Goo Hye Sun, truly an inspiration

Article from: CeCi magazine November,2009.
(Interviewer: Editor of CeCi: Bak Se Rah)

Things I wanted to ask actress GHS:
GHS is planning to crank up her
full length film in November and it is a story of a cellist and music.
When did she start writing her script? Did she complete the casting
process? Nobody knows. Not too long ago when she published her novel,
exhibited her art work and came out with her music CD–nobody knew much
about them either. Her work has always been very quiet. That is why, to
most people, GHS is like a difficult-to-understand text.

Not too many years ago, only one qualifying word, Ulzzang,
explained everything about GHS the actress. Now, her face is full of
signs of mischief and curiosity behind those huge blinking eyes and she
corrects me: That is not all that I am.

I used to say that I can do anything: I played in NN5 an energetic and ‘uh ri bah ri’=goofy(?) screenwriter, then an untainted Yanbin female in the Pure Heart of 19, then a Queen Yune who aroused ‘gah chae’ (?) in King and I.
Yes, I tried my hardest. But I also have lonely memories of not having
things work out the way I wanted. In the beginning, I thought that
things worked out well for me because I have all the luck and because I
am special. I did not realize just how many people worked so hard to
help me. In King and I, my self-conceit and pride broke down. I made a debut at young age, I had to grow up fast.

2009, GHS again solidified her place as an actress by playing Geum
Jandi who, after a period of abuse and torture, ends up being loved by
the F4. While her popularity soared among the mass, her TV appearance
time gradually decreased. Most celebrities’ pattern is to be mindful of
how their audience is feeling about them and to adjust themselves to
maintain their image.
Same pattern does not seem to apply to GHS. In
the middle of such heated popularity, GHS walked out to the audience,
took the chance in showing, one at a time, new and different sides to
After the big hit of BOF, she could have easily just enjoyed the
unending adulation. However, she quickly gargled the taste of
popularity out of her mouth and published her first novel,TANGO.
Then she opened her own private exhibition of her illustrations and art
work. Then she produced her New Age musical CD. And, in November, she
is to hold the megaphone as a director. (We know now that GHS started
filming MAGIC on January 15th, 2010.) Now, nobody can really predict
her future. She may be able to think about what she has to do tomorrow,
but she cannot make a guarantee or positive assertion about her own
future. She is curious herself what would her future be like. Only
thing that she feels sure is that the process will be mighty interesting.

always work with a smile on my face.
I feel more the benefit from
working really hard. On the one hand, living so intensely may seem
empty, but I feel so alive. Making movie is about constantly being face
to face with other people around you all the time–to communicate, to
fight, to have conferences—I love it!

Carefully, the
reporter asked GHS about her new movie. Firstly, it is a mystery. The
story deals with the endless desires of artistic people. They want to
fulfill their intense desires yet the desire is endlesss and
meaningless conflicts arise. People die. Towards the end, even after
the death of a lover, the lead actor’s drive to still play the cello is
revealed. It may not be your typical Korean movie that one is used
to–it is slightly manic. (GHS smiles)

After BOF, people
are again acknowledging her as actress. So, WHY does she have to choose
a difficult road of being a director? As I became more and more famous
as an actress, whether consciously or subconciously, my routine has
turned into hiding myself from the public. The more I talked, sometimes
the more it worked against me. If I play a bright and energetic
character, I had to stay in that character no matter where I am. If I
play a sad character, I could not easily laugh anywhere either. The
character that I play is not the real and entire me. If I show the
public many other aspects of me, would they be more confused? I want to
be more free with myself and the public. How long do I have live my
life by restraining and abstaining from being myself? The more and more
I thought about it, the lonelier I became.

To comfort my
lonliness, I scribbled, painted and composed. However, those are jobs
for only one person to do. I wanted to meet people more. So, I went
out. I took my work with me. Actually, even before I became an actress,
I wrote, painted and composed. Those senior actors who have worked with
me have seen my work and have encouraged me to not just keep it as a
hobby but to consider writing books and to do art exhibitions. Under
such positive encouragement, she worked hard even giving up on
That is how she came out with her work to the public.

know that I lack tremendously, but I maintain the cocky attitude that I
want to do what I want to do no matter what.
Luckily, many people
helped me. Some friends worried for me. They cautioned me to first do
more acting, really sharpen the acting skills, to try for movie roles.
Then, slowly with more experience, try other challenges. I thought
about it. However, when would there be the right time for me to know
that I am ready to challenge myself new. What if such readiness never
come and I die? By nature, we human beings are not even perfect to
start with!

I decided to give myself some room. I told myself
that I am doing it because I want to do it, not because I am so good at
A person who already lives her life so intensely may bring out even
more authentic colors of her being by adding a flavor of something new.
To make one scene, I fight fiercely with the staff. We may even fight
more than 12 times a day. Then I would say, wow, we really live way too
intensely. For what and whom, are we living this way? I may say that
but inside I am feeling just so happy. By collecting others’ opinions
and thoughts, we have conflicts, so we have to argue and have it out
until the end. When I look back at my school days, I remember sports
events the most where friends and I had to confer to make winning
strategies. These days, I feel like I am always working on our sports
events. I am realizing more and more everyday that no work can be
completed by just me alone.

In the past, I would think that my
thoughts are special and would have thought about making a movie that
would be difficult to understand but at least I would be expressing my
own thoughts and personality. These days, I do not insist only on my
own stubbornness. I try to be in tune with other people’s thoughts and
opinions. I share my thoughts and feelings and I am more open minded to
really explore the tension between me and the public/other and to try
to play the rope-pulling game to find a good balance. I can still show
myself in the work but I have to make sure that the public, or the
audience is clear about it too. The fact that a director must be in
tune with the audience and so must be open to the opinions of the
entire staff is a different kind of pleasure than what GHS as an
actress felt. Everybody’s attention is on me, the lead. Nobody knows
the stress and the loneliness the actress GHS felt. When people around
me would tell me that I have no reason to have stress since everybody
is already doing a lot for me, I feel twice the pressure on my
shoulder. As time passes, I also feel the limitation of my outward
appearance. I may have to look younger or be more mischievous. Such
limitation feels like staking a claim on a piece of sand castle. (We
all know what happens to those sand castles when the tide comes in. GHS
seems to be saying that she felt stifled as an actress but more free
and less lonley as a director. She broke FREE.)

Now, this is the start
for me. I already hung out all my work out there for the public to see.
I am sure that while filming, from time to time, I will look at some of
the results and say to myself, I am going crazy…What am I to do now!
But, you know what? I know positively for sure that it will be nothing
but very interesting! ( Some character GHS is!)

translated by: susAmerica