sainthood, celebrity, ambition, versatility


Lover: You have an amazing and enviable reputation among everyone you work with it seems. You’re regarded almost as a saint! Why do you think that is?

Ji-won: Uhh, haha… I can’t answer that. It’s  … no, I can’t say… It’s nice of course. But I’m not a saint!

Lover: I’m sure you’re not – saints really aren’t that loveable, but you are.

Ji-won: Mmmm, thank you. So, what d’you want to talk about?

Lover: Well, you, of course, as I’ve said. And not just your acting but your very intriguing character. You are, I suppose, a celebrity, though I remember you saying, way back in that 2001 interview, that you didn’t feel like a celebrity, and I’m sure you still don’t feel like one. And you explained the psychology of it very well, but you know, you must be one of the most photographed women on the planet. It makes me wonder if you have a private life at all.

Ji-won: Haha well I don’t think I’m that popular. I like to keep busy though, and if I don’t have so much privacy, well it’s the life I’ve chosen and I’m not complaining.

Lover: Yes I note that when you talk to your fans you often urge them to keep watching your stuff and to spread the word. As if you want more celebrity. What’s that all about?

Ji-won: Haha yes I do that. I’m not sure, I don’t really analyse it. It’s as if I want to create a happy community around me. Maybe I’m insecure and I need people to believe in me. You think it’s really odd?

Lover: I don’t know, I think maybe you’re being very smart in a way that’s a bit foreign to me, but I’ve never been a celebrity or ever seriously considered that I could be, though I was sort of ambitious at one time to be recognised as a writer. Nowadays though I’m just happy to write and be a teacher and to learn about the world through reading about science and history and such. So in that sense your sort of ambition is a bit of a mystery to me, as mine might be to you. Though I have to admit, I’d love to be loved the way you’re loved.

Ji-won: I know I’ve been lucky to have the life and success I’ve had…

Lover: But you’ve worked damn hard, it’s not all luck.

Ji-won: Mmm, I’ve been given great opportunities, and I’ve always felt the need to prove that I’m worthy of the faith that others put in me.

Lover: You’ve created a reputation and now you have to live up to it. You’ve created a monster haha. But I’m wondering, now that you’re getting a bit older (I can say that, I’m old enough to be your father), whether you might want to tone down the action hero thing and go for a – well a more intellectual character – a scientist say, or a lawyer? That might be the next challenge to your well-established versatility. I’d love to see you in a really clever role like that.

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