Interview: Ha Ji-won and Korea’s first 3D movie
Groundbreaking 3D IMAX visuals, successful international sales and highly criticized story aside, action flick “Sector 7,” which opened this past weekend, has quickly become the film du jour for creating a new archetype for Korean female screen personas.
To date, Korean cinema has remained largely conservative in terms of female leads, largely in the manner of 1950s Hollywood. Women are usually portrayed as either an asexual Audrey Hepburn or a sultry Marilyn Monroe, with a small gray zone for a few quirky, intelligent Katharine Hepburn types.
Ha Ji-won plays a oil rig mechanic in the action film “Sector 7.”
As the female kick-ass protagonist in “Sector 7,” Ha Ji-won thus breaks new ground as an action star, earning the nickname “the Korean Angelina Jolie.” The 33-year-old learned how to scuba dive and got a motorcycle license for her role as a tough mechanic in the film about an isolated oil rig crew and a deadly sea creature.
Drilling for oil in the good old “Armageddon” fashion in the film seems to have been no big sweat for the actress (Ha dreamt of becoming an astronaut as a child) — and she makes Lara Croft look tame as she pulls off motorcycle sequences and fights the slimy, carnivorous monster by herself for a good quarter of the movie.