Viet Nam News
Kaity Nguyễn earned her big break in the film Em Chưa 18 (Jailbait), which raked in VNĐ13 billion (US$570,000) in its first three days, making it the highest revenue-earner in early 2017. The movie also won her the Best Actress award at the 20th National Film Festival. After nearly two years, Kaity returns in her second motion picture Hồn Papa, Da Con Gái (Daddy Issues).
Turning 19 in April, the young actress is one of the most promising prospects for Viet Nam’s film industry. An Thư interviews Nguyễn about her latest role.
Many people thought you would take advantage of the success of Jailbait, but they have to wait nearly two years to see you in Daddy Issues. Why did you wait so long?
I took a long break because I wanted to make something special. The first success put a lot of pressure on me, so I set a higher target for myself. When I returned, I could only be better and couldn’t go back. I received many scripts but I turned them down because I didn’t want to disappoint my audience and the crew. I spent my time off studying.
Why did you feel so much pressure at a young age?
I think that every actor feels pressure when they receive a new script. I think I feel pressure because I worry I won’t do well. During my break I thought a lot about acting and I learned from people like director Charlie Nguyễn. I think there are many ways to understand a script. If I understand the script I will be able to act well.
What did you learn from your role in Jailbait?
I learned many things, especially patience and trying to overcome my limitations. I never had to work so hard before this film. Some days I had to work more than 20 hours non-stop. One day, I had a fever and was exhausted after filming all day under the hot sun. There were times when I was so tired and stressed, I sat down and cried.
With encouragement from the crew, I regained my spirit and motivation to complete the role.
Could you tell us why you chose Daddy Issues? How did the script impress you?
The story resonated with me. The movie is about family relationships. My parents are divorced and I live with my dad. I understood the love of a father for his daughter in the movie. I felt a connection with the role because we are older than we seem. And sometimes we are more assertive than people would believe.
The movie was a challenge that I wanted to conquer. This is the second time I have worked with director (Charlie) Nguyễn and his crew. I think I’m lucky because I had the chance to work with talented people in the first movie. All members of the crew are older than me. They have much more experience than me. I was lucky to work with big names in the Vietnamese movie industry like Hồng Vân, Thành Lộc and Thái Hòa.
Audiences liked your acting but many of them said that the teen years you portray are more western. What do you think?
The movie is made by Japanese director Ken Ochiai. However, cinema has no borders. The most important thing is that what the movie can offer viewers. I spent 11 weeks preparing for the shoot and six weeks filming.
I don’t expect Daddy Issues will be a blockbuster like Jailbait.
Director Nguyễn was very complimentary of your work and said you could go international. Will you continue to work in film?
Yes, of course. I will stick with cinema for a long time. I want to continue to prove my ability, want to work and try my best to achieve success. I don’t want people to think my success is due to luck. Moreover, I wanted to be an actress all my life, and I am still happy with the unexpected successes. — VNS