Actress Kim So-yeon (32), who has made a comeback after a fifteen-year break with the movie "Gabi", said, "I want to play different characters such as a femme fatale, comic character and character who will experience sad love. I have had too long of a break up to now (laugh)". Asked about the characters that she wants to play, she answered with lightning speed as if she had been waiting for movies for a long time. She will appear in "Gabi" after her long break. "Gabi" is the story of a barista who has come to be involved in an assassination conspiracy due to a plot engineered by the Empire of Japan. "Gabi" is a corruption of the word "coffee" that was spoken by people in the Choseon dynasty who were not accustomed to speaking English.
Kim So-yeon made a comeback after fifteen years since her appearance in the movie "Change" (1997). She will play a spy who looks at King Gojong (Park Hee-soon) with sympathy and who presents passionate love with Ilyich (Joo Jin-mo). She has transformed herself from a female warrior in the drama "IRIS" to a modern girl who fights against an era of upheaval. Kim So-yeon came to a café in Samcheongdong to give an interview on April 7.
Kim So-yeon revealed that changing her acting that has been suited to TV dramas was not easy at all by saying, "When I filmed the scene that was filmed at a Russian legation, I was almost knocked out. The film set for the movie that I came back to after fifteen years was very tough". She had to reduce any exaggerated acting. When she felt emotion from her heart during filming, the director Jang Yoon-hyeon gave her vague instructions, saying, "You should have your emotion coming from beyond instead of your heart". There have been many such requests. He continuously asked, "Read your script without opening your mouth, remove the wrinkle on the middle of your forehead, except those, everything looks good", and, "Speak more slowly".
Kim was reportedly in a daze due to the different style of acting required from that of drama. She sometimes shed tears when nobody was around her. She underwent a harsh time because everything was tough for her. But it was a very natural thing for her because she made a comeback to movies after a fifteen-year break, and her appearance in a historical movie was a first for her. She felt uncomfortable with both her costume and the slow way of speaking. She also did not have enough time to film the movie because she had to shoot all the scenes within a month. Kim said, "I repeatedly filmed the same scene over and over, and I actually did not count how many times I filmed the same thing. I only tried to constrain my emotions. Even though there were hard requests from the director such as 'Try to reflect the face of Joo Jin-mo on your face', I did my best to control my emotion".
The result seems to have been worth it. Her lines that had had too fast of a tempo and too much emotion were changed to moderate and slow lines, which perfectly presented Tanya, who maintains a delicate position between King Gojong and Ilyich. Kim So-yeon said, "Sometimes we took a break for three days in between the filming schedules, so I had to keep my emotion while taking a break. I had to train myself. But I must have failed to present the character without the other actors Park Hee-soon and Joo Jin-mo, who had worked together (laugh)". Kim's fluent Russian drew attention. As she did not know the Russian language at all, she had to memorize all of her lines in Russian even before filming had started. She always thought about her lines even when she moves from one room to another and when she had to eat something. Her fluent Russian in the movie was actually the result of her ceaseless efforts. She said, "The experience of learning Chinese helped me greatly. When I first learned the Chinese language, I practiced how to pronounce a single word for a week. Learning Russian was less difficult than the time when I learned Chinese. I practiced all the time and I can still remember those Russian lines, and I might not forget those lines for at least ten years".
Kim So-yeon appeared in Hong Kong director Tsui Hark's movie "Seven Swords" in 2005, but her appearance in this Korean movie was her first time in the past fifteen years. She reportedly had avoided appearing in a movie after she felt vague fear about exposing or violating scenes of the movies when she was young, but she did not know that she would not appear in a movie for such a long time. Kim So-yeon said, "Six years ago, I went to see the movie "Once in a Summer" (2006) with my mother, in which the actress Soo-ae appeared, and I found that her acting was excellent even though she was around the same age as me. I wanted to show that excellent appearance to my mother, and I began to feel like appearing in a movie from that moment. The movie gave inspiration to me". Several years later, she has been requested to appear in a movie which was the work of the director Jang Yoon-hyeon who had produced movies such as "The Contact" (1997) and "Tell Me Something" (1999). Kim said, "I have wanted to appear in a movie and I also wanted to be included on the list of actress who have worked with Jang Yoon-hyeon along with other star actresses including Jeon Do Hyun, Shim Eun-ha, and Song Hye-kyo, which gave me a pounding heart. The original story was very interesting, and I was curious about the script for the movie. There was no reason that I should not appear in the movie".
Kim So-yeon debuted with her appearance in the drama "Dinosaur Teacher" in 1994. It has already been eighteen years since her debut. Asked whether she regrets becoming an actress, she answered, "Acting seems to be my vocation. I am very happy when I act. When I become completely immersed in my acting, I feel very satisfied. The word 'beginning' does not seem to be appropriate for an actress who has acted for eighteen years, but I always tell myself, 'I want today to become another new beginning of my life'. I just started to walk at this moment as a beginner. When I began acting at the age of 14 as a middle school student and when I filmed the drama 'All About Eve', I also thought that it was a new beginning, but things are different now. There were things that I could not try before simply because of undefined fear, but now I am open to everything, and I feel that I can do everything at this moment.
Gabi (Coffee) = Tanya lost her parents to an assassin when she was young, and she headed to Russia with a son of her servant named Ilyich. They became famous thieves in Russia, but they were almost arrested by the Russian government when Korean-Japanese Sdako (Yoo Sun) helped them and saved their lives. But soon the Japanese tortured them to reveal them as spies. Two people helplessly promised to become spies with Sadako. Tanya infiltrated a Russian legation as a barista, and Ilyich also came to Joseon as a Japanese military official according to the Japanese plot. This movie that had built almost ten film sets contains many scenes to watch including 80 different dresses. The vivid color of the movie is also noteworthy. "Gabi" is based on the novel "Roh Seo Ah Gabi" written by Kim Tak Hwan. The director Jang Yoon-hyeon, who had directed movies such as "The Contact" (1997), "Tell Me Something" (1999) and "Hwang Jin Yi" (2007), directed the movie. The running time of the movie is 115 minutes.
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53rd Baeksang Arts Awards 2017