For W’s third annual TV Portfolio, we requested 21 sought-after names in tv to pay homage to their favourite small display screen characters by getting into their sneakers.
There’s a tranquil but mighty power to Minha Kim. You may sense it, even via the cellphone. She chooses her phrases fastidiously, the emotion clear in each assertion. Coincidentally, it’s akin to the demeanor of Sunja, the character Kim portrays on the Apple TV+ epic Pachinko, based mostly on Min Jin Lee’s novel of the identical title. That most likely speaks to the sequence’ casting, its success find an actor who embodies Sunja’s method so brilliantly. Kim, now 26, was plucked out of relative obscurity for the function, having just a few quick movies and small roles to her title on the time, with no agent to push her for the half. She bought it on her personal, after three months of line readings, interviews, and chemistry exams with the present’s antagonist, Hansu, portrayed by Korean celebrity Lee Minho. However in a sequence stuffed with overwhelming emotion, world-building cinematography, and a solid that features Oscar winner Yuh-jung Youn, Kim nonetheless stands out because the breakout star. And now, with a second season greenlighted, she can have one other likelihood to win over audiences together with her understated efficiency. Right here, the Seoul native discusses stepping into the emotional mindset of Sunja, talking together with her grandmother to organize for the function, and the affect Gray’s Anatomy has had on her personally and professionally.
You selected to painting Lexie Gray from Gray’s Anatomy. Inform me about your historical past with the present.
I began watching once I was 15 years previous. It was form of stunning for me, as a result of I’d by no means seen that form of present earlier than. I fell in love with Sandra Oh, and I cherished the voiceovers. Considered one of my associates who launched me to Gray’s Anatomy was impressed to grow to be a nurse because of the present, and now she is one. We nonetheless speak about Gray’s once we see one another.
What made you select Lexie Gray particularly?
Lexie doesn’t seem till season 3, however I nonetheless keep in mind once I first noticed her, she was so stunning. After which she smiled. Her smile simply makes me freeze. Oh my gosh, she’s so stunning, and she or he’s sensible, she’s humorous. She’s fragile at some factors, however she’s sturdy. She is a warmhearted lady, and she or he’s beautiful. When she died in season 8, I cried quite a bit. I couldn’t consider it.
Did the present affect you to grow to be an actor?
Yeah. The way in which Ellen Pompeo does her voiceovers influenced me quite a bit. It’s simply so highly effective. Gray’s Anatomy itself is so highly effective. Every time a brand new season comes out, I get so excited. I’ve realized so many issues from the present, not solely about performing and from the performances. It’s connected to lots of my private life, too, and it has influenced me in some ways.
What was the audition course of like for Pachinko?
I didn’t have an company or administration on the time. The casting director referred to as and requested me to audition, so I mentioned, “After all, why not?” Then I noticed the script, which was made up of three scenes, and it was so stunning. I didn’t realize it was Pachinko then, as a result of they have been utilizing one other title, however I learn it and fell in love. I assumed, I’ve to do that. Once I bought the second callback, I discovered it was Pachinko, so I learn the ebook immediately. Then, once I heard that I bought the function, it was round my birthday. It was actually my birthday current to me.
Are there any similarities between you and Sunja?
Sure. I believe we each look actually fragile at first sight; we glance naive, susceptible. When individuals see me for the primary time, they assume I’m very shy, and an not easily seen and timid lady. However Sunja and I each have a sturdy religion in ourselves. If we’ve to decide on one thing, if we’ve to go someplace or decide, we consider in ourselves. Sunja is like one other a part of me. I realized quite a bit from her, together with issues about myself. I realized quite a bit about love and find out how to tackle tasks.
I read you spoke with your grandmother a lot whereas making ready for the function. What conversations did you’ve got together with her?
My grandmother is 94 years previous, so she’s form of like a good friend to Sunja. I requested her about lots of issues, like, how did she endure throughout this era, and what was that like for her. There have been particulars, particular issues I actually needed to know—for instance, if it was regular for a lady to get pregnant at 16 like Sunja did. I requested her in regards to the tradition of the time, and I used to be form of stunned that she remembered and was capable of reply my questions particularly.
She’s additionally a very enjoyable storyteller. So each time she instructed me a narrative, it was so enjoyable that I might overlook I had a query for her. Nonetheless, lots of feelings got here up within the dialog, too. I needed to know the way she felt on the time. She mentioned she was so pleased with me for getting the function, however she was additionally unhappy that I had to do that, even when it was only a efficiency.
What was her response when she lastly watched the present?
She cried quite a bit. Every time she noticed my face, she cried. She mentioned it reminded her of her childhood. After which she turned to me and mentioned, “Minha, I simply wish to let you know that I like you. I’m the one who loves you probably the most. I simply need you to know that I like you probably the most.” And that’s once I began to cry.
There’s lots of discuss in regards to the significance of telling this story, particularly for the reason that historical past of Japan’s occupation of Korea isn’t well-known to a lot of the U.S. viewers. Have you ever felt that weight—of lastly bringing this narrative to the display screen?
After all. To begin with, our present isn’t the primary on the historic occasion itself, however I believe it’s extra centered on humanity, and that’s what we try to inform the viewers. It’s not solely about Korean historical past, however the histories of others, too. There are such a lot of unknown histories that we should always know that haven’t been explored but. Pachinko is a step, and we should always maintain going additional so audiences can study. I’m so proud that our present may do this.
Among the scenes are very emotional. What was the toughest one to movie?
Most of Sunja’s scenes are very emotional, however I keep in mind when Sunja says goodbye to [her mother], Yangjin, she goes to Osaka. That was probably the most emotional scene I had whereas capturing. It was an extended day. Every time I had a scene with Inji [Jeong], who performs Yangjin, I bought a lot power from her. Although she’s not my actual mom, it felt like she was. She would make me take into consideration my mother and my grandmothers. At one level, I used to be in tears they usually wouldn’t cease. I couldn’t even learn my strains.
Pachinko has been renewed for season 2. Are you excited to revisit the character?
I’m so excited for Sunja’s subsequent journey. And it’s not solely about Sunja, it’s about the entire characters. I can’t wait to listen to their tales, hear their histories. I’m so completely satisfied to return.
Hair by Ericka Verrett and Make-up by Robert Rumsey.