Two leading South Korean stars, Song Seung-heon and Kim Tae-hee, came to Viet Nam last week to introduce Vietnamese audiences to their latest film and raise money for charity. They talk with Minh Thu
Inner Sanctum: This is the first time you've come to Viet Nam to meet your fans. How did you feel and what did you do to prepare for the trip?
Song Seung-heon: Before coming to Viet Nam, I recorded and uploaded a video on the internet in which I salute the Vietnamese people, talk about the trip and the anticipation of my welcome.
During the flight to Ha Noi, I read some magazines that introduced some of the country's beautiful landscapes and I got excited.
Kim and I took advantage of the travel time to the hotel to learn some Vietnamese phrases, such as xin chao (hello), cam on (thank you) and toi yeu cac ban (I love you) from our translators.
Kim Tae-hee: I read many things about Southeast Asian countries, including Viet Nam but have never had the opportunity to visit these countries. It goes without saying how eager I was before the trip.
I felt a little bit nervous and wondered whether Vietnamese people knew me or not. Do they watch my films and enjoy them? Would they welcome me?
When I arrived at Noi Bai International Airport and was warmly received by fans, I felt extremely happy.
Inner Sanctum: Would you say something about the unforgettable moments of acting in your latest TV series, My Princess?
Song Seung-heon: We filmed when the weather was coldest in South Korea, so we had quite a few difficulties.
Kim and I had a kiss scene on the stairs. This was the first time we worked together, so it was not easy. We had to shoot this scene many times until the director approved. The romantic scene ended up receiving much support from the audience.
Inner Sanctum: What do you think about each other in My Princess?
Song Seung-heon: Kim is one of the most beautiful actresses in South Korea. All actors adore her natural and innocent beauty. We talk to each other often, so we'll have no regrets if this is our only chance to work together. Working with her is my honour.
Before, I thought she must be high and mighty. But actually, she's friendly and responsible at work. Although she's younger than me, I learned many things from her while we made My Princess.
Kim Tae-hee: Lee Seol, my role in the film, is a sprightly, innocent and joyful girl, who's quite different from previous roles I've played. I faced some difficulties and Song helped me so much.
In My Princess, Lee first has a secret with her professor whom she respects and adores. Then she meets Park Hae-young, Song's character. Park takes care of her and always makes her smile. In my real life, I would choose a man like Park.
Inner Sanctum: Every year in South Korea there are many young talents becoming new stars and attracting a number of fans. Does this cause pressure for you?
Song Seung-heon: South Korean cinematography isn't just well-known in my country, but also in the world. If there are many new stars, it's a good sign for our film industry's development. I'm happy for that. There's no pressure for me.
Kim Tae-hee: Young actresses like me seem to have more advantages. But the fact that South Korean films are loved everywhere means that actresses at my age still have many things to do.
On the other hand, I think I can better now than I did before. Getting older means collecting more experience and knowledge.
Inner Sanctum: Many celebrities prefer living single lives to getting married, as they want to focus on their career. What do you think about marriage?
Song Seung-heon: Like other men, I want to have a happy family. I'm 35 and still single. Sometimes I feel jealous when I see other married actors.
Being a famous actor is my luck, not my goal in my life. My goal is to be a good father and husband. I don't think my fans would leave me if I got married. They would feel happy for me instead.
Kim Tae-hee: I don't know how I would change if I was to get married. My friends who are married still have time to hang out with their single friends. Life may change when I have children, I think.
Inner Sanctum: What do you think about Vietnamese cinematography?
Song Seung-heon: I learned about Vietnamese cinematography 10 years ago and love the artistic scenes in director Tran Anh Hung's films, such as Mui Du Du Xanh (The Scent of Green Papaya) and Xich Lo (Pedicab).
The Vietnamese film industry is developing steadily and the filmmakers are active and creative.
Kim Tae-hee: Many co-operation projects between Viet Nam and South Korea have been arranged. If I have a chance, I would be happy to act in a Vietnamese films and join one of these projects.
Inner Sanctum: What's your impression of your trip to Viet Nam?
Song Seung-heon: I regret that I can't come back to Viet Nam sooner. Kim and I auctioned a Teddy Bear and a pair of shoes used in My Princess to raise funds for poor Vietnamese children. I also visited HCM City to grant scholarship to needy students.
While here, I visited several museums in the city to learn about Vietnamese history. The weather is wonderful and I loved the trip.
We took full advantage of this occasion to introduce Vietnamese audiences to My Princess and South Korean culture as well. When I return to my country, I will also introduce this country to my people.
In South Korea, there are many pho (noodle soup) and Vietnamese restaurants. Now, I have had a chance to eat these dishes in Viet Nam. It's totally different.
The next time I come to Viet Nam on a business trip, I will save time to have another one, an excursion for myself.
Kim Tae-hee: I ate pho and nem (fried meat and vegetable roll) for the four days I was in Viet Nam because they are so delicious.
Next time, I want to visit Ha Long Bay and Hue Royal Citadel. — VNS