Slap was for art: South Korean director

SEOUL • Slapped with a complaint that he hit an actress on the face, acclaimed South Korean director Kim Ki Duk has defended the act for the sake of his movie and craft.

The actress, whom local prosecutors are not naming, alleged that the incident happened during the shooting of incest-themed movie Moebius in 2013.

She said she was also forced to do a sex scene that was not in the script, reported The Korea Herald.

On Thursday, Kim issued a statement, giving his take on the matter: "I might have hit the actress... while I was demonstrating and explaining that this was the scene I wanted."

He revealed that their movie collaboration had started in 1996.

"After I received the Venice and Berlin (best) director awards (for Samaritan Girl and 3-Iron respectively) in 2004, she asked me (for a role)."

But she rejected his offer to act in the film Time (2005).

"In 2012, after I received the Venice (best film) prize (for Pieta), she asked (again)... and agreed to star in Moebius."

After two shoots, he said she pulled out and he could not get in touch with her. "At the third shoot, we waited until 10am. The producer, who lived near her house, asked her numerous times, but she ended up not coming.

"Because of the budget, we hurriedly revised the script for the other actress to play two roles and finished filming."

He attributed any unhappiness over the slapping to a misunderstanding about his efforts to be as perfect as possible, adding that "I am truly sorry towards the actress who was hurt by the incident".

"But she had said she would do her best in any role and asked twice to star (in one of my films)."

He did not address the allegations about the sex scene.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 05, 2017, with the headline 'Slap was for art: South Korean director'. Print Edition | Subscribe