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[Movies] Director Kim Jee-Woon Talks About The Last Stand
Posted by Joseph Lee on 01.18.2013

In an interview with Coming Soon, director Kim Jee-Woon (A Tale of Two Sisters, I Saw The Devil), talked about The Last Stand, which is out now.

On how Arnold Schwarzenegger got involved: "Arnold saw a bunch of my films and he decided to choose "The Last Stand" as his comeback. I heard rumors that Arnold wanted to be in this film, but I didn't know that he was so enthusiastic about it. When I came over to the states, I met him in person and we talked. I realized that Arnold and my idea about the project coincided and that's what made me want to make it."

On the differences of an American film set other than language: "The biggest difference is just the system itself. In Korea, the director has the final word. If the director makes a decision, that decision is final. In Hollywood, every decision needs to go through the producer, the studio and sometimes even the main actor. There is a certain procedure that needs to be followed. The assistant director's role is very different, too. In Korea, the assistant director is basically someone who fulfills the director's vision. Here, the AD is basically a regulator and tries to keep things flowing. He or she is concerned primarily with efficiency. The director is lonelier in Hollywood, but I can't say that that's entirely negative. Going through other people and having to convince the studio allows for a movie that appeals to a wider audience. That was perfect for "The Last Stand." One quality that a director needs to acquire in Hollywood is to understand the system and figure out how to work within the system to express one's own ideas. Ang Lee said something very similar. He said that a director in Korea is a king and a director in the United States is a President. While there is a vertical hierarchy in Korea when it comes to filmmaking, here in the United States, a director needs to convince various branches and departments to make certain decisions. I think that phrase appropriately describes the difference."

On if the film could have been made without Schwarzenegger: "To answer your question with a question, "Isn't it because of Arnold that we have this film, 'The Last Stand'?" I think that, if not for Arnold, we wouldn't have this film. One thing I like to do is mold the film depending on the character and the actor. What Arnold brought to "The Last Stand" is an intelligent Sheriff with added humor. That's something that Arnold brought to 'The Last Stand.'"


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