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BUSAN: South Korea’s Lee Eun-woo Grateful for BIFF Boost

BUSAN — After last year playing a mother who cuts off her son’s genitals in Kim Ki-duk’s “Moebius,” actress Lee Eun-woo is enjoying a career upturn. She has four films in Busan including one where she plays a wife who kills her husband through too much sex.

Did you imagine that “Moebius” would be such a turning point? 

I was cast in three of the movies at BIFF thanks to “Moebius.” But life hasn’t changed much on a personal level. I still go round my neighborhood without anyone recognizing me. That’s convenient because I don’t drive and I still take the subway.

You seem drawn to strong characters

In “Kabukicho Love Hotel” I play a masseuse who helps men to ejaculate. But that’s just her job. It’s mostly about how torn she is between her love for a man and her longing to go back to Korea. I don’t choose films based on possible impact of the character, but on their emotions and situations. I’m actually a gentle, sensitive soul.

Did you need to prepare for the masseuse character?

The Japanese team sent me very detailed information about what “a masseuse who helps with her hands to ejaculate” does. It was like a description of a high-flying executive. I began to understand my character’s longing to escape her surroundings.

How was working with Japanese director Ryuichi Hiroki?

I was impressed by how efficient he and his crew were. They’d been working together for a long time and it showed.

What are your plans?

After cutting off male parts and playing a masseuse, I want to play some nice, everyday ladies. I think I have a gift for comedy that hasn’t yet been explored.

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