White Night: Interview with Actor One Tae-hee - Part. 2

Q: We heard that the director tried not to stress the romantic side of the movie so that the audience could focus on other aspects of the characters and the story.

One: If a comedy film makes the audiences laugh, it has done its duty. When you watch my film and its characters help you experience a new world you've never sen before, I'd be happy.

Q: Did you and Yi-kyung keep in touch to keep the chemistry?

One: We only had one week to prepare before the shoot. Although we had so much to do in that short period of time, we did try to spend time together. While other couples in director Leesong Hee-il’s trilogy share the same memory, Won-kyu and Tae-jun meet for the first time. We had to work together to create the relationship.

We would go for coffee and watch a movie. Yi-kyung was busy with his school so I was always the one asking him out, so to speak. (laugh)

Q: In person, you are breezy and more friendly than expected. Was it difficult to depict a character who is so different from you?

One: No, not really. I have different aspects of me. I act bright on the outside because I want to work well with other people. But deep inside I'm very much of an introvert. I like staying home by myself. So, the character wasn’t a challenge for me because a part of me resembles him.

But the trouble was that my character was the same from the beginning to end. Keeping the same emotion for thirteen days was a real challenge. My character was hiding his tears inside and kept his calm emotion the whole the time. I tried to do it by listening to music LeeSong gave me and going for a walk alone before the shoot.

Q: What kind of person is director Leesong Hee-il?

One: He has a lot of affection and gives a lot of attention to his actors. That is obvious in all of his works. He captures the strong aspects of his actors in the film.
Once he asked Yi-kyung what his habits were. I thought it was an odd question. Yi-kyung can make a weird sound with his ears and he used it in the film. LeeSong remembers everything an actor can offer and weaves it into his film.

Q: Like “White Night,” “Going South” and “Suddenly, Last Summer” [all films make parts of Leesong Hee-il’s queer trilogy] have only two main characters. Are there other characters you were interested in?

One: I want to be the Korean Language teacher in “Suddenly, Last Summer.” I don’t mind the gender of the student. I’m just curious what it is like having feelings for a student. Also, I want to know what it feels like being naked in the woods as in a scene in “Going South.”

Q: You studied Advanced Material Engineering in the University of Seoul [A city college in Seoul].

One: I only studied a lot in high school. I wasn’t good at speaking in front of people. So, I started observing people who were natural public speakers. I observed them again and again.
And people started talking positively about my appearance and the outcome of what I learned from my decade observations, (laugh) I took lessons in modeling at an academy. But I wasn’t physically fit for modeling. Instead, they recommended me to try acting after recognizing my high concentration level and here I am. (laugh)

Q: You said your character in the film was one which an actor coud come across only once in a life time. What other roles do you want to take in the future?

One: I want to take a role in a love story once again. I don’t think “White Night” is a mere queer Film. I put a lot of meaning into the connection between two individuals no matter what the circumstances were. That’s what matters to me most.
Despite his age of over 70, Lee Sun-jae [a respected Korean veteran actor] said he still wishes to portray a romantic story. That shows me I still have many things to experience.

Lee Hye Ji (hjlee@tenasia.co.kr), Lee Eun Ah (domino@tenasia.co.kr) contributed to this article.

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