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Saturday, July 7, 2007

Jeon Says Her Cannes Win is Near Miracle

by Bae Keun-min
June 06, 2007

``It was like a miracle, I think.’’ So said actress Jeon Do-yeon in reference to her winning the Best Actress Award for her leading role in Lee Chang-dong’s ``Secret Sunshine’’ at the 60th edition of the Cannes Film Festival at a press conference at CGV Apgujeong in Seoul, Wednesday.

``I’ve almost been in a state of shock ever since I was named the winner of the prize,’’ Jeon said. ``Words cannot express what I feel but let me just say `I am delighted and honored.’ I still cannot believe it.’’

Although the local and international press predicted the likelihood of her winning after official screenings, Jeon tried not to think about it and kept telling herself that nothing was going to happen, she said. Jeon was praised for her realistic portrayal of a grief-stricken woman who loses her son and husband.

`` People there seemed to be surprised that an actress who came to an international festival for the first time won the award,’’ Jeon said. ``If it weren’t for Song Kang-ho and director Lee Chang-dong, it would have been impossible for me to complete the character, Sin-ae.’’

Lee said it is impossible to define Jeon as a certain type of actress. ``In the film, she successfully expressed emotions that I, the audience or maybe even herself would not expect. She has a wide spectrum in expressing emotions and performing roles,’’ Lee said at the conference, adding he expected either the grand prize or the Best Actress Award.

Song Kang-ho who played the part of Jong-chan, the leading male role in the movie, said he was in awe of her when they performed together. ``She was almost ‘scary’ when I saw her perform,’’ Song said in the conference.

Despite the praises, Jeon first hesitated to take the role. She said that she had already decided to play in the film even before she had read the script mainly because it was Lee’s film. But after reading the script, she seriously wondered whether she would be capable of it.

Her efforts paid off with the prize, which has brought her into the international spotlight and some press reports are referring to her as a world star.’

However, Jeon is cautious about her new moniker.

``I think it is too early think about being cast in a foreign film. I believe there are a lot of things that I have to do in Korea first,’’ Jeon said. ``(English) language is an issue too. But I would love to explore options when a good chance and scenario arises.’’

Jeon is the second Asian actress to win the prize. Hong Kong actress Maggie Cheung took the title for her role in the film ``Clean’’ by French director Olivier Assayas at the 57th Cannes Film Festival in 2004. Cheung was invited as a juror this year.

``I have seen a lot of movies of hers and loved her so much. I was really happy to meet her in person after the closing ceremony. The meeting remains on my mind,’’ 34-year-old Jeon said. ``We agreed to hang out in Seoul when she visits.’’

(courtesy of KoreaTimes)
(original text)

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