[TRANS/ARTICLE] 150122 BNT News Interview – Girl’s Day Sojin: “I am still in the process of achieving my dreams”
[Choi Misun for BNT] “The nation’s girl group” is a title that is highly prized by whoever it is bestowed upon, and with all of the love that they have been receiving, Girl’s Day is one such group. We got the chance to meet in person with their leader, Sojin, who has been busy working in everything from music to variety to dramas.
Last year on a variety program, Sojin casually revealed that she would be turning 30 this year. Throughout our shoot, she showed her distinct personality: a combination of exuberance and maturity that proves she is a true individual.
Sojin’s charm lies in her contrasts, like how she is both sophisticated and feminine while also being youthful and pure of heart, and how all of her differences manage to peacefully coexist. She expressed her personal opinions calmly and with conviction, yet also managed to make everyone at the shoot burst into laughter with her adorable antics and aegyo.
Perhaps it is due to this diverse and unique kind of charm that Sojin’s foray into acting doesn’t come as much of a surprise. She is already earning rave reviews from the general public for her performance in the drama “Family Outing”, but Sojin revealed that she still has many dreams that she has yet to achieve. She believes that “the present” is the most precious gift that we are given, and for Sojin, in the fields of music and acting, and as a singer and an actress, accomplishing her goals is still “a work in progress”.
Whether it’s promoting as a member of Girl’s Day or appearing on variety shows and in dramas, you always seem to be so busy. What gives you the strength to deal with your jam-packed schedule?
There are a lot of dreams that I have yet to achieve. I want to work hard, both as a singer and as an actress, so that I can grow closer with the fans. The fans are truly a source of strength for me and thinking of them helps to give me the push I need at times. I hope that they will continue to support me.
Your acting skills are being reviewed through the SBS drama “Family Outing”. Do you feel that it’s a risk, as a member of a female idol group, to try your hand at acting?
I never thought that “I can’t” or “I shouldn’t” just because I’m a member of a female idol group. I try my hardest to portray my role to the best of my ability. There is still so much that I don’t know about acting, and aspects about it that I find difficult, but I realized that I have to take it one step at a time and learn as I go. I’m fortunate enough to be taught on set by the director and the sunbaenims (T/N: senior actors) and they help me become more well-acquainted with things.
What does acting mean to you?
I think acting differs from singing in that it has its own unique charm. I really enjoy being able to show other sides of myself that I haven’t been able to show on stage. I’m only laying the foundation now, but I’m constantly learning and building up my skills, and in time, I want to prove to people that I can do well as an actress too.
Singing vs acting: what are the appeals of each?
I think undoubtedly the biggest appeal of singing is the euphoria you feel when you’re on stage. The cheers of the fans, expressing the emotions of the song, the sweat that you shed: there is happiness in all of it and it makes you feel alive. As for acting, to be honest I’m quite cautious talking about it, because there’s still so much that I don’t know. I think with a bit of time, and after I try out various roles, it’ll be even more fresh and fun.
Hyeri gained a lot of popularity through her appearance on the variety show “Real Men”. If you were to also receive an offer to go on the show, would you be interested?
For Girl’s Day, one of our core beliefs is that we should always do our very best with every opportunity we are given. If I were to receive an offer to appear on “Real Men”, I would definitely be interested, and I would work hard. I think I might be a bit like how Kim Soyeon sunbaenim was when she was on the show.
Are there any other variety shows that you enjoy watching or that you would like to appear on?
Lately, JTBC’s “Let’s Go To School” has caught my eye. I wonder what it would feel like to go back to school. It would probably be more fun now than when I was younger, right?
Speaking of school, you majored in mechanical engineering. If you weren’t in the entertainment business, what sort of work do you think you would be doing now?
I think I would’ve followed in the footsteps of my classmates and utilized my major in order to become an employee at a large company, or I would be working alongside my father.
So how did you end up working in this industry?
I had a chance to achieve my dream of becoming a singer, so I took a leap of faith and just went for it. There was a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, but through it all, I developed “a taste for the stage”, the feeling you get when you’re performing and there’s a crowd of people in front of you. I was determined, and I made a resolution that no matter what, I was going to become a singer.
Thinking back through your career, is there any particular performance that holds a special place in your heart?
The one that sticks out the most in my mind is the “Sexy Stage” at the 2014 KBS Music Festival, where I performed Jennifer Lopez’s song “Booty”. When I debuted, the company was concerned because I couldn’t dance very well, and I worried a lot about that, but with that performance, I was able to show how much I’ve improved, and that was really exciting. Also, when we were promoting “Something” on MBC Show! Music Core, I received quite a few compliments from the sunbaenims (T/N: senior artists) saying that I showed good expressiveness on stage, so that’s another performance I remember fondly.
Are there any funny anecdotes from when you’ve done group activities as Girl’s Day?
There was this one time, when we were promoting “Something”, and I got a warning about the looks that I was giving during the performance. We were in the middle of shooting a pre-recorded stage and I wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary, but suddenly, a staff member rushed in and told me to make my gaze a little less intense. I guess I was just too sexy that day… (laughs)
At the present time, what would you say your biggest concern is?
My biggest concern is exactly that: the present. I’ve always been someone who looks ahead and has a lot of thoughts going through my mind. Even with the smallest things, I’ll think, “It has to be done like this; I have to do it this specific way”. But then last year, I realized that there’s no use in worrying about things that are going to happen in the very distant future. So now, I focus on what’s happening at the moment, and I devote my energy to the work that I’m doing currently.
If you could only pick three aspects of your appeal, what would they be?
Probably my face when I’m smiling or laughing, the fact that I’m honest and open, and that I have many various sides to myself. I can be serious, but I can also do aegyo. I can be clever, but I can be clumsy as well. Plus, I might seem refined and dignified, but I’m actually really playful and silly too. (laughs)
What do you do in your spare time?
I’ve been watching tons of movies recently. On the weekends, Yura and I go out to look for great places to eat, and that’s a lot of fun. But when I’m appearing in a drama, like I am now, I spend most of my time reading the scripts and memorizing my lines.
Do you have any role models or people that you want to be like?
I would definitely have to say Uhm Junghwa sunbaenim. As a singer, she’s sexy, full of charisma, and just really amazing on stage. As an actress, she consistently gets better and better. I admire how versatile she is and how she’s able to work in a variety of different fields. I’m learning so much from the sunbaenims (T/N: senior singers and actors) that I work with, and I hope that one day, I myself can become a role model and someone that hoobaes (T/N: junior singers and actors) want to be like.
Among Korean celebrities, who would you say is closest to your ideal type?
Kim Kangwoo sunbaenim. I think any woman who saw him on “Healing Camp” would feel the same way. And… Park Jungyu sunbaenim? (laughs) (T/N: the actor who plays Sojin’s character’s father in “Family Outing”) Sometimes on set, he’ll tell me stories about his family, and I always see him being courteous and friendly to others. I often think, “I hope my future husband will be as warmhearted as he is”. As for my ideal type, I’d really like someone who is strong-willed, yet also thoughtful and considerate, and with kindness in their eyes.
What do you think your life will be like 10 years from now?
I’d probably have my own family by then, wouldn’t I? If I was still singing and acting then, just as I am now, I would be truly grateful.
In closing, is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers?
Thank you so much, for everything, and I will work hard to show you the best version of myself that I can be. Please keep an eye out for my future activities.
Translated By: Shirina