|Director Park Chan-wook (right) and Mia Wasikowska pose for a photo during a press conference promoting their film “Stoker” at Park Hyatt Seoul in Seoul, Thursday. (Yonhap News)|
Following the successful press premiere of famed local director Park Chan-wook’s Hollywood debut “Stoker,” the film’s leading actress Mia Wasikowska made a meaningful first visit to Park’s home country.
“It’s something we talked about since our first meeting,” the Australian actress said during a press conference promoting the film in Seoul on Thursday. “Director Park told me when the film is finally made and being released, I should come to Korea. And I always said I’d love to. So it’s exciting to be here and feels quite surreal.”
The 23-year-old actress, whose previous roles include Cary Fukunaga’s “Jane Eyre” and Alice in Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland,” was selected as one of the highest-grossing film stars in 2010 by Forbes. She is starring as India Stoker, a mourning teenager who lost her father to a mysterious accident on her 18th birthday, in Park’s visually striking coming-of-age tale.
The young girl then receives an unexpected visit from her long-lost uncle Charlie (played by Matthew Goode), whose enigmatic presence intrigues her.
“Director Park was definitely different from the directors I worked with in the past,” said the actress, when asked to share her experience working with Park.
“In the beginning we weren’t sure how the translation would go because I’d never worked like that before. But within a couple of days it was so easy and seamless; it wasn’t even something that we noticed very much.
“I think what struck me the most (about Park) was how much thought was put into the details, the visual references and metaphors that always sort of link back to themselves and different points in the film,” she added. “It was very unique.”
For Park, the best part of working in Hollywood was the people he “got to work with” there, including Wasikowska.
“Mia really knows how to see the big picture,” said Park. “When she’s acting, Mia doesn’t focus only on her performance; she reads the flow of the entire film. Unlike most young actors and actresses, she doesn’t always show her everything, which I think intrigues the viewers more.”
Its script was written by British-American actor and screenwriter Wentworth Miller, who enjoyed much popularity in Korea for his performance as Michael Scofield in the American TV series “Prison Break.” Wasikowska’s costars include Nicole Kidman and Matthew Goode. Its music was created by Clint Mansell, who is best known for his film score for the 2010 psychological thriller “Black Swan.”
“Philip Glass, who composed a piano score for the movie, is someone that I ardently admired since I was little,” said Park. “I’ve also always loved the works of Mary Allen Mark, who took the photo for the official poster. She does amazing photojournalism.”
The least favorite part of the whole experience was the time pressure, said Park. “I had to shoot this movie in a total of 40 sessions,” said Park. “That’s only about half amount of the time that I usually need for shooting. It was very stressful.”
Just like Park, who is known for his visually magnetic works, Wasikowska also knows how to capture and play with images. She is in fact an avid photographer in her spare time, known to take photos on film sets. One of her on-set photographs, which features her “Jane Eyre” costar Jamie Bell and director Cary Fukunaga, became the finalist in the National Photographic Portrait Prize in 2011 in her home country of Australia. Both her parents are photographers.
“Mia takes really good pictures,” said Park. “It was nice to see her sneaking out her little camera and pressing the shutter at our film set, while I’m explaining about the scenes. She really has an unusual eye for things.”
“Stoker” opens in theaters on Feb. 28.
By Claire Lee (email@example.com)