[Interview] Ha Ji-won isn't bothered by the percentage or scandal
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Ha Ji-won says her effect has worn off.
However, it's not only her fault. She quit working out and started ballet and stretching for her role of a high school student. It wasn't easy for her to put on a uniform at an age nearing 40.
"The Time We Were Not in Love" went through a lot of struggles with the director being changed twice and even the writers. The percentage remained at 6~7% all throughout the 16 episodes. Ha Ji-won tries to pretend it's alright but not compared to her past works.
We met Ha Ji-won at a café on the 19th and she seemed peaceful.
She smiled as she said, "The viewing rates? Everyone around me said it was fun!". She seemed far from being worried. She could even blame the writer but she said, "I just have to fulfill what I have been given. I only see mine. It's not like I am in contact with the writer anyways".
How does Ha Ji-won feel about not being Oh Ha-na anymore?
Q: How do you feel now that the drama is over?
Ha Ji-won: "I had more fun towards the middle of the drama rather than the first. Exhaustion aside, I had so much fun".
How was working with Lee Jin-wook?
"We cooperated well and it was fun. Lee Jin-wook has a thing for making people laugh".
The percentage wasn't that great.
"It's ironic. Everyone I meet said the drama was great but the viewing percentage wasn't as high. But that didn't bring me down. Dramas aren't always watched on the TV these days".
There's no truth to the percentage.
For example, it's something like this. When I go to a coffee shop or the sauna everyone tells me they're watching the drama. I didn't hear that during "Empress ki". Maybe the character wasn't easy to understand but this time it was different. Many people asked me how the ending went".
There was a switch in writers.
"What mattered to me most was how I played Oh Ha-na. There was no time to waste just because the writer had changed".
Do you keep in touch with the writer?
"Hahaha, no I don't".
You played a teenager in uniform to a grown up in office-look.
"I didn't think myself in uniform would be shown that much. The director didn't want a younger actress playing the part. It was very pressuring but I imagined I was traveling back to my teen years. It's more exciting to think I'm doing something I haven't done then".
It was a happy ending in the end.
"I didn't know there could be a 'man-best-friend' until I did this drama. I wished for a male friend like Choi Won (Lee Jin-wook). We connected well and I liked how they looked like friends but lovers at the same time".
Why didn't you actually kiss Lee Jin-wook?
"I didn't know. The kiss scenes were usually taken late at night or early in the morning. I guess I wasn't fully awake and exhausted".
Some say your 'cuteness' took some time to get used to.
"That's not fair. I didn't think I was much different from my usual self. Maybe I came off too strong in most of my roles until now. I realized a lot about my typical image. I like being at home the way I am in the drama".
You carried two bags in the drama.
"I wanted it to seem realistic. Women in the real world really carried two bags including their laptop and personal handbags. I thought it seemed realistic and active".
The clothes you wear are 'wannabe'.
"I put a lot of effort into the style. I never had much to wear during "Secret Garden" or "Empress ki". I started putting on clothes from early in the morning. I had to go through 15 different outfits once".
How did you maintain your energy with so many all-nighters?
"I work out like an athlete 3 months ahead of starting something. I didn't work out for 6 months because I had to be a high school student. The ballet teacher told me not to walk so I didn't. I stretched a lot and lost a lot of muscle weight".
You have a scandal with Boris Chen.
"We only met once because of a movie in Korea".
You guys put up the same pictures.
"Netizens are amazing. Many regular people post similar pictures too. I think they were manipulated but I don't care much about the scandal".
What's your ideal type?
"I usually expect to fall in love at first sight but I did feel that even friends can end up being lovers. I want to be in love with someone who makes me feel comfortable. I like fun people. Still, there has to be some of that tingling thing".
When was your last romance?
"A long time. I don't even know how to tell you".
The word 'action' comes along with the name 'Ha Ji-won'
"I like action. I wanted to do something different this time. Action is tough. I am not even that strong. I guess I'm taking it all out on the action roles I play".