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Actresses lead Korean film industry this summer

All Headlines 09:54 July 29, 2015

SEOUL, July 29 (Yonhap) -- Korean films have changed. Unlike traditional action films where actresses usually take supporting roles as lovers of the male leads, they now lead films as heroines.

Leading the trend conspicuously is big-budget commercial films backed by large distributors for the summer high season.

The historical action film "Assassination" that surpassed 4 million in attendance earlier this week has top stars Lee Jung-jae and Ha Jung-woo, but Jun Ji-hyun actually takes the lead role.

In the new film set in Shanghai and Seoul during the 1930s, when Korea was a colony of Japan, Jun plays An Ok-yun, a female sniper in the Korean independence army in China who must assassinate Japanese colonizers.

"I thought it's a character that can hardly be found in Korean films and a rare chance for me to play it," the 33-year-old actress said in a media interview ahead of the movie's release in local theaters last week.

She successfully did the film's major action scenes, jumping between roofs with a heavy gun and desperately chasing a car carrying a target.

The next runner in this trend is the Korean period action film "Memories of the Sword" with two actresses in the main roles.

Set in the turbulent late years of the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392), the martial arts film depicts the story of a master swordsman, who becomes a man of supreme power through acts of betrayal, and the two swordswomen seeking revenge on him 18 years later. The three warriors are played by actor Lee Byung-hun and actresses Jeon Do-yeon and Kim Go-eun.

Although Lee's character is unignorable, the two actresses are expected to lead the film as, according to the director Park Heung-sik, it started from his idea of making a martial-arts film led by women.

Kim previously was acclaimed for her role in the local crime flick "Coinlocker Girl" praised as a "fresh noir film led by women" along with its other lead, Kim Hye-soo.

Actress Han Hyo-joo stands in the center of "The Beauty Inside," a fantasy film set to open Aug. 20.

The movie depicts the story of a woman who falls in love with a man who changes to different people every day.

During a news conference to promote the film, Han said she chose it because she had the feeling that she would never again get a chance to appear in such a film when she read the script.

This trend can also be found in low-budget films.

Actress Lee Jung-hyun plays female lead Soo-nam, a poor working woman who takes revenge on the world in "Alice in Earnestland," a Korean film set to open Aug. 13.

"Office," a thriller set to open Aug. 27, is led by actress Ko Asung. She plays the role of an intern who traces mysterious things happening to her co-workers after their boss kills his family and disappears.

sshim@yna.co.kr
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