Newcomer, Kim Tae-ri Speaks to Movie-Goers in “The Handmaiden”

By: Izumi Hasegawa   October 14, 2016

Former model, Kim Tae-ri stepped up to show movie-goers and herself she is not just a pretty face taking on the title role in Park Chan-wook’s new film, The Handmaiden.

If taking on the Japanese dialogue for an award winning director wasn’t enough, this was Tae-ri’s first role that was heavy on erotic scenes that were with another woman to boot.

In this interview, I find out what filming the erotic scenes were like for her and what her not-so-secret, secret audition process is

6Q: How difficult was it for you to do the intimate scenes when you’re speaking Japanese dialogue? How long did it take you to study Japanese?

As to the first part of your question, I am such a big admirer of the other actress, Kim Min-hee, and she’s an actress I’ve respected her work. Coming into those scenes where we needed to be intimate wasn’t such a difficult thing for me to do. We became very close quite quickly. There was no discomfort between us. Personally it was somebody I really admired. Her attitude towards me, she wanted to make sure I was comfortable with her. Having said that, it’s not to say there aren’t any difficulties with those scenes. But with a film director like director Park and the actor I was playing against, they were all very good to me. They helped me overcome any difficulties I might have encountered.

5Q: How about studying Japanese?

Before the principle part of photography started, a few months before, I started my language training. The production was good in that they made sure I was able to take lessons and have some competency in the language. It wasn’t very difficult for me to deal with the Japanese dialogue that my character had to say. The thing about my character is that her Japanese doesn’t have to be so refined as the other characters in the film. Comparatively, I think I got the easy part when it comes to Japanese dialogue.”

1Q: How were you introduced to this project?

I became aware of this project through the audition notice that was posted online that was calling for a newcomer to play this role. Director Park is such a well-known filmmaker here in Korea, it’s probably something that the entire population of Korea was aware of at the time.

Before coming to audition for this project, I had been acting on stage and during that time I was approached by an agency and I came to audition.

3Q: How was the audition process for this film?

A lot of people imagine there is some kind of secretive and a special process involved in the audition process for this film. But it was just like any other audition. I went to see the producer. The assistant director taped me reading a scene and then I met the director and I was given the full copy of the script which I talked to director Park about. Those stages that you would expect from any other audition.

The Handmaiden opens theaters on October 21st.

Interview by: Izumi Hasegawa @HNW_Izumi

Edited by: Jody Taylor – @RealJodyTaylor

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