Finding success isn’t always a positive experience.
In the latest instalment of Variety‘s “Actors on Actors”, Sandra Oh sits down for a conversation with “Squid Game” star Jung Ho-yeon, who talks about landing her first role in the Netflix hit.
“Things go so quick for me, because it was just my first project. I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to be an actor,’ and then I did an audition and then I got it. Suddenly, Ho-yeon, you are here!” Jung recalls.
“An international superstar,” Oh comments.
“And then people recognize me, and even you,” Jung says. “I was a little child in Korea, and ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ was a huge thing in Korea because of you, and you’re icon of us. Then when I met you at SAG Awards, you know me, and that was like, ‘Wow.’”
Oh also talks about her own rise to fame, thanks in particular to her role in “Grey’s Anatomy”, and the toll that has taken on her mind and body.
“For a long time. The thing that I think that is the closest is when ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ came — my life changed very much. And it’s tricky to imagine, because this is almost 20 years ago, so the context is very different, but the stress is the same — or the confusion is the same,” she says. “And I think that’s why my question to you is, how are you taking care of yourself ? Because I feel like, honestly, I got sick. I think my whole body was very, very sick. Even though you keep on working, right?”
Jung agrees, “Right.”
“It’s just like, ‘Oh, I can’t sleep. Oh, my back hurts. I don’t know what’s wrong with my skin.’ I learned that I had to take care of my health first,” Oh continues. “But that’s not only your body, right? That is your soul. That is definitely your mind. You know what I mean? Because you can’t ultimately depend on anyone else. You have to somehow find it within yourself.”
Jung also talks about her death scene in “Squid Game”, revealing, “Maybe it’s weird to say it, but while I’m shooting my death scene, I was so happy. It was the most comfortable scene I ever had. It’s because I’ve been living with my character over a few months, and then there is a time that I have to let her go, and I kind of feel like I can happily let her go, because I can understand. Maybe not fully, but I’m the one who can understand her most in this world, so I know her stress, and I know how her life was [such a] struggle and hard. So it wasn’t that bad or sad.”
Oh also shares that starring in “Killing Eve” was one of the most difficult jobs she’s ever had.
“‘Killing Eve’ was probably one of the hardest jobs I’ve ever had, because I felt so much of the entire show is so about the internal life at least of Eve,” she says. “A really great thing about television is that you are creating her, or you’re creating them, in real time. So I really felt pleased that I saw an image of myself as Eve from the very first season, and I saw an image of Eve in the fourth season, and I felt they looked like two different people. Because people do change. People can change. This character has changed.”
She adds. “So I felt ultimately, emotionally, for Eve to start out as in ‘I have a regular life, I’m kind of basically happy,’ but at the very end, she’s lost everything — but in survival has gained more of herself as a whole woman. It is a piece about the female psyche. And within that: How does one actually authentically grow and widen yourself as a woman? That’s why her relationship with Villanelle is so life-changing, but also difficult.”