August 28, 2006
Shin Ae-ra is a veteran actress with 17 years of experience. For a long time, however, she became a byword along with her husband Cha In-pyo for their exemplary life as a couple. The Chosun Ilbo met her as her latest film ‘Ice Kekii’ was released Thursday. The movie is about a boy who runs a makeshift ice cream parlor to earn money for a trip to Seoul to meet his father. Shin plays the boy’s mother, who has a difficult time as a single mother. Didn’t she feel constrained when the press always insists on her model marriage?
This is your big-screen debut.
It was not only my first movie but also my first experience acting in a historical drama and speaking Jeolla dialect. It was a whole new experience and I really liked it.
What did you imagine the single mother you play is like?
I thought she must have been an extraordinary woman, being courageous enough to raise a child as a single mom at that time. She is just a fragile woman, but she has become used to the tough life to protect her child from a hostile world and sometimes engage in battles with the world.
There are actors who seem to bet everything on their acting and live a passionate life. You are certainly not that kind of actor, are you?
They are real actors. In that sense, I think their sometimes irregular life needs to be respected. I do my best as an actress. But I don’t think that I am as passionate or capable as they are, and I wouldn’t like to be either. I believe that God has given me a job other than acting to do.
What is that job?
It may be related to taking care of children. I believe that the reason my husband and I became celebrities is that God designed things this way to give us a well-intentioned job to do. I support 10 children in El Salvador and the Philippines via Compassion (Shin is goodwill ambassador for this organization) and it is such an encouraging experience to exchange letters with them. I hope that I’ll be able to travel to those countries to see them when they grow up.
Doesn’t it make you feel uncomfortable that the press only talks about your goodness?
I truly felt that when adopting my daughter Ye-eun (which means ‘the blessing of Jesus’). We adopted her just because we love children so much and wanted to have a girl. We were really embarrassed because we didn’t think that it was a big deal that merits a compliment. Now I realize that I don’t have to strive to meet other people’s expectations. If I try to, it would be hypocritical and there would be lots of restrictions on my behavior.