They say because you are in pain, you are in your youth. Twenty-five year old Moon Geun Young is in the middle of her 20s as an actress, student, daughter and a woman who carefully looks at herself. She was aware long ago of life's secret that the brilliant pains of youth will soon be growing pains and it was present in her pure and passionate self.
BY YOUN YOUNG SHIN, CHA LYNN KI
"When I was in my teens, I imagined that by my twenties, I would be a mature adult with a completely full heart. Of course I thought I would be like that, but how come it seems like there isn't a particular difference since then. (laughs)"
"I do not dwell long on a regrettable choice. Although people are bound to have regret for something that they did not acquire, did not do, it's not like blaming the past will help the future."
Her moist eyes sensitively wavers along with the level of her voice. For a moment, she stops talking. She blinks her eyes as she thinks of the right word for the situation. Her forehead is like a cut chestnut. Every time she laughs, her round cheeks are like an apple that was cleaned so that it twinkles twinkles to make a shine. Moon Geun Young is surely aging slowly. It was that feeling. In the current entertainment industry, when you can become a 'woman' if you want to at just 16 years old, she who has now become twenty-five, has not once ran as if something was chasing her nor shown a seductive gesture. Although it seems like she is getting older more slowly, one by one, compared to other actresses her age, Moon Geun Young has in return during that time frugally cultivated a part of her that is difficult to find in most of the women in their 20s. Starting from the detailed talk of life and love that accompanies ddeokboki at a Korean fast food restaurant, an artist's acting, and even conversations to find the truth on becoming older and living as a woman, whatever I said she intently listened. She had a thoughtful and intelligent energy that made you feel like she could understand you completely. In words that everyone uses, she has the charm of 'a woman who knows how to have a conversation'.
It has been almost 1 year.
Yes, it has been already that long.
Your atmosphere has changed. If I were to use an analogy, it felt like 'the night before getting a cold' then. Although I can't pinpoint the pain exactly, somehow you seemed weak, a pale state.
That was right before the first broadcast of
It could be because you are attending school diligently.
How should I say it, I am a bit peculiar...(laughs) I need to make a "pretty" (class) schedule to feel relieved. So that I don't have long intervals between my classes, I strive to set a constant morning or afternoon class time. If the intervals between my classes are long and uneven, my manager oppa who brings me to school also goes back and forth, which wastes a lot of [his] time. Although I can just attend school, manager oppa is a person who has a lot of other things to do...
You seem like a neat person who tries not to cause any trouble to the people around you. Because of that kind of well-mannered and carefulness, has there been a time when you yourself got hurt?
In the past, I had a lot of compulsions to not make a mistake or cause any trouble, that I shouldn't do things to hurt other people. But after I experienced being really hurt one time, since then, I became important, more than other people. (laughs) In the sense that, I have to not be hurt, even if I am hurt, I have to overcome it. So since that point, when I had to make big or small decisions, I didn't look at what other people thought but I started to think for myself. Also, when I assumed that someone might be displeased and I became careful, there were many times when I realized it wasn't a big deal to that person. (laughs)
Your major is Korean literature right?
Yes. My coursework is so hard, sigh. (laughs) I think it's because I still don't have confidence. Is this right? Would I be allowed to write this? I keep questioning myself. I don't want to be wrong, I wish it was somehow more logical, I want to think about it deeply and organize it well, but in one week, it's not possible to possess that much depth... I was like that and then my friends said, "Hey, the professor does not expect that from you! First, hand in the assignment!" (laughs)
Do you tend to be brave to new challenges?
I don't have any fears to challenges itself. I am still in a rash one-day-old puppy kind of state. Even if I might show some lack and make a mistake, I think this is an age when I can be forgiven. But since some time ago, I started to feel like I had too many things that I am responsible for to challenge myself to do whatever I'm inclined to. I think other 25 year olds my age and 25 year old Moon Geun Young who has the title of a 'celebrity' is a bit different. It also seems that many people are not very generous to a celebrity's trial and error. I too always say that I 'want to change' but it's not as easy as just saying it.
It might be because they have always seen you do well and not make a mistake.
Not sure about that… (laughs) When I did the play
Then when you hear the word 'challenge' what is the first image that comes to mind...
Fear. Being scared is the biggest.
You are truthful and brave. Since you need to be brave to admit that you are afraid.
Truthfully, until now, I always did roles that everyone did not expect. Roles that everyone thought would not suit me. If I were to make a mistake and experience failure, I believed that instead of later that it should have to be right now. Even if I fail now, I would have time to overcome it. But if it happened later, when I am older and have gained more experience, because I would be in a situation where I would have to hear just the necessary hard truths, I don't know if I might cover my ears because I don't want to hear it. (laughs) But I am always afraid. I think the part that is not seen with a resolution 'to challenge oneself' is the fear that is attached to it. I thought about it carefully, and I think it's because there are more things that I want to guard than in the past. In the future 20 years, 30 years, even if I am still acting, I hope that my heart now that 'I always have to learn' will not change. I wish that I will think that the answer is not just what I know.
From the challenges that you have done so far, what is the one that had the most meaning?
They all have a lot of meaning. Although at that moment it's going back and forth from life and death, when it passes it just seems like one process. Although that kind of experience will continue to pile up and pile up. Truthfully,
A question since we're talking about challenge! Let's say that the man that Geun Young ssi likes does not have an interest in you. Then will you try to win that man's heart by taking on the challenge?
That kind of thing will never happen. Because, if it's a man that I like enough to take on the challenge for, that man must surely love me. I want to be loved by the man that I love. Even if I was the first to have an interest, if I feel like the man does not like me, I don't think I will let my feelings progress.
Do you tend to be careful when you date too?
No. Only in the beginning am I careful and cautious. If we are in a relationship where we love each other, I go completely all in in the relationship with him. To the person that I love, I don't have any secrets and I don't hide my feelings as a show of pride. If I feel like that person doesn't love me anymore, instead of folding that love, I somehow make that person love me again. (laughs)
"Eventually, I realized that the most important thing is myself. If I am not happy, then I would not be able to make the people beside me happy either."
You are cool? Is there a love that has made you more mature?
Yes. Ultimately, love is also when a person and person meets. When in love, I realized there are many different views in this world. Although I think this way, this person thinks like that. I realized that something completely different from my assumption can progress in someone else's heart. And so I think if I can be as completely truthful and sincere to other people as I am to the man that I love, I think I can make an even better relationship.
At what age was that love?
I have not been in love a lot. (laughs) I think it may have been when I was twenty or twenty-one years old.
Starting from last year, since Geun Young ssi said that you thought you had become discretely sexy, I thought maybe you had fallen in a passionate love!
I know too. That I am discretely sexy. (laughs) If I say this, everyone keeps thinking that I'm joking, but I'm really sincere? Because my sexiness is excessive, I manage it carefully so that it does not overflow. (laughs) It could be that maybe because the (editor) is a woman that she is asking me that. The people who say that I am sexy are mostly women? (laughs)
I know that it is not a joke. Some time ago, on some variety program, I saw Geun Young ssi doing a wave dance. It seemed just like a passionate woman confined in a model student's body.
My thought is the opposite. Since I have always been a passionate woman. Not only with love, with work, with studies, with everything that I start, I have to go all in to be satisfied. I am not a passionate woman hidden underneath this model student exterior, I am always a passionate woman. Although I do feel like people who see me try to confine me to this kind model student image.
Do you perhaps have an ideal type of guy? A somewhat immature example, but something like 'he definitely has to be tall'...
Ah, well that. I would like it if the guy is tall. (laughs) I like a person who is tall and has a big build. A guy who just by being with him, I feel like I am being protected. When he wraps me up fully in his embrace, that I naturally think... 'Ah, I'd be happy just to live in this embrace' (laughs)
Apart from that is there something else that you would like in a man? Something like 'I'd be happy if he just had this'.
I would like it if I could have a conversation with that man. Who listens to what I say, and provides a response that goes well with those words, and makes me also want to listen to what that person has to say, something like that. I think if it's a man who I can have that kind of conversation with that he would be able to understand everything about me.
Has there been a moment where you thought 'I really like being a woman'?
Times when I think 'Because I am woman, I am able to be a daughter to my mom'. In addition to being the oldest, and an inexpressive daughter like a son, there are times when I have thoughts like that. When I feel like, 'Ah, what would have happened to my mother if she didn't have me! It's fortunate even though it's someone like me'.
What is the book by your bedside these days?
Author Park Wan Suh's
You probably often do not get a good night's sleep because of your assignments?
It's okay. I like the energy from the night. Although it's okay if I don't go outside during the day, strangely there are times when I have an itch to want to go outside at night. If I had a car, I might go out for a drive. (laughs) During those times, I just go out to my veranda and sit there.
I will ask Geun Young ssi an interesting interview question that I saw in a foreign magazine not long ago. 'If you had to sell yourself within 10 words, what would you say?'
Um... I would say 'I don't mind if you don't buy me'. Truthfully, I don't want to sell myself but if I had to respond. (laughs)
Alright, this is the last question. What kind of meaning is age to Moon Geun Young?
Just something that you gain? (laughs) It's not like the world all of a sudden changes because it turns January 1st 0 o'clock [note: In Korea, you become 1 year older when it becomes January 1st]. It's just the same night as yesterday, I find it odd that people suddenly feel like they have to make new plans when it turns that day. Maybe it's because I'm a person who makes plans based on a project rather than on a particular date? So although I'm still the same, it's the number that keeps going up and not attached to me, that's what I think age is to me. I think I might still be in my adolescence! (laughs)
"There was a time when I found it strange when someone said to me, 'the wave curl hairstyle makes you look older'. Moon Geun Young is at an age now when she can look a bit old? (laughs)"
source: InStyle Korea & DCBH
translation: Soompi Moons