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Han Hyo-joo Harpers Baazar Interview: Different Sides of HHJ

Han Hyo Joo english Interview

We received a request for Han Hyo-joo’s recent Harper’s Bazaar interview and we were happy to oblige. We were already working on Lee Hyori’s interview, so we put this in the queue to work on right afterwards. Luckily it was a quick turnaround, (sometimes it can take longer if we have other work to do at our job).

If anyone has a magazine interview that they want translated then hit us up in the comments and we’ll get to it. If we start to receive a lot of requests then we’ll start to put them in our request queue over on the right. Right now we don’t have any more requests so the next ones we get will be first in line!

Harper’s Bazaar
September 29, 2017
October 2017 Edition
Editor Kim Ji-sun
Translated by Bah+Doo

The Cinema Angel Project hosted by BAZAAR and Burberry Korea supports the right to watch movies for those who don’t have a chance to watch movies. Han Hyo-joo became the Cinema angel of the year, who deeply agree’s with the quote “One movie can change your life.” Let’s meet different sides of this person who passes through the infinite world of movies as a movie fan and as an actress.

Last time I saw actress Han Hyo-joo was in the movie Love, Lies in 2016. It didn’t do well commercially, but Han Hyo-joo was very impressive in the movie. Unlike the nation’s heartthrob in Beauty Inside, her character in Love, Lies was not satisfied with love or desire, she was wavering because she could not control her own emotions due to her strong jealousy. It was a movie that showed her fresh and innocent image, which we believed dearly so we never questioned it wasn’t all she is. Soon I am sure we will be able to witness many different sides of her on-screen. She is waiting for the movie Golden Slumber, who she starred with Kang Dong-woon, to be premiered, and she is working on the movie In-rang with director Kim Ji-woon.

Han Hyo-joo is the 11th heroine of the Cinema Angel Project presented by BAZAAR and Burberry Korea. The pictorial starts with no make-up. When she had a request from the photographer that he/she wants to start this pictorial with her bare-faced picture, she removed her make-up and stood in front of the camera with only lotion (on her face). What was the reason that she suddenly looked attractive while we could catch a glimpse of her freckles and dark circles, while she demonstrated impressive concentration with a cool gaze?

“Really? I have more freckles recently. More dark circles as well. The first cut is my favorite as well. It resembles my motto of how I want to live my life recently. Live honestly. I think I wasn’t that honest. It doesn’t mean I was faking, but in terms of my emotions, I always suppress them a little. Now sometimes this kind of thoughts comes to my mind: be honest to my moment-to-moment emotions, like when I feel angry, get angry, when I feel sad, just be sad, if I like something, just like it.” Then when I asked her do you get angry when you are angry and do you cry when you are sad, she peeked back at her manager. “Yes, this person knows it well. (laughs)”

In the next scene, she has bobbed-hair. She said it was her first time to wear a bob since 2009. She became a totally different movie heroine with tiny gestures like her hand gesture or her eye glitter. Just like an omnibus movie where after the first episode ends you start a new episode in one movie. After the pictorial, she told us at the interview table. “Please pick pictures with an interesting face, a never before seen face, a new face. I kind of feel bored when I look at my face.” This was the reason that the interview with Han Hyo-joo went unexpectedly. We started to talk about boredom.

Why do you feel bored?
Because I see similar things all the time. You know there is an image that people want from me. It is not like I don’t like that. That is a large part of me and thankfully, I was loved a lot because of it. But now I started to feel a little bored of it. I am actually having a little slump. I think it is time to completely break my own image and show a new side of myself. I worked for a while, and everything I accumulated over time is also precious for me, but I think it is time to show something more than that. But I can’t figure out how to do it yet.

I think it is a very positive kind of slump. Are you trying anything in particular to change?
I will try to live this way or that way. First of all, I changed my lifestyle. I used to be really alone when I was taking a break. When I don’t work, I was totally isolated, I didn’t want to meet anyone, I lived a quiet and almost boring life, and all of a sudden, I felt empty. To change the energy itself, I try to go out and meet people when I have any bit of time. I am going to go out after the interview.

What are you going to do?
I am just going to drink and hang out. (laughs)

Maybe the best way to completely break out of yourself the way you want is to meet a good project as an actress?
Right. But actually, I think I finally met it. I am lucky. I am working on the movie In-rang with director Kim Ji-woon, and I am still debating on whether I can do it or not. But breaking out of myself is not as easy as you may think. Therefore, after coming back from the film site, it is physically very tiring and I feel anxious as well. However, the reason I can say I was lucky is because, at the moment I felt I needed to change in some way, the movie In-rang came to me. If I didn’t do this project, I would not have been thinking about these things at all.

What kind of anticipations do you have in In-rang?
I am a little hesitant to talk about it because we are still filming it and not much about the movie is released. I will wait to discuss the details of the movie until it is about to première, then I can talk about it freely.

Instead, can you tell me something about the movie Golden Slumber, which is about to première?
While shooting the movie, I thought it was about the era we are living now. In this world, with a lot of out-of-bound things happening, should we live with common sense, should we live nicely, well yes, we should. (laughs) It is that kind of movie.

What can you say if you ask yourself the same question? Should we live with common sense?
It is very difficult to answer.

What kind of changes do you need as actress Han Hyo-joo?
My shortcoming as an actress is that I try too hard to do it well. When I start a new project, when a character is given to me, I push myself into a corner because I have this compulsion and sense of duty to do it well. That is why I am not fun to watch (or not fun to act with?). Feeling like just doing good enough. I have ups and downs where sometimes I fall into this bottomless pit, sometimes I do it too well, sometimes I feel like I am average. Maybe I can put it this way, I acted like a vegetable…? Therefore, now I really want to act with animal instinct.

Do you think having a profession as an actress makes you restrain yourself, suppress your feelings, and think rationally?
It is an entertainment profession. Instead, I think actors actually have to break them. It is strange to divide them, but it is a job that is exposed to others, I had to be careful with my behavior because I was afraid of being distorted or mistaken, and I was under pressure for the last 10 years. However, acting is a job where you have to express yourself. It is more explosive to feel the emotions as is and express it as well. I think that is where I was lacking.

“I liked the first cut the most. It resembles my motto, the way I want to live now. Live honestly. I think I wasn’t that honest before.”

As a professional, what kind of feelings do you have toward the profession of actor?
Love and hatred. (laughs) Really, love and hatred.

Everyone knows it is hard to be an actress in Korea. How do you experience this reality as an actress who works in the Korean movie industry?
It is pitiful since this chronic problem isn’t something that happened in the last 1-2 years and not improved at all. It is difficult to find attractive female characters (female characters that are not one-dimensional). Recently Mun So-ri sunbae made a movie about it. I am very thankful that I have sunbae’s who are not giving up and keep knocking down doors. I enjoyed the move Hidden Figures. I want to see more of those movies with attractive female characters. I wish those movies are loved by the general public and shown on many screens. When a movie with female leads fails commercially, people make rumors like, “Female lead movies are not commercially popular,” which greatly affect the next movies as well.

There are a lot of attractive women in real life, but it is regretful that female characters are described one-dimensionally in Korean movies. Have you found any attractive characters in recent movies?
Among actresses, I like Amy Adams. I liked her in Her, she looked empty and sensual in Nocturnal Animals, very sexy in American Hustle, and appeared very different in Arrival and Big Eyes. I think she is incredible and at the same time, envious as well because she can express so many facets of herself. And I also thought while watching Old Boy again recently, it would be cool to play a female version of Yu Ji-tae. Don’t you think it would be super cool? A super cool villain, if I played that kind of character, I would have no regrets.

I think it would be refreshing if you played a part like that.
It would be fun. I have asked around to see if I can get a role in any action movie before I get too old, but I haven’t gotten any yet. However, at the same time, getting old gave me more choices on acting roles as well. I am at the age where I can act woman with different stages of their career.

What do you wish for the most now?
Above all, I want to find what my true nature is. What do I really want, what is my real self after throwing away all my sense of duty, which unknowingly grows inside of me, and the desire to be seen as a nice person. I desperately want to know about myself. I don’t know the true me. Now I realize that people don’t know their true self until they die.

Once you know your true self, what if it is not good?
Well, then I have to work hard to be a good person again.

Maybe boredom is the exact emotion that Han Hyo-joo needs the most. Getting tired of something (the literal translation was infection = 염증) is a good source of inspiration, which makes people start something new.
Oh, that is a cool quote. Then I will just put it that way. (laughs)


1 // The white blouse with the balloon sleeve and the retro mood knit vest are all Burberry products.
2 // Over-sized tartan check coat, colorful jewelry decorated drop earrings are all Burberry products
3 // Embroidered see-through dress, oversized jewelry decorated drop earrings are all Burberry products.
4 // Tartan check pattern raincoat, reversible check quilting vest, inner white top, detailed knit skirts which looks like putting a sweater on the waist, argyle check socks and T strap heels are all Burberry products.
5 // A cool oversized knit cardigan with blue and green color combination, a ball cap with a simple pattern of a house, and the drop earrings are all Burberry products
6 // Embroidery see-through dresses with balloons sleeves, inner top, retro mood knitted gloves, knitted socks, fringe and studded ankle boots are all Burberry products. 

Editor Kim Ji-sun // Picture Hong Hanghyun // Hair Kim Min-sun // Make-up Seo Hee-young // Stylist Park Man-hyun // Set styling Choi Seo-yoon // Ect Painting Art Baek Hae-yong // Assistants Sin Hae-ji, Kim Min-young

Source Harper’s Bazaar

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  1. Bubbyluvy
    October 26, 2017 / 5:18 pm

    Love this interview. Thank you so much for all the translations you do! I love the live recaps too, gives me something to look forward to at work ☺

    • V
      October 26, 2017 / 6:25 pm

      You’re welcome! Yay! We love hearing from our readers 🙂

  2. July 2, 2018 / 5:19 am

    Hi Han Hyo Joo You Are The Best…

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