'Inner beauty is real beauty'
South Korean actress Shin Mina avoids make-up off-camera and feels shy when people call her a goddess
Shin Mina may be known for her beauty, but the South Korean actress was fond of her image when she played an overweight lawyer in the popular Korean drama series Oh My Venus.
"When I saw myself (in the fat suit and make-up), I actually liked it," said Shin, 32, at a press conference yesterday afternoon at the W Singapore - Sentosa Cove.
She was in town for the launch of Korean jewellery brand Stonehenge's Masterpiece Collection at a party organised by fashion website styleXstyle.
"The staff and co-workers (on set) thought I was very cute," she said. "They even recommended that I put on some weight (in real life)."
Beginning her career as a model for youth magazine Kiki when she was 14, Shin began acting three years later and has had leading roles in TV dramas such as 2005's A Love To Kill, 2010's My Girlfriend Is A Nine-Tailed Fox and last year's Oh My Venus, which is currently available for free on viu.com and the Viu mobile application.
TRANSFORMATION: Actress Shin Mina said she liked her image as a chubby lawyer in Oh My Venus. PHOTO: VIU
Transforming Shin into her chubby character, who is determined to lose weight, cost at least 200 million won (S$234,200), according to reports.
She said: "The bodysuit didn't take long (to wear), but I had to put special make-up on my face and that took three hours."
This experience has made Shin cautious about taking on roles that require her to go through such extreme transformations in the future.
"It was very difficult to put on the make-up (for Oh My Venus). If I can, I'd avoid (doing it again)," Shin said.
But she added that she is open to playing unattractive characters if the make-up were less challenging to put on.
It comes as no surprise that Shin does not wear make-up when she does not need to appear on camera.
According to local actress-host Sharon Au, who was the emcee of the press conference and helms styleXstyle, Shin was barefaced when she was taken to eat chilli crab two days ago, with Au adding that Shin "can take spicy food very well".
"I am really shy when people call me a goddess," Shin said.
"As women, we'd all like to be beautiful on the outside. But I think inner beauty is the real beauty."
After 15 years in the business, Shin would like to take on roles that are different from her previous ones.
She said: "I've never played a bad person. If I had the chance, I'd like to try (it)."
HOT AND SPICY: Local actress-host Sharon Au (above, left) said Korean star Shin Mina (right) had a chilli crab meal and could "take spicy food very well". PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO
She also admitted to having a rascally personality that she has never revealed to fans.
"When I am with people that I am close to, I can be very playful," she said.
"If someone has an odd way of behaving, I like to imitate them and make fun of them."
But for now, her upcoming small-screen roles "aren't so different" from the characters she has already played.
While she did not reveal any intentions of settling down, Shin - who has been dating South Korean actor Kim Woo Bin, 26, since May last year - already knows what kind of wedding she would like.
She said: "Rather than having a big and elaborate (one), I'd like to have a small wedding where the people I am close to can get together, and we can be happy together."