during the first few episodes, but with one sentence from Jingoo-ssi, I was able to understand what kind of character he is. With that, I was able to have a better grasp of my character as Manwol too. With just one sentence from him, I was able to feel it, so I thought, “it’s different”.
Q. “Hotel Del Luna’ is set in a fantasy world rather than reality and other than Chan Sung and Manwol, most of the characters are ghosts. How does it feel to act out an imaginary world like this?
YJG: It’s not an easy task. I still get really amazed when I see the finished result of the scenes with CG in them. The scale is much larger than what I imagined. So I ask the director in advance what it will turn out to be like and that has helped with my acting.
LJE: Although it’s not easy because the story is not set in the real world, I think it’s fine whereever the story takes us. Nothing is cast in stone. It’s a really interesting drama with many different possibilities.
Q. Basically if you compare the two, Jang Manwol is strong on the outside but weak inside, whereas Goo Chansung is weak on the outside but strong inside. How do you interpret your own roles?
YJG: Actually, Chansung is a difficult role to understand and relate to. He is confident in himself, enjoys the work he does and is even good at it, so he puts on some airs, yet he is matured and reliable too. As you said, he’s weak on the outside, but strong inside, so I try to convey that through my tone and expression.
LJE: When I first read the script, I felt that Manwol is someone who is really trapped. But the director and scriptwriter have a slightly different perspective. When I asked the cast, they have yet another interpretation. So I felt that she could be a really multi-dimensional character. With that, I erased my preconceived notions of her being someone trapped and try hard to behave freely.
(To be cont’d)
Translated by squishy with love