Shin Min Ah and Lee Jun Ki J:COM Interview ~ ‘Arang and the Magistrate’

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Interview (English translation by kooriyuki@ArangandtheMagistrateSMASoompi

Both: Sarang Hae Yo J:COM Hallyu Festival~
Q: What’s the reason for choosing to act in AATM?
LJK: The main reason is because the script is rich in the way the story is presented, and also I thought through AATM it can bring out the passion and desire to perform in the two years away in army. Based on a folklore, I feel the ambition of AATM to be a new genre of fantasy period drama. Hence, I’m interested in AATM after reading the synopsis. As an actor, if one cannot feel excited while reading the script, one cannot enjoy acting when the production is underway. I think a production should be in a good atmosphere in many aspects. (I have no idea how to translate the last bit =X)
Q: Why did you accept the role of Arang?
SMA: I chose this role because I’m captivated by the vigor of Arang. Before AATM, most of my characters are quiet, but Arang is a very lively and active character, and also I can feel the charisma of her character, hence I’d like to try acting such a character and this is a good chance.
Q: How do you feel acting with SMA?
LJK: The first time I met SMA was with the PD and other staff, and the scenario was lively. Because of that, there was no awkwardness even though it was our first time meeting, and we became friendly very quickly. Discussion was very well carried out, and when reading scripts together, the PD explained to us very carefully the intricate relationship and subsequent developtment between our characters. SMA and I and the PD discussed alot (about the script). Because of that, on the first day of shooting, I did not feel any awkwardness. Also, normally it would take about a month to figure out how to act more naturally with the co-stars, but here I can concentrate on acting without being nervous. Shooting is progressing pretty well, and I’m looking forward to the upcoming development. The atmosphere is enjoyable, and I look forward to AATM becoming a good production.
Q: How do you feel acting with LJK?
SMA: Just as Oppa (HEE she calls him oppa) said just now, it’s the first time acting together, and the crew really helped alot. Oppa, LJK-ssi’s (so cute she changed the way she called him in the interview and she was embarassed as she changed to referring to him as LJK-ssi) personality is positive and active, so it really is much easier interacting with him. On the first day of shooting I was able to act comfortably. There are many scenes together with Eun Oh, and they were the most comfortable to act in. There are also many interesting scenes, and I think this will be a good drama.
Q: What kind of character is Eun Oh?
He is introduced by most media as a guy with cool charisma, and his character is mainly shaped by the environment he is in. Because he is able to see spirits since a young age, and had heard many requests from the wandering spirits, it’s alot of trouble and hence his character is skewed (to the unhelpful side). Because of personal reasons, he is absolutely not interested in social issues, and is wholly interested in searching for answers to his own problems. Due to that he is always cynical and cold when interacting with others. I’ve thought of how to act out Eun Oh in a way that the audience wouldn’t dislike him, it is quite difficult. I think, through his interaction with Arang, his coldness can be neutralized and he is a character whom audience can relate to and support.
Q: Regarding the saying of “(Arang is) a very cute ghost...
SMA: Arang’s naivety and cheekiness may seem cute, but she is also violent. To survive (in the ghost world), she did some pretty nasty things. If you watch the drama you might get quite shocked.
LJK: She’s cute~
Interviewer: I agree.
LJK: You watched?
SMA laughs embarrassingly.
Interviewer: At the press con.
LJK: Oh you’ve watched!
Q: What made you happy recently?
LJK: I’m happy at the set. It’s boring at home. It’s either watch TV or sleep at home. At the set, there’re lots of people to hang out with, and the staff are fun. I’m happy with Arang and the rest of the cast.
SMA: Me too. I feel happy being able ot meet different people on the set, and make new acquantainces. Furthermore, it’s being quite some time since I last participated in a drama, so I’m happy to be able to act.
Q: Where do you want to go in Japan?
LJK: I’d like to visit Hokkaido now. It’s summer now, and I’d like to go somewhere cool and eat the specialities. The ramen is different there, and I’d like to try, and also rest.
SMA: I’d like to go Okinawa. (LJK: Ah yes.) I’ve never been there before. I heard it’ a nice place and I’d really like to go there once.
LJK: Things are expensive there.
SMA: Air tickets?
LJK: Expensive
Q: What would you like to do now?
LJK: Even though the shooting has started, I want to go traveling. People might say, “What are you saying? The drama is still being shot!”, but when I’m free, traveling is so troublesome and I don’t feel like going; when work starts I’d like to go somewhere spacious and go traveling with friends. That’s what I’d like to do most now.
SMA: I’d also like to go traveling, and eat many delicious things.
(giggles giggles)
SMA: During shooting, there’s always a limit to how much I can eat, and being sleep deprived and tired, girls will appear swollen in the face, that’s why my dinner is always limited. When the shooting ends, I’d like to go and eat delicious food at whereever I travel to. (LJK: nods nods)
Q: What are you engrossed in now?
LJK: AATM. An artiste in the middle of a production cannot be distracted by other things. I’d like the drama to be a hit, and also to get along well with my co-stars, as well as the PD. (giggles giggles) To finish the shootings smoothly, and hoping it’ll be a hit drama of this year, these are the only things I can think of now.
SMA: I’m also full of worries (about AATM). I’ve prepared for this drama for a very long time, and it’ll be broadcasted soon…(to LJK) I can’t say this right?
LJK (to interviewer): When will AATM be broadcasted (in Japan)?
Interviewer: October.
LJK: October? The broadcast in Korea will end by then
SMA: Before revealing a production that took a long time to prepare… (giggles) Wrong. (giggles. LJK coughed. more giggles) Sorry. I’m very worried. It’s a character I wanted to act, and also I took a long time to prepare for it, I’m worried about the audience reactions and feelings.
LJK: The current ratings is above 30% right? (giggles) The preparation for traveling is being done as well.
Q: What is your charismatic point?
LJK: How to say this myself? (giggles) What others say to me? Nothing much special, mostly I’m told it’s my eyes. (SMA LOLed) They’re just small. If it makes people feel comfortable with me I’m happy. Because as an actor, rather than being a star who can’t be reached…(giggles giggles) I’m too embarassed to continue. Anyway, I hope to make people feel comfortable. Therefore, when I’m in a drama, I hope audience can say “Ah it’s that actor’s drama. I feel reassured.”. If I have that kind of charisma I’m happy.
LJK looks at SMA. (giggles giggles)
SMA: Me…too.
LJK: Say something else! Face?
SMA: I’m not fond of my face:
LJK: You say such silly things.
SMA: What should I say? How to put it, when I interact with others, because I try my best to make others comfortable around me, others also become friendly to me.
LJK: I’ll say “eyebrows” to you. Or “the corner of your mouth”.
(giggles giggles)

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