Former Kara member Kang Ji Young does not just want to be an actress in k-dramas and k-movies. The 21-year-old singer-actress currently appears in a Japanese film and now her sights are set on Hollywood.
At 21 many entertainers are just making their debut but Kang Ji Young debuted with Kara at the age of 14. At 20, after her contract with DSP Media expired, she decided to focus on acting. She traveled to London to brush up on her acting and English skills, then signed with the Sweet Power agency to work in Japan.
Working there under the name Jiyoung, she appeared in dramas and films. Her most recent drama is “Jingoku Sensei Nube” and her most recent film is “Assassination Classroom.” The live action film is based on a Japanese manga written by Yusei Matsui. In the story students not only study assassination in the classroom but are offered a reward to kill their teacher. The students try to kill their powerful alien octopus teacher, who has already destroyed the moon and wants to destroy the earth. While they know he is a bad guy, it’s not easy, as he is the best teacher they ever had. Kang, wearing a blond wig, plays assassin Irina Jelavic.
The film was released in March, opening at the number one spot in the Japanese box office.
During a press conference for the film, Kang Ji Young spoke about her time in Japan.
“I was active in Japan for about a year, and it really wasn’t easy. It was actually really hard. It wasn’t simply something you can do by speaking a little bit of Japanese. I thought, ‘This isn’t something that just anyone can do.'”
But she does value the experience.
“I learned a lot over the last one year. I studied abroad in London, and I grew a lot through the experience. I was lonely living alone in Japan, but my family, friends, and fans cheered me on, so although it was lonely and difficult, it was a year in which I was able to grow.”
In an interview with the Japanese media outlet Oricon Style, she said that although the year went by quickly she remembers every moment. And it won’t be her last international acting experience.
“I’m also studying to become a Hollywood actress,” Kang told Oricon Style. “I had a chance to go to the Sundance Festival last year. I hope one of my films will play there someday.”
“Assassination Classroom opens in Korea on August 27.