Bae Doo Na Thought about North Korea’s ‘Great Leader’
Bae Doo Na, who took on the role of Lee Bun Hui of the North Korean female table tennis team for the film Korea, talked about how she may have gotten into her role a bit too much.
She attended the press preview and roundtable held on April 16 in Seoul for the film to answer questions and reveal how she felt about her role as a North Korean athlete.
Bae Doo Na said, “Because there wasn’t much information about the North Korean athletes and because I’ve never been in such a situation, I filled up the role with advice from others and my imagination. My teacher, who taught me how to speak in North Korean dialect, told me a lot about North Korean culture and ideologies. I was supposed to be a North Korean athlete, so I tried to cut down on free and liberal expressions.”
“I know this may sound weird, but I did start to think about the Great Leader,” she added. “I felt while shooting this film that although we were born in a divided country, both South and North Korea are of the Korean people.”
For the film The Host, she took on the role of an archer, and this time for Korea, she became a table tennis player. Bae Doo Na joked about this, saying, “When I was playing the role of an archer my right shoulder was ruined, but this time because I played the role of a left-handed athlete, my left shoulder was ruined. I had to use up a lot of my energy to become an athlete. It helped me with my diet.”
Korea is based on the real story of how the North Korean and South Korean female table tennis teams came together as one team in 1991. At the time, the Korea team, led by South Korea’s Hyun Jung Hwa and North Korea’s Lee Bun Hui, won against China to become champion of the 41st International Table Tennis Competition.
Ha Ji Won will be appearing as Hyun Jung Hwa of South Korea. The cast also brings in Han Ye Ri, Park Chul Min, Kim Eung Soo, Oh Jung Se and Lee Jong Seok. Korea will premiere on May 3.
Photo credit: Hea Jung Min