“Don’t keep your head in the clouds – it doesn’t mean that you’re more special than everyone else just because you’re a celebrity – it’s just your job. Always stay grounded because it doesn’t help in any way if you tell yourself you’re special or different.”
Wise words indeed from veteran actress Kim Hee Ae when asked for a piece of advice she would give to rookie celebrities out there. She was in town to celebrate the launch of SK-II’s Change Destiny Museum at Paragon alongside MediaCorp artistes Desmond Tan and Aloysius Pang.
The 47-year-old sat down for a cozy interview at the Madarin Orchard prior to the launch, sharing insights on her life and career. She has been an actress since 1983 – though to her, the years have passed in the blink of an eye.
“I’ve never imagined that I would be actively involved in acting until this age but even in 10 or 20 years, I can see myself pursuing different projects and roles as an actress. To me, what makes me happiest is to be able to act out different roles and I’d like to work until I can’t do so any more,” she shared.
While she has admitted that her lines have begun to take more and more time to memorize as the years go by, Kim Hee Ae explained that she simply puts in more time and effort into preparing for her works, a career that she clearly is passionate for.
Having put the brakes on her career after the 1999 drama You’re One-of-a-kind to build her family, Kim Hee Ae laughingly admitted that her two teenage sons are currently a handful.
“I don’t really give advice to my sons because at that age (15 and 16) they need to do things on their own. Back when they were babies, I showered them with lots of love and took great care of them but now they’re more or less grown up so I try to give them their own space and I don’t tell myself that I love them so much as their mom because that might turn into obsession,” she quipped.
On the prospect of her sons following her footsteps and entering the entertainment industry, she admitted, “I can’t say that I’ll give them my support – they’re on their own if they do (give showbiz a shot) but I wouldn’t say no to it and they’re free to do so if they want to.”
Rounding up the list of things she would advise her hoobaes (celebs with less experience), she gave more words of wisdom that rings true to those even outside the Korean entertainment industry.
“Don’t be afraid to get as much experience and exposure as much as possible; the Korean entertainment industry has grown a lot (…) but don’t try to restrain yourself and try to put yourself out there as much as you can and get experience in all the different fields of work that you can.”