Kim Yun-jin spends nine months of the year in Hawaii shooting the popular U.S. drama series "Lost" and the remainder resting and working in Korea. She is the first Korean actress to have successfully launched a career in the U.S., though many others have tried. The fact that she moved to the U.S. as a child probably helped as there was no language barrier to overcome, but that alone would not have been enough.
"I strategically pretended to be terribly busy when I first tried to get acting jobs in the U.S.," she says. "I didn't want to seem desperate to be cast. I intentionally made appointments in Korea and told my U.S. agent that I'm busy and only available on certain dates. I wanted them to think of me as someone who is not readily available so they couldn't cancel meetings. That worked, and I was able to meet high-ranking influential people much quicker." Producers in the U.S. took note of what Kim did in Korea, and word of her reputation and popularity in Korea got to the U.S. That was crucial in getting her cast in "Lost," and is one reason why she visits Korea often despite her busy schedule and filmed Korean movies like "Seven Days" and "Harmony."
Kim's long run with "Lost" ends in April when the sixth and final season wraps up. "In a way it's good since I don't have to play the same part again, but it's also sad. I'm afraid, but I'm also excited about a new start," she says. Kim is a trailblazer for other Korean actors to go to Hollywood in recent years. "I can't say that other Korean actors like Lee Byung-hun and Jeon Ji-hyun could appear in Hollywood films because of my success," she says. "But maybe I helped familiarize American audiences with seeing Korean actors. The interest in Korean actors, though, has a lot to do with the Korean Wave. When casting Asian actors in the U.S., casting directors look not only at Asian actors in the U.S. but to actors in all Asian countries. Because the Asian market is huge, American producers tend to choose those who are popular in Asia. Thanks to the Korean Wave, many Korean actors make it on the candidates' list. The Korean Wave has influence not only in Asia but also in the U.S. I hope more Korean actors can establish a career in Hollywood."
But Kim does not believe she has a Hollywood career yet. "You can say that if you've appeared in a film, but I did a TV series, and I think I can get to be in more TV series. But it's movies that I really want to do. That is my next goal,” she says.
What about her personal life? "I've been thinking about getting married a lot for a long time. I think marriage is one of the biggest concerns for all women in modern society, not just me," she says. "You have a desire to build up your career and become famous, and marriage is very difficult because of the pressure that having babies puts on you. But most of all, I haven't met anyone I really love." Would nationality matter for a person with a global career when it comes to romance? "Of course I don't think national boundaries are a limit to romance, but the people I had serious relationships with were all Koreans. I think you can't overlook cultural differences."
Source: The Chosun Ilbo