Han Sun-hwa feels more relaxed after quitting K-pop girl group

Han Sun-hwa feels more relaxed after quitting K-pop girl group

Singer-turned-actress Han Sun-hwa / Courtesy of Cine Sopa

Han Sun-hwa has her first lead movie role in ‘Cinema Street’

By Kwak Yeon-soo

As a K-pop singer, Han Sun-hwa didn’t love every facet of her job. She lived with a high amount of anxiety and struggled with the lifestyle that came with being famous. She couldn’t even enjoy a cup of coffee with her friends because she felt guilty about taking time off from work.

After working ceaselessly for seven years ― from the time she shot to fame in girl group Secret in 2009, until she left the group to pursue acting in 2016 ― she was exhausted, both physically and mentally.

“As a member of the girl group, I was always so busy. I didn’t have any time for relationships. There was no time to step back and ask myself, ‘How do I actually feel?’ I was too hard on myself, believing that my skills would deteriorate if I were to take a break. My biggest fear, at that time, was falling behind my competitors,” she said during a recent Zoom interview with The Korea Times.

Luckily, the singer-turned-actress learned how to take steps to care herself after shifting her career. “I’ve learned a lot about balance,” she said.

The 31-year-old celebrity explained that the biggest difference between being a singer and an actor is that she now feels calm and more composed than she has felt in a long time.

“When I was working as a singer, everything was happening so fast. As an actor, I feel more relaxed. I try to take breaks between jobs, and I love to travel during my free time. As it’s difficult to take an overseas trips due to COVID-19, I am enjoy traveling to Jeju Island or Namhae in South Gyeongsang Province,” she said.

“I like to see new places and meet the local people there. When I visit lesser-known places, people don’t recognize me. I feel comfortable because they treat me just like everyone else.”

Han has appeared in about 15 TV dramas, including, “Rosy Lovers,” (2014) “School 2017,” (2017) “Save Me 2,” (2019) “Backstreet Rookie” (2020) and “Undercover,” (2021) but never had the chance to act in a feature film.

Han Sun-hwa feels more relaxed after quitting K-pop girl group

Han Sun-hwa in a scene from the film, “Cinema Street” / Courtesy of Cine Sopa

After 10 years of hard work since Han added acting to her career, she finally landed her first lead movie role in the romance drama, “Cinema Street,” which is about ex-lovers who meet again for work and become emotionally attached to one another.

Han portrays Sun-hwa, a location scout from Busan who works with a film’s pre-production team to find the most suitable place to shoot in the port city, while her acting partner, Lee Wan, plays the role of filmmaker Do-young, who comes to Busan to work with her.

“I used to play sad, conflicted characters in the past, but my character, Sun-hwa, in ‘Cinema Street’ is cheerful and lively,” she said.

Han confessed that she got comfortable on the set because she was able to speak in her hometown dialect. “The director and the film crew put so much effort into making this film. Because it’s a low budget film, we put our energies together and shot everything under a tight schedule,” she said.

“As an idol, I used to not be able to roam freely around the streets in the city, but this time, I was in charge of the traffic control while shooting. The younger people, especially teenagers and those in their early twenties, didn’t know I was a singer.”

Han described the similarities and differences between her character and herself in real life.

“What’s different from Sun-hwa is that, when I wanted to become a singer, I came to Seoul because it has good infrastructure and there’s a higher chance of succeeding in show business. Sun-hwa believes that she can do just fine in Busan. But Like Sun-hwa, I believed in myself that I could do this and I wasn’t going to stop until I made it,” she said.

On starring with Lee Wan, she said “He’s really calm and comfortable to be around. We both have a keen interest in golf, so we often chatted about that.”

Han Sun-hwa feels more relaxed after quitting K-pop girl group

Actors Lee Wan, left, and Han Sun-hwa in a scene from the film, “Cinema Street” / Courtesy of Cine Sopa

She recalled that the first audition she went in for was when she was 13, in Busan. “The small theater where I actually auditioned to become a singer appears in our film. In my memory, the stage seemed big, but when I visited the place again, I realized that it was a small venue. It made me realize how time really flies so fast,” she said.

Han said that she worked extremely hard to achieve her dreams, even harder than her character Sun-hwa in the film.

“I don’t remember exactly when and how I decided to go into the entertainment industry. I think it was all driven by a desire to be on TV,” she said.

“There were so many twists and turns. I went through a series of failed auditions. Then, after I joined one agency, it went out of business.”

Asked if she has any intention of reuniting with Secret’s members or releasing songs, Han said that she wants to concentrate on acting.

“I would very much like for the audience to see me as the character itself. I’m low on energy and my legs hurt. I don’t think I can dance like I used to onstage. My brother is also a singer (Seung-woo of K-pop boy band VICTON) and I’m worried that he might break a bone someday,” she sighed.

However, she expressed support for other girl group members who are heading to the small and big screens. “It’s really interesting to see my close colleagues now starring in dramas and films. I feel mixed emotions while watching them. I realize we’ve grown old and I also feel motivated to work harder,” she said.

“Cinema Street” hit theaters on Sept. 16.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related


Top nuke envoys of S. Korea, US, Japan to meet in Washington over NK diplomacy

Noh Kyu-duk, special representative for the Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, answers questions from reporters on Sept. 2, 2021 at Incheon International Airport. (Yonhap)The top nuclear envoys of South ... Read more »

Military reports 9 additional COVID-19 cases

(Yonhap)South Korea’s military reported nine additional COVID-19 cases Friday, bringing the total caseload among its personnel to 1,960, the defense ministry said. Six Army soldiers, including five trainees at boot ... Read more »

Why Bob From Halloween Kills Looks So Familiar

Jesse Grant/Getty Images The “Halloween” franchise is a massive one, filled with the high levels of death, carnage, and gore that one can always expect from a slasher series. However, observant ... Read more »

Craft beer market sees big growth potential in Korea

gettyimagesbank Beer has long been a key ingredient of mixed drinks in South Korea, but changing appetites and the extended coronavirus pandemic have turned consumers toward diverse and unique flavors ... Read more »

Things You Need To Know About The 2021 Dune Movie

Warner Bros. Frank Herbert’s “Dune” novel has spawned an enormous creative legacy over the decades. In addition to inspiring original pieces of sci-fi storytelling across a broad spectrum of mediums, ... Read more »

Government to raise gathering size limit to 8 under new distancing rules: PM

Social distancing signs are seen on tables at a lecture room at Seoul National University in Seoul, Oct. 13. Yonhap The government decided Friday to raise the private gathering size ... Read more »

The Character Everyone Forgets Octavia Spencer Played In Halloween II

DFree/Shutterstock Over the years, actor Octavia Spencer has established herself as one of Hollywood’s most gifted screen stars. She’s been nominated for three Oscars — winning one in 2012 for ... Read more »

Over 30 countries vow stronger ties to counter ransomware attacks in US-led meeting

(123rf)More than 30 countries, including South Korea, Japan and Britain, pledged to work together to combat the growing threat of ransomware attacks in a virtual conference hosted by the United ... Read more »

The Weird Way That The Simpsons Movie Was Actually Written

20th Century Fox Originally debuting in 1989, “The Simpsons” has spent the last 32 years or so dominating the world of entertainment as an icon of American culture. Its familiar ... Read more »

President Moon, first lady receive COVID-19 booster shots

President Moon Jae-in (L) receives a COVID-19 booster shot on Friday. (Yonhap)President Moon Jae-in and first lady Kim Jung-sook on Friday both received a COVID-19 booster shot, in line with ... Read more »

KU Medicine seeks social value with new campuses

An image of Korea University (KU) Medicine Koyoung Campus in Gangnam District, Seoul / Courtesy of KU Medicine By Bahk Eun-ji Korea University (KU) Medicine has supported the government’s quarantine ... Read more »

US awaits N. Korean response to US proposals for dialogue: State Dept.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price seen answering questions during a daily press briefing at the State Department in Washington on Thursday in this image captured from the department’s website. (State ... Read more »

US needs to reassure allies against N. Korean threats: US expert

Ivo Daalder, former US Ambassador to NATO, seen speaking during a webinar hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Thursday in this image captured from the website ... Read more »

Govt. to raise gathering size limit to 8 under new distancing rules: PM

Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum speaks at an interagency meeting on the government’s coronavirus response in Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap)The government decided Friday to raise the private gathering size limit to ... Read more »

Only 3 in 10 Koreans wash hands with soap after using toilet: survey

gettyimagesbank By Bahk Eun-ji Only three out of 10 Koreans wash their hands with soap for at least 30 seconds after using the toilet, a report showed, Thursday. Nearly 90 ... Read more »

Filmmaker Park Chan-wook's quest to seek hidden beauty through photography

“Face 16” (2013) by Park Chan-wook / Courtesy of the artist and Kukje Gallery By Park Han-sol BUSAN ― During an evening walk in Morocco in 2013, filmmaker Park Chan-wook ... Read more »

The Correct Order In Which To Watch The Underworld Movies

Sony Pictures Releasing When it was first released in 2003, not much was expected of the vampires vs. werewolves action flick “Underworld,” if only because it featured no major on-screen ... Read more »

Why Gilgamesh From Marvel's Eternals Looks So Familiar

Marvel Studios/Disney Marvel’s “Eternals” is the upcoming Phase Four movie from director Chloe Zhao that will introduce audiences to a corner of the Marvel universe that casual fans might not ... Read more »

What Morgan Freeman Really Thinks Happened After Shawshank Redemption's Ending

Tinseltown/Shutterstock Movie endings don’t get much better than 1994’s “The Shawshank Redemption.” We saw Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) will himself out of Shawshank, literally crawling on all fours through five hundred ... Read more »

Every Friday The 13th Movie Ending Explained

Paramount Pictures Any long-running franchise is going to have a few narrative dead ends and bits of discarded continuity, especially if it frequently changes hands between production teams. But as ... Read more »

The Transformation Of Mary Elizabeth Winstead From Childhood To Kate

Jeff Spicer/Getty Images Mary Elizabeth Winstead has embraced her new role as an action star in the Netflix film “Kate.” Directed by Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, the high-octane thriller follows an assassin ... Read more »

The Untold Truth Of V For Vendetta

Warner Bros. Pictures Alan Moore and David Lloyd began the “V For Vendetta” graphic novel in 1982. Published in short chapters in a British anthology, it features the dark, fascist ... Read more »

Jamie Lee Curtis Just Compared The Ending Of Halloween Kills To This Horror Classic

Tinseltown/Shutterstock Considering her showbiz lineage, actor Jamie Lee Curtis could easily be considered Hollywood royalty as the daughter of big-screen legends Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis. While married and unfortunately ... Read more »

The Disney Sidekick You Are Based On Your Zodiac Sign

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures The zodiac encompasses just about every human characteristic under the sun. Each of the twelve signs has its own unique set of strengths and weaknesses, ... Read more »

Movies Like Instant Family Dramedy Fans Need To See

Paramount Pictures/YouTube Often the best and most memorable films are the ones that make you laugh or cry, and it’s even better if they can make you do both. “Instant ... Read more »

The Supernatural Romantic Drama Hidden Gem You Need To Watch On Netflix

Netflix Although she’s since received acclaim for her work as a director, Mati Diop’s first film credit was as one of the stars of the underrated “35 Shots of Rum.” At ... Read more »

The Psychological Horror That Has Netflix Subscribers In Its Grip

Netflix Netflix continues to impress viewers with its growing selection of incredible foreign language films. With titles like “Roma,” “The Platform,” and “Out of My League,” the streaming giant continues to ... Read more »

Tom Holland's Remarks About Spider-Man: No Way Home Might Bring Fans To Tears

Tinseltown/Shutterstock “Spider-Man: No Way Home” is arguably one of the most highly anticipated movies of 2021, thanks to the constant rumors surrounding Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s potential return as ... Read more »

Things About Ahsoka Tano Only Clone Wars Fans Know

YouTube/Disney First introduced as a way to give Anakin Skywalker some responsibility for once, Ahsoka Tano evolved into a fan-favorite character over the course of the decade plus that it ... Read more »

Here's Who The Killers Were In Each Scream Movie

Dimension Films Ghostface became a horror icon from the moment he first showed up in 1996’s “Scream,” where he terrorizes Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) and the rest of the Woodsboro ... Read more »

Luck Release Date, Cast And Plot - What We Know So Far

Andrea Raffin/Shutterstock Are you ready for a new animated adventure you can watch with the kids?  Apple TV+ has unleashed scores of content over the last several years, including plenty ... Read more »

There Are Actually 14 Heroes That Hawkeye Has Never Met In The MCU

Marvel Studios/Disney In order for the two dozen or so films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) to hold together, writers need at least a few heroes and villains capable ... Read more »

This Is Who Robin Williams Wanted To Play In The Harry Potter Series

The late, great Robin Williams played many roles over his illustrious career. As he showed time and time again, he was equally at home with comedy and drama, and was showered ... Read more »

Korea Herald's Global Business Forum kicks off

A screenshot of the Global Business Fourm brochure (The Korea Herald)A 12-week forum organized by The Korea Herald, the nation’s largest English newspaper, kicked off Wednesday to offer insights into ... Read more »

S. Korean, U.S. diplomats to hold working-level talks on summit agreement

This illustrated image shows talks between South Korea and the United States. (Yonhap) South Korea and the US will hold working-level diplomatic talks this week in Hawaii to review progress ... Read more »

S. Korea aims to swiftly reopen talks with N. Korea: NSC

South Korea’s National Security Director Suh Hoon (L) poses for a photo with U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan during their meeting in Washington on Oct. 12, 2021, in this ... Read more »

New head of military intelligence body named

his photo released by the Ministry of National Defense on Oct. 14, 2021, shows Maj. Gen Lee Sang-chul. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap) Maj. Gen Lee Sang-chul, commander of the ... Read more »

KOCCA to hold online creative writing conference to explore K-content

“2021 The Story Concert,” organized by the Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA), will be held online on Oct. 21. Courtesy of KOCCA By Lee Gyu-lee The Korea Creative Content Agency ... Read more »

Jun Ji-hyun and Ju Ji-hoon offer glimpse of new mystery series 'Jirisan'

Actors Jun Ji-hyun, left, and Ju Ji-hoon pose for pictures during the online press conference of the new series, “Jirisan”, Wednesday. Courtesy of tvN By Lee Gyu-lee Actors Jun Ji-hyun ... Read more »

Yanolja to acquire 70 percent stake in Interpark's e-commerce businesses

This image provided by Yanolja shows its corporate logo. Korea Times file Yanolja, a leading South Korean travel platform operator, said Thursday that it signed an agreement to buy a ... Read more »