Meet ‘Down-to-Earth’ Moon So Ri

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4th April is the day when Moon So Ri, one of the Year of the 4 Actors, came to London to attend the film screening HaHaHa and Q&A session at the BAFTA Piccadilly. Before her visit, the Korean Cultural Centre UK showed five films which she starred in including Oasis and A Good Lawyer’s Wife. From her first acting debut in Peppermint Candy, she has become one of the best Korean actresses who have portrayed various roles.

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This year, ‘The Year of the 4 Actors’, film critics and journalists, including myself, were seated at the round table interview before the film screening and Q&A session. BAFTA Piccadilly is the perfect place for actors to sit with the press and share her experiences as a well-known Korean actress. By the time she entered through the curtains, she was a classy lady dressed in yellow dress and dark blue jacket. All of us were amazed by her beauty. In addition to that, she is a warm and friendly person to talk to. She greeted us with her beautiful smile.

At the round table interview, most of us asked her about various questions from selecting her roles, working together with directors, to the future of Korean film industry. The full transcription interview can be looked at Hangul Celluloid (http://www.hangulcelluloid.com/interviewmoonsori.html). Thank you for giving me the permission to post the link for the interview.

Throughout the interview, she was ready to answer the questions that sparked my interest. She happily answered the questions while she thought twice before answering them. In addition to that, she expressively shared her experiences in her acting career while having a bright smile. It is quite interesting to note that she selected her roles based on the right script and director. She pointed out that she selected these roles as part of her practice and experiences. That goes to show what a great actress she is in taking various roles. I believe many actors and actresses do select their roles based on how the script was made and how the directors work well in film production. Also, she finds that understanding the characters is the most challenging part. For example, as most of us asked about her acting in Oasis, she told us that there were moments that she ran away during the middle of the filming because it was too difficult for her to portray a disabled person. Then, Director Lee Chang Dong brought her back. It was interesting listening to her talk about what is like to work as an actress.

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While listening to her experiences, you can see that she has been continuously developing herself, especially when she worked together with rookie actors as a reflection of her own capabilities. She even explains about how the struggles she has gone through within the Korean film industry including financial budget issues. She has tried her best in working together well with directors, staff, and other cast in making these films successfully. To me, I was really impressed with her hard work and effort in developing her acting capability.

After the round table interview, it’s time for the film screening and Q&A session. The film theatre was a full house and the audience were eagerly waiting for Moon So Ri.  When she arrived and came up to the stage to introduce the film, to our surprise she had changed into an elegant outfit.

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After the film, Moon So Ri came back for the Q&A session. Before the audiences asked their questions, Tony Ryans, the host, asked her a few questions about HaHaHa and Oasis. Then, he asked her about how she got the role in Peppermint Candy and the most shocking question: ‘Did she sleep with the director?’  The audience were shocked to hear that Tony Ryan had asked Moon So Ri that question.

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That question made me cover my open mouth with my hands. Yes, this has happened especially in the early years, with directors sleeping with actresses during the early years. Back in those days, some ladies, who dreamed about becoming celebrities, felt that in order to get what they wanted to had to sell their body. However, as a woman, I found this question to be really offensive especially since Tony asked her in front of the audience. I took this as a sexist question that put the audience off as a few of them commented on Tony’s question.

Thankfully, Moon So Ri stayed calmed and answered the question professionally. I’m sure she also found it surprising and shocking when Tony Ryans asked her that question. The audiences asked her about her future plans in her acting career and working together with the film production team including the directors.

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It was nice to hear Moon So Ri talk about how she loves her acting career and the roles that she has portrayed. I see her as a ‘down-to-earth’ person who is sharing her experiences that captivated my attention. I slowly continued to be impressed by her as she continues to pursue her passion for acting. It was an enjoyable experience to talk to her about her acting career and the Korean film industry. We all hope that she enjoyed her stay in London and hope she will come again soon. Be sure to watch An Ethics Lesson (2013) and keep an eye out for the upcoming film Mr. K.

Moon So Ri came to London as part of the ‘Year of the 4 Actors’. There are three more to go: Jeon Do Yeon, Choi Min Sik, and Ha Jung Woo. So, what are you waiting for? Look out for their featured film screenings, which are organized by the Korean Cultural Centre UK. The film screenings are free. I would like to thank Korean Cultural Centre UK for organizing events like these and giving me the opportunity to interview Moon So Ri. I would also like to thank Dr. JinHee Choi as the translator. Lastly, I would like to thank Paul Quinn, from Hangul Celluloid, for letting me post the link to the transcript of group interview.

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A review article about HaHaHa is coming soon. So, stay tuned.

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