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‘Aloners’ a timely movie about solitariness: actor Gong Seung-yeon

By Song Seung-hyun

Published : May 13, 2021 - 14:58

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A scene from the movie “Aloners” (Feel&Plan) A scene from the movie “Aloners” (Feel&Plan)

Actor Gong Seung-yeon says her new movie “Aloners,” directed by Hong Seung-eun, reflects the feelings of loneliness that we have all been experiencing since the COVID-19 spread started last year.

“We filmed this movie before COVID-19. Now we have all become used to keeping distance from each other and this movie is about how we can live well through this situation,” Gong said during a press conference held after a screening of the film at Lotte Cinema in Gwangjin-gu, Seoul on Tuesday.

In the new movie, Gong plays Jin-ah, an employee at a credit card customer service center, who tries to avoid any interaction with people. One day, she finds out that her next door neighbor, who tried making conversation with her several times in the past, has died alone at home.

Hong explained that she drew on her own experience when making the movie.

“I started living alone in my mid-20s when I got my first job. I was pretty comfortable living alone,” she said. “One day, I watched a documentary film about people dying alone. I was surprised to find myself crying while watching it.”

After watching the film, Hong started thinking about how people can be both individualistic and social.

“As seen through the trend of eating alone and drinking alone, we can see that people want to be able to do things on their own. But at the same time they want to post it on social media and be recognized by others,” Hong said.

To play Jin-ah, Gong said she did some research on people working at customer service centers.

“I found out that the turnover rate is high at those centers. So it was not difficult to talk to people who have experience,” Gong said. “I had to learn to talk on the phone in a high-pitched voice without any facial expression. My cheeks kept moving when I tried making a high-pitched voice. It was not easy.”

She added that since most of the scenes were filmed with just her, it was also a lonesome experience in a way.

During the press conference, Gong also talked about how special it was for her to win the best actor prize at the 22nd Jeonju International Film Festival for her role in what was her first feature film.

“I’ve done several interviews in the past and talked about how long I’ve worked as an actor. It always made me think whether I was good enough as an actor with that long a career. I had never won any acting prize. So, when my name was announced I couldn’t hold back my tears,” the actor said.

Gong debuted in 2012 with a small role in tvN drama “I Love Lee Taly.”

“Aloners” will hit local theaters on May 19.

By Song Seung-hyun (ssh@heraldcorp.com)