Hani recently participated in an interview with News1 to talk about her acting career, her thoughts on Brave Girls’ rise and comparisons to EXID, and more.
Brave Girls, whose 2017 song “Rollin’” went viral in 2021 due to a fan-edited video, has drawn frequent comparisons to EXID, who had a similar experience with “Up & Down” in 2014. Hani said, “Actually, Brave Girls are our seniors. They debuted in 2011 and we debuted in 2012. I went to a radio show and was told, ‘Give them advice as their seniors,’ but I clarified that we’re not their seniors.”
She went on, “They’ve been pursuing their dream for longer than we have. I’m so grateful to them. I think that in a time when there’s a lot of struggle and hardship and bad news, Brave Girls are like the icons of hope and give us strength. No matter what our life is like now, Brave Girls held on for so long and got to where they are today, so we can hold on too.”
Asked to compare her experience, she said, “I do think about it. At that time, it was like we had gotten a present from Santa Claus, but the next day someone might come and tell us, ‘Oh, it’s not yours,’ and take it away again. So we couldn’t open the present in case it was taken away… It felt like receiving a gift that hadn’t been meant for us.”
Hani said that she had not intended to change her career to actor on purpose. “I never said that I would go into acting, or make up my mind to be an actor,” she said. “If I had thought that doing this movie [‘Adults Don’t Know’] would turn me into an actor, I would have had a lot more thoughts and worries about it. At the time of the casting offer, I had no idea what direction my future would go. I didn’t know what to do. After my contract expired, I traveled and said to my mom, ‘If I want to be a poet, I’ll be a poet.’ I was in the right mindset to try something brave. I’d imagined acting before, but without data and experience, I couldn’t come out sand say something like, ‘I’ll be an actor.’ I didn’t even know if I would like it, let alone be good at it.”
Hani had promoted under the name “Hani” as EXID, but as an actor she uses her real name Ahn Hee Yeon. Asked which she prefers, she said, “These days, I introduce myself as, ‘I am Hani, or Ahn Hee Yeon.’ I thought about changing it, but it honestly doesn’t matter. Hani is a very precious name that has seven years’ worth of memories that I made with fans. When my agency puts out a press release, they’ll say Ahn Hee Yeon, but on the second press release, they might say Hani. I’m both Hani and Ahn Hee Yeon. They’re both alternate sides of me.”
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