She is a strong built lady boxer that flings out sharp jabs, and at times a cute adorable girl. Lee Si Young is certainly an unusual comedy action queen in the present film industry.
Lee Si Young has been unexceptionally busy of late. She took up boxing because of her keen interest in it, and through it, she participated in national auditions. Even though she eventually came up short, she has now joined a professional boxing team, and is now officially a boxer and actress. But she still hasn’t forgotten that her main task at hand is acting, and her passion for it is definitely on par with that of boxing. Through her latest film ‘How to Use Guys with Secret Tips’, Lee Si Young hopes to bring lots of humour to moviegoers.
‘How to Use Guys with Secret Tips’ is a film that talks of a girl named Choi Bol Na (Lee Si Young) who is known to look sloppy and awful due to her work which lasts all day. Her life changes when she comes across a ‘Male Instruction Manual’ videotape and follows the instructions by Dr. Suwalski (Park Yeong Gyu). In an instant, she becomes a highly sought after girl by men, including top star Lee Seung Jae (Oh Jung Se).
At the press screening held on February 4th, moviegoers could see that the film utilized a totally different filming style from the usual traditional love comedies. But it still retained the traditional storyline, and fused it together with CG and some B-grade performances to create an all-new form of rom-com. The main cast comprising of Lee Si Young and Oh Jung Se, together with supporting cast members like Park Yeong Gyu, Lee Won Jong, Kim Jung Tae, and many others left many of the viewers in stitches with their antics in the film.
In an interview held at a coffee joint in Samchung-dong recently, Lee Si Young expressed, “I am really happy to see that everyone was laughing out loud and enjoyed the film,” showing her satisfaction at the good reviews it had gotten. “The film allowed me to learn lots of things. Comedies should not force laughter on people, but invoke them to get into the film and enjoy the ride. ‘How to Use Guys with Secret Tips’ is pretty corny overall, but it is also not downright corny in that sense, so we hope that people can find some B-grade humour in it.”
‘How to Use Guys with Secret Tips’ was actually buried for almost 7 years before it finally saw light, and this film also served as the debut film for director Lee Won Suk. Lee Si Young said, “I wondered what this really was when I first got the script. But after seeing the director, I developed the thought that I had to film this.” So what’s her first impression of Director Lee? She said, “My first impression of him was really strong, and during our conversation, I realized that he had no thoughts of filming it along the same lines of those traditional love comedies. The B-grade humour that he had in mind actually tallied with mine, and he was really good with scenes that invoked people to laugh out loud. I think this was something that only he can accomplish.”
Lee Si Young also showed great chemistry with her co-star Oh Jung Se, and this marks their second collaboration together after their 2011 film ‘Couples’. She said, “I am pretty close to Oh Jung Se outside of work, so we have great chemistry when it comes to working together. During our scenes, I am able to digest his reaction to me with ease, and it’s the same for him. Through working with him, I discovered that we are able to make each other shine even brighter together.”
So after working on the same wavelength for ‘How to Use Guys with Secret Tips’ which included several adlib scenes, which particular scene stood out for Lee Si Young? She expressed, “There was a scene where we both ended up dead drunk and had to kiss each other. This scene actually was just an imaginary scene of the characters and did not happen. So the actual situation was that Oh Jung Se was dead drunk and was about to kiss me, before I shook to get him off me. There was no script for this particular scene and we actually did an adlib for this. It was the same for the forced kiss scene in the lift. There was no definite script, and we just acted it out based on the situation at that point. The interesting thing is that all of my adlib scenes with Oh Jung Se made it to the final cut of the film. If we actually film the scenes with a direction and intent, it will probably not be as funny as what we intended for.”
Oh Jung Se received quite a number of slaps from Lee Si Young in the film, but he was still able to hold it in although it wouldn’t have felt good getting whacked by a professional female boxer. Lee Si Young revealed, “If I went easy on him, he will also find it good. He said he didn’t mind the impact that I wielded, and just told me to go all out, so I really went for it. He accepted it gracefully, and was really beaten rather pitifully. But it can only be Oh Jung Se for the lift scene. If it was someone else, I will be distracted and not be as forceful, and probably appear lacklustre in the scene.”
Lee Si Young appears as a sloppy girl in ‘How to Use Guys with Secret Tips’, and she did not hold back by saying she is also the same in real life. But a portion of netizens berated her of not befitting the image in the film, because how could a beautiful girl like her be sloppy. “I only knew that I said it wrongly after everyone told me. They were only complimenting on my looks when I said I took the wrong role. But this made me feel better, if everyone sees the film, they will realize that I didn’t say a word wrongly.”
Lee Si Young perfectly reprised her role as a sloppy girl in the film, and she often appears without any makeup for her role. “To do a good job at portraying Choi Bol Na, I purposely put on eye make-up, and then relied on make-up to maintain my pretty girl looks after my transformation. To cover my eyes, and hide my feelings while walking in the crowd, I would shrivel up while walking.” Director Lee Won Suk also asked the other cast members to don bright-colour clothes, while Lee Si Young sported outfits with dull and plain colours. Just like the book ‘Where’s Wally?’, viewers have to seek out the dull looking girl Choi Bol Na from the crowd in the film.
Although buried among the crowd initially, Choi Bol Na becomes a pretty girl and the center of attention after following intructions from a ‘Male Instruction Manual’ videotape. But there will still be some people who doesn’t acknowledge her existence, so Choi Bol Na would say, “Just say I did well, why is that so difficult to say?” Lee Si Young expressed, “When filming this scene, I had to listen to praises from people, and it was like getting a bath early in the morning. But the results weren’t that good, and it took over 20 takes. I felt that I would have found success if I had filmed this particular scene successfully. So there were some regrets.”
Lee Si Young is a particularly ambitious actress, and she can discover problems that viewers can’t see, and thus have some regrets over it. But nothing in the world is perfect, and Lee Si Young has definitely showed some growth through her new film. Let us wait to see how viewers will rate her performance in her new film ‘How to Use Guys with Secret Tips’.