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It feels like there are a hundred bears on my shoulders. Girls Generations Seohyun, who is appearing in her first musical, Moon That Embraces the Sun, expressed the burden cutely like this. The character Seohyun is playing in her first musical is the same character that Han Ga-in played in the drama Moon That Embraces the Sun, Yeonwoo. Shes a character that gets caught up in political conflicts in the royal palace, isnt able to fulfill her love with the crown prince, Hwon, and becomes a female shaman after losing her memory. Seohyun, who goes through her thoughtsa hundred times a day in order to create her own kind of Yeonwoo, has big and distinct dreams for musicals. Having just made her first step, we are quietly watching over her.

PlayDB: How did you get to appear in Moon That Embraces the Sun? I feel like you would have gotten musical offers in the past too.

Seohyun: I honestly really wanted to be in a musical for a long time. There were offers, but I didnt want to jump into it when I wasnt prepared. So I carefully chose it, and I really wanted to take part in this work. I really like historical dramas. It was to the point where the only dramas I watched were historical ones when I was little. I really enjoyed watching the drama and reading the book for Moon That Embraces the Sun, so I was able to accept the musical offer with a very happy feeling.

PlayDB: Not too long ago, you watched Wicked. Because its a performance you watched with your appearance in a musical coming up, it must have felt different.

Seohyun: I think Ive watched all the musicals [Ock] Joohyun unnie appeared in thus far, without missing any. I got the dream of wanting to be in a musical watching her. Shes really good. Whenever I see her performance, I always get goosebumps, and wonder, Will she be able to do better than this next time? but she does well again. I admire her, and I really get stimulated.

PlayDB: What aspect of musicals appealed to you?

Seohyun: First of all, because I like music so much, I also like singing, and I really wanted to try acting. Vividly unfolding a work with a combination of singing and acting, not through a screen but in front of an audience, was really appealing. Until now, Ive always watched performances as a member of the audience. I think I dreamed about this by imagining how much more heart-touching it would be standing on stage myself.


PlayDB: You appeared in a drama not too long ago too. What did you learn through your first acting attempt?

Seohyun: More than anything, I think Ive gotten better at concentrating in an instant. When doing emotional acting, you have to feel 100% of the emotions for that situation when they cue the scene, and you have to maintain it. That way, you can cry too. I think I got training for things like that. Performing helps a lot.

PlayDB: Acting in a musical is different, right?

Seohyun: Its really different. Basically, you have to take everything you have and carry it all through when acting, but how you express things was different. Whereas you act mainly through distinct facial expressions and eyes for camera acting, in theater acting, I have to express my emotions to those in the back as well, so I think the actions I make to do so get bigger, without letting go of the performance itself. Displaying that kind of performance outwards is a bit different. There are a lot of emotional scenes in theater. At first, I focused on my facial expressions and getting teary eyed, but you can only see that in the first row. Im learning that, in order for the people in the back to see, I have to express myself differently.

PlayDB: It must be burdensome having to play the lead role in your first musical.

Seohyun: It is. I thought a lot about whether I have the qualifications to stand here. The people working together are so good and have a lot of work experience, but Im just now making my first steps. I didnt know what to do at first. I wasnt sure if I would cause problems, or be like a case of just placing a spoon on a well-set table. (laughs) I felt sorry as well. I think thats why I got the feeling of needing to work harder. But because its my first time acting, everyone teaches and helps me more. So Ive been learning a lot more. I dont have any thoughts of wanting to shine more this time around. I want to do things in a calm and orderly way, while doing the best I can right now.


PlayDB: Did you, by chance, see a video of last years performance?

Seohyun: I did, but I didnt watch it all. I need to create my own kind of Yeonwoo, and I felt watching that would make me imitate it. So I didnt watch much of it on purpose. After seeing how its done, I have to go on to creating. I think I would probably create Yeonwoo with a personality similar to my own. The reason all three versions of Yeonwoo are different is because each of our personalities differ so much, and we each perceive Yeonwoo differently.

PlayDB: Then what sides of yourself will project onto Yeonwoo?

Seohyun: Serious, not being able to accept any jokes? (laughs) I think thats similar. Im the type who cant take unimportant things lightly. Its a personality that can seem stifling, but I think thats the line Ive drawn. But Yeonwoo is similar. The things taught by our parents seem similar as well.

PlayDB: While practicing, whats something that was difficult?

Seohyun: There were a lot of things. Something about this work is that there are a lot of scenes where you cant just focus on the visible opposing actor. For instance, at the end, with the upcoming crown prince selection, Yangmyung appears in front of my eyes. If he doesnt get selected, he has to live his entire life alone, but Yangmyung says he will leave all of his things and run away with me. Really thinking realistically, I could choose Yangmyung, but because of the crown prince that isnt in front of me right now, I reject this person. That was really difficult. Especially because Yeonwoo is thirteen years old, I think her heart can change. Initially, it was difficult singing and focusing on the flow of emotions while not just acting hesitant, but really going from Should I follow this person? to No, I shouldnt be like this while thinking of the prince.

PlayDB: What about a part that really touched your heart?

Seohyun: Theres a song called Touching Happiness. The king, who thinks Yeonwoo died, learns of the existence of the female shaman, Wol. Because Wol looks so similar to Yeonwoo, he feels attracted to her, and runs away with her. Its a scene where just the two are together and are talking, and they both sing confusedly. Hwon is confused because he isnt sure if hes attracted to Wol because she is Yeonwoo, or if its because shes so similar to Yeonwoo. I [Yeonwoo] am also confused because Im not sure if Im attracted to the king because I am Yeonwoo, or if its because Yeonwoos soul entered me. Then later, Hwon says the lines, Did you ask me to forget you, did you want me to forget you, I tried to forget you, but I couldnt. Yeonwoo, you. At that moment, I seriously get a number of thoughts, and my heart hurts the most, and I get choked up.

PlayDB: How different are the three actors who are playing the role of Lee Hwon?

Seohyun: Kyuhyun oppa suits the role of prince Hwon the best. The feel and his actions really makes it seem like seeing the straightforward, innocent Hwon. [Kim] Dahyun oppas Hwon has a soft charisma. He usually openly treats the person he cares for well, but when he acts like a king does, his charisma leaves everyone speechless. [Jun] Dongsuk oppa is really just like a king. Each and every one of his actions have the feeling of a king. All three of them are different, but I focus really well whenever I have to, and Im really grateful at how well they lead me. I think I just need to do better (laughs).


PlayDB: What kind of advice did the Girls Generation unnies, who appeared in musicals, give you?

Seohyun: My unnies always cheer me on a lot. They said confidence is most important, and to believe in myself and just do it. Things like that always gives me strength.

PlayDB: Do you believe in yourself?

Seohyun: I felt this when I was doing my drama as well, something only comes about when you really believe in yourself over 100%. If you second guess yourself a little, its immediately noticeable.

PlayDB: What do you do when you have doubts?

Seohyun: I just dont think of anything at all. Even when I was in a drama, once I got in to shoot, I wouldnt look at the sript. If I think, Im going to talk like this during this part, it wouldnt work. Instead, I do a lot of preparation beforehand. I memorized and thought of everything, and I acted as if I was Yurim. So once it was over, it was really interesting. It worked, and it made me think, next time, theres nothing more to do other than believing in myself. I need to do that again, bu, frankly, its not that easy. Until then, I think you need that much more hard work and practice.

PlayDB: There must be a lot more projects that you want to do following Moon That Embraces the Sun.

Seohyun: Ive really wanted to play the role of Peggy in 42nd Street. After watching [Ock] Joohyun unnies performance, I really wanted to do it, so soon after, I practiced tap dancing for a Girls Generation concert. Now that I have tap dancing learned, I have the thought that I must do it someday (laughs). Also, I have a new goal in mind after watching Wicked. That I will play Glinda within the next 10 years. Im still lacking a lot, so I want to improve my skills and really try to play it in 10 years. I also want to try playing a character thats hard to imagine. I want to try playing Roxy in Chicago. But its not like I want to immediately be in something next year. I have to develop skills, so I want to go about it slowly. Im probably really lacking right now. Im going to empty my heart for now, and go [on stage]. Im prepared to listen to a lot of criticisms on areas that Im lacking in. Because I know I really fall short (laughs). I will first do my best, but I will collect all comments, and supplement them to my next work. I will continue on with that mindset, working hard while learning. But musicals are really fun. Im really happy being able to do Moon That Embraces the Sun.

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@: Interview, Korea, Musical, Photos, Seohyun