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Bae Doo-na shares portraying Korean identity in Hollywood's 'Rebel Moon'

By Kim Da-sol

Published : April 19, 2024 - 16:36

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Bae Doo-na (Netflix) Bae Doo-na (Netflix)

Actor Bae Doo-na, who stars as sword master Nemesis in Netflix original “Rebel Moon -- Part Two: The Scargiver,” said she suggested costume and makeup ideas for this mega-scale Hollywood project.

Director Zack Snyder, who has also helmed “Justice League” and “300,” has stressed several times before that Bae’s character, Nemesis, is rooted in Korean identity.

“In the original script, Nemesis didn’t wear anything particularly Korean, such as a 'gat' but instead, she wore a 'satgat' made of bamboo. When I went to the costume fitting, however, I discovered that director Snyder had prepared a gat for me. It was exciting for me, and I also felt proud to wear it,” Bae told reporters during a press conference held in Seoul on Friday.

A gat is a horsehair hat worn by elite men during the Joseon era (1392-1910) that became well-known globally through hit Netflix series "Kingdom" (2019). A satgat is a traditional conical hat woven of bamboo or reeds worn in Korea as well as in China, Vietnam and Japan.

“I could find many Korean details put to this project, such as the name of the planet that Nemesis originated from, Byul (meaning star in Korean). The outfit that she wears is like the Korean jeogori jacket, and I also suggested adjusting the length of the pants to be longer, so that her moves cannot be read by others. Her bold eye makeup with thick eyeliner was also my suggestion,” she added.

“Rebel Moon -- Part Two: The Scargiver” continues the epic saga of Kora (Sofia Boutella) and her crew of warriors as they prepare to venture out, fight and sacrifice everything for their home against the Motherworld.

Bae Doo-na speaks during a press conference held in Seoul on Friday. (Kim Da-sol/The Korea Herald) Bae Doo-na speaks during a press conference held in Seoul on Friday. (Kim Da-sol/The Korea Herald)

Making her Hollywood debut in 2012 with sci-fi movie "Cloud Atlas," Bae was seen as one of the first-generation Korean actors to have started a career in Hollywood and has engaged in various Netflix projects. While the majority of her recent works in Korea focused on portraying a down-to-earth, dark character who suppresses her feelings, she expressed her intention to portray fantasy characters for international projects.

“Because English is not my first language, I try to choose roles that can best express myself and maximize my acting in the most effective way. Instead of imitating their culture, I rather choose to opt for what is realistic for me, in terms of gestures and settings. Doing it this way impacts my acting in Hollywood, making me feel comfortable and easy. Of course, I’d like to do more realistic acting sooner than later, but I’m still in the process of progressing,” Bae said.

“Rebel Moon -- Part Two: The Scargiver” will come out on Netflix Friday at 4 p.m.