Star. Icon. Nation's little sister. Now we call her by her name "Geun-yeong".
Moon Geun-young's grandmother. As a child, Moon began her day watching morning dramas with her grandmother and at nights would fall asleep while talking with her grandmother on what happened during the day with her parents being busy working. Her grandmother told her, "In life, people go through various ups and downs but I don't want you to think about that too much and rather work on refining yourself and grow up to become an intelligent actress". Moon Geun-young's mother told her that the money she makes "is not our money" and suggested in donating it as "a way of investing your love to society". One of the biggest reasons that Moon was able to act from a young age until now without faltering is because of the unconditional support she received from her family.
Actor who played Moon's teacher in "Burnt Rice Teacher and Seven Potatoes", her father-in-law in "Empress Myung-sung" and then her father in "Wife". In her school's production of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", Moon played one of the seven dwarfs and wanted to take up acting because it was "fun to show and express different images of myself to the audience". The story that Moon's mother had promised to allow her daughter to become an actress if president-elect Kim Dae-jung wins the elections is well-known. Once Kim became president, Moon enrolled into acting school. And after an official from a broadcasting company saw her profile picture, she began working as an actress in KBS' "TV Brings Love", where she would re-enact real life stories, and in "Burnt Rice Teacher and Seven Potatoes", playing a villainous student who is bad influence on classmates.
The director of KBS' "Autumn in my Heart". Director Yun asked Moon to "act like a girl who is a mix of Cinderella and Candy" when she played the role of the younger version of Song Hye-kyo's character, but Moon actually had no idea who Candy was. But Moon pulled off her character well, saying "The whole script is so sad that I didn't need to think of anything else". She had her own understanding of the story. "If I were Eun-seo [the female lead in "Autumn in my Heart"], I would choose Won Bin. There were too many obstacles in loving Song Seung-heon's character but Won Bin's character loved Eun-seo from the start so I think only good things would have happened for them". At the time, Moon had her own acting know-how. "I would try to become the character that I am playing but if it doesn't work, I would try to drive my character to the extreme". This is probably why Moon Geun-young seemed to have more depth and maturity for her age when she appeared in "Autumn in my Heart" and the music video of "Heart Break".
Her co-star from the movie "A Tale of Two Sisters". Im Soo-jeong described Moon as "a vigorous and cheerful child-adult" who would "send a lot of text messages at the start of the month but fewer by the end because her mobile phone plan only allowed her to send 500 a month". Like Im said, Moon has the face of a child which also contains expressions which might be felt by a grown-up feeling complex emotions. Director of "A Tale of Two Sisters". Kim Jee-woon called her "the kind of actress who is able to make those around her feel guilty with the deep sadness in her eyes". For Moon Geun-young, who likes "the kind of acting which gives off a certain odd, unexplainable feeling", "A Tale of Two Sisters". was the perfect film where she was able to show her unique style as an actress. And Moon Geun-young started to gain attention as a new kind of teenage actress.
CEO of Moon's agency Namoo Actors. Talking about how much he likes Moon Geun-young, Kim said, "Moon and her mother are my teachers. Most people only concentrate on their own lives and don't have time to look around but these two helped me to look around and see what's going on". It was also Moon who named her agency Namoo Actors -- in the hopes that "it will be a place where actors can root themselves, yield strong leaves and become a resting place for them". ['Namoo' is the Korean word for 'tree'.] Fellow actor Ahn Seok-hwan once said Moon Geun-young is "so great that I even respect her". Moon is the kind of person who likes famed poet Jeongcheol's "Sokmiingok" because it expresses "all kinds of human emotions in just three lines" and who "uses loneliness as an excuse when having lots of time or feeling vulnerable". When she appeared on MBC's "Sunday Nights - Love House", she gave the child of the family a scholarship instead of a computer or cellular phone because the service fee will be a burden and it was probably her deep, considerate nature that helped the public feel a sense of purity and fondness about her.
Actor who has acted with "A Tale of Two Sisters". actresses Moon Geun-young, Im Soo-jeong and Yeom Jeong-ah. After Moon became convinced by director Kim Ho-joon telling her "I am confident that I can bring out your bright side", she starred alongside Kim Rae-won for the successful film "My Little Bride". And when director Kim told her "it is possible to change the parts that don't work by discussing it with your co-star since the scenario was written by a thirty-something man", Moon starts the "kind of acting where there was room for me to be creative". However, "My Little Bride" only portrayed Moon in a cute and bright light which paved the way to her gaining the image as the 'nation's little sister'. The film increased Moon's popularity but it blocked the growth of an actress who was mature on the inside and knew "that actress Moon Geun-young was being driven by an entirely different force, something outside her acting skills". It starts becoming a problem for an actress who is in her twenties who said "it's a bit sad because I know that I want to play feminine and mature roles but I can't".
Moon Geun-young's co-star in movie "Innocent Steps". She chose to play the female lead who matures while learning how to dance and love because the audience had an image of her as someone who has ceased to grow from her role in "My Little Bride". She was praised on how fast she was able to learn the dance moves from her teachers. However, she still maintained the image of the 'little sister' because her character in the movie was a pure and sympathetic young Korean girl who came from China. Moon said she "hated how the public would draw a line between an adult and child over a day's difference" but as she became close to turning 20 years old, the media became increasingly curious to when she would transform into an adult actress.
Her co-star in the movie "Love Me Not". Moon Geun-young who felt "sad and sorry [for her co-stars] because we made the movie together but in the end it always ended up being about me" in her previous works, starred in "Love Me Not" under less pressure. The media has been focusing on Moon's acting transition and she found herself once again in the situation where she was responsible for the commercial success of the film. Around the time when "Love Me Not" opened, Moon became the center of controversy over her college entrance although she had applied for the rolling admission based on her work experience. Others even brought up her personal affairs, turning her continuous donation activities into something political. She suddenly gained anti-fans even though nothing had changed about her, making her feel as if she was "packaged into someone completely different by wearing a thick layer of clothing that it not my style". She gained an inferiority complex which made it difficult for her to sit in the classroom at the beginning of the school year although thankful of the public's attention. This was when Moon experienced her first slump.
Her co-star in the SBS drama "Painter of the Wind". Moon received the grand prize at SBS' Acting Awards ceremony for her role in "Painter of the Wind". Instead of playing the role of Shin Yoon-bok as neither a girl nor boy, Moon expressed her character as a 'human being' who grows up in the process of opening her eyes to love and painting through artists such as Kim Hong-do and Jung-hyang. Like the writer he himself mentioned, the series lacked in some areas and would have liked to express draw on the melodramatic elements between the characters in more detail. But Shin Yoon-bok's eyes, which showed her transformation from being a troublemaker genius to knowing more about love and painting, was enough to make up for what was not written in the script. Moon has proven to be an actress who was able to show that she had matured without having to reveal her feminine or sexual side. With that she bid farewell to her image as the 'nation's little sister'.
Moon Geun-young had chosen Jang as her role model because she was "impressed that he kept on walking his path despite all the ups and downs". Moon gained huge popularity after starring in the film "My Little Bride" and learned various acting techniques through her sequential acting roles -- playing a dancer in the film "Dancing Princess", a blind woman in "Love Me Not" and a painter in TV series "Painter of the Wind". And in KBS TV series "Cinderella's Sister", she chose to play a character who is the opposite from her image as 'nation's little sister'. This is somewhat similar to the steps that Jang has taken in his career, who, after a few acting transformations, went from being a good-looking actor to a movie star with good acting skills. What is more important, however, is that Moon Geun-young, who is only in her early twenties, is making her own choices in her life as an actress. Moon Geun-young has endured the pressure of being labeled 'nation's little sister' after appearing in "My Little Bride" and widened on her scope of acting by learning various techniques that her roles as dancer, painter and blind required. It is hard to find an actress who has as much star quality and acting ability as Moon Geun-young and one whose acting is not limited to a melodrama. She has weathered through her sudden surge in popularity Instead of getting swept away by it and has become someone in her twenties determining her own future.
The actress who Moon said "I want to grow up to be an actress just like Lee Mi-sook". They are currently starring together in series "Cinderella's Sister". Moon, who considered herself as someone with high tolerance for pain, took on the role of Eun-jo who swallows all her pain on the inside and rebels on the outside. Through her role as Eun-jo, she can express everything including how she rebels against the world, the loneliness she feels after being alienated from her own mother and new family, and the indifferent attitude she tries to put on when Hong Gi-hoon (played by Cheon Jeong-myeong) calls out her name when she is actually feeling smaller. She was finally given the chance to break away from the image of the 'nation's little sister' and show her deep inner self. And beginning from episode five where Moon plays someone in her twenties, Moon was be able to show the audience the kind of acting that she thought of and had prepared for all this time. It will be a chance for her to receive verification for her acting techniques and prove how well she can play a woman who has been faced with a lot of pain in her life. When Moon appeared on the SBS program "Chocolate" she sang the song "Musical" which said "Just leave me alone and don't try to interfere with my life and I will live in a world where I can make it on my own". Just like the song's lyrics, will Moon be able to find her own way?
Senior Reporter : Kang Myoung-Seok two@
Editor : Lee Ji-Hye seven@, Lucia Hong luciahong@
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2015 51st PaekSang Arts Awards