"Cloud Atlas" star Bae Doo-na has received positive reviews from foreign media for her role in the Hollywood blockbuster alongside big names like Tom Hanks and Halle Berry.
But she remains dejected at the film's polarizing effect on audiences and failure to make a strong impression at the box office, as she hopes to cement her star power on the silver screen.
"To be honest, I wish I could be more detached from the world of cinema and movies. I'd like to be able to leave it all behind when I feel like I've had enough. But as time goes by, I get increasingly drawn toward films, and I get afraid when I think about the possibility that one day I may have to quit being an actress. I worry that if my ties to filmmaking break down, I'll be heartbroken," she said.
"Cloud Atlas," which consists of six interwoven stories spanning several centuries and various locations, was released in theaters on the back of high expectations, but was not a commercial hit. In the film, Bae plays one major character and several minor roles -- although in these she is often unrecognizable beneath layers of heavy make-up. The story is told in such a complex way that it is easy for the audience to lose their footing.
"Around the world, audiences either love it or hate it. It wasn't successful in the U.S. or Korea, but it was a huge hit in Russia. The film hasn't been released in most European countries yet," said Bae.
Why does she think she was cast for a Hollywood film? "Most of the movies I did such as 'Take Care of My Cat,' 'Barking Dogs Never Bite' and 'Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance' were not commercial successes. But it seems that many famous directors outside of Korea saw them and found me interesting. I also starred in the Japanese film 'Air Doll' by director Hirokazu Koreeda."
What does she do in her spare time? "I usually knit or read at home, or just generally laze around. I don't watch much TV. Because I lead such a simple and monotonous life at home, I really get a buzz out of working," she said.