“SEOHYUN, Who Are You?”
The woman who was caught by the viewfinder was unfamiliar. Looking at her thoroughly and for a long time, we could see Seohyun’s true self.
“In the early days of debut, if I tried hard not to be out of line, nowadays, I’m trying to learn how to be comfortable. Like this, I’m finding balance in life.”
What does it feel like to live as SNSD Seohyun?
Hahaha. It’s just about the same. There’s nothing too different… There are pros and cons.
There are cons?
Not so much a con, but there are times when people’s stereotypes can be frustrating. There are many instances where people have a preconceived notion of ‘Seohyun is ______’ even before they get to know me. There are good aspects to it but in another way, there is also a lot of regret because of that.
Is it a lot different from the appearances you’ve shown us so far?
If you spend time with me, your thoughts will change quickly. But to people I’m meeting for the first time, I have to show that what they know of me so far is not everything, so there are times when I think, “Ah, do I have to start from the beginning again?” (Laughs). Regardless, that is also a part of who I am so I love it. Haha.
Then what kind of style does real Seohyun’s appearance have?
People who know me well say that my personality is honest and fun. They also say I’m funny. Sometimes they say I’m bizarre. But these are not appearances you can show from the beginning. And at first, I’m a little shy, and honestly, different from what my image has been so far, I’m closer to a fool (Laughs).
Regardless, if you say Seohyun, the image of a smart maknae is strong. It seems like you’d live righteously, so what’s the biggest deviation you’ve ever experienced in life?
Mmm… Recently when I traveled to the US, I attempted driving!
Driving doesn’t seem like a deviation.
But when I said I would drive, everyone tried to convince me otherwise in the beginning. Downtown LA is not an easy neighbourhood to drive around in.
Traffic laws in America are also a lot different from our country.
Yes. You have to do left turns without left-turn signals, and when I said I was going to drive, my American friend told me it’s really dangerous and put a lot of fear in me. They said if I get pulled over by the police, I have to stop the car on the road and get off the car with my hands on my head. I even practiced that too? Hahaha.
How did it feel to drive?
I was in a good mood, going fast in an open car. I abided by the traffic laws well. I came back without any incidents (Laughs).
We heard you traveled alone, without managers?
I like that managers always help and protect, but it worried me too. I worried what I would do later when I will have to do everything myself without the managers, it will be my life. So I blindly left. When I got there and I had to resolve issues that came up one by one, it was surprisingly fun.
Soon, new drama <Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo> will air. With so many popular and youthful stars in the cast, it drew a lot of attention.
The actors got along really well that the atmosphere on set is like being on a MT (membership training). There are lots of on-location shoots, so if we all get together once, we were by each other’s sides for a few days so we automatically became close.
After filming, everyone must have been busy gathering and hanging out.
My character appears from the 7th episode so I started filming at an odd time. It was regrettable that I joined late compared to the other actors. But everyone happily greeted me saying, ‘Why did you come now’ so it was comfortable for me to get used to (Laughs).
I suppose the ratio of male actors is exceptionally high.
Hahaha. Everyone was so kind and I really liked them.
What kind of a character will we meet this time?
I’m in the role of Woohee, the last Princess of Later Baekje. It’s a character who has abandoned her identity as a princess to assassinate the Taejo of Goryeo who brought on the collapse of Baekje. To kill him, she infiltrates as a gisaeng. While doing a knife dance.
Are we finally meeting a sensuous Seohyun (Laughs)?
Hahaha. More so than sensuous, you’ll be able to meet a gaze overflowing with a murderous look. A gaze that says I will kill him no matter what (Laughs).
We really can’t imagine it.
A role that I’ve really wanted to play is a killer or a spy. So my wish was finally fulfilled. For this piece, I learned to ride horseback and the knife dance and thanks to that, I found enjoyable hobbies too. I found horseback riding to be so suitable for me. I became so close with the horse that I even said I wanted to buy them (Laughs).
You must be surprisingly active.
I tend to be balanced. I do like moving around, but if I want to be home alone, I spend time alone too. On a day off, I meet friends and go to the Han River or we explore here and there.
Don’t people recognize you?
Surprisingly, they don’t really know. It might be because I wear loose clothes and wear a mask out.
It must be them thinking ‘What~ Could it be Seohyun?’.
“Oh? That girls resembles Seohyun.” “Hey, no way~ Seohyun doesn’t look like that?” I hear conversations like this a lot, and sometimes I want to get up and say, “I am Seohyun~” (Laughs).
Your first attempt at acting was the musical <Moon Embracing the Sun>.
Since when I was preparing to be a singer, I liked musicals. I also vaguely thought that I wanted to act too. I received a few offers to appear in musicals, but I couldn’t attempt it rashly. From time to time, I watched musicals at the invitation of Ock Juhyun unnie, and I didn’t have the confidence to be able to do it that well. And then I acted on a big ambition.
What do you think is the charm of musicals?
When I saw a musical for the first time in my life, I thought ‘How does a world like this exist?’ and received a shock (Laughs). It was alive in a different way than TV dramas. When there’s a buildup of emotions, music coming out was so fascinating. I can’t really pinpoint it to one thing, but I just liked everything about it.
Is there a character you want to attempt one day?
Of course. There are so many. The role I’ve alway wanted to play is Glinda from <Wicked>. I really want to be Glinda so I even took voice lessons. And Roxie from <Chicago> is also one of many roles that I really want.
I think you suit Glinda very well.
You’re a SNSD member and a musical actor, and now you’re in a drama. Where does that energy come from?
It changes from time to time but I think my family is a big source of strength. And I have 4 very close friends who I’ve been with since I was young. When I’m with them, I’m not SNSD Seohyun, but I can live as human Seo Juhyun. Because of my career, I need to always show a perfect appearance, but when I’m with friends, I can return to being a regular person. If I can take the edge off, I think it’s healing and it recharges my energy.
When we think of your early debut days, your righteous and upright appearance was memorable.
Honestly, back then, I think my heart that said ‘You can not be out of line’ was big. I thought, ‘If I don’t use my time properly, my life will be ruined’ (Laughs). Of course that aspect of me still remains, but over time, I learned that ‘I don’t need to do it to this extreme’.
You must mean that your heart has become more comfortable as a result.
That’s right. But I don’t regret my way of life when I was younger. I tried that so now I know that that’s not the answer, and I’ve grown like this.
Then what’s the next goal of your life?
I want to attempt movies.
Recently, the Chinese movie <So I Married an Anti-Fan> that you did with EXO Chanyeol was released.
Next time, I want to be in a Korean movie. Now I’m no longer a girl and I’ve become a woman, so I want to show that side of me through acting. People always see my image as SNSD’s maknae so there were big regrets. I want people to know that there are various sides within me. If I change my image through acting, won’t I be able to give a huge shock?
To start, let’s show them with the September issue of <Grazia>.
I like it! Let’s do this more often going forward (Laughs).
Q. Mature vs. Beagle-like (playful)
Seohyun: Mmm… Beagle-like? I created the mature side with a lot of hard work.
Q. Leg line vs. Abs
Seohyun: Leg line! You can make abs but you can’t make your leg line. It’s not like you can cut it. To an extent, I think you need to be born with it.
Q. Black vs. White
Seohyun: Of course, white. I love white so much. Over 80% of clothes in my closet are white.
Q. Floral vs. Woody
Seohyun: It tends to change often. When I was young, I really liked powdery scents. After that, I preferred sweet scents like vanilla, and now, I’m sure woody will come find me, right? (Laughs)
Q. Older Guy vs. Younger Guy
Seohyun: Older! I can never~ date a younger guy. Not for my personality! Uh ooh~