Acclaimed South Korean actor Jeon Do-yeon stars in Netflix’s latest thriller “Kill Boksoon,” written and directed by Byun Sung-hyun.
Jeon plays a seasoned assassin working for an agency named Gil Bok-soon who has a 100% success rate in killing targets. Despite excelling at her work, Bok-soon struggles to raise her teenaged daughter, played by Kim Si-a, and decides to retire so that she can focus on mending their relationship.
On Tuesday, Jeon and Byun sat down for a virtual roundtable and shared exclusive details about the film with NextShark.
Byun, a longtime fan of Jeon, was inspired to write a film starring the actor. To his surprise, Jeon agreed to work on the project before even reading the script.
Since Byun has never written a child character in his work before, he spent some time at Jeon’s house observing the interactions between the actor and her real-life daughter — at one point the three even played board games together.
“It was easy for me to write the lines for the killers. The difficult part was writing the conversations with the kid and the mother,” says Byun.
“Kill Boksoon” is Jeon’s first lead role in an action film, for which the actor spent four months training to fight with swords and axes and learning choreography for hand-to-hand combat.
When asked about the similarities between herself and Boksoon, Jeon describes empathizing with her character’s double life.
“I’m not a killer, but I think I’m in a pretty similar situation because I’m a mom and an actress, which is like the double life that Boksoon has,” Jeon says.
Jeon then shares that director Byun once described “Kill Boksoon” as being about “not just the daughter learning from her mother. The mother learns from the daughter by talking with her and seeing some new perspectives on the way she should lead her life.”
Jeon’s latest drama, “Crash Course in Romance,” aired its last episode on Netflix earlier this month, and though the actor says that the two projects are “polar opposites,” both essentially deal with a mother who wants to connect with her daughter but doesn’t know how to.
Jeon previously has found success portraying mothers, such as in “Secret Sunshine,” which earned her a best actress award at the 60th Cannes Film Festival in 2007.
“Kill Boksoon,” Byun’s latest work as writer-director, also stars Sol Kyung-gu, Esom, Koo Kyung-hwan and Lee Yeon, who most recently portrayed the younger version of Jeon’s character in “Crash Course in Romance.”
This is Jeon and Sol’s third time playing opposite each other in a film. In their most recent project, the 2019 film “Birthday,” the two play a husband and wife suffering after the loss of their eldest son in the 2014 Sewol Ferry tragedy. Their first collaboration was the romance film “I Wish I Had a Wife,” which was released in 2001.
Jeon commented on their third project together and praised Sol’s acting: “When I read the script, I didn’t really find much romance in it. Only when Sol acted it out, I could feel that there was melodrama in this movie. I think it’s really the power of this actor that made romance possible in ‘Kill Boksoon.'”
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