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Will Kim Tae-ri become Park Chan-wook’s new muse?

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Updated : May 02 2016

Expectations for upcoming film “The Handmaiden” is high, especially toward rookie actress Kim Tae-ri, who plays one of the lead roles in the film.

The film is by director Park Chan-wook who was behind “Old Boy.”

The 26-year-old Kim Tae-ri plays a petty thief who becomes the maid of a wealthy heiress to go after her money. She beat some 1,500 others who auditioned for the role, which required “nude scenes with maximum exposure” that “could not be negotiated.”

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Kim Tae-ri (Herald Pop)
On Monday, she joined costars, Kim Min-hee, Ha Jung-woo, Cho Jin-woong and director Park at the press conference in Seoul for the film.

“Before shooting, I read (the script) many times, and talked a lot separately with the director as well,” she said. “When the director told me ‘I chose you,’ it was very helpful,” she said, thanking Park for trusting her.

“Kim Tae-ri was scared,” Park said. “She wanted to do it but she wasn’t sure if she could. She was scared that she would ruin (the film) by joining (the cast). So I said that to boost her courage.”

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Park Chan-wook (Herald Pop)
“When I do auditions, there are many outstanding actors (and actresses) which makes it difficult to decide (on a person),” Park said. “It’s not good to have a fixed image of what kind of person I should find before the audition. It’s better to choose the actor (or actress) that gives inspiration at the very moment.”

“There is a feeling when you find the right person. The decision was based on the instinct,” he said. “(Her) acting was unique and she was not intimidated, different from many people’s approach.”

“The Handmaiden,” which was recently confirmed to screen in the Cannes Film Festival’s competition category, is a screen adaptation of the 2002 crime novel “Fingersmith” by British author Sarah Waters, which was previously adapted into a two-part BBC miniseries in 2005.

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Kim Min-hee (Herald Pop)
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Ha Jung-woo (Herald Pop)
Park’s version has changed the time period from 19th century London to early 20th century Korea, when the country was under Japanese colonial rule.

Actress Kim Min-hee plays a young, wealthy heiress, while actor Ha Jung-woo plays a Japanese aristocrat who hires a female petty thief, played by Kim. Actor Cho Jin-woong, joins the cast as the heiress’ uncle and guardian, along with seasoned actresses Kim Hae-sook and Moon So-ri.

The film opens in theaters in June.

By Ahn Sung-mi (sahn@heraldcorp.com)

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