[TRANS] Seohyun “Mamma Mia!” Article, Daum Entertainment – “Seohyun, Possesses All of the Charms…
Bright · Glamourous · Beautiful Sophie”
I thought her ‘Sophie’
would be gentle, innocent and cute. But in the musical ‘Mamma Mia!’, ‘SNSD’ group
member Seohyun (25) was a bright and glamourous Sophie.
It’s a jukebox musical
that incorporates 22 hit songs of Sweden’s global pop group ‘ABBA’. It debuted
in 1999 on the West End in England and to date, it has played in 49 countries
including US, Germany and France, in 440 cities, to over 60 million people. In
Korea, it has played over 1,400 performances in 33 cities to 1.7 million
audiences. At the end of 2013, the world tour team performed domestically as
It’s a combined growth tale of Donna, who used to be a lead
singer of an amateur group in her youth but now a female owner of a small
motel, and Sophie, her twenty year of daughter who has grown up without a dad.
It’s a story that delightfully unravels when Sophie sends wedding invitations
to three men who are her potential dads prior to marrying her fiancée, Sky, and
the music of ABBA is superbly fitting.
While studying the
character of Sophie, Seohyun said “I’m not creating something new within myself
for Sophie, but I want the personalities that I possess to meet Sophie and come
Due to Seohyun’s innocent beauty and her image as SNSD’s maknae,
people have come to think of her as cute and calm. But Sophie pleasantly
shatters this misconception. “My personality changes depending on the people I
meet. If I’m around comfortable friends
or close people, I can be very playful. I do things that are bizarre, too.
(Laughs) I tried to bring Sophie’s free-spiritedness out from inside of me.
Maybe because I’m having fun and being free and bright, my real life has been impacted
so I’m living enjoyably.”
Skimming off the premium
as a Hallyu star, Seohyun won the role of Sophie, beating the 1:350 competition
at the audition (for this season of ‘Mamma Mia’, all roles were chosen through
auditions) and she is already solidifying her position as a musical actress.
After ‘Moon Embracing the Sun’ (2014) and ‘Gone with the Wind’ (2015), this is
her third musical.
Seohyun was rediscovered as a musical actress as Scarlett O’Hara
in ‘Gone with the Wind’. This musical, made famous by the American novel and
film, Seohyun acted the role of Scarlett which transformed her from a naïve
girl in her mid-20s to a strong woman and received praise.
With ‘Mamma Mia!’, Seohyun is confirmed as an actress who is
overflowing with talent and excitement in an ensemble cast. In ‘Mamma Mia!’, with
8 leading actors, there are many scenes where the actors are on stage as an
ensemble. In a given piece, there are more scenes where an actor is singing
alone or with a partner.
But in ‘Mamma Mia!’, in scenes like ‘Money Money Money’, Seohyun,
who is singing and dancing amongst other actors, is not at all awkward. Stage
she shares with SNSD members overlap but she’s just a musical actress, not a
star. This is the reason why compliments toward Seohyun, who is polite and
works hard, are not drying up among the experienced actors in ‘Mamma Mia!’.
Seohyun’s eye twinkled saying, “Becoming one with the ensemble
and the scenes where I get to sing and dance with mom in the show are so fun
and enjoyable. In that moment, I really become Sophie”.
In the world of musicals,
which are dominated by female audiences in their 20s and 30s, there are a lot
of musicals centered around male characters. Female characters can tend to be
passive. But with Yeonwoo from ‘Moon Embracing the Sun’, Scarlett and Sophie,
Seohyun has been in charge of characters who know pioneer their own lives in
the musicals. This walk of life is the process by which Sophie grows in ‘Mamma
Mia!’, which also overlaps with Seohyun’s walk of life in musicals. The musical
stage on which we can confirm Seohyun’s healthy advancing appearance is her
“I always want to show my
various sides, but it was regrettable because TV variety programs are limited.
But I like musicals because I’m able to show the countless facets of myself.
More than anything, I want to show myself through acting. I hope people see the
various sides of me and are surprised. Ho ho.”
Seohyun, who is 167 cm
tall and slim, her lines on stage are elegant and pretty. On a musical stage,
which emphasizes visuals, it’s a huge advantage. It’s the same for Sophie. If
you think she has a lot of know-hows on how to look pretty, as she has a lot of
experience standing on big stages with SNSD, that’s mistaken. It’s because as a
singer on stage, you need to adjust to the audience, but on a musical stage,
you need to “focus only on the character”. Honesty is reflected in the
character so she automatically appears pretty.
Soon, Seohyun will be seen on screen in the Chinese film, ‘So I
Married an Anti-Fan’. “I tend to have a lot of greed. As an actress, as a
singer, as a musical actress, I want to sing and act for a long time.”
In ‘Mamma Mia!’, ABBA’s hit songs pour out, with songs like ‘Dancing
Queen’, ‘Honey Honey’, ‘I Have a Dream’ and ‘I Do, I Do, I Do’. Seohyun, who is
a singer, admitted “I’m envious and I have a lot of respect for them” and
when asked if she thinks there could be a jukebox musical with SNSD’s songs in
the future, she responded “We will work even harder”.
Seohyun is also a member
of ‘SNSD-TTS’, a unit comprised of SNSD’s vocal line. After appearing in
musicals, her vocal skills have matured even more. After appearing on ‘Moon
Embracing the Sun’, Seohyun took voice lessons to enrich her vocals said that
she worries a lot about the ‘path of sound’ for each piece.
“The genre of the three musicals were all different so the
singing styles were all different. So I realized that there isn’t just one ‘path
of sound’. Sometimes you use your voice, and sometimes you use the character. Numbers
in ‘Mamma Mia!’ are pop, so if you vocalize only for that, it ruins your
throat. It’s less musical-like than ‘Gone with the Wind’, but it’s more
musical-like than a pop song. I’m singing, and worrying, in between those two.”
Through ABBA’s music,
which continues to receive love after decades have passed, “I’m thankful for
the power of music, which becomes a source of strength and comfort with hearts
that love music”. The title of one of
ABBA’s representative songs and one of the numbers in ‘Mamma Mia!’ is ‘Thank
You for the Music’.