CeCi: Did you like the stage concept for ‘I Got A Boy’?
Sooyoung: We threw our heels off for the first time in a while. I really liked it. It wasn’t difficult at all dancing. I was jealous, thinking, ‘So this is what it’s like for male singers’. I think all of us are going to say we don’t want to wear heels for our next album, too.
CeCi: Of the responses towards the new song, what things might Girls’ Generation and the general public agree and disagree on?
Sooyoung: Something we agreed on was that it’s more appealing watching the performance, too, rather than just listening to the song alone. There were a lot of opinions regarding the lyrics, but personally, I like lyrics with clear themes, so I have pride in our song. I hope we will release more lyrics that you have to listen to carefully in the future.
CeCi: You revealed your dream of emceeing a talk show through various interviews. Do you normally have a lot of interest in people?
Sooyoung: I have a lot of interest, and I also like conversations. For instance, if something bothers you, there’s a really big difference between talking about it right away and letting it pass or not. Because if you’re asked, ‘What I said earlier, did it bother you?’, you get the response, ‘It honestly did a bit, but thanks for saying it.’ I feel the power of a conversation at times like that, even more so when I’m with my members. To me, Girls’ Generation isn’t simply a place that gives me money or fame, but a place where I study life. Bumping into one another, and adjusting to things one at a time. There’s no better [subject of] study than this. I learn the most things in the small world of Girls’ Generation.
Sooyoung: Tiffany. She’s someone who lives a very dramatic life. When you experience many different things, you could become depressed or a realist, but she’s still like the heroine in a movie. It’s amazing. To the point where I get into challenging spirits.
CeCi: It’s been seven years since you debuted. What’s different between 18-year-old and 24-year-old Sooyoung?
Sooyoung: I’ve gained composure. I guess my goal has become distinct? I was just young at 18, so I had a combatant-like confidence. I was also really greedy. Now, all that greed can’t be fulfilled, and I know that it’s something I don’t really need. Even if I’m moving slowly, it’s come to the state where I can observe my surroundings.
CeCi: Is there anything that hasn’t changed since then and now?
Sooyoung: That I’m the youngest daughter in my family. My parents taught me strictly, saying, ‘No matter how famous you are, you’re the youngest daughter at home.’ I sometimes want to unload any annoyances or fuss I couldn’t outside and do whatever I want to without paying attention to other people, but they never let me. At first, I thought, ‘The only place I can enjoy my freedom is at home; they’re so harsh’, but it’s the thing I’m most grateful for to my mom and dad.
Sooyoung: There isn’t anything I want to change, because I didn’t have any bad feelings then either. Thinking back, it just seems pathetic. (CeCi: Were you the type who worries?) I was more like a bear. I think celebrities who can’t control their facial expressions are actually very pure people. A person who doesn’t know how to decorate himself or herself. I was an example of that person; however, thinking of the position of a celebrity, it still makes people looking at them uncomfortable, so I think of it as the wrong attitude. It would have been better if I was a little more [cunning] like a fox, but I like Sooyoung as Sooyoung who didn’t know anything.
CeCi: You’re in your mid-20s. When do you gain a realization of your age?
Sooyoung: Lately! I understand my mom’s delight, saying, ‘We were like that back then,’ while watching TV. I really miss the times that came on ‘Reply 1997′ (translator’s note: a South Korean television series). Really, to the point where I wanted to cry. Machines are getting smarter, but I think humans keep getting dumber. (CeCi: It’s okay to think like that after you turn 30.) I know! (laughs) I liked the analog generation of handwritten letters and calling beepers (translator’s note: pagers). I think I’ve really gotten old.
Sooyoung: Compared to before, it definitely feels like there’s more weight in my words. And so I’ve gained more responsibilities.
CeCi: What do you want to do the most when spring comes around?
Sooyoung: I want to go on a date riding bicycles. The bicycle part is easy, but the dating part is…. (laughs)
CeCi: ‘I Got A Boy’ promotions ended just after a month. How would you critique yourself?
Seohyun: It was the most fun promotion cycle thus far! I think it was a stage where we could enjoy it freely and express ourselves. We would look at each others’ eyes and change our gestures, the lyrics were really fun…. I think we became mischievous after taking off our heels.
CeCi: Starting with the first concert last weekend, you will be continuing on a Japan tour for two months in seven cities.
Seohyun: We had a fruitful start to the new year with a Korea comeback in January, and Japan tour in February. Because I always get a generous amount of energy at concerts, I’m looking forward to it even more. (CeCi: Fans in Korea must feel sad.) While official plans have not been made, I think we will be able to meet with Korean fans in concert, too!
CeCi: Acting, performing on stage, variety shows… what is your next step?
Seohyun: I want to try everything. Because life is still long. (laughs) I get dreams when I see my unnies’ attempts. If I can reach a good opportunity, I want to try acting or be in a musical.
CeCi: The Seohyun promoting as Girls’ Generation – TTS felt more powerful than the Seohyun in Girls’ Generation.
Seohyun: Because it was Girls’ Generation’s first unit promotions, it was really burdensome, but it was really fun! The more I got on stage, the greedier I got. What’s amazing is, I missed a stage with nine members while promoting as three, but once we started promoting as nine, I also missed promoting as three members. You can’t follow the energy from performances with nine members, and there is this carefree fun as three members.
Seohyun: No, it’s the same. I’m always the maknae. The nagging maknae.
CeCi: Not too long ago, you were exposed on a show that you’re a ‘maknae that drives your unnies crazy’.
Seohyun: We did that to be funny. Like how we always talk. (CeCi: Do you ‘diss’ each other like that?) Of course! It’s usually worse. (laughs)
CeCi: Oh yeah, I want to hear a firsthand explanation about the ‘Girls’ Generation get-together photo’ that was recently revealed. (translators note: the question is referring to this photo)
Seohyun: It’s a photo taken on Yuri unnie’s birthday at our dorm in Japan. We had a birthday party and get-together, but I was a little embarrassed because I have a facial pack on in the photo. Because in Japan we all live together in one house and don’t have individual activities, I think we get even closer. We always start by saying we’re going to talk for five minutes, but end up talking for five hours.
Seohyun: I haven’t been able to do anything because I’ve been so busy, but life has just become so enjoyable. For some reason, I keep getting more playful, and my jokes to my unnies have increased. Once, when I would get stressed from work, I would have thought of wanting to rest and be free, but I’ve grasped methods of feeling enjoyment while working these days. In the past, I felt enjoyment through efforts, but now it’s natural. I suddenly get surprised on my own thinking, ‘Oh, I find these things fun?’ My unnies tell me that they think I’ve changed often.
CeCi: You’re 23 years old. Do you feel like a real member of society now?
Seohyun: After debuting, I passed each year with the feeling of ‘I’m looking forward to next year even more.’ I had no sense of time. Even when going to music programs, there were about 14~15 sunbaes (translator’s note: seniors), but during this promotion cycle, there were only about 4~5. I get surprised at moments like this.
CeCi: Now, Girls’ Generation is one of those ‘14~15 [seniors]’ to your juniors.
Seohyun: Yeah. We are like the senior citizens amongst them, too…. (laughs)
Seohyun: I want to carry on the stubbornness that Seo Juhyun drives at. Oh, and many people think I’m too much like a textbook, but I’m not. There are very carefree sides to me, too. Those are the slightly different sides of Seohyun and Seo Juhyun. I wish Seohyun would turn into Seo Juhyun a bit more. I think that’s what’s happening [now].
CeCi: It’s March. What do you want to do when spring comes?
Seohyun: Drive. The drivers license I got at 21 is becoming one that’s been put away in a chest. (CeCi: It looks like you’ll need an open car?) Yeah. A truck is okay, too!
Sooyoung and Seohyun came out from the fitting room and with their hair flowing, stood in front of the camera. Regardless of the gender or age, all of the people in the studio let out a deep yet short “Wow!” The two pose. The staff who were watching the monitor repeatedly said, “That’s good,” and “You’re pretty,” unconsciously. If you’re curious about the set of the shoot for the March cover and cover story, you can just imagine that the scenes above replayed about 12 times from 10 AM to 3:30 PM. Whether with skirts or pants, whenever the girls appeared wearing a new outfit, unnie and uncle smiles spread on everyone’s faces. Even if you rubbed your eyes and looked again, unrealistic perfect body lines were in front of you, and with two people at that! Today’s Sooyoung and Seohyun were simply “perfect” models. On the day of the shoot, we waited a long time in order to interview the girls when the camera flash wasn’t bursting. It was after they stayed up all night, so it was a difficult time. However, thinking about it now, that time doesn’t really feel wasted. Seohyun, who would not stop smiling, said that each day is so fun lately, and Sooyoung, who focused on each and every question, slowly told her story. It’s because, even with not-so-long conversations, we were able to confirm that they are now both “charming” adults who know how to look into their own changes. It’s a fact we did not know before meeting them.