The BoA that we all know is dreaming of another transformation. This time she's a Hollywood actress. That girl's development is still in progress.
Year 2000 August, a young girl's brand new start of a thousand year and debut with a bang. Despite being young at only 14 years old, she presented powerful dance, and of course, through a stable live performance (she showed) her explosive singing ability, rising to the top position in the song industry in a flash. After that, for the first time as a Korean singer, she gained explosive popularity as well as public recognition in Japan. She achieved 1st place in the Oricon charts for her first full-length album and sold close to a million albums. Beyond her success in Japan, she became the 'Star of Asia'. This has been top singer BoA's story for the past 14 years. But more than anyone else she knows that this is not the ultimate end for her, and so she stands at the start line with a firm heart.
I heard you are the female lead for Hollywood movie <Make Your Move>! Honestly it is even more shocking that there is such a question. Moreover I heard that director Duane Adler approached you first?
I was really shocked too. Normally I will get scripts from my manager, but this time I got it directly from the CEO. Although I left saying that I would think about it at that point in time, it didn't matter whether it was pre-determined or not. This is because it was a female lead role for a dance movie, and it was a project produced by a director that I like.
So I guess one of your favourite movies is obviously <Step Up>?
That's right. Out of those, I especially liked <Step Up 1> and have watched it several times. Usually when you think about dance movies, the story is usually very typical isn't it? Heating up the atmosphere by holding a dance battle that kind of things. But only in <Step Up 1>, romance in dance into a beautiful movie. I read the script with expectations for the project this time, and eventually I fell into the story without realising. I felt that the part about Asian dancers going to Europe was a story that was very similar to mine in reality. Later on I learned that the director wrote the script with me in mind. I was amazed, and also felt touched.
The director contacted you after seeing a Youtube video of you when you were 17 years old, what video was that?
Well, I'm not sure. I heard the story directly from the director during free production. He was looking for Asian dancers, and he said he was impressed his friend showed him my video. I just said "Oh really?". I didn't ask what video that was. Shortly after the meeting I had a Japanese tour, and he even came personally for it. I thought that passion was amazing, I didn't even think I would become the female lead for a Hollywood movie, and honestly it felt a little surreal.
I heard that it felt like becaming his muse.
Honestly, the muse for this character exists in real life. There's a crew in America called Cobra and the team leader is the living muse. We aren't alike at all (laughs). She is someone who is very fit and plays the taiko drums. And so I practiced the taiko drums a lot at the beginning. But not long after, my arms became really thick. It wasn't due to muscles but the fats went upwards. After a checkup, it is said that a lot of fats formed in order to protect the bones from the intense shock to my arms. It is an instrument so difficult that it can even lead to fats growth visible to the eye in a short period of time. Anyway, I thought the fact that I could be seen as a role model as well was an honour. I'm also grateful to be able to experience that in reality.
Although you have so many overseas activities that you should have gotten used to it, it must feel different with overseas movie filming.
It is a really different field. Being an actress and a singer is a totally different genre, much less being a foreign actress. You'll probably understand after watching the movie, but there was almost no Korean. 95% English, a little Japanese and a few lines in Korean. The moment i received the script, I think my very first thought was 'Can I handle this much English?'.
The system was also very different.
The whole environment was comfortable and good. It was tough filming in 3D. As the 3D cameras cannot move a lot, it took very long to film dance scenes. As the time taken was longer than expected, there were cases where I just returned without filming my parts.
Did you have to memorise the dances too?
Of course. Just the preliminary choreography took about 2-3 months. Including the filming, I did nothing but danced everyday for a few months. As it takes weeks for the couple dance, it was even more taxing physically. For male lead Derek, there were many scenes where he had to lift me. From the point of his partner, I had to hold my balance. Physically it was tough, but it was mentally tough having to memorise the lines in English. That wasn't all. I also had to learn taiko drums and tap dance from scratch as there were some scenes. Moreover, we had to constantly change a lot of stuff depending on the environment and situation once we went into filming, it was insane.
How was your harmony as a couple with male lead Derek?
As it was the first attempt at acting for both of us, it was filled with passion although it was awkward. Derek's native language English was shockingly good (laughs). I was taken by surprise whenever he kept doing adlibs. Later on when we got closer, filming was comfortable and fun. After getting closer, our harmony spontaneously got better.
I heard that even when doing music, when the harmony matches well, the impression of the other person will change. Does it also apply to dance when the harmony matches well? I'm also curious what it feels like to be synchronised in dance.
If it feels like it doesn't match as a whole, the partners will not look at each other even after it ends. But if it somewhat matches, then they will look at each other in the eye and smile. In other words, you will naturally smile kind of thing? It is very obvious when Derek is happy or not, so when it doesn't match, he will just throw me away (laughs). After all it is a job requiring physical strength, so it seems like the expressions are put forth in a straightforward manner. When we fight, we fight very hard, and when it matches we dance well.
How did you guys fight?
We fight by blaming each other. It is inevitable especially for the highly difficult couple dances, we have to match well in order for accidents to not happen. So even though we fight, we have to match each other. That is why couples who do couple dances fight like that. They really fight to death and love to death. That is the charm of a dance harmony.
I wish to hear from BoA personally. The story of this movie.
Two friends with different nationalities and born into different backgrounds getting to know each other through dance. It is a movie about love budding. Can I share the ending as well (laughs)?
How about the dance that flows together with the story?
Two people who dance well meet. Triggering a spark because of the thought 'There's someone with a similar level of passion of dance as me'. With that, a powerful couple dance that completes the dance floor.
It is impossible to talk about BoA without mentioning dance. Has your view on dance changed?
If you say that dances as a singer have a performance element, I think through the movie I gained the element of unison. I am very shy with strangers. As I have never tried dancing with anyone else before, at first I felt very embarrassed. But there exists a language that is conveyed through dance. And so I could get close quickly. It was a chance to experience the language of the body.
I think that BoA's growth is like a Truman show. On the basis that all the citizens are watching your growth process, its curious how the ending will be like.
Regardless, as my life has been exposed to the public, people who look upon my life favourably, people who see it in a twisted manner etc there are many different kinds of people out there. I have decided that I wouldn't get controlled by such thoughts since young. It is not a life that I live for others. Ultimately I'm living for myself. Although there are things that I can do because of others' gaze, I thought that it shouldn't become the main focus of my life. In future I'll consistently live my life in a manner that satisfies me, doing what I want, what I should excel in, what I do well in. As there are many days left to live and things to do in the future, I'll hold on to the thought that 'I' am the pillar of life and live an interesting life. With that, I think that I can create a growth story which sends a positive message to many people.
When you appeared on <KPOPSTAR Season 1,2> as a judge, you appeared more knowledgeable than your age and was very objective, so many people thought you were much older.
I heard that a lot. Someone said that I seemed more than 30 years old (laughs). I think the sentence I heard most was "you're still in your twenties?" during that time. Honestly I debut at a young age and so I experienced many difficult patches. I started (being a judge) with the thought of being a support who could give advice based on my experience during that period. It was very interesting, I received positive influences from the contestants as well. It was a really grateful period of time.
Singer-songwriter, director and now even an actress, even though your domain is fixed, I think it'll be good to ask about your future aspirations as your future is very promising.
Multi-entertainer? Whenever I start anything, rather than drawing out the boundary line, I try to see a little further beyond that. It is always tough at the start. So, I try to at least start off fun. Through working hard, I have the thought of showing a good side of me. Even I am curious about what I will be doing in the future (laughs).
English translation cr therlynn
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