Q. Some foreign critics, although they don’t really know much about you yet, think you have children. They just ended up thinking that way after watching the film. When they hear that you don’t have any, they are very surprised. I was also surprised.
Jang: That sounds great. (laugh) But I’m not sure if I could have given the same level of performance if hada child. Just imagining that kind of situation happening to my child would have been like a nightmare, making the whole experience seem like a trauma.
Q. The movie’s title “Azooma” refers to not just a married woman but someone who has no gender after getting married. It’s a derogatory term. When you have a quarrel on the street with a stranger and they call you ‘azooma,’ it is like a swear word in Korean society.
So I’m asking, what do you feel about being an actress of a certain age? They say an actor is in his high time when he is in his mid-thirties to late-forties, but it is far from that for Korean actresses.
Jang: Things are very different for actresses. An actor can take lead roles until the age of 45, but things are a lot more merciless for actresses especially after she turns thirty. Things have become better lately with the emergence of unmarried female characters, though. I just regard it as a period of transition as an actoress, like something we go through when we become a grown-up after adolescence. And honestly, I don’t feel afraid of becoming older. Not sure what other actresses feel about it but I’m not that kind of person who is stuck in the ‘actress’ title, so I just want to live as an actor, not as a diva-like actress. The term actress brings this fake image of an elegant, feminine or beautiful actress I sometimes want to get away from it. As you can see, I’m not someone who always chases beautiful things, so I don’t have that kind of burden.
Q. You said you don’t live in the title of actress, but you look just like an actress today! (laugh)
Jang: It’s only for today because I have an interview with you! (laugh) Normally, I just hang around in training pants without make-up. Then people nag me about it, some people even feel offended. When I go to a beauty salon to get my hair done, they tell me to put on some BB cream at least. (laugh) I don’t make an effort to look pretty whn I act. I don’t normally put false eyelashes, though I dolled myself up for you today. (laugh) Before going to a broadcasting station, I do my own make-up. (laugh) When I’m acting, I do it as naturally as possible. I think that’s the best way to depict my character.
Q. When you gave your acceptance speech at the award ceremony at the Busan International Film Festival, I was deeply moved when you said you turned forty. I wonder if I can reveal my age with that level of confidence in public.
Jang: Age is only a number. I’m not mentally young but sometimes I feel very proud of being my age. I’m doing my job with passion and consistency, and maybe that is why they gave me that award. I was very proud of myself at that time. I’m forty but I feel more curious and proud and I hope that things will get even better when I become 45 and 50.
Q. “Azooma” is doing very well overseas, winning many awards and getting great recognition. what kind of actor do you want to be recognized as overseas?
Jang: I hope to be recognized as a Korean ‘azooma’ like the title of my film. I’d like to become famous for my role in the movie, rather than get a certain image. Because my audiences don’t know what kind of work I’ve done and how I’ve lived untill now, I’d like to be remembered just for my role in “Azooma.” Plus, I’d be happy to be recognized as the actress who acts with sincerity for each scene, and think, ‘yeah, she is doing her best in the film.’ I hope to be remembered as a hard-working and sincere actress.
Q. And since we also report on K-pop stars, I have ask you this. Who are your favorite K-pop artists?
Jang: BEAST and 2PM are my favorite idols. Yoon Du-jun of BEAST seems to be the most manly of all the idols out there. He also has some natural charms. Before the interiew you told me that you recently interviewed Yoon Du-jun. I envy you. (laugh) Among 2PM members, Junho caught my eyes with his gentle looks. I like the manly type as well as the gentle type.
Q. Tell us your about next plan.
Jang: Giving birth to a child, and successfully wrapping up the TV series I’m doing, “Jang Ok-jeong, Live for Love.”
Reporter: Nemo Kim