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Behind Closed Doors with Julie Shin



Movie Marker Magazine went behind closed doors with actress Julie Shin to chat about the inspiration behind her career choice and some of her greatest achievements to date.

Welcome to Movie Marker Julie! Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Gyu Ri Shin (but I go by Julie) and my identity roots itself in South Korea, Australia, Singapore and New York. I was born in South Korea, immigrated to Australia when I was four years old and secured citizenship there, moved back to South Korea for three years, immigrated to Singapore for about seven years, and then chose New York as my place to be. After getting accepted to New York University Tisch School of the Arts, I travelled alone to the United States to commit my life to storytelling. I think the funniest question I’d always receive from my peers was “where on earth are you from?” after hearing my accent, I intend to continue surprising people with my internationalism. I think it was the greatest privilege I received growing up; having such an expansive outlook on different cultures at such a young age helped me curate a dream of my own that matched my expectations to become someone significant. Now, my hopes to leave a legacy revolves around film and television, and it’s precisely the way I want to establish my global presence.

What got you into acting?

I remember watching writer/director/actress Greta Gerwig’s film “Lady Bird” back in high school with one of my best friends, Carissa. It was at an independent movie theatre in Singapore called The Projector where I witnessed Greta’s film for the first time. Something about Saoirse Ronan’s performance, the overarching storytelling centered around an ordinarily hurtful mother-daughter relationship struck me. I felt seen.

I believe that films have the ability to see people on an emotionally deeper scale, regardless of where or who they are. And in that moment when I saw Saoirse’s character confront her mother about being loved, my daughter cravings felt, in a way, validated by a character who had no idea that I existed. I think it was at that precise moment that I realized how powerful the film medium is. After witnessing a moment where I began to emotionally connect with a fictional character, I started getting curious about what it would be like if I were to also touch people’s hearts through impactful stories.

So, I auditioned for Tisch School of the Arts as a Drama student. I can still remember glimpses of my online performance (the audition was fully on Zoom because I was in Singapore back then) in front of a Tisch judging panel and I truly had no idea what I was doing. But I think it meant something that I got accepted for my first time ever auditioning with no prior acting experience. And since then, I’ve been working (mostly tirelessly) to constantly solidify my acting and my passion for genuine, impactful storytelling.

Tell us about the movie “The Eight Count”.

The movie is about a strong but weak, mature but still young, adult protagonist, Iseul, who must shoulder the duty of having to take care of not only herself, but also her younger brother, Jun. Iseul aspires to be a boxer and believes that she can make it as a pro one day. She is a fighter on and off the ring and values her pride above all everything in her life — except one thing: Jun. For him, she’s willing to do anything at all cost.

I play the lead character Iseul.

Are you anything like your character?

I think that I fell in love with this character because of her fighter spirit. Iseul, like me, faces challenges in her life/circumstances that she must overcome, and she does it so fiercely. But that doesn’t tarnish her ability to have a genuine heart for people she cares about. And I think Iseul’s well-rounded and human personality very much drew me into embracing her for this project because I could resonate with her ability to push herself and make the tough choices in the midst of attempting to fight for what it right.

How did you get involved?

This project was actually recommended to me by a good friend of mine who shared with me my director Max’s social media post about a casting notice! My friend has known Max since NYU and once she heard about the news, she relayed my information to him, and I ended up filming a self-tape for Max’s review. The moment I got the sides, I knew I had to work on this project. There was a scene where I had a crying cue and as soon as I finished shooting the tape, I realized how emotionally impactful the scene itself was for me.

How did you prepare for the role?

I actually had so much fun preparing for this role, especially with the stunt choreography rehearsals that my Director Max, Director of Photography Jason and supporting actor Leilany had together. It took a lot of coordinating fight combinations for the camera, rehearsing with a stunt coordinator, and simultaneously acting out the emotional stakes of each scene/choreo. In the meantime, I also was in Zoom rehearsal meetings with veteran actor Kim Byung-se who was in South Korea to go over scenes under the guidance of our director Max. It was such an honor to have worked with him because I grew up seeing Kim Byung-se on television when I used to be a kid in Australia and South Korea. I also carved out a lot of time on my own to memorize my lines, subtext, and curate a playlist of songs that I felt matched the tone and character of Iseul to be fully ready for shooting.

Where did you film the movie?

Oh, we did some travelling for this project. One day we were in an Airbnb in Jersey City, the next day we took a train to New Rochelle at a boxing gym called Knockout Boxing Gym. We also did an overnight shoot at the Church Street Boxing gym in Tribeca.

The film is just about to wrap postproduction and is going to do festival submission runs for the Spring season! I’m stoked about the distribution schedule once it gets picked up. I have a couple clips of the project on my website!

Can you spill any tea from the set?

I had a couple of scenes with my little brother Jun character on set. His name is Zeno. He truly was the celebrity of our production. On our last day of shooting, while Zeno and I were waiting for shots to be set, I remember playing with him on the boxing ring with pads on, teaching him a couple of combos. To see this little eight-year-old boy throw punches and play with him while his father watched from the side was truly a lot of fun. Once we wrapped Zeno’s portion, his father asked if I could take a picture with Zeno, and I think it felt so gratifying to have worked with a significantly younger actor who I trusted so much.

What’s coming up next for you?

More movies and projects to get dug into which is super exciting! Stay tuned!

How can people keep up with you online?

Instagram and my website is: Website

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