Han Joo-wan

Korean rookie actor Han Joo-wan during a photoshoot with TenAsia, at a studio located in Gangnam-gu, Seoul in Korea on April 15, 2013. [TenAsia/ Chae Ki-won]

Q: Joo-wan, in your previous film, “Suddenly, Last Summer” you played a homosexual student. This time, you are playing another unusual character. What was most difficult in acting this character?

Han: I was more comfortable in this film than “Suddenly, Last Summer.” I was familiar with Shinchon [downtown Seoul, also the setting of the film] since I was in middle school. I got into a lot of fights there. So, I was able to easily assimilate with the character. 
In “Suddenly, Last Summer,” I had to play a character whose age was eighteen when I was thirty years old. It was difficult playing a role that was eleven years younger than me. I tried to act like when I was in high school. Also, as a heterosexual person, it was hard depicting a homosexual person and his feelings.

Q: Yoon-hee, you also play an unusual role. How was it?

Cho: When I first read the script, I was determined to do it. During the shooting, I didn’t find it hard and I didn’t mind about being without clothes. But, when I saw myself through the screen, it was damaging. It was tough looking at myself.

Q: What motivated you to become an actor and an actress?

Han: I started out acting later than most actors. When I was in high school, I always hung out with my friends but, in the inside, I was always worried about my future. I felt like I was headed nowhere when everyone else knew what they wanted. I wanted to find what I wanted to do the rest of my life and what I could do well. For five years, I dwelled on that subject.

So, I depended on God for that. I always prayed to God to give me what I wanted. One day, after Service, my friend was in the front of the chapel. Out of the blue, he told me that I should act. He is a careful person but, he was sure of what he was saying. His words gave me confidence. So, I applied for Seoul Institution of Arts [an art school in
Seoul]. At school, I started out acting in theatres. After I graduated, I met Director Leesong Hee-il [director of “White Night”]. His film was the first official film I was in.

Q: Were your parents fine with you being in a queer film?

Han: I was old enough to make my own choices. Director Leeson Hee-il asked me if I wanted to be in his film. He told me that the character was right for me. So, I didn’t really have a choice. I first met director Leesong Hee-il in an Indie Forum in 2009. I was in the closing film called “The Young Stallman” directed by Park Hong-joon. That was my first film that I acted in. And, in 2011, director Leeson Hee-il gave me call and we worked together.

Cho Yoon-hee

Korean rookie actress Cho Yoon-hee (right) during a photoshoot with TenAsia, at a studio located in Gangnam-gu, Seoul in Korea on April 15, 2013. [TenAsia/ Chae Ki-won]

Q: Yoon-hee, what was your motivation?

Cho: I have acted only for four years. I am from Busan [second biggest metropolis in Korea]. I studied Korean music, pansori. But, I wasn’t able to spend time with friends or have boyfriends. I also wanted to become a singer. So, I left school. And, one day, I was watching television and randomly asked my mother if I should become an actress. I was surprised because she said that I should. So, I packed my bags and came to Seoul. I took acting lessons after another. But, I felt that it wasn’t enough so I applied for Seoul Institute of Arts. Frankly, I wasn’t sure if this was my path because I’m still new to this. But, although I get sick of things easily, I’m not sick of acting at all. So, I’m being more and more convinced that this is my path.

Q: What kind of actor or actress do you want to become? Is there a role model?

Han: The actors I admire are Christopher Waltz, Javier Bardem, and Daniel Day-Lewis. I respect them in so many ways.

Cho: For me, I admire Jeon Do-yeon [winner of best actress at 2007 Cannes Film Festival] and Jeon Hye-jin [a Korean actress]. Both are great actress who I want to resemble. I love their everyday-like acting.

Q: Have you ever been to the Jeonju International Film Festival?

Han: Not yet.

Cho: I’ve only been to Pusan Film Festival. I’m excited to watch the opening film, “Foxfire.”

Han: I want to spend time with the staff members of our film. I’m also looking forward to “Stranger than Cinema” section of the festival. I also want to rent a bicycle and ride around alone.

Eun Ah Lee (domino@tenasia.co.kr) contributed to this article.

Reporter: Lee Hye-ji, Photographer: Chae Ki-won, Editor: Nemo Kim