Interview with Yoo In Na “It’s still surprising to see Big Bang in our cafeteria”
[일간스포츠 정지원·김진석] You can find Yoo In Na (32) in most hit Korean soap operas. She first made her debut in “Unstoppable High Kick!” and later appeared in “Secret Garden,” and “The Greatest Love.” All the pieces that she took part in had high viewing rates and were popular. Yoo In Na didn’t play big roles in all of the dramas. But, she did her best in her role, whether big or small, and added a special touch to the drama. She said, “I didn’t try to be greedy in selecting roles. I just chose roles that I could play well.”
Many people in the media want to work with her. As all of the dramas that she was in was a success, she is also called “an actor who brings good luck.” Recently, her latest soap opera “My Love from the Star” of SBS was also a great success. Yoo In Na played Yu Se-mi, the rival of the female leading character Jeon Ji-hyun. Yoo In Na is also the new MC of “Get It Beauty 2014” in On Style channel, with which she broadened her sphere. For the last 4 years, she has been working as a DJ in the radio program “Turn Up the Volume.” Her experience as DJ can now be found in TV, as well, which all indicate to Yoo In Na’s various talents.
The Drunk Talk with Yoo In Na was conducted in an indoor snack bar near Hong-ik University. The reporter had met with Yoo In Na several times before, but it was the first time to have a drink with her. In the comfortable atmosphere, it was easier to see what kind of person Yoo In Na was. It was hard to see any mean traits in her as shown in some of her soap opera roles. The following is the interview with Yoo In Na, who laughed constantly throughout the interview.
▶Was I jealous of Jeon Ji-hyun? No. Actually, we became friends.
-How much can you drink?
“I am not a heavy drinker. A glass of beer is enough for me, and it’s all I have in front of me till the conversation ends. But as for beer mixed with Soju, I can drink it up to two glasses. I also like to drink a little bit of vodka with sweet juice, which makes it a cocktail. I’m a very bright person usually, and alcohol makes me brighter. My high spirits sometimes make people around me feel out of place, but then I fall asleep easily. Usually when I fall asleep, there are friends who take care of me around, so I don’t worry.”
-Your role in “My Love from the Star” was kind of dark. It must have been hard on you to play such a different character from who you are.
“Yeah, it’s totally opposite. The way she thinks, her facial expressions and characteristics…all of them are different. I tend to be the brightest person wherever I am. But during the time I filmed the drama, I couldn’t be me. Se-mi is kind of a shy girl with a dark face all the time. As I wanted to carry the feeling of the character, I made myself feel gloomy in real life, too. I should be able to separate how my character feels and what I feel, but it’s still kind of hard. I guess I have to work on it.”
-In the drama, Yu Se-mi is in love with one man for 10 years. How about you?
“I don’t think I ever will (laughter). Well, I did like one boy for about a year alone. But now that I think about it, it wasn’t out of love I did that. You know, middle and high school girls like one boy by themselves and daydream about him to their satisfaction. I think I was like that. All my friends were in love with some boys by themselves, and I joined in the tide. I loved the feeling that I was in love with someone (Iaughter).”
-Your character in the soap opera is envious of Jeon Ji-hyun. How about in real life?
“No way, I never thought about that. Well, it’s THE Jeon Ji-hyun, you know. Unlike from the story, we became quite good friends in real life. We had a good time eating snacks at the shooting site. And we promised to go out together and eat something delicious. As I watched her act, I realized once again why everyone loves her. She is good at everything; comic, action… you name it.”
-“My Love from Star” was a big hit in China. Do you have any plans to work in China?
“I did get love calls, but I don’t have any concrete plans, yet. Yesterday, several Chinese fans came to see me at the radio booth. They said they watched not only that drama but also “Secret Garden” and “Unstoppable High Kick!” I was very grateful and it also took me by surprise. The radio booth is transparent, so fans often drop by to see me. I guess I am near my fans (laughter), easy to communicate, maybe…One time, I was so grateful to my fans for waiting for me to the end of the radio show that I bought them ice-creams for desert.”
▶Characters I can play well, are my interests. Don’t have any desire for one-top, big roles.
-You have been the DJ of “Turn Up the Volume” for 2 years now. It shouldn’t be easy going on live every day.
“Yes. There are many things I have to give up. It is kind of hard to meet someone for dinner, and it’s also hard to go on a trip. Sometimes when I really want to take a break, I record it in advance or ask for a special DJ. But when a special DJ comes for my place, it makes me nervous. What if that person takes away my place? (laughter) I try out many things nowadays, but among them, I really like being the DJ. One time I cried while pouring my heart out, and the other time, I laughed so hard that it was almost an NG. I want to keep my place as DJ as long as I can.”
-You are also the MC of “Get It Beauty” on TV, and you are the “Beauty Mentor.” How good are you as a beauty mentor?
“I really think a lot about make-up or my weight. I try to work harder so I can live up to my name as beauty mentor. I really liked to dress myself up since young, and I had a keen interest in clothes. After I went to college, I often browsed around the cosmetics section and used sample products, too. I often went to the Dongdaemun Market. It’s now a little bit hard for me to visit there often, but in those days, I really liked the atmosphere of the market at dawn. All kinds of clothes and accessories are there.”
-All your soap operas are hugely successful.
“I also find that really surprising. At first, I thought I was very lucky. But then I thought, maybe I had good sense in picking the dramas (laughter). When I choose a piece, I first consider if I can act it well. Then I read the script again, and see if the viewers would also like it. I sometimes fear that I may fall…because there’s sure to be some pieces that won’t work out for me. So I hope nobody thinks that every piece of soap opera that I will be in will hit it off.”
-You have played supporting roles very much. You must want to play the main character such as in the “Queen Inhyun’s Man.”
“I don’t really feel that way much. I just want to play a good character whether big or small. If somebody tells me that I should play the supporting role of the main character Ha Ji-won in “Secret Garden,” I would do it all over again. Then I would encounter good chances, too.”
-Do you often meet with other celebrities in the YG Entertainment?
“As each one of us is busy, it is not so easy to gather together. I am a big fan of Big Bang and 2NE1, and I constantly listen to 2NE1’s CD in my car. It still feels very strange to see them in the company cafeteria (laughter). YG Entertainment used to be a nest for singers, but actors are also joining in, so it gives me much comfort. Although we don’t meet much, I became really good friends with Sandara Park. People think about her as being quirky, but she also has other sides. She also likes to make people laugh.”
-How often do you meet with the CEO, Yang Hyun-suk?
“It’s quite less than you think. Sometimes he calls me and asks what I’m doing, though he knew at that time very well that I was doing a drama. He encourages me and gives me power.”
▶Rumors, rumors, rumors. It’s something that a celebrity has to bear, right?
-You always say your best friend is IU.
“We are really close friends. We first met in a TV program “Heroes” and also appeared in the soap opera “You are the Best, Lee Soon Shin.” I’m 9 years older, but generational gap doesn’t exist between us. She sometimes seem more mature than me. When I feel down, she comes to me and comforts me and gives me presents. While I’m DJing, she comes suddenly and cheers me, and sometimes gives gifts to my manager to hand to me. One time we were shopping, and she later bought me an item that I said I liked. When my sister got pregnant, I said I was joyful that I would have a nephew, and she gave me baby articles for presents. Well, come to think of it, I have always been in the receiving end (laughter).”
-There were times you suffered from rumors.
“I think that is just part of being a celebrity that I have to understand. At first, when rumors break out, I feel it’s not right. But after some time, I feel that it will all just pass away. And frankly, I didn’t suffer that much from rumors. There are others who suffer a great deal from it. Sometimes I read contents that are said to be written from stock market gossips, and I feel sorry for those targeted celebrities who must be suffering. I myself had hard times when rumors broke out. But it feels strange to step out and tell people that I am innocent, and it also feels very bad to have to just swallow it. In the end, I can’t do anything.”
-You once had a gossip with Jang Dong-min, the comedian. You cried while DJing in the radio program.
“I never thought I would cry, and I was doing okay. But when listeners sent me encouraging texts, I couldn’t hold back the tears. It’s just like that when your tears come down when someone pats you on the shoulder, saying it’s okay.”
-Do you have any hobbies?
“Well, I like to watch old movies again and again. Recently, I watched “Leon,” “Pride and Prejudice,” and “Piranha” again. Then I would write diary and poems. Oh, they will never be published, so please don’t expect anything (laugher).”
-So you like reading and writing. Maybe you should try writing IU’s lyrics.
“I would write things, being very emotional, but most of the time, I feel “what did I do?” after I read it again. I actually like to collect books (laughter). My sister tells me I should stop it. But it feels so good to buy books. And it gives me chance to read more books when they are around. Recently, I read “Falling into the Evening,” and “Moment.”
-Do you exercise much?
“I used to run 100 meters in 15 seconds, and I received top grades in physical tests. But I feel very awkward when I play balls. When I was young and preparing to become a singer, I had a hard time memorizing dance moves. I am good at track and field, but not so at other spots.”
-What kind of student were you in your middle and high school days?
“When I was really young, I used to be chatty. I also got rewards in singing contests. When I was a teenager, I wanted to become successful early, and I strived hard. I started my training since 17. I thought I would make a debut right away, but it wasn’t so. I had to move from 4 different entertainment companies, and at last became an actor in my late 20s. I don’t usually go to the fortuneteller, but I did once because I felt so trapped. The fortuneteller said that I would get what I wanted in my late 20s. So he was right. I’ve prepared for more than 10 years and it’s such a relief that I finally became an actor.”
2014. 3. 14.