Actor Jeon Do-yeon says done enough action with ‘Kill Boksoon’

April 5, 2023

Actor Jeon Do-yeon said Wednesday the experience of doing Netflix’s new Korean crime action “Kill Boksoon” was so challenging that she has no immediate plan to undertake another project of the genre.

She played Gil Bok-soon, a top assassin who leads a double life as a single mother of a teenage daughter, in the latest film by director Byun Sung-hyun. It marked the Cannes-winning actor’s first title role in an action-packed flick.

“I don’t know what will happen after much time has passed, but for now, I think I’ve done enough for an action genre work,” the 50-year-old actress said during a group media interview at a Seoul cafe to promote the film. “It was really hard,” she recalled.

To make herself fit for the role, she had to quit drinking, control her diet and exercise hard to increase muscle mass for the first time in her 30-year-long acting career. Practicing action took four months.

Actor Jeon Do-yeon of the Netflix crime action film "Kill Boksoon" is seen in this photo provided by the global streaming platform. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)
Actor Jeon Do-yeon of the Netflix crime action film “Kill Boksoon” is seen in this photo provided by the global streaming platform. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Released Friday, the movie topped Netflix’s weekly chart on most-viewed non-English films for the week of March 17-April 2, with 19.61 million viewing hours.

It was also critically acclaimed when it premiered at a special section of the Berlin International Film Festival held in February before its release on the streaming platform.

The actress said she volunteered to work with the director, as she was interested in the young director’s unique way of writing and directing films.

The director, who previously helmed the crime actioner “The Merciless” (2017) and the political drama film “Kingmaker” (2022), was known among actors for his meticulous directing style of putting every movement by actors under his control during filming.

But she felt “frustrated” soon after the filming began.

“As soon as the filming of the first scene was over, I had a heated argument with the director, saying, ‘Is it right to confine and not respect an actor’s emotions like this?,’” she said, drawing laughter from reporters.

As Gil was a character that the director created with the versatile actress in mind from the stage of writing his screenplay, he visited her house to know how the life of a mother with a teenage girl is like.

She is married with a 15-year-old daughter in real life.

The resulting character looked very strange in her eyes at first because of the wide gaps in her behavior when she is with her co-workers and with her daughter.

“When I complained about this to the director, his answer was: ‘You are just like that.’ So, it made me wonder that I’m like this as looking at myself objectively is difficult. It was fun.”

She is now spending happy days because of the back-to-back success of two latest titles from her, including the popular tvN drama “Crash Course in Romance.”

She said she did not expect the drama to be such a hit and regrets that she didn’t have much time to savor the drama’s success.

Asked if she feels burdened about heightened expectations of her fans after the successes, she said, “Actually, it’s better to get expectations than not to have any. So, I want to receive as much anticipation as possible.”

Regarding her future path, she said she is also curious about what projects she will come to pursue.