[Interview] Ji Sung Reflects on Acting Out Multiple Personalities in ‘Kill Me Heal Me’
Acting out multiple personalities, including the gentle Cha Do Hyun, the uncontrollable homme fatale Shin Se Gi, the middle-aged man who speaks in the Jeolla dialect Ferry Park, pessimist boy Ahn Yo Seop, cheerful and reckless girl Ahn Yo Na and the seven-year-old Na Na, Ji Sung spent the past three months in search of a lost piece of memory. Having earned the nickname ‘God-Ji Sung’ for the first time since his debut, it surely marked an unforgettable page on the actor’s filmography.
On March 17 at 6 p.m. (KST), Ji Sung stepped into a restaurant in Sinsa-dong, filled with a crowd waiting for him, as if it was his fan meeting, to share his last words on the drama after wrapping up Kill Me Heal Me.
▶ The following is Q&A with Ji Sung
# Tell us how you feel about finishing the drama.
“I went through a lot of heartache as I filmed this drama. Every time I felt the urge to cry, I would try to hold the tears in, but at the same time I would feel good. Many people say that I deserve the daesang as they watch my acting but the award is not important to me. I think I have already received the daesang by being able to think, ‘I am in existence,’ as an actor.”
# This drama had a lot of problems in the casting process
“Before I was cast, I coincidentally read the synopsis and thought, ‘I can do this well if they ask me to.’ I didn’t expect it at all when they suddenly made their casting offer. I made my decision relatively easily thanks to the connections I had with the director (Kim Jin Man) through MBC’s omnibus drama Beating Heart. I believed that the director would be able to convey my sincerity in the project untouched and he actually opened up the frame for me to act however I want.”
# It must’ve been tough acting out multiple personalities
“I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for this project. I knew what kind of heart I wanted to express with each personality so I was able to act comfortably. I think that’s why many people were able to empathize with it. When else would I be able to wear a school uniform, wear eyeliner and speak in a dialect? (laughter) Each and every character was precious to me so I think they will remain in my memories for a long time.”
# Which personality did you have the toughest time parting with?
“All six personalities are precious to me so I think it’d be hard to me to just pick one.”
# What is your favorite scene and line?
“Although he didn’t make a lot of appearances, Yo Seop comes up in my head. I wanted to convey the reason to live to all those who have weak thoughts living in the harsh world. That’s why I think Yo Seop was a meaningful character. I remember his last line in the drama spoken in French. ‘Le vente se leve, il faut tenter de vivre (The wind is blowing, I must live). I didn’t even know the meaning of it but it brought me to so many tears. I also won’t be able to forget Shin Se Gi’s line, ‘Remember, the time that I fell for you.’ The staff members also used this line frequently (laughter) and I think that will remain in my memory for a long time.”
# How did you feel as you acted out a character with DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder)?
“I acted with sincerity, with the hopes of healing modern day people living in this harsh, difficult society. It also healed me in the process as I got into the project. It also gave me the opportunity to think about how I should live my life from now on. I have a family, a wife and a baby soon to be born, so I think those realistic emotions were reflected in my acting. So I would like to praise myself.”
# The lip tint you wore sold out, which is unusual for an actor. How do you feel about that?
“I was shocked at first. (laughter) When I heard that Yo Na’s tint got sold out, I remember saying, ‘What in the world are you talking about?’ It was cool since I’m not a woman. But I put the tint on my lips as I ran and it was my precious weapon. It’s an item that I will remember for a long time. I became so natural at putting on the tint, that the tint company gave me one as a gift. I gave it away to my wife (Lee Bo Young)”
# It has been reported that China showed a lot of interest (in the drama) as well
“Is that right. I can’t really feel it yet. (laughter) I think the fact that the Great China Region is showing interest is very encouraging. I would like to inform them of our culture through good dramas. I actually think that there are many heart-warming dramas in Korea and the actors are also good at acting. Haha. I hope that our dramas can shake up the Great China Region.”
Photo credit: Namoo Actors
- Ji Sung Kill Me Heal Me
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