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February 26, 2017

[Herald Interview] Ahn So-hee observes, listens and empathizes

K-pop sensation-turned-actress is a student of human behavior, quietly observant of people and their often erratic emotions

Soft-spoken Ahn So-hee seemed to put a great amount of thought into her answers before vocalizing them. 

One of her hobbies is simply to “observe people” as she herself isn’t “very outgoing or talkative,” Ahn said at an interview Wednesday at a cafe in Samcheong-dong, Seoul.

“People say that observing others, (and) seeing and feeling lots of things will help me even more in my future acting,” said the budding actress, who stars in the recent film “A Single Rider” alongside Lee Byung-hun and Gong Hyo-jin, who described Ahn as “surprisingly adult” in interviews. 

The singer-turned-actress is most familiar to K-pop fans as the rosy-cheeked youngest member of the disbanded group Wonder Girls. She skyrocketed to idol status in 2007 with the group’s first addictive smash-hit song “Tell Me,” but even during her K-pop activities, Ahn showed an interest in acting.

In 2008, she made her film debut with a role as a high school student intent on getting her boyfriend to kiss her in the sexy comedy “Hellcats.” Four years ago, Ahn announced her departure from Wonder Girls to pursue a full-time acting career.

Actress Ahn So-hee poses for a photo before an interview Wednesday at a cafe in Samcheong-dong, Seoul. (The Korea Herald/Park Hyun-koo)

Her ability to listen has translated into a capacity for empathy, she said. “When I read a script, I think, ‘Yes, that’s how some people might feel.’ I think it’s helped me understand and accept others.” 

Ahn remarked that “A Single Rider” zooms in on what may seem like the characters’ unconventional emotional reactions to life’s events. The lead, played by actor Lee, is a forlorn stockbroker who has lost his wealth and become disconnected from his family. But rather than rage and yell, the character watches from afar, silently tortured. 

“I could relate to that. I think I would be hesitant in the same situation,” said Ahn. “Some people need time to process events and gather their thoughts.”

Ahn is steadily compiling a filmography starting with roles she feels she can handle. Last year, she portrayed a harangued college baseball team manager in the internationally acclaimed zombie thriller “Train to Busan.” 

Actress Ahn So-hee poses for a photo before an interview Wednesday at a cafe in Samcheong-dong, Seoul. (The Korea Herald/Park Hyun-koo)

In “A Single Rider,” Ahn plays the young backpacker Ji-na who wanders around Australia alone on a working holiday. 

The role strongly reminded her of her stint in the US in 2009, when she toured the country with fellow Wonder Girls members to promote the retro pop track “Nobody,” which eventually became the first Korean song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. 

“I could relate to that struggle of trying so hard to do well. More than anything, I could relate to the loneliness of being alone in a foreign continent,” she said.

In an effort to communicate directly with her audience, Ahn recently started a social media account.

“I want to talk about my projects and the types of music and films I like,” she said. Ever careful, however, the actress is not yet ready to share the intimate details of her everyday life.

“For now, I’d like to share my tastes rather than my daily activities.”

“A Single Rider” opened in theaters Wednesday.

By Rumy Doo (doo@heraldcorp.com)

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SINGLE RIDER down to number 4 on Saturday & Sunday but still in the top 5 and already passing the 250K (262,391) admission. Fighting!

February 27, 2017

'Split' tops weekend box office with about 700,000 views

By Shim Sun-ah

SEOUL, Feb. 27 (Yonhap) -- U.S. psychological thriller "Split" packed moviegoers in at the local box office last weekend, opening in first place with a robust 698,900 in attendance, data showed Monday.

Helmed by director M. Night Shyamalan, the film follows a man with 23 different personalities who kidnaps three girls.

It was followed by three homegrown films on the chart.

The courtroom drama "New Trial," which topped the box office the previous weekend, is the runner-up with 439,586 in attendance. Its accumulated viewer count reached 1.89 million as of Sunday.

The movie, spearheaded by director Kim Tae-yoon, tells the story of Hyun-woo, the only witness to a taxi driver's murder, who spends 10 years in prison after he is falsely accused of the crime. He gains hope as he meets Joon-young, his advocate as well as a lawyer in debt.

The action flick "Fabricated City," directed by Park Kwang-hyun, took third place by selling 190,036 tickets. It stars actor Ji Chang-wook as Gwon-yu, a jobless gaming addict who endeavors to uncover the truth behind a rape-murder case after being framed as the perpetrator. Released on Feb. 9, the movie has drawn an audience of 2.4 million until Sunday.

Coming in fourth was "A Single Rider," a newcomer featuring top-billed actor Lee Byung-hun, which collected 155,521 views. In the film by rookie director Lee Jo-young, Lee plays a branch manager of a securities company who loses everything after a scandal surrounding an insolvent investment fund erupts. Feeling miserable and lonely, he flies to Australia to meet his family only to find out that his wife has developed an intimate relationship with another man. It is the second Korean-language film produced and presented by Warner Bros.

In fifth place was "Trolls," a U.S. 3D computer-animated film seen by 132,518 people.



Source: KoBiz // Image courtesy 와이즈 MoRan‏@wisecrack07

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Such a sad clip feat. Kang Jae Hoon seeing a message sent to him by his son, JinWoo. The movie is also co-produced by Lee Byung Hun via BH Entertainment alongside actor Ha Jung Woo and Perfect Storm.

Published on February 27, 2017 by 영화프로모션

SINGLE RIDER - Main Intro Video

Photo: sugarlily.co.kr


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February 27, 2017

[INTERVIEW] 'My lonely life in US helped me portray my character' 

By Kim Jae-heun The Korea Times


Idol singer-turned-actress Ahn Sohee poses at a cafe in Samcheongdong, Seoul, last Thursday, before the interview with the Korea Times. / Courtesy of Warner Brothers Korea

Idol singer-turned-actress Ahn Sohee has returned to the big screen with the new film "Single Rider" (2017) starring Lee Byung-hun and Kong Hyo-jin.

Critics and audiences praised her acting in this film, comparing it to her role as high school student Jin-hee in last year's box office hit "Train to Busan" (2016).

This time, she plays Ji-na, a young backpacker who has traveled to Australia on a working holiday and meets Jae-hoon (played by Lee) there.

Sohee explained it was easy for her to get into her solitary character as she experienced living abroad in the U.S. during her time with the K-pop band Wonder Girls to pursue her career there.

"Many people predicted it would be difficult for me to understand the character Ji-na, an ordinary teenage girl, while I lived an extraordinary life as an idol singer," Sohee said to The Korea Times. "But we share a commonness in that Ji-na spent two years in Australia alone and I left my family and friends to pursue my dream in the U.S. performing with a K-pop group.

"I was able to put myself in Ji-na's shoes ― how lonely she'd have felt living overseas. I felt pity and sadness for her."

Sohee debuted as a member of JYP Entertainment's popular K-pop girl group in 2007 and rose to stardom with the band's megahit "Tell Me" that year. However, the singer left the band in 2013 when her contract expired, and went on to pursue an acting career with BH Entertainment headed by her co-star Lee. Now, Sohee is signed with KeyEast Entertainment.

"Single Rider" is about fund manager Kang Jae-hoon who faces bankruptcy and travels to Australia to visit his wife Soo-jin (played by Kong) and son Jin-woo. However, he realizes his wife is in an intimate relationship with her neighbor Kris and is taken aback by overlapping misfortunes. Kang only watches his wife from a distance.

Q. It has been eight months since you last appeared on the screen in "Train to Busan." How do you feel?

A. It is still amazing when I watch the final version of the movie. We all worked hard in Australia, all actors and crew. And I am happy the movie came out well.

Q. Did you worry about your considerable part in the film?

A. I was thrilled to work with Lee and Kong and I was worried and nervous at the same time. I also spent much time talking with the director and went over my lines several times. One day, we would go over the whole script together and the next day we would focus on one scene and the next day we only talked about my character Ji-na.

Q. What advice did the director give you?

A. She told me the script begins from her own experience. The story is based on her life as an employee at an advertising agency and her thoughts after she resigned. She told me the story of Ji-na is about her friend too.

Q. Do you know how you were cast in this movie?

A. I read an interview of the director. She said she wrote the script about Ji-na thinking about me for the role of Sohee. I was surprised when I read it and thought I really have to do my best and take responsibility for my role.

Q. What was the hardest scene for you?

A. The scene where I ask for help from Jae-hoon on the beach was the most important one because my character's story begins there. I shot the scene on the second or third day and it took me several takes to receive an okay sign from the director. Lee does not appear at one sequence, but he stood behind the camera so I could get immersed better. He advised me to shout out for help with sincerity so that he would actually turn back to look at her.

Then, I really shouted to Lee for help with desperation and hoped that I passed this sequence.

Q. Your fans from Wonder Girls find that you appear awkward with different roles on the screen as you were much loved for your cute but chic image in the band.

A. I think people feel a separation between Sohee of Wonder Girls and Sohee as an actress as I am better known for the former. I do not want to erase that image but I want to show different sides of myself in many roles through the films. I can compare it to painting over different colors and that process has to be natural.

Q. You left Wonder Girls in 2013 and became a full-time actress. Did you have to leave the band?

A. I wanted to focus on one sector. I loved being on the stage and working in an act so I prioritized Wonder Girls when pursuing my singing career. But after we returned from the U.S. and had a year hiatus, I thought it was time to move on to focus on acting.

It was all planned from long ago. When I auditioned for JYP, I told the agency I wanted to dance, I want to sing and I want to act. After participating in my first commercial film "Hellcats," I knew I had to become an actress. But I was busy with Wonder Girls then, so when my contract with JYP expired, I left the group with the blessings of the other members.

Q. What other roles do you wish to portray in future films?

A. I want to play as many characters as possible. I still lack a career here. Maybe I want to play a role in an action film. 


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March 4, 2017

BH Entertainment has uploaded a lot of behind-the-scene SINGLE RIDER photos of Lee Byung Hun in Australia at their Naver page HERE. 

Please check out the wonderful production captures as well as two videos -- LBH playing the violin and poster filming with ChiChi. It's mentioned that it wasn't easy to get the permission to film at the Sydney Opera House but the production managed to get the permit to do so. Similarly, the Harbor Bridge is another restricted area especially for movie filming but SINGLE RIDER was able to be filmed there.

Just love this photo of Jae Hoon and Jin Woo. 721.gif


Hope there are more scenes of Appa & son in the movie, not just the one in the hospital.


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Published on February 20, 2017 by KBS World TV 

Interview with Lee Byunghun, Gong Hyojin, Ahn Sohee [Entertainment Weekly / 2017.02.20]

Looks like SINGLE RIDER will be available on the digital VOD service online IPTV from March 9 onwards for the home viewers. It was still at the Korean box office last night, at number 18 with 346,940 admission. Despite the low turnout at the box office, the movie have been highly praised by those who have seen it. 

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