Actress Cho Yeo Jeong
Drawing the incomplete self-portrait
In the first question of the interview, she was asked how she would express her life, in which no two days were exactly the same, on a piece of canvas because I was also curious to see what it would be like.
It was neither a precise depiction of an object based on careful examination, nor a landscape painting filled with simple yet beautiful watercolor paints. When a passionate actress expresses her sentimentality and energy on a canvas, she says she is drawing a ‘self-portrait’ that is yet to be completed. At the age of 17, she debuted as a model, posing for hundreds of magazine pages, and then played many major and minor movie and TV roles. Her image has also shown in many advertisements on billboards. As she plays different roles every day, she has been filling her face with various colors and touches. To Yeo Jeong Jo, the face is not the standard of beauty, but it is the panorama of the dramatic ups and downs in life.
“I feel like I have kept drawing on my face to look how I look today. It is my face as an actress, but it is also my face as Yeo Jeong Jo. I think I can never hide my real face, even when I play a role. Since my face tells me exactly how I have lived my life, I strongly believe that I have to be responsible for my face and my age.”
She has a perfectly beautiful face to go with her pretty eyes, nose, and lips. Someone would envy to have her face more than anything in the world, but sometimes her beauty became a wall that stood in her way, and sometimes caused ironic prejudices from others. Sometimes she hesitated flaunting her younger-looking appearance because it might distract other people from recognizing her efforts and abilities, but she has since become much more laid-back and much more beautiful after breaking the barriers others had set. Well, twice the number of people are telling her how much more beautiful she is today.
“I feel very good when people tell me I am beautiful. Because my face hasn’t changed, they are clearly not talking about my eyes, nose, or lips. It means that I was an average-looking actress back then, but I look fine for some reason now.”
She created her own value not by pampering herself to achieve superficial beauty, but by keeping promises to herself to avoid being lazy.
To look fine sounded too ordinary for an actress, but she pleasantly explained what she meant.
“When you attract attention because you are pretty, it’s just a feeling. The pleasant feeling is expressed as looking at someone who is pretty. In that respect, to look fine is not ordinary at all. It is one of the best compliments, at least for me. More people are looking at my acting favorably because of how good they feel toward me.”
She spared some time for ballet practice a few hours before posing for Sulwhasoo Magazine. Pilates and Tanz Play, which she began before turning to ballet, have also made her stunningly beautiful. She created her own value not by pampering herself to achieve superficial beauty, but by keeping promises to herself to avoid being lazy. Her value also connects with Sulwhasoo’s pursuit of true beauty from deep within. Her movie, <The Target>, was on TV, and although she tried to be aloof about it, she watched it till the end and harshly reprimanded herself. It was just three years ago, but she blushed because of her mediocre performance.
“The contemplation for better acting is like a ball of yarn you can’t unroll. When you ponder and resolve one problem, you confront another, and so on. You feel that you are moving forward little by little in the repeated pondering, but you still have a long way to go. I would be contemplating this even when my hair is all gray.”
She is still pursuing her ambition to be a ‘top actress,’ but her perspective of being on top has changed. She now believes that she can be on top not because of her popularity and trophies, but when she is satisfied with her own performance. Acting is often described as a ceaseless fight with oneself. As you continue your fight with yourself, you meet many valuable people who observe you, who point out your mistakes, and who contemplate your directions for the future. Nothing is more important than defending and loving your sheer passion for acting and the valuable people around you while living an independent and spontaneous life. I couldn’t wait to see her next performance after she narrated how busy she was lately because of the many things she has to ponder and contemplate. Still, the picture of contentment on her face and her bright eyes seemed to be signs that a masterpiece is on the way.