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Ha Ji-won: 'I Might Have Been Warrior in My Past Life'

2011/08/02 Source

Actress Ha Ji-won said, "I have always wanted to play a female warrior, and I studied how to play the character 'Gil La Im' while I was filming the movie 'Sector 7'".

She came to a hotel located in Kwanghamun on July 27 for an interview, and she expressed her love for action acting by saying, "I sometimes think that I might have been a warrior in my past life. When I perform an action using a sword just like I did in the drama 'Damo', I feel really great". For actress Ha Ji-won, action does not seem to be something that she understands with just her head, but it seems to be a natural movement coming from inside. Since her debut, Ha Ji-won has appeared in many works on TV and the silver screen, and she has become one of the best actresses in Korea. In particular, she has been described as an "actress who can perform action acting" because of her enthusiastic acting.

In the first Korean 3D blockbuster movie "Sector 7", which will be released on August 4, Ha Ji-won plays a female warrior named "Hae Joon", and she fights desperately against a monster in the movie. She said that this movie had particular meaning to her besides the fact that the movie was the first Korean 3D movie. She said, "When I first decided to appear in 'Sector 7', it was not designed to be filmed as a 3D movie, so I did not know that I would appear in a 3D movie. It meant something to me because I could fire a gun in the movie for the first time. I have appeared in many historical dramas and I used swords many times, but using a gun in this work was the first time for me. When female Asian actresses hold guns in a movie, people tend to look at them as awkward, differently from Hollywood actresses around three to four years ago. I did not want to hear that kind of criticism about my action acting and I wanted to play a wonderful female warrior character. I thought that I could successfully play this warrior character in 'Sector 7'. I could finally have a chance to present a real female warrior".

When bringing up the subject of Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie, she said with twinkling eyes, "I really like Angelina Jolie. I think she is really fantastic. I usually like a woman who looks fantastic rather than just pretty, and I think that Angelina Jolie is a type of woman that I like. When I appeared in "Secret Garden", the script had this expression. When I perform action acting, I can feel that I am alive and the dynamic movement makes me feel better. Thanks to those feelings, I will not avoid similar roles. I feel more attracted to the roles that look strong rather than those roles that need protection from others".

She instinctively likes action, and she prepared fully to perform her acting. She voluntarily learned scuba diving for "Sector 7" even though it was not necessary for the movie. She acquired a drivers' license to ride a motorcycle for filming a scene in which she rides a motorcycle. She said, "I was totally unfamiliar with the drill ship and I did not how to act on the ship. It was like homework for me. So I thought that I needed to be familiar with the sea first to play the role of Hae Joon, and I learned scuba diving. I know that I will act in front of a green screen, but I wanted to express the feeling of the sea. I have come to be very familiar with the sea while learning scuba diving. I was able to find out that there is another world deep in the sea". She reportedly almost had an accident while filming the motorcycle scene. She said, "There was no motorcycle scene in the original script, but later I heard that I needed to ride a motorcycle at the end of the movie. I did not know how to film the scene because I did not know how to ride a motorcycle. But I acquired a driver's license to ride a motorcycle and practiced very hard. I practiced even on rainy days. I rode a motorcycle in the city and on the streets of Cheju Island. While practicing, I came to know how to react in a dangerous situation. But I slipped on the street while riding a motorcycle due to my eagerness while filming the movie and one of my legs was caught under the motorcycle. I became more careful after that".

Does she feel pressure as she is the only actress in the movie and must lead the whole story of the movie? She answered, "I felt more pressure as a protagonist when I appeared in the dramas 'Damo' and 'Hwangjin-i'. I felt more responsibility than pressure this time because I thought that I needed to be looked upon as very strong in the movie. The character whom I play needs to have presence in the movie, as she has power to fight against the monster. I tried very hard to look strong such as building up my muscles and eating meat (laugh). I ate fruit and nuts to look healthy. I had gained around three kilograms while filming even though I have lost three kilograms now". Some people pointed out that her action scenes in the movie seemed to be exaggerated. She said, "The character Hae Joon is a real female warrior as she does not weaken her mind at all and she has a very competitive spirit. I created her way of speaking and her posture such as putting both hands on the waist like man". She revealed that she watched the movie "Alien", in which actress Sigourney Weaver played a female warrior fighting against a monster, many times to play her role in the movie. She said, "I had to study the movement of the monster and how I had to move, but I could not discern the detailed movements of the monster, so I watched 'Alien' to study and learn how Sigourney Weaver made eye contact with the monster and to find out the feeling of dread and fear by watching the movie. I could learn many things. I did my best when I played my role, but there was still something lacking. I watched the movie at the premiere and I felt really sorry that I could not hear my breathing sound. And last night I had a dream, I appeared again in the scene where I felt sorry in my dream. At the end of the movie, I felt pity for the monster and felt my heart break when I killed the monster, and I thought that it would be better if I could have eye contact with the monster. In addition, there is one thing that I could learn while filming this movie. I have to make plans in advance because the camera cannot move freely when filming a 3D movie".

One interesting note is that "Sector 7" played an important role in the creation of the character Gil La Im in "Secret Garden". The TV drama "Secret Garden" opened to the public first, but she was actually filming the last part of "Sector 7" when she decided to appear in the drama. She said, "After I decided to appear in "Secret Garden", I started to examine the martial arts team of 'Sector 7'. Actually, 'Sector 7' can be the fruition of Gil La Im's dream in which she becomes a female protagonist of a blockbuster movie. I was sometimes confused between 'Sector 7' and Gil La Im because they were mixed. There were scenes coming from 'Damo' and scenes in which I boxed, rode a motorcycle, and shot a gun, and I felt weird because I seemed to be playing a stunt actor for actress Ha Ji-won while I was playing Gil La Im. In particular, the scene where I shot the gun in the beginning of the drama was very similar to the scene in 'Sector 7'. Anyway, I think that 'Sector 7' had played a very important role in the birth of the character Gil La Im".

Ha Ji-won said that she might have been a warrior in her past life because she felt affection for action acting, and she also said, "I might have been either a warrior or an eagle because I often fly in my dreams. I have to play the character of an eagle some day. Maybe my boyfriend would be a wolf in that case (laugh)". She dreams very often, and when she filmed "Sector 7", she fought against the monster in her dreams, and these days, she plays table tennis in her dreams because she is filming the movie entitled "As One" and playing the character of a table tennis player.

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