“People think I’m nice. I felt refreshed while smoking in the movie ‘Miss Baek’ (2018). I’ve wanted to change my image, but what if it’s still similar? The opportunity is important.”
Actress Han Ji-min (40) looked back on her 19-year acting career. At the Actors House held at the KNN Theater in Haeundae-gu, Busan on the afternoon of Oct 8th, she expressed her thoughts on her life as an actress, looking back on the drama “All In” (2003), in which she made a drastic transformation, and the recently ended drama “Our Blues.”
The age gap between the child actress Han Ji-min and Song Hye-kyo during “All In” is only two years old. She got the attention at once thanks to the high-rating drama. Since then, she has appeared in various works and acted nonstop. Looking back on that time, she said, “I was cast on the street in high school and worked as a model, and I made my debut as the child version of Song Hye-kyo. I didn’t know anything about acting. I wasn’t nervous because I didn’t have any greed about this job. I acted unconditionally without thinking. Then, she soon felt the limitations of her roles and decided to pursue a fresher side. I have also been through a slump,” she confessed.
Han Ji-min jumped straight to her lead roles. She became the main character in the drama “Good Person” (2003) with Shin Ha-kyun. Han shared, “I wasn’t ready for anything, but I suddenly became the main character of a mini-series. I even thought about quitting acting. I felt sorry for Shin Ha-kyun,” she said. In that year, she continued her acting with “Dae Jang Geum.” She recalled, “I started to learn little by little where the camera and the lights were and how to find them.”
The work through which she decided to build an acting career is the movie “Blue Swallow” (2005). Han Ji-min said, “I remember working with the late actress Jang Jin-young and the director. The environmental difference was huge. It was a time when I had to film while appearing as the main character of a drama without washing up all week. On the other hand, the movie was filmed with great care. After filming each scene, I felt the pleasure of ‘acting’. I have thought that If I continued to act, I would have expectations that there will be more moments like this,” she said.
Han Ji-min said that she is an actress who is harsh on herself. “As I entered my 30s, I had time to look back on myself. I was generous to others but always blamed myself, then I realized, why did I only blame myself? I patted myself on the back for my hard work,” she said.
Han Ji-min also faced a slump in her career. Han Ji-min, who was given characters in romantic comedy genre like how most actors in their 20s and 30s were doing, said, “I once fell into a sense of shame, ‘why do I keep doing similar things?’” After that, she took a break from acting, saying, “I play the main character in dramas, but I didn’t insist on the main character in movies. I wanted to find diversity, so I tried to do a wide variety of genres. It was fun to try different acting in small movies.”
In “Miss Baek,” she showed her strong and unconventional face. Han Ji-min recalled, “It started like someone lit the fire inside of me. I was very angry when I saw social problems on the news. I agreed to appear in the movie without thinking. Then I asked the director if I could appear just before the shoot,” she said with a smile. “The movie gave me courage. I was usually worried about everything in detail, but it changed after that movie. What humans need is people’s hearts. The biggest comfort is that I have someone who knows me well next to me. So after that work, I tend to spend time with people who I am comfortable with, people who think I’m cute and not an actress. If I have a chance, I would still want to be an actress who continues to act.”