Actress and model D.Purevsuren is one of the most successful women in Mongolia. She first captivated the audience and media through her stunning appearance in the music video for the song “Arvan Jiliin Dursamj” by Naim Dakhi Garig group in 1998, when she was 19 years old.
After succeeding as a model, D.Purevsuren ventured into acting and played leading roles in over 10 feature films and seven plays, as well as nearly 30 music videos. She has managed to maintain her status as a highly-sought model and actress to this date.
D.Purevsuren gave a frank interview about her career and upcoming film “Hoyor Ami”.
You recently played in “Hoyor Ami” (Two Lives) after a two-year break from public life. The film will premiere in March. Can you tell us about your character in this film?
The director warned me that I wouldn’t look that great in this film and that I wouldn’t have to pay much attention to my appearance. I didn’t even put on makeup while filming and I transformed into a character with a completely different personality than who I am. I tend to smile and laugh a lot, but the director kept scolding me to stop laugh, and reduce the liveliness and mischief in my eyes.
You played opposite State Academic Theater of Drama actor S.Bold-Erdene in this film. How was your first joint project with him?
That’s right. This is the first time I’ve worked with this amazing actor. I find working with new people very interesting. I learned tons of things from this experience.
I enjoyed conversing about the film with him. S.Bold-Erdene is a talented actor who has the ability to constantly take the lead and help his co-workers get into character. Director Tuka (B.Ganbold) sees things from a different angle compared to what most people see and expresses it in a unique way.
You haven’t been active in movies since “Khojliin Nuudel” (The Winning Move) in 2015. You seem to take on film projects once every two years. Is there a reason for this? You’re highly sought-after by film producers. How do you choose the films you take on?
I do get offers, but it’s pointless to accept each and every one of them. I prefer doing different kinds of films, especially those I haven’t done before, with a crew I’ve never worked with in the past. Besides, I’ve been acting for over 10 years, and frankly speaking, I’ve passed the age to be searching for roles and coaxing producers to let me play in a movie. I try to take on high-quality projects that are impactful. I’m my own manager since I’m a freelancer. I decide whether to accept an offer after reviewing the film script, production team, and actors.
You’re one of the first graduates of the musical drama class of the Mongolian State University of Arts and Culture. You joined Khuvisgal Production immediately after graduation along with your classmates. Why did you all quit at the same time?
I doubt that everyone would’ve continued to work with Khuvisgal Production to this day. It was clear that eventually, some of us would have to leave whether for personal reasons or due to decisions by the company. But we didn’t conspire to leave at the same time. We made our own decisions, pursued our own paths, and tried out different projects. For instance, I left Khuvisgal Production in 2007 to attend a language course in Singapore. When I returned a year later, I played in “Bi Er Khund Khairtai” play by Khuvisgal Production. I felt as if I’d become isolated from the world when I became a freelancer. Even so, I got used to it after a while.
You haven’t performed on stage since 2008. Do you ever feel like performing in a play sometimes?
Yes, I haven’t taken on plays after “Bi Er Khund Khairtai” and I sometimes feel like doing one. The stage demands more talent and skills from actors. It’s really fun to rehearse and perform in front of an audience.
Didn’t you say you were interested in doing an adventure or action films to break the chain of “cute and lovely” roles you usually got?
Yes, I think about this all the time. I want to try an adventure or action film so much. It’s like a dream, but I think it’ll come true one day.
…I felt as if I’d become isolated from the world when I became a freelancer. Even so, I got used to it after a while…
Are you interested in producing an independent film?
Not right now. Besides, I’ve never written a script before. I write poems when I feel like it.
Which character you’ve played to date is most similar to you?
My character in “Tsasan Okhin” film had a very similar personality to my own. I’m very frank and lively just like that character. Wow, time really flies. It’s already been eight years since I filmed “Tsasan Okhin”.
I’m very straightforward as well. I just have to speak my mind or I can’t calm down. I’m not the type of person to hold back my words so that I can say it at a more appropriate time. I guess some people aren’t good at handling straightforward comments and get upset. Still, I will stay true to myself.
Everyone makes mistakes. Have you ever felt embarrassed or ashamed while watching one of your works during your early career?
Of course. There were times when I just wanted to hide behind my seat while watching my own scenes at a cinema. I almost went under my seat during the premiere of “Booliin Geree” film due to embarrassment.
..Fashion is a career for young people. I want to leave this industry when I’m most successful and beautiful so that I can be remembered in that image. You could say that it’s my way of showing respect to the stage and runway…
You helped with the planning and designs for O Couture Fashion Show, organized by designer D.Otgonjargal. Everyone expected you to be the main model, yet you didn’t walk on the runway. You even declared to never walk on the runway again. Why did you make this decision?
D.Otgonjargal’s husband, E.Enkhbold, and I have been the “face” of Goyo Cashmere brand since 2009. As I’m very close with those two, I supported their work as a friend. But I wasn’t thrilled to walk on the runway.
The thing is that, in my opinion, fashion is a career for young people. I want to leave this industry when I’m most successful and beautiful so that I can be remembered in that image. You could say that it’s my way of showing respect to the stage and runway.
I’ve been working in the fashion industry since my debut as a model in 1998. I think I had my share of success. It’s my time to leave the industry.
Will you continue your career as a photoshoot model?
Yes. Photoshoots seem more interesting and it gives me more time to focus on acting.
Did you aspire to become a model or actress when you were little?
I started attending dance classes of the Mongolian Children’s Palace in fourth grade. Since then, I actively participated in numerous competitions.
Now you’re a mother of three. How much time do you make for your children?
I spend more time with them now than I used to in the past. I don’t chase after my career as much as I used to. I used to often go to the countryside for film shoots and skip meals, but now it’s different. I have a duty as a mother to focus on my family.
Is it challenging to be a working mom?
My oldest daughter is 14, my second daughter is five, and the youngest is nine months old. They’ve grown so much. Children grow up so fast. There’s nothing challenging. My older sister looks after my children when I’m busy with work. I can focus on my work because I know my family’s got my back.
Do you plan to have more children?
I want to have as many children as possible. It’s always better to have a bigger family, and kids are so adorable. The house feels much bigger with lots of children, but emptier when the kids aren’t around. I feel happiest with them around to make things livelier.
I love showering my children with hugs and kisses. They’ll stop being so adorable and become slightly distant when they grow up a bit. I hardly manage to land a kiss on my oldest even after begging. She becomes so shy and embarrassed when I ask for a peck on the cheek. That’s why, I want to adore and express my affection to them as much as possible while they still allow me.
Does your husband support your work?
Yes, a lot actually. That’s the reason I can continue to work and do what I enjoy.
When did you start teaching yoga?
I started doing yoga when my second child turned one. It’s been four years since. I couldn’t go to the gym because my daughters were still young, and fast-pace training isn’t my style. So I got some yoga exercise DVDs and started doing yoga at home. Then, I went to yoga classes at the Children’s Development and Women’s Center. I started teaching last September. More people are becoming interested in yoga nowadays.
How has yoga changed you?
Its benefits are endless. I recommend everyone, not only in Mongolia but around the world, who is depressed or need exercise to do yoga. Yoga is a vital part a healthy lifestyle for me. People die because of an unhealthy and rigid body, not of old age. Yoga is a meditation with movement.
I tried becoming a vegan for 21 days. It helped me calm my mind and lightened my body, but I can’t become a vegan or vegetarian. I feel like I can’t recover my strength without meat. People living in an extreme climate like Mongolians need to eat meat for essential protein and nutrition, or we’ll collapse. I prefer having a well-balanced diet to cutting meat and animal products from my diet.