Korean stars in new Jackie Chan movieBeijing ― South Korean actress Kim Hee-sun appeared at the Great Hall of the People here in Beijing last Tuesday with Hong Kong action star Jackie Chan to attend a screening of their latest martial arts blockbuster, “The Myth.”
Directed by Stanley Tong, the $20 million production features Jackie Chan playing two roles: First as an Indiana Jones type archeologist in the modern era and later playing an army general back in the third century B.C. during China’s Qing Dynasty.
Kim Hee-sun is not the only female lead in the movie - the Bollywood actress Mallika Sherawat plays another of Mr. Chan’s love interests - but Ms. Kim plays the Korean princess “Oksu” who waits for the army general to return to her.
“I knew that there would be a screening of our movie, but I thought it would be held in a small theater, not some place grand like this,” said the 27-year-old Korean actress after she walked across the red carpet toward the front of the conference room. She was arm-in-arm with Jackie Chan as she walked to her seat at the Great Hall of the People.
Ms. Kim said she was experiencing the best of the Korean pop wave, or hanryu, in other Asian countries. At an earlier press conference at the China World Hotel, about 300 reporters showed up to take her photo.
“I was impressed that Ms. Kim was very professional even when we had some tough filming,” said Mr. Chan. “I would give her a 90 out of 100 if I were to grade her for her acting.”
He mentioned a scene where she had to stay inside a freezer container to film an ice cave scene. It was 25 degrees below centigrade in the container but she did not complain at all, he said. There was another incident when she almost dropped 17 meters to the ground when a rope holding her snapped. Luckily, she did not fall. That scared the film crew quite a bit, but Ms. Kim simply stood up and shrugged it off. Then she asked if she could redo the scene.
“Chinese people tend to view Korean women as having headstrong personalities, particularly after the Korean film, ‘My Sassy Girl’ was released in China,” remarked Li Hai Pian, a writer for Style Weekly, a Chinese pop culture magazine. The movie was about a timid young man who falls in love with a young girl with a spunky attitude. “But Ms. Kim is very beautiful and she appears docile and gentle. That really attracts the Chinese audience.”
Ms. Kim said she hopes to develop into an actress with a different image rather than maintaing the soft feminine type.
“But if I suddenly make a shift in acting, it could be a bit awkward,” she said.
The film will be showing in 2,500 cinemas across Hong Kong, Singapore, and other Southeast Asian countries. In Korea, the film will be released on Oct. 14.
by Joo Jung-wan