AOA’s Mina recently sat down for an interview to talk about her acting career and her members.
Mina, who most recently appeared in the MBC drama “Hospital Ship,” said that it had been her dream to become an actress since she was a young girl. “Although I debuted as an idol and a singer, I also wanted to go into acting someday,” she explained. “So I’m really happy and grateful that I was given the opportunity.”
The idol-turned-actress spoke warmly of her co-stars from her latest drama, saying that they had helped her overcome her inexperience. “The senior actors on ‘Hospital Ship’ were all so passionate and hardworking. I felt that I need to work harder,” recalled Mina. She went on, “I’m personally a fan of Ha Ji Won, so I was nervous to meet her for the first time. Because she took good care of me and taught me a lot, I think we were able to have good chemistry [in the drama].”
Speaking about her role as a rookie nurse, Mina commented, “I had hoped to pull off the role more smoothly. But as we got closer to the end, just as [my character] grew and improved [as a nurse], I felt that I also grew and improved with her.”The AOA member also opened up about struggling to overcome negative stereotypes about idols who go into acting. “I think there is a lot of prejudice and debate over idols [who act],” she remarked. “At the beginning, there were a lot of hateful comments [about me], but towards the end, the comments improved. I’d like to show that I’m making even more of an effort in the future.”
She specifically named Im Siwan and Park Hyung Sik as two idols-turned-actors whom she looked up to, recalling that one of her “Hospital Ship” co-stars had praised their acting. “I also saw their dramas,” she noted, “and their acting was really good. I’m going to work hard so that I, too, can receive that kind of praise.”Aside from Mina, AOA members Seolhyun and Yuna have also ventured into acting, with Seolhyun recently starring in the film “Memoir of a Murderer” and Yuna appearing in the drama “Single Wife” earlier this year.
Mina reported that she thought all three of them had different strengths when it came to acting, referring to both of her fellow members as actresses that she wished to learn from. “Seolhyun started acting first, and she’s done films and diverse genres. Because she’s already done so much, Seolhyun is able to pull off any character,” she said. She also praised Seolhyun for her “passion, resilience, patience, and hard work.”
As for Yuna, Mina shared that she wanted to emulate her personality. “Yuna is extremely composed and very feminine. She comes across as very sincere. Because I’m easily distracted, I want to be more like her.”
“I think my strength [as an actress] is most likely my optimistic energy,” she added.
When asked whether there was any rivalry between the three AOA members regarding acting, Mina denied it firmly. “We don’t see each other as rivals,” she responded. “They actually help me figure out my characters.” She shared that the members help each other practice for auditions and give each other feedback while they rehearse.
Mina went on, “Whenever I had a free moment [during the filming for ‘Hospital Ship’], I phoned my members. They watched my drama and even made funny videos for me. They told me that I shouldn’t worry because I was doing a good job.”
AOA has been on hiatus since their last release in January, with member Choa leaving the group in June. Mina speculated that the group’s first comeback as a team of six is most likely less than four months away, saying, “I don’t know the exact date, but sometime early next year, either February or March, I think we’ll be able to promote as a six-member group. It seems like we’ll be able to greet our fans through album promotions.”
The idol admitted to worrying about how their comeback would be received. “Of course, there’s pressure,” she divulged. “Because we’ve taken so much time off from our music promotions, I don’t know what kind of response we’ll get, but the other members and I all want to [make a comeback]. I believe that if we do our best, we may have good results.”
Mina also shared that the girl group hopes to stay in each other’s lives even in the distant future. “When talking about what we’d be doing after the age of 30 and whether we’d still be AOA, we once joked about a big dream of ours,” she revealed. “It was for all the members to live in one building. We talked about one member running a cafe, another running an [online] shopping mall, another running a company, and another running a pub. I don’t know if it’ll come true, but we said it would be fun to be able to sell clothes and then go upstairs or downstairs to have a drink or a meal.”In terms of her acting career, Mina commented that she would like to try her hand at different types of roles in the future. “My usual image is bright, but I also want to try playing a dark character or a strong character. Should the opportunity come my way, I’m confident that I can do a good job by practicing my absolute hardest.”
The AOA member chose Lee Jung Hyun, Uhm Jung Hwa, and Seo Hyun Jin as role models that she wants to emulate. She recalled, “I first dreamed of becoming a celebrity after seeing Lee Jung Hyun on TV when I was around seven or eight years old. She’s so good at many different things, including singing and acting.”
She also named So Ji Sub as the actor that she most wanted to work with, saying, “Because I’m a fan of ‘I’m Sorry, I Love You,’ I’d like to be able to meet So Ji Sub [in a project] some day.”Mina, who recently published a book of personal essays, said that she was happy to be dabbling in many different fields. “We’re currently preparing for music promotions,” she said. “I think I would be happy if I could just continue living the way that I am now. I’m acting, and I wrote a book, and if I’m also able to promote as a singer, there’s nothing more I could ask for.”
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