Monday, March 19, 2007

Press Conference: I'm a Cyborg but That's OK

I'm a Cyborg but That's OK was a record sell out within 30 minutes of online ticketing sales, and this was no doubt testament to Asian superstar Rain's appeal. When he speaks, or smiles, hundreds of camera flashes going off is the norm. Director Park Chan-wook's new movie premieres at this year's HKIFF as one of the opening films, and the press conference held earlier today was the first official event.

Graced by the director and his two leads, singer Rain and actress Lim Su-jeong, the press conference fielded questions ranging from their thoughts of the movie, to their nominations in the first Asian Film Awards. Speaking through interpreters, here's what the trio shared.

Opening Statements
Park: While my films had been selected in various festivals before, this is the first time that it been selected as an opening film for a major festival. So I'm honoured that I'm a Cyborg is given the opportunity.

Lim: This is the first time that a movie I've starred in is premiering as an opening film, and I'm happy about the red carpet reception later with the chance to interact with the fans.

Rain: I've been a fan of Hong Kong movies when I was growing up, and I've never thought that the first movie I'm starring in can be premiered in Hong Kong. I'm also excited about the opportunity to meet up with some of my Hong Kong film idols!

Q: There's a totally different feel to this movie, as compared to your past works. Was it a conscious decision for it to be different?
Park: My other movies were dark, and I've got a little bored. It's akin to being submerged underwater for a long time, and now to come out to take a breather.

Q: Why did you select a movie like this for your debut film?
Rain: I like director Park's works, and I've saw all of his movies save one. I was wondering if I would have the opportunity to work with Park as I'm a fan, and when Park spoke to me one day about a role, I jumped at the opportunity almost immediately. It had been a truly wonderful experience.

Q: You had been playing many beautiful young maidens roles, what's your feeling like in having to star a a mental health patient?

Lim: It's a special role, and I felt some pressure in having to interpret the role for the movie. Luckily Rain helped me a lot, and it was a happy working experience to work with him, and director Park.

Q: What are your views about your leads, and what made you decide to cast them?

Park: I didn't cast Ran because he can sing. I saw Rain on television before, and I thought about a special role that suited him. Lim was decided upon when I spoke to Rain. I thought my leads added a lot of value to the film, because despite having a script, they were given a lot of freedom, and had time to improvise and fine tune their roles.

Q: This is your first time here in Hong Kong as a film star, what are your thoughts?
Lim: I like Hong Kong, and Im a fan of Hong Kong movies as well. I'm honoured to be here for the festival's opening, and there are so many artistes here that I'll love to meet, I don't have the time to enumerate them all.

Q: Rain, you mentioned earlier too that you'd like to meet some of your idols. Who are they?

Rain: There are many, and I'm already happy to be here, and will be satisfied to say hello to some of them, and speak to them.

Q: This will be the first Asian Film Awards. What are your thoughts about the Awards being held in Hong Kong?
Park: It's a glamourous event held in a glamourous city, and I'll be happy if either leads or both get awards.
(Both Rain and Lim Su-jeong are up in the running for Best Actor and Best Actress respectively)

Q: Rain, it's your debut movie role, and you got a nomination at the Awards. How do you feel?
Rain: I'm happy and honoured to be nominated in the Awards, and some of the other nominees are my idols too.

Q: Rain, if like the movie you can steal someone's abilities, whose will it be?
Rain: I'd very like those who are industrious and knowledgeable. However, I'd like to steal an interpreter's ability so that I can speak to many different people!

Final remarks
Park: I hope that as many people are able to appreciate this movie. This one has no horror elements, so please open your eyes and I wish you a cheerful experience watching it!

Lim: I hope that everyone can concentrate when watching this film, and to have a happy time. I also hope to be able to star in more television shows to audiences in Hong Kong.

Rain: I like Hong Kong, and it's been uncanny that I've been here 6 months ago for a concert, and now I'm back again. I hope for everyone's support, like what the others said, to concentrate on the movie and nothing else, and have a great time!

The event was capped with the presentation of the public broadcast license by HKIFF society chairman Mr Wilfred Wong.

I'm a Cyborg but That's OK makes its red carpet premiere later tonight, and we'll be bringing you exclusive pictures from the event. For those eager to read a review of the movie (yes, it has made its premiere in Singapore already), you can click on this link.

For those who want a sneak peek into the press conference experience, you can view the video clip below:

And to our friends in Hong Kong, see you at the Convention and Exhibition Centre this evening!

Text: Stefan, Video: CK Yip, Photos: Lokman

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