While former Lovelyz‘s Mijoo is known as a charismatic K-Pop icon today, she recently revealed her agency once restricted her dynamic personality. On a candid episode of Showterview with Sunmi, Mijoo opened up about her past under Woollim Entertainment.
Mijoo recently made her solo debut with “Movie Star,” over eight years since she debuted as a member of Lovelyz. Fans praised the release for showing off Mijoo’s many charms and talents, from her glamour to her acting skills to her vocals.
Unfortunately, before she joined her new agency, Antenna, it seems Mijoo’s charms were purposely hidden away. Chatting with Sunmi on Showterview, Mijoo explained that her natural showiness was curtailed under Woollim Entertainment — with staff even stifling the energy she put into her performances.
While I was practicing, one of the directors said, ‘Mijoo, lessen your moves.’ ‘Mijoo, do less!’ they kept telling me. I wanted to do more, but they didn’t let me.
As the conversation unfolded, Mijoo revealed that the restrictions went even further. After some probing from Sunmi, the newly debuted soloist confirmed that her previous agency even restricted her from speaking when she debuted to reinforce her icy beauty.
Shockingly, seasoned artist Sunmi revealed JYP Entertainment told her the same thing when she made her debut with Wonder Girls, making them both seem unapproachable despite their bright personalities.
We’re not the type to be shy or arrogant.
The next rule on the list? No laughing. “I like laughing out loud but they didn’t let me laugh,” explained Mijoo, adding, “Even worse, I shouldn’t show my golden teeth.” Back then, the Lovelyz star was only allowed to smile with a glimmer of her smile showing, making her expressions on stage uncomfortably stiff.
I couldn’t open my mouth bigger than this, so my cheeks would hurt after performing.
While Mijoo has always shined in fans’ eyes, she was battling restrictions that were in complete opposition to the free-spirited star she’s known to be now. Once again, Sunmi had her own experience to share, explaining that her manager once told her to change her cheeky stage expressions.
I debuted with ‘Irony’, so I wanted to smirk on the stage. But afterward, my manager called me and said, ‘Just smile. Don’t make such an expression.’
Now, since leaving Woollim Entertainment and making her mark as a solo artist with Antenna, Mijoo is determined to let her light shine brighter than ever. Given her difficulties in the past, it’s no surprise that her solo debut means so much to her. At her press showcase for “Movie Star,” Mijoo burst into tears reminiscing about her long journey to freedom.
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