Doing nude scenes was a 'tough decision', says Korean actress Kim Tae Ri
In Korean rookie actress Kim Tae Ri’s big-screen debut, she had to be totally fearless and uninhibited.
The 26-year-old former model, reportedly picked from a pool of 1,500 auditionees, stars in Korean director Park Chan Wook’s new R21-rated erotic thriller The Handmaiden, where she has to take off all her clothes.
She plays pickpocket Sook Hee, who becomes the maid of Japanese heiress Lady Hideko (Kim Min Hee) in an attempt to seize the latter’s wealth.
Both women find themselves drawn to each other, and the film sees the actresses baring their bodies and sharing steamy bed scenes.
In an e-mail interview with The New Paper, Kim admitted she was initially concerned about the amount of nudity.
“It was a tough decision, for sure. I gave it a lot of thought (before taking on the role),” she said.
“Once I’ve made my decision though, I just trusted the director.”
The Handmaiden, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May, opens here on Thursday (July 7).
Were you nervous about being part of The Handmaiden? It is your acting debut and the role of Sook Hee is rather complicated and layered.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. But Park said he was confident that he could lead me. And my fellow cast members, being veterans, were really good at guiding me. That was a plus.
Was it awkward doing kissing and bed scenes with Kim Min Hee?
I’ve liked her even before I found out that I would be acting in this movie with her. It was a great experience to work with her on set and I learned a lot. She is a great actress. She always made sure I felt at ease.
Were your parents against you taking on such a sexy role for your first movie? Did you have to convince or reassure them that everything was going to be fine?
I told them only after I decided to take on the role and there were no objections. They were very supportive.
Did you watch erotic movies such as Blue Is The Warmest Colour (2013) and Carol (2015) to prepare for your role?
I did not specifically look up these movies for my role in The Handmaiden, but I had already watched them. I watch a lot of movies in my free time.
You were at the Cannes Film Festival in May with Park and the cast. How was the whole Cannes experience?
It was not only my first Cannes experience, but my first time in Europe. I was very nervous and pretty thrilled. Aside from (promoting) The Handmaiden, I also went to two other screenings by myself and it was a great experience. Unfortunately, I did not manage to see many stars.
What kind of roles do you hope to take on in the future?
I want to become a great actress. Life is something that I need to experience for myself, rather than set a direction for things to work out. So far, I have been living with this mindset and I will continue to do so. But one thing I’d like to do is become more flexible and a little more free-spirited. I want to have many different experiences.