Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ha Ji Won: In the end, we are really the same people.

Gracing an American audience of both film critics and fans alike for the premiere screening of the movie "As One" (a.k.a. "Korea" in Los Angeles), Ha Ji Won spoke positively and hopefully about the notion of a United Korea.  Sitting down with the media, she spoke of a variety of things -- from her choices of genre in acting, sports capabilities, favorite food, and the like.  But the topic closest to her heart, judging from her sincere responses, were surrounding the reasons why she chose to participate in "Korea"/"As One".  She spoke of lessons she learned in the process and how these experiences have shaped her growth as a person, and are directing the stance she takes for a hot-button topic such as reunification.  AmazingYeoja blog was privileged to ask these questions at the press conference.

Question: What was the most fun and the most difficult part of filming "Korea/As One"?

Putting her experience in "As One"/"Korea" back to front and center in the discussion, Ha Ji Won's eyes light up trying to reminisce what the most fun and most difficult parts were in filming the movie.  Putting much thought in her answers, she gave due pause before saying that there are too many things to mention as response.  This is clearly a testament to the passion she puts in her craft, and how likely both the difficult and the fun parts mesh with each other.  She answered the first question, the "fun parts", with a vivid remembrance of the atmosphere she got used to while filming. She recalled,  "Most of the film was set in a gymnasium setting, and inside temperatures reached about 110 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (50-60 degrees Celsius) and even with everyone sweating, and it was so hard work, when the final shot was taken the staff and actors would spend time just playing around and having fun."

In terms of the most difficult part of filming "As One", Ha Ji Won said, "It really has a lot to do with the story and acting itself. The film starts out by showing the challenges and differences between living in North and South Korea, and the process of coming to terms with each other and sharing an emotional connection between different people.  I really wanted to capture that, to develop that internal feeling in acting, and this was something I discussed quite a lot with the director." She continued, "I think, not just the acting or the story line of the film, but I myself have changed throughout the film and I feel like I became a more mature person. In the end, even with North and South Korea being so different, we are really the same people just under very different circumstances."

Question:  Recently, you have been given the nickname "Flower of reunification" because of your work in this movie "As One" and the character you portrayed in King2Hearts, what can you say about this nickname?

Editor's note: We saw Ha Ji Won's eyes get animated after hearing this question.  As the translator clarified it for her, she mentions the word "Flower" and follows with "I love it," in English. She answered wholeheartedly and passionately, up to the point the translator had to ask her to pause so we may be able to get translation of her answer.  She then said "Sorry" and laughed heartily.

In response to the nickname, "Flower of Reunification", Ha Ji Won candidly told us "Filming the movie, 'As One' was a big inspiration and somewhat an education for me.  In fact, it was filming this movie made me choose to  be in the drama.  So, I am really inspired at the topic of it. So, I love the nickname!  I hope that someday if this movie could play a small, small role in a potential future unified Korea, that will be something I will be thankful for.  I love the fact that younger people in Korea are seeing this film, and seeing this situation (the North-South relationship) in a new light and learning something new about history and their heritage."

She continued, "This topic  of reunification is huge, it seems far away and it feels unattainable. But, hopefully through this movie and drama King2Hearts, we can move people's hearts, especially young people to be committed to this can help us be unified sooner."

Ha Ji Won's answers were as genuine as the clarity in her eyes as she spoke to the audience.  Her thoughts run deep.  Her sincerity echoed. Clearly, the subject matter and the humanity found in the plot driving the movie "As One"/"Korea" is close to Ha Ji Won's heart.  It will be worth it to check it out for that reason alone.  She maintained that this movie gave her the "Hwaiting" spirit, and hope that all who watch it will feel the same.

"As One"/"Korea" is now playing (press date is 6/6) in select theaters in the USA, and officially opens in Los Angeles on 6/8, and will run for at least a weekend.  Please refer to the CGV Entertainment site for further information. The movie is set to circle the globe to spread its heartwarming message. CGV Entertainment's role in spreading the good news of this movie, as well as expanding Korea's reach in entertainment, is certainly pivotal in these kinds of opportunities. 

Official press release article by:  @dowotee - Dorothy Advincula
On behalf of AmazingYeoja Blog
Special thanks to: CGV Entertainment America


  1. wow she is truly amazing, thank you for this wonderful article.i am so proud to be a 1023r.

  2. i Love Ha Ji Won! even from her Sex is Zero days, its her, right?
    I'm gonna watch this movie..
    I really love the drama King 2 Hearts.. super duper love it. Just that I regret the death of Shi Kyung's character.. anyway...

    This is my opinion only, I believe North and South Korea comes from same history, heritage and ancestors, don't you think its too sad that they're separated? Their ancestors must be in pain watching them / people / their children not in good relationship.

    I wish Korea the best! May the reunification happen soon. Hwaiting!

    1. Yes wwlyna, Sex is Zero is Ha Ji Won 's movie.
      I saw and supported all of her projects.
      Ha Ji Won, Hwaiting!!!

  3. this is why i love her... so down to earth.. no ego... and most of all very talented...

    keep fighting ji won ssi!!! we're all behind you...

  4. Yes super love @ support her too!God bless ha jiwon!