May 18, 2019
Here is the translation of the Na Moon-hee article in Jung Il-woo’s Kribbit magazine, issue 1: Bloom! Na Mun-hee is 77 years old.
Translation Cr. Fan 13 and her Korean Tutor! It took me about three hours to complete including one hour and 45 minutes with my Korean Tutor. If you are posting this somewhere else remember to give credit please.
Jung Il-woo asks, Na Mun-hee answers
My Star, Na Mun Hee
A young Junior who wants to find the future road ahead of him as the senior who walks one way for 60 years. Grandmother and grandson, senior and junior, you and me, happy time together.
Jung Il-woo (Jung) It must have been a long time since you took photos like this. How was it?
Na Mun-hee (Na) Oh, yeah (laugh) Thanks for inviting this old grandmother, I don’t know if I did well.
Jung: I was nervous because it was the first time shooting together since “High Kick”. (laughs) (You did well!)
Na: (laughs) Oh, thank you for saying that.
Jung: Since “High Kick” it’s been already 13 years. Can you believe that it has been that long?!
Na: Wow It’s been that long? I have always been very surprised that you always come to visit me during major holidays, I don’t even keep a beautiful organized home or cooked you a good meal and yet you still have kept visiting me steadily for 13 years. So I’m sorry, but know I’m also very glad and proud! Last year, I was so sick when you last came, I couldn’t even take care of you but you brought me some meat and after I ate it I felt so much stronger.
Jung: I feel so sad because you are so busy that I can’t visit you often anymore.
Na: Next time lets do something delicious.
Jung: Nowadays, they have been showing High Kick reruns and it has become popular again thanks to your “sweet potatoes pumpkin” phrase.
Na: Yes I’ve seen it. It’s been already 13 years but still people remember us, that’s why maybe we did really well back then.
Jung: It was a really loved and well received drama. I wonder what the drama High Kick means to you.
Na: I did not really know that there was such a comic element to me. At first, I had a lot of troubles, but Mr. Lee Soon-Jae got along with me very well, and Director Kim Byung-wook was surprised and allowed me to do whatever I wanted. That’s why I felt I was able to do everything I wanted without pressure. That’s why I could become a really funny woman. (Laughs). After that, I started to like comics and I got confidence. Then I created my own punch phrases.
Jung: If there is any chance again, I want to film in High Kick with you again.
Na: yes! Yes! Let’s do it together I’ll join you! (laughs)
Jung: Yes! Promise me, we must do it.
Sixty Years, Acting Is My Life
Jung: I think your passion for acting is really great. Recently, you filmed the movie “Microhabitat” (소공녀).
Na: What passion?! (laughs). I’m just trying hard because they gave me a good chance.
Jung: I think that it’s really great that you keep making plays, dramas, and movies.
Na: Because I like acting, I really like acting. I think that when I was younger I just did it because I had to, but as time went by I got to like to acting better and I became more confident.
Jung: Still, no matter how much you like it, it must make you tired as acting makes you tired emotionally?
Na: That’s right I do. And now I am a little afraid because I am older and I wonder: Can I really do this?. I like it though. It’s like a crush…
Jung: Among drama, theater, and movies? Do you have a genre that is easier to play and enjoy the most?
Na: I like everything. Because theater is a theater, it is good to communicate with the stage and the audience, and there are other things I can enjoy in the format of drama and a movie.
Jung: Each genre has something one can enjoy, but I want to do a play with you. How about doing a play with me?
Na: Oh, that would be good. Probably you have said this to me every time you meet me… to do more plays! You can only experience your feet on the ground on the theater. In fact just to stand on the stage is really scary. For the actors and actresses that are used to cameras and a frame, it’s really hard to stand properly on stage. Just standing there is amazing.
Jung: I was on the theater a long time ago, but I think I could understand what you say, with my whole body. So I have more desire to be in a play. Are you really going to do a play with me? Laughs
Na: If, we have a chance, let’s do it. (laughs).
Jung: Although you’ve been doing so many works so far, I think I’ve always been always been able to see a new you in every one of your works. In spite of there being stereotypes of women as moms and grandmothers.
Na: There are so many people in the world, not all ‘moms are the same. “Oh, you can have a mother like that, and you have a mother like me…” (laughs). I think about somebody my age, as a mom and grandmothers. That’s why, I often watch documentary programs that deal with the stories of many people, like “인간극장” (Screening Humanity). Especially, the program called “남도지오그래피” (South Island Geography) even though it’s really early in the morning. The grandmothers of the South region come out and the dialects are so prevalent that I try to study the dialect. In general I listen to them. And when I start a new the work, I can always find something from these documentaries to use. And there are filming locations right? So before the filming starts I visit the neighborhood and traditional market places and meet mothers and grandmothers. Yeah, I’m trying to portray some of the most common moms you can see anywhere.
This is the program (Screening Humanity) she is talking about:
and this is a YouTube video of one of the episodes of South Island Geography:
Jung: Oh, Maybe that’s why the moms you show always seem so real. However in some aspects I worry because the figure of a mom, unconditionally, people in our country really give a big meaning to being a mother. That’s why the role of the mother is more difficult and burdensome.
Na: I do feel burdened. Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing well or not, so that’s why I want to meet more mothers and observe to understand them. Sometimes I think when I look back on the story of my mothers, they are amazing. So I think the word mom means power! That’s why they are so special and loving.
Jung: Is there a role you would like to try again?
Na: Of course Unstoppable High Kick (laugh). Well, There are so many works that I’m thankful for, every work is important but I think, now that you mention it, “Happiness in the Wind,” or “The Most Beautiful Farewell in the World.” Both are quite old works, and “I remember them because with “Happiness in the Wind” (바람은 불어도) 2010, I won a highest actress prize at KBS. In addition, with the artist Hee-kyoung Noh, “The Most Beautiful Goodbye in the World” (세상에서 가장 아름다운 이별) 1996, was a turning point for me, and I had a lot of love from the audience, and after that I had a lot of confidence in my acting. But I do not know if I can do better if I did them again (laughs)
Jung: If you have a chance, I’d like to see you play the two works again (laughs) So, in the future do you have any works or roles you would like to try?
Na: I want to express all the people in the world. The more you live, the more you realize that even the little things are worth a lot of effort. Because I know this, even insignificant situations like eating can bring me happiness and loneliness in any role that comes to me.
Jung: I am curious about the movie named 소공녀 (가제) (Her new work)
Na: It’s a role where a grandmother meets a grand daughter that she never knew existed. It’s a family story. The character is “Malsoon”, she is a very lonely person. She is lonely but she doesn’t know she is lonely. She is trying hard not to feel lonely but she gets even lonelier because of her bad luck.
Jung: I saw that you worked with Chun Woo-hee and the actress Kim Soo-an, who was a young actress.
Na: With Chun there were very few scenes but It was always always good to see her try so hard. With Soo-an I’m so impressed that she can act like that at such a young age, And I really enjoyed filming together.
Jung: You meet many actors and actresses from this time. What do you think them?
Na: They are all good like you Jung Il-woo (Laughter) I’m surprised many times because they are so good. Even though I have not acted with them, I still like to watch TV these days because the actors are really good.
Jung: Am I also doing well?
Na: Of course. I think you’ll have great opportunities in the future and I look forward to seeing what you do.
Jung: Thank you. Also, I wonder what kind of fields you like because Kribbit (the magazine) encompasses about various cultural topics.
Na: I really love music. I feel so excited when I hear good music. Just before, today when I was preparing for the photoshoot, there was Bach’s music. It made feel energetic. I felt happy.
Jung: Did the experience of classical DJing in the 20s influenced the liking of music?
Na: Of course. At that time, I did not know the music well and liked to listen. I still do not know that well (laughs).
Jung: Because you said that you like music, in the past you mentioned in an interview that you wanted to act as well as Eric Satie music.
Na: (laughs) Not that grand! When I was shooting the Movie called “Silent Family” the director Kim Ji-woon said that the music of Eric Satie is very good, but I did not know it then. I looked it up because I was curious. Now listening to ‘Gymnopédies’ makes me feel like a grandmother is asleep under warm sunlight, or I feel like I’m in knitting. I want to act and breath as if it’s my own world without worrying. It’s just what I think. (laughs)
Jung: What would you call the current season of your life?
Na: I’m always Spring.
Jung: Why is it?
Na: I am alive with buds sprouting, and I like it so much. I don’t want to call it “Winter just because I’m old. (laughs).
Jung: You are still as beautiful as Spring. Now before we are done, tell the readers of Kribbit some words.
Na: I will work harder to meet you with better works in the future. Thank you, everyone!
This was the recent video posted at jungilwoo_official:
This is the interview video posted that can be accessed through the Qr code in the Kribbit magazine:
These are some screen captures from the first one:
And these are from the magazine: