"Dara, I don’t think you really fit the YG image. How about becoming an actress?"
To Sandara who had even given up her popularity in the Philippines to become a singer, these words came to her as a huge shock. Working with Yang Hyun Seok had seemed like a dream come true for Sandara as she had liked Seo Taiji & Boys and copied their dances and songs from a young age. Sandara got on her plane excited about fulfilling her dream as a singer in Korea, and that under her childhood hero too.
”I was really shocked at President Yang’s words. He was right though. In the Philippines I had a teenager image, and I lacked skill as well as being ignorant about black music. But even so I never even imagined that he’d tell me to become an actress instead. It felt like the hardships had come.”
Back in 2007 when Sandara signed an exclusive contract with YG Entertainment, the singers of YG who were active at the time included highly skilled artists like Se7en, Wheesung, Gummy and Lexy. There were also countless trainees in YG looking to follow their dreams as a singer. It caused some controversy when it was reported that YG was signing Sandara.
”I think people made the judgement that I didn’t suit YG after seeing my image in the Philippines on KBS' ‘Human Theatre’.”
Eventually, Sandara officially started off her activities as an actress. She appeared in the music video of Gummy’s ‘I’m Sorry’ with T.O.P, member of the group Big Bang. Sandara looked a little bashful as she recollected her memories from filming the music video.
”TOP is quite shy around strangers, and I’m not exactly social either so we hardly talked at the studio. My conversations with TOP consisted of only three phrases: ‘Hello. Goodbye. Good work.’ To tell the truth, we’re still awkward. (laughs)”
Her first proper step into the Korean entertainment industry was with the MBC drama ‘The Return of Iljimae’. Her role in ‘The Return of Iljimae’ was the ninja, Lee. Sandara showed an elegant charm and performed fierce action scenes.
”I filmed ‘The Return of Iljimae’ for about a week. The director and all the staff were all so nice to me. I swear they treated me better than they did to Iljimae (Jung Ilwoo) himself. (laughs) I tried really hard and it was a fun experience.”
Just as she began to enjoy being an actress, Sandara was hurt deeply and fell into a state of despair. She had been chosen for a drama, but while she was practising her lines she was suddenly dropped from the part.
”I was chosen as the lead for a masterpiece. So I’d been practising my lines and making preparations and such. But I was suddenly told that I was being dropped. It was a huge shock, I cried my eyes out.”
But Yang Hyun Seok gave Sandara a golden opportunity during her time of sorrow and despair.
Translation: sjay.x @ YGLadies.com