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[Interview] "The Handmaiden" Kim Min-hee, "How can I explain love in just a single moment?"

2016/05/30 Source

Kim Min-hee from "The Handmaiden" shows that the aura of an actress decides the quality of a movie. The 'charming and beautiful' and 'like no other in heaven' Hideko brightened up the screens. The homosexual bed scene and level of exposure in the beginning were no match for Kim Min-hee. She's proven that acting can be beautiful.

Kim Min-hee debuted as a magazine model and appeared in commercials and dramas like "School 2" but she was known more for her taste in fashion than acting. She starred in writer Noh Hee-kyeong's "Goodbye Solo" 10 years ago and finally earned herself some credit. Then she continued to star in movies "Hellcats", "Actresses", "Helpless" and more. In "Helpless" Kim Min-hee put on the face of a woman about whom everything was a lie.

Kim Min-hee is currently on a roll and this time she's about to challenge herself with "The Handmaiden".

Kim Min-hee visited the 69th Cannes International Film Festival with "The Handmaiden". She mentioned that she looked forward to entering her 40s where comparison and competition didn't exist.

* Questions and answers with Kim Min-hee

Q: How was the Cannes? You had a long standing ovation.

Kim Min-hee: All film festivals are alike but the standing ovation was new to me. I was nervous. I was happy but not comfortable. I preferred the Red Carpet. Cannes was similar to Busan and I felt at home.

Q: Did director Park Chan-wook play a part in you deciding to be in the movie?

Of course, I had watched his movies before and always told myself I would love to work with him one day. I told him I'd do it 2~3 days after I got the offer. I always give quick answers. I heard it took a while for "The Handmaiden" with the casting and auditions".

Q: Your co-star is rookie actress Kim Tae-ri. As a senior you must've felt some responsibility.

She is a ready-made actress. I heard she met with the director before the actual making so there wasn't much for me to do. She's a bold one.

Q: What was the most difficult part of the making?

The bed scene as it was my first time and there wasn't an exact description. It helped to talk to the director. The staff were very considerate too. The director controlled the camera remotely.

Q: What's your favorite scene?

The public reading. I wanted to do it well because it was a scene where I had to mesmerize the gentlemen on my own. It was fun playing several roles too.

Q: Not only the public reading but your Japanese was outstanding.

After we were rounded up for the movie, all the actors and actresses were assigned Japanese teachers. Actually, it was more like studying the scenario. Only after learning how to read and write Hiragana, we were able to start with the script. Many of the Japanese reporters in Cannes complimented my Japanese. It was hard for me at first but it became fun.

Q: When do you think Hideko opened up to Sook-hee?

I think she would've thought, 'she's strange' from the beginning. You can't justify the start of a human's feelings to a moment. It's true in reality too. Feelings build up to become love in the end and I think that's what happened to Hideko.

Q: Is there anything interesting you found out about Park Chan-wook?

He makes jokes but he's not funny (laughs). I don't remember clearly but only those who worked with him for a long time understood him. They would tease him if we don't understand.

Q: Aren't you worried about getting intense roles after "The Handmaiden"?

I haven't thought of that. If that's so then that's my fate. I received a similar question during "Helpless" but after that I shot "Very Ordinary Couple".

Q: What would "The Handmaiden" mean in your filmography in the future?

I was 35 when I shot that movie. Everything is special to me and everything is my life. Nothing is more special.

Q: What made you realize the fun in acting?

KBS 2TV drama "Goodbye Solo" is what made me realize it. My quickest decision was "Helpless" and everyone was surprised. It was the best scenario I'd ever seen and it was precious just the way it was.

Q: During Cannes, director Hong Sang-soo and Isabelle Huppert shot something new. Was that an improvised idea after "The Handmaiden" was nominated?

I don't really know. I only knew that Isabelle Huppert was in the lead. She calls me 'darling' and it's really sweet.

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