When Park Min Young entered the room in her white wedding gown-esque dress for the roundtable interview ahead of Starhub Night of Stars, a few of the journalists went “Whoa”. Including me. I’ve been watching Park Min Young’s dramas and IRL, she is as pretty—if not, prettier—as she looks on-screen. She’s also polite yet affable, not breaking eye contact with the journalists while answering the questions and even interjecting in English at times. Yes, the 33-year-old is fluent in English, in case you haven’t already watched her speak the language in dramas or Netflix variety show Busted!. During the 15-minute session, she fielded questions on being a fangirl, her favourite roles to date and more. Read the interview to find out.
What are your expectations of Singapore?
Firstly, Singapore is a country that is close to me. My elder sister is living in Singapore, so I come often. I came around this time last year, so it’s been a year now and it’s great to be here again. It’s actually really cold in Korea right now, so I feel good coming to a warm country like Singapore and the thought of eating delicious food here makes me happy. Of course, the best thing is to receive the award. Actually, I’m so excited to have chilli crab. I’ve already made a reservation for a restaurant after the awards.
You play a fansite master in Her Private Life. IRL, have you been a fan girl of anyone?
I’ve never tried being a fan girl before, but my elder sister… I feel sorry since my elder sister came, but… There was a Korean group called H.O.T when we were young. As she really loved H.O.T, I even went to their concert before. Although I just followed her, looking at those passionate balloons made me think, “Oh… this is how it feels like.” As for me, I had no choice but to learn a lot from my fans too. How can these fans give their love so unconditionally? I was in awe and I learned from them.
Your character in Her Private Life went to great lengths to keep her secret life from her boss. Are you good at keeping secrets IRL?
I’m tight-lipped. Tell me everything. I can keep them all [a secret].
Were there any memorable moments in the drama?
There were many scenes where we filmed without following the scripts, so there was an opportunity for me to create scenes freely, and I was able to act comfortably. When we filmed adlibs and scenes off-script, it was really fun. It was tough at first but it was fun. For example, there was a scene in which Deok-mi and Ryan made sujebi (hand-pulled dough soup) together. It was totally off-script. We had to just make it up, and… Actually, it wasn’t easy to film it, but luckily many people loved that scene as the best scene in the drama, so… It was fun.
What has been your most challenging role?
The most challenging character? It’s challenging at all times, but the most challenging character should be the one which I am filming right now. It’s a calm character that I have never tried before. The previous two dramas from “What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim” to “Her Private Life” were both romantic comedy, but it’s a really calm character this time round. I have to maintain an expression of hurt and sorrow, so it’s a new challenge for me right now and that’s really tough.
Which has been your favourite role to date?
In my 20s, it was Yunhui in Sungkyunkwan Scandal. And in my 30s, what got me close to the role as Kim Mi-so in What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim is that, over the course of time, I got older at the same time too. Therefore, the characters that I can empathise with seem to have changed. So, in my 20s, as I was studying hard, the character as Yunhui related more to me. In my 30s, I’m also a working adult, so I seemed to be able to empathise with Mi-so about that kind of distress or love. Hence, they are my favourite characters.
What made you choose to take on your next drama?
For the drama selection this time, it was actually an afterthought. Strangely, when I read the script, it was just like reading a novel. It’s actually based on a novel, but I unknowingly got engrossed in the story itself when I read the script. Therefore, I thought, ‘It’s a challenge for me since it’s a calm and healing drama. Will I be able to satisfy the people who are already used to my acting which is more provocative?’ It strangely got to me that I want to heal my heart just like this character. That was how I made the decision.
Can you describe your acting journey in one word?
Challenge. Everything is a challenge to me. Every work isn’t easy to me, and I don’t want to work on something that is easy too.
What’s a role you’d like to try in the future?
Everyone as an actor will think the same. Rather than the characters that I have tried, I always want to challenge the ones that I haven’t tried before, like the ones that I’m unfamiliar with. Those are the kind that I would think that I can’t do. For example, a villain or a psychotic role. I would like to try to challenge those roles as well.
Is there something you want to do but can’t because of your celebrity status?
Yes, a lot. I threw my greed away a long time ago, so I can’t remember clearly. For example, when I was young, there was a club in Korea which I wanted to go but I couldn’t. There were a lot of such situations like this before. But now, since I can’t have everything, I thought I should just eliminate the things that should be eliminated. And now, I’m used to it.
What do you do in your free time?
I like exercising, so I exercise when I have free time. And… playing with my dog. There are a few things I must do in a day, so I tend to do them within my time. And if I still have a lot of time, I go travelling. That’s what I’m doing now.
Can you share with us what is on your current playlist?
I listened to old songs recently. I’m suddenly into old songs like in the 90s. Those are the songs that I used to listen when I was young, and it was great. It’s not that I don’t like recent music. Should I say that I like it sentimental?
Please say something to your Singapore fans.
Whenever I came to Singapore, I always had fun, ate deliciously and enjoyed myself. I wanted to be like that this time round, but I’m leaving tomorrow… I feel sad. If I have another opportunity next time, I’ll definitely come and really have an enjoyable time here, for example, holding a fan meeting or a space with just me, which I can personally interact with everyone. You guys will come, right?
What are your New Year resolutions?
The drama will go on until March. It’ll be shown around February. So, I’m working hard on that and I think there should be other activities then. Therefore, please anticipate for it and you’ll still be seeing “So Min Young” next year. Do you know what “So Min Young” means? “So Min Young” means working as a cow, working really hard every day like a cow. So, I will do “Cow Min Young” next year. I’m planning to do other works as well after March, and I hope you all enjoy it. Enjoy the show.
Watch the interview below.
StarHub customers can catch the premiere of StarHub Night of Stars on Hub E City (StarHub Channel 111/825) on December 8, 2019, 7pm. StarHub Night of Stars 2019 will also be available on the StarHub Go streaming app, under the Go Local reel, for free to all in Singapore, from December 9, 2019.