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Sungkyunkwan’s big man on campus: Park Min-young interview

Sure, there’s Team Moony, Team Smarty, Team Dopey, and Team Sneezy. But the make-or-break character of Sungkyunkwan Scandal was actually big man on campus Kim Yoon-hee, aka Daemul. Because I don’t care how many beautiful boys you throw onscreen (and there were an exceptional number in this drama); I won’t give a rat’s ass about anyone if I don’t love the main character, and root for her journey. And boy, did I ever. Yoon-hee was bold, brassy, and adorable, and I didn’t care that she had a 21st-century sensibility in an 18th-century world. Because I’m a 21st century girl.

Days after wrapping Sungkyunkwan Scandal, 24-year old actress Park Min-young sits down to share her thoughts about Yoon-hee, her castmates, the time she almost quit acting. Methinks she needn’t worry about that anymore. Here’s to her bright and shiny future. [I’ve translated her responses from two separate interviews and edited them together. Warning: SPOILERS AHEAD.]

“I was so thankful I cried. I was tired enough to fall asleep standing up in front of the camera, but the cast and staff was of one mind and heart, and we raced to the finish line. I spent 23 hours of each day in full makeup, and didn’t sleep for three days at a time. My dark circles were starting to go past my cheeks. But I was happy. During the summer I had my chest bound so tightly that I had difficulty breathing and couldn’t eat for two days, but being Kim Yoon-hee made me so happy. We began at 6% ratings, but when we inched forward and finally crossed 10%, I jumped around the set like an idiot.”

“I’m kidding, but if I had studied this hard, I could’ve gone to Seoul University. I lost 4kg in six months. I’m surprised I didn’t collapse. I just told myself that I couldn’t miss a single day. The head of the production company even came by and brought me herbal medicine.”

“The set was so constantly busy, that I finally learned the meaning of being so busy you don’t have time to be sick. There were lots of scenes in the rain when we were soaked through and through, but didn’t get sick. But as we were wrapping I must’ve un-tensed my nerves, because I got sick immediately.”

“I’ve talked about this with Ah-in, that everyone: Park Yoochun, Song Joong-ki, Yoo Ah-in, was so passionate about acting that we spurred each other on. The teamwork was so good that even when doing reactions for each other’s shots, we were diligently acting. But I have one complaint. All three of them have such baby faces. Especially Ah-in, when he cuts his hair and shaves his face, he looks like a total kid. Next to the three of them, I look old! On top that, I think the stress of the shoot has aged me.”

“Actually I never originally had plans to become an actress. But when I was applying to college, my mom out of nowhere told me to try applying to the theater program. I thought, ‘Okay, should I try it?’ and applied. Later I found out that my mom went to five fortune tellers and they all told her that I would become an actress. (Laughs) Now I think, what would have happened if I didn’t act? When I’m acting is when I’m happiest.”

“I succeeded right away when I debuted, so I was lucky. I thought that was just what happened. I thought it would all be that easy. But then things became difficult for me career-wise, and I lost confidence. For the last year I became depressed, and I ran up against a lot of walls. I seriously considered changing my career. That’s when I encountered Sungkyunkwan Scandal. I loved it so much that outside of trying to succeed as an actress, I was just grateful to be a part of this project. ”

“I was given a lot of roles as the manipulative girl, but my real personality is much more like Yoon-hee: I’m pretty spunky and bold. I think because my situation when I was cast was so dire, that I was able to completely lose myself in the role. Yoon-hee was contemplating her studies, and I was contemplating acting, so we matched up that way. The way that Yoon-hee, when faced with the worst circumstances, fought her way through everything with an iron will, I thought if I acted her role, I would grow with her. More than having the confidence to think I could play a cross-dressing girl, I thought that I could really play Yoon-hee.”

“She’s such a pure and innocent kid. She sacrificed so much for her family. When she enters Sungkyunkwan for the first time, she meets friends and takes classes, and it opens up a new world to her. It was a feeling of having a series of lightbulbs turn on, one at a time. As I immersed myself in Yoon-hee’s happiness at every little moment, I think those expressions just came out. Truthfully, it’s the most I’ve ever lost myself in a role. It was a role I wanted so much, and in five months’ time, we only rested three days, so I didn’t have the time to think about anything else. I focused completely on the role and I think I just became Yoon-hee.”

“I expected that since I’d be acting with three ‘flower pretty boys’ that I’d increase my anti-fanbase. But the audience was so generous and understanding, that I actually decreased in number of antis since before I started this drama. (Laughs) Thankfully, instead of hating Yoon-hee, the audience saw her as someone they wished they could be. I’m thankful that they loved her.”

“Because I’ve experienced the downturn that follows popularity, even if Sungkyunkwan Scandal has succeeded, that’s not where my happiness lies. I’m not going to get swept up by that. I just want to be proud of doing the best job that I could.”

“It feels like I’ve been given a huge gift. Truthfully before doing Sungkyunkwan Scandal, I had a lot of projects that were overturned, and there were so many obstacles I faced, that I considered quitting acting. Yoon-hee reignited my passion for acting. I’m so grateful for this project, in so many ways.”

“To think of Park Min-young in Kim Yoon-hee’s terms, it’s like I’ve just finished my term as a freshman at Sungkyunkwan. Now my homework is to stick it out until I graduate. My end goal is to, like Yoon-hee, become a professor. Not that I know what it means to be a ‘professor’ at acting. (Laughs) More than anything, I like that I can say that I was part of a major work. I was so happy the entire time I was filming. I’m happy that I now have a piece of work that I’ll be proud to show my daughter someday.”

Via Yonhap, Sports Khan

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i didnt know her before SKKS but now she's definitely on my to-watch list of actresses! lovely! thanks for translating!

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she acts exceptionally good. she portrayed Yoon Hee so well that my heart has gone with her and wanted to be as courageous as her.

good job miss Min-young! please don't stop your passion in acting!

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Thanks for posting this, JB..

Was it winter when they were shooting some of the scenes, cos she's wearing some fur..

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And since no one has posted this link yet... if I may...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrSojMxbRlU

Pretty Park Min-young! Baby faced Yoo Ah-in (are you really the same guy who played the sexy Jaeshin?)! And of course Song Joong-ki, he still looks like a heart breaker.

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OMG the first song in that video is Summer Girls by LFO!!! Such a cheesy song, but I loved it when I was like, 8. lol

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she is amazing!

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Kudos to the entire cast and crew of SKKS for keeping the delicate balance of the characters and their roles in the drama. If any of them had strayed a little from what should be, then the series could have been much less interesting to watch.

Of course, Park Min-Young did a great job playing the Yoon-hee/shik role and didn't rest on the fact that she has a pretty face and was surrounded by pretty boys with actual acting skills. We sympathized with Yoon-hee/shik not because PMY is cute, but because the character was alive. Good for her that she realized that her character was the most important thing in the drama, and not the actress that she is.

Speaking of cuteness, Yeorim, on the other hand, had to utilize the cuteness factor and he did it well. SJK wasn't cute per se. Just like PMY, he made Yeorim come alive on screen.

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i agree. everyone did a great job, director, actors ad writers, which is why the drama was so good overall. you can't say so-and-so was good, but so-and-so sucked, which is one of the reasons sungkyunkwan scandal ended up increasing in ratings- people got drawn in once they gave it a chance

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Just heard that she choose horror movie for her next project! Just hope not too many similarities with Hometown Legends. She got broad range for a relatively young actress. High school girls in High Kick & I'm Sam (but both very different characterization), haunting nine tailed fox in Hometown Legends, villain princess in Ja Myung Go (I can't hate her there), marching band teacher/performer in Running.

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i think she did a great job as yoonhee
:)

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lol "But I have one complaint. All three of them have such baby faces." she was probably concerned that they would look prettier than her :)

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She's such a sweetheart. Thanks for posting the interview.

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I know team moony and team smarty but who's dopey and who's sneezy? I think Yongha is not dopey or sneezy. I think he's actually smarter than mr. smartypants.

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I love how she is so modest and earnest in her work. You don't find that a lot with GOOD actors/actresses. I'm currently on episode 19 and I'm sad to see it end, I can't wait to see more of her work!

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the pictures of her in white shirt make her look lovely and so mature. I thought she looked like a kid in SKKS, it's funny that she thought she looked old.

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She looks so pretty! She can pull off being a boy and still manage to look super cute as a girl. LoL.

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she was great in Sungkyunkwan scandal! and even if the other have baby faces, when she dressed as kim yoon shik she still looked like the youngest! and when she stayed as kim yoo hee, she was absolutely gorgeous as a woman!
i didn't like her in "ja myung go" but i totally love her now! i'm a fan of Park Min Young ^-^

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I love her in SKK. She's sweet & natural. It was really refreshing of her to admit having her eyes and nose done. She didn't go overboard with the plastic, and that's fine with me. Hope to see her soon in another great series.

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supposedly the role of kim yoon hee/kim yoon shik was first given to jung da young, and out of nowhere casted park min young. but after seeing her in this drama, i think the pds and director did a good job because park min young did a terrific job playing the lead boy/girl, lol!

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I love PMY from Episode 1. She's so lovely and innocent-looking in a man's garb with her bound up. In fact, she looks more mature when she's dressed up like a woman. Her YHee character is playful, bashful and totally captivating. No wonder Soon Jun falls so hard for her and so does Jae Shin, who does show more restrained, thus ruling himself out of the competition. While SKKS was going on, I was wondering why the views were not talking much about the actress, they raved mostly about the three flower boys. But I, as a woman, am totally fascinated by PMY/YHee character as she is too simply entracing and the actress is so good she brings out the YHee character in a charming manner that completely captivate viewers like me. Good luck with her career! I'm sure after her whacking success in SKKS, especially with the international crowd, she's going to have great projects in which she'll shine through in the near future.

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I loved Park Min Young as Yoonhee/shik and i realized while watching the first episode that i had seen her in Princess Jamyung Go and also the Hometown Legends episode as a gumiho. While her character in Princess Jamyung Go Princess Lahee was a first class b&tch she still played her part to the fullest part of being a good actor is even if you play the villain is to make people hate the way you are. She did a great job as the spoiled rotten betrayed her country Princess for the love of a man. But in SKKS wow she is as Yongha says really DAEMUL, i can think of no other actress who could have done a better job than her as portraying Yoonhee/shik and her chemistry with her co-stars you could just feel it coming through the screen. It's too bad that this was only 20 episodes because i'm wanting more of my SKKS show and i am sad that more viewers didn't turn in and get a glimpse of this great show too.

By the way like i said i thought Park Min Young had great chemistry with both of her potential suitors on the show. But who do you think would fit her better in real life?

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Yoo Ah In!!! err, I meant MJS xD They weren't the OTP, but their chemistry was still sizzling :P I hope to see these two paired up as OTP in the near future :)

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wow, plastic surgeons in korea are really good. they can change you into a completely different person.

she left me such a bad impression in ja myung go. i really hated her character! and in Skk Scandal, i think she tries too hard to be cute. i dunno that's just me.

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I'm guessing you've seen her before and after pic too. She looks beautiful now and I hope she wont get any more surgery done.

I saw her in Ja Myung Go and didnt think much of her acting so I wasnt expecting much. I think this kind of role fits her more. I wouldn't want to see her in a bitchy role again lol.

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She is so adorable as herself and as Yoon Hee. She has a great smile. I hope to see more of her in a sweet role like this one. Hstorical or modern she would fit right in. SKK is one of the best Kdrama I have seen and I've seen quite a few. Congrats and more power to all the cast and the crew. Please give us more dramas like this one.

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Not sure if anyone saw this, its star date with the cast of SKKS, subbed by KBS world. Enjoy!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhUKkzpKGvo

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Gosh, it's very weird to see Park Min Young is herself, like.....more.....feminine than used to be wear a man's clothes in that drama, lolz! ^__^

Of course, she look so pretty & hope that she will have a lot of good luck & happiness in her future! ^_^

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Concerning the antis, I don't think that anyone could hate on her character after watching a couple of episodes. You almost want her to be with everyone because of how well the script was written and how PMY infused KYS with charisma and personality.

I hope that she continues to get good tv/movie roles. She certainly deserves them.

Also, in hearing about how she'd be proud of this work to show her daughter...I was thinking ,"ayo, PMY, holler at me with yo' numbers, girl."

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She's a fine actress. And I love her eyes, very expressive.

There were times when I thought she sounded like Park Shin Hye in You're Beautiful.I'm referring to the angsty Go Mi Nam is some of the scenes in YB.

Anyway, I'm glad that Park Min Young was given this huge break. It's the first time that I enjoyed the drama so much when I'm not even familiar with the leads.

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I love her! she is an incredible actress..

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She sounds so mature for her age....Never did see her in any drama before this. But will look out for her works in future =)

Wish her the best in her acting career!

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Love SKKS, love her innocent face and smile.....................

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ah the scene where she brawled with a man...and won! woot! there's you girl powerrrrrrr!!! loved it!

i think i've always liked her, even fr high kick, she's kind of different, you know, and seems not pretentious nor trying to be overly cute. i actually WAS thinking about her about immediately before news of SKKS..re where she been coz haven't heard much fr her. i think she's got 1 of the most pleasant faces among korean actresses...and mayn! that last scene just nailed it! i think her and yoo chun's interactions are so natural, i would have loved to be there in the set to see it live! sure to be fun!!!

ooor, if i'm not gonna end up w/ yoo ah in! (haha!!!), then maybe they can..they seem to be very close =D

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Hands Down Awesome Drama!
Just finished watching.
KYH<3. I'm a fan for you all the way!
I think she is my new EYH.

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thanks for the interview!i felt that i have gotten to know more about min young unnie:) throughout the interview, i felt like she had gone through a common phase in life as ah in did..like the dark moments both have gone through and how they both questioned their jobs as an actor/actress..

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since episode 1 from SKKS, i really like PMY,,, she's very match for YS/YH role!!! more than that, her chemistry with PYC is very very cute and nice!!!
great job and great drama,,,, PMY, fighting!!!

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she is like a sun in the drama and she warmed all the other 3 boys in the drama, and I think she is the main roll not micky chun
she has wonderful -warm smile and also be very naughty when she laugh !
I like her

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Who said your old? Ur 24 now but you look 20!

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Who said your old? Ur 24 now but you look 20!, i love this gurl very pretty

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love it, cute....
hope u always beatifull and always have nice smile....

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hope this year 2011 be come more luck to you

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I like her .She is very beautiful.Everytime, her face is fresh .

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you are is soooo beautiful :)
also you are a good actresssss
i wish you the best luck 4future :) fighting....

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As i watch the City Hunter. I was really admired this girl. She's so beautiful. I want to see her in personal someday. When she smile, its like a crystal.

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