November 30, 2017
Disclaimer: Article is roughly translated. It may contain inaccuracies. Please pardon any mistakes.
Q: Thoughts about the magazine pictorial?
A: I don’t take many pictorials, so I was nervous. However, many people in the industry, including photographers that I know, highly praise bnt (smiles). Since it’s a famous magazine, I was encouraged to go to the pictorial with confidence as the photos will turn out well no matter what. When I did it, I realized why bnt is famous. I like the concepts and the photos.
Q: You’re favorite concept?
A: The second concept. It’s the closest to my personality. Usually people would describe me as sexy or chic, but it’s actually a burden. Because I’m far from the image that many people expect of me. So, the second concept is the most fun and my favorite. It’s my first time to do this concept since debut, and it feels the most similar to myself.
Q: You’re name is pretty. Does it have a meaning?
A: My older brother created the name himself. My English name is Serena, and if you pronounce it fast, it sounds like Seol In Ah. It has it’s own meaning, and it’s pretty, so I chose it as my stage name without going to a naming center.
Q: How did you dream of becoming a celebrity?
A: Aside from dreaming of being a painter during my elementary days, I also dreamed of being a celebrity during my higher elementary grades. I had a vague dream of being on TV. I enjoyed watching dramas and movies, and I loved the rich emotions coming from the actors. I officially dreamed of becoming an actor in middle school.
Q: We heard you were a girl group trainee.
A: I auditioned at the agency to become an actor, but I was offered to become a girl group trainee. Nevertheless, I continued to dream of becoming an actor. The people around me said that if I become an idol, I can realize my acting dream faster, so I was able to endure my trainee days. Although my ultimate goal, was to become an actor.
Q: Did any of your fellow trainees debut?
A: Kara’s Heo Young Ji. We were training for the same group. Although she’s in a different group, I also trained with Do Hee.
Q: How did you become an actor while training as a girl group member?
A: I started training in my third year of middle school, but as I continued to work hard, I became a senior in high school, and was left alone in the practice room. Others debuted in different groups, others were kicked out of the company, and others left on their own. At that time, the agency asked me to choose between becoming a singer, or an actor. I wanted to choose acting, but then I wanted to go to college.
Q: We heard you were an acting student in Seoul Institute of the Arts. Was there any particular reason you wanted to go to college?
A: While I was a trainee, I regretted not focusing on my studies. So, before I chose to become a singer or an actor and debut in the entertainment industry, I wanted to go to college first. So I told my agency that I will be preparing, on my own, to enter the acting department, and for them to wait for me as I take a short break from training.
Q: Preparing for the acting entrance exam on your own? You could’ve hoped for the help of your agency or your parents.
A: I’ve been receiving the support of my parents since I was a trainee in middle school, and now that I want to go to college, I couldn’t ask for expensive academy expenses. I didn’t go to cram school, and I practiced on my own to take the entrance exam. Based on my experiences as a trainee, I honed my talents, and practiced acting. I looked up material on the Internet, and practiced by myself. In a way, I was being rash, but I think I was lucky enough to get into the acting department.
Q: You started acting through the JTBC drama, Strong Woman Do Bong Soon.
A: I was so nervous because it was my first project. I was more nervous because all the casts were senior actors: Shim Hye Jin, Lee Jae Myung, and even Park Bo Young. Still, it was a precious experience for me because I got to learn what dramas are like while acting with them.
Q: Any senior actors who gave you advice?
A: Thankfully, they all took care of me. Among them, Park Bo Young gave me advice on ‘nervousness.’ She eased my nerves by saying, she still gets nervous on set. I came to set because I wanted to act, but I regret that I couldn’t properly show my talents because I was nervous. She was also showed humility when she said, “How can I daringly teach someone?” I learned a lot from them.
Q: After that, you caught the public’s eye through the KBS Drama, School 2017. The atmosphere on set must’ve been great, considering that the cast is around your age.
A: It was really great. There’s no other drama where I can meet about 30 co-actors my age. I tend to be very nervous, but I was able to relax because I was working with same-age actors. I went to set, as if I was going to hang out with them. I couldn’t go to school well during my trainee days, so it was great because it felt like I was attending school.
Q: Which actor did you have the best chemistry on set?
A: It would be Jang Dong Yoon, who acted as my boyfriend. I had great chemistry with everyone, including Jang Dong Yoon.
Q: It seemed like they were precious relationships. Do you still keep in touch with them?
A: There are about 30 people in one class, and it’s not easy to get together. It’s difficult to meet up even with ten people. However, our group chatroom is still alive. Although, Gugudan’s Se Jeong is so busy that we talk once a month (laughs). Still, we continue to exchange messages on the group chat.
Q: You are a host of MBC’s Section TV Entertainment News, known to be a place beautiful stars go through. Is there any pressure?
A: I feel immense pressure. If I were only an MC, I could be ruining the program, but I’m also a reporter, so I’m comforting myself, that it may be a little helpful. I’m working hard with a grateful heart.
Q: How is your teamwork with your fellow host, Lee Sang Min?
A: Many of my cast, including Lee Sang Min, adored me so much. They would take care of me, and tell me I am doing a good job, so I’m doing well.
Q: You’re working as a reporter on Section TV Entertainment News, and conduct various interviews. Any stories about meeting many stars?
A: I meet a lot of veteran actors while reporting. I’m also an actor, but as a reporter, I get to meet top stars such as Yoo Ji Tae, Hyun Bin, Bae Seong Woo, and more. It really feels like I’m meeting celebrities. I get more nervous when meeting them. There’s a chance I’ll be able to work with them someday, so I’m really working hard as a reporter, thinking this is an opportunity to make acquaintances, instead of meeting new ones.
Q: Any characters (roles) you wanted to play?
A: There were a lot. Among the recent ones, I wanted to try a role like Oh Hae Young in the tVN drama, Another Miss Oh. I think I felt that way more because Seo Hyun Jin acted so well. Oh Hae Young felt lovely.
Q: Your role model?
A: I always mention this person: Kim Hye Soo. Everything about her is great: sexiness, experience, personality, strong acting style, intonation, and her way of talking. Especially the fact that she has her own color. She has a unique aura. I want to be that kind of actor.
Q: An actor you want to work with someday?
A: Actually, it changes every time (laughs). Nevertheless, I always mention Cho Jin Woong. To be honest, I think Cho Jin Woong. In addition, I really want to work with other actors.
Q: You’re at a good age to be dating. Are you seeing someone?
A: I really want to date. But, actually, I’m not interested in love at the moment. Acting is really fun. I think I should say that the process of filming is really fun. I’m slowly learning the fun of acting and filming.
Q: Your ideal type?
A: I don’t look much at the outer appearance. I don’t have much of an ideal type, but if I have to pick an actor, I’d say Cho Jin Woong. I like someone that looks reliable. Like a panda. I like someone who’s cute and reliable.
Q: Any celebrity you’re close with?
A: Chungha and Gugudan’s Sejeong. Chungha and I have been close since high school. We went to the same dance academy, and became close. She often gives me various advices because she is more active (in the industry). We often talk on the phone, and we also text each other.
Q: Coincidentally, you’re close friends are both from I.O.I. It must be fun when you three are together.
A: Unfortunately, the three of us haven’t gathered yet. Sejeong is very busy (laughs).
Q: You’re perfect body catches attention. How do you take care of your body?
A: Walking my dog. I’m not joking, I’m serious. I have a white Jindo dog, and he only defecates outside. Thanks to that, I exercise by walking an hour in the morning, at lunch, and in the evening. In terms of eating, I don’t gain weight easily. So I can say it’s a good thing because I eat a lot.
Q: You must’ve received some comments from netizens when you showed your face for the first time in dramas and variety shows. Do you pay attention to the malicious comments?
A: I read all the comments. When I read malicious comments, I get upset and angry, but I’m comforted by the encouraging comments. There are many malicious comments about my voice. Actually, it’s not an exaggeration to say that the hate comments are only about my voice.
Q: Your voice. It’s not something you can change. You must have felt upset.
A: I think it’s because my voice is very unique. However, I think my voice stuck out more because the public isn’t used to me yet. Since I can’t change my voice, I would be best for me to be more active, so that they’ll be familiar with my unique voice. Personally, I love my voice. But, I will try to correct some parts like my vocalization so that it will be easier to listen to.
Q: What’s your favorite part of your body or face?
A: I like my collarbone and my eyes. My face is slightly asymmetrical, and my double eyelids are shaped differently, so there’s a difference in both eyes, but I especially love my left eye. My mom doesn’t like it because it looks like I have drowsy eyes, but I like it because not a lot of actors have asymmetrical faces (laughs).
Q: Is there a celebrity you often hear that you resemble? I saw Park Se Young’s name as a related search word.
A: Oh, right. I often hear that I look like Park Se Young. When I was chubbier, I often heard that I looked like Yoon Seung Ah. I think I look like a lot of people. I heard I look like Sandara Park, and f(x)’s Luna and Amber. Personally, I like it when I resemble many people compared to a single specific person. I enjoy hearing it.
Q: Your next plans?
A: I’m currently in a drama meeting. On top of that, I think I’ll be on more variety shows. Thankfully, I’m getting invitations from variety shows. I don’t have any concrete plans yet, but if given an opportunity, I’ll work hard whether it’s a drama, a movie, or a variety show.
Q: What kind of actor do you want to be in the future?
A: I want to be an actor that leaves a strong impression. A strong impression that comes from the TV? (laughs). I want to be an actor that’s constantly seen. I think my first goal is to be recognized by everyone. Actually, when I’m on TV now, people might think, “Who’s that?” I personally think that such reactions can interrupt the flow when watching TV. To avoid interrupting the flow, I want to be an actor that doesn’t need to searched (on the Internet).
Q: Lastly, anything you want to say?
A: If you see Seol In Ah on TV in the future, I hope you will think, “There’s a hard working person,” and shower her with love and support.