2006, May 22
The Japanese daily Sankei Sports introduced young Korean actress Goh A-ra to its readers as a rising Korean star who will lead the next-generation Korean Wave. Printing a detailed interview with her in its Saturday edition, it said that Goh has just started to spread her wings to reach not only Korea and Japan but also the whole world.
Goh attracted attention in Japan by beating some 40,000 competitors in an audition to secure the role of Kulan, the woman Genghis Kahn loved most, for “Blue Wolf,” a biographical film about the Mongolian hero to be produced jointly by Japan and Mongolia.
Kulan, the second wife of Genghis Kahn, is one of the three woman who determined the hero’s fate, along with his mother, to be played by Japanese actress Mayumi Wakamura, and his first wife Borte, to be played by Rei Kikugawa. Top Japanese actor Sorimachi Takashi will play the role of Genghis Kahn.
Goh said in the interview, “I was surprised to hear my name called at the end of the audition. When I came back to Korea, many people encouraged me to study Japanese intensively so that I can speak freely in Japanese.”
“Since then, I have studied Japanese for three to four hours every day. I try to talk to Japanese people I encounter to practice what I have studied and watch many Japanese dramas and films, but my Japanese is not yet good enough to comprehend everything,” she added.
The daily said that Goh is not yet proficient in Japanese, but hearing her speak a few words in Japanese, it declared her pronunciation perfect.
Goh is engaging in intense practice to speak Japanese naturally because the movie’s director Shinichiro Sawai told her that he would not tolerate unnatural pronunciation even though she is a foreign actress, according to the paper.
But Goh expressed confidence, saying, “Kulan is both strong and gentle. I am a little bit ashamed to talk about myself, but I am quite feminine, so I can play Kulan very well.”
She also talked about her ambition to be a leading Korean actress in the future. “I like singing and dancing as well, but I want to be recognized as an actress first,” she said. “I want to work in Japan as well. Whenever I see pictures of Korean stars on the streets of Tokyo, I feel proud and have energy to go on. I believe I can be like them one day.”
To mark the 800th anniversary of the foundation of Mongolia, “Blue Wolf” will be the most expensive film in Japanese film history with a budget of more than 3 billion yen (US$24.3 million). It will be shot on location in Mongolia for three months starting from June and released in early 2007 across Japan.