'I wanted to come off as a warrior': How Bae Doo-na built her character in Netflix's 'Rebel Moon'

Actor Bae Doo-na answered questions from reporters about her latest role in "Rebel Moon - Part Two: The Scargiver," at a press conference in Myeong-dong, central Seoul, on Friday. [NETFLIX]

Bae Doo-na shared behind-the-scene stories from her return as the scarred and stoic warrior Nemesis in the second installment of Zack Snyder’s “Rebel Moon” franchise.

The actor recounted the grueling training process she underwent to get into warrior shape — which included endurance, weight and stunt training and continued even on set — and the long eight-month overseas shoot in an interview on April 19, the day of the film’s release. The film was her first overseas project in “four or five years” due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It was tiring being overseas, and lonely as well,” Bae said.

Netflix’s “Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver” continues its prequel’s story of protagonist Kora's and other outcast warriors’ rebellion against Imperium, the imperialist Motherworld’s army. Bae plays Nemesis, a sword master who, after losing her children in the destruction of her homeworld, attaches mechanical gauntlets to her arms and joins the resistance.

″Rebel Moon - Part Two: The Scargiver″ continues its prequel's story of outcast warriors' rebellion against Imperium. [NETFLIX]

Despite the arduous shoot, Bae carried none of her warrior character’s baggage to the interview; she fondly recalled the filming process and fellow cast members, whom she says were like “family.”

“I have a lot of affection for ‘Rebel Moon,’” the actor said. “Finishing the shoot was quite bittersweet, and I miss them at times.”

In the second film, Nemesis befriends Eljun, a young village boy played by child actor Caden Dragomer. Bae said she “had fun” shooting with Dragomer but also tried to stay in character so as to maintain their dynamic.

“I’m normally very cheeky on set,” the actor said. “I'm very upbeat and play around.” In front of Dragomer, “I acted very solemn. I wanted to come off as a warrior that could be relied on.”

Dragomer gifted Bae a necklace after the shoot. “I still wear it nowadays,” she said.

Actor Bae Doo-na [NETFLIX]

The film's large budget didn’t hurt either. The two “Rebel Moon” movies were reportedly shot with a total of $166 million. Though a large portion of that was spent on graphics, director Snyder filmed as many scenes as possible on set with props for a heightened sense of realism, according to Bae.

The actor fondly recalled filming a scene in water, which was later deleted. “The team actually dug the ground to make the lake,” Bae said. “They filled it with water that was kept at just the right temperature, like a heated pool. Here [in Korea], we would just film in the cold.”

Bae Doo-na as sword master Nemesis in ″Rebel Moon - Part Two: The Scargiver″ [NETFLIX]

She also credited Netflix's production team for growing the “wheat field” set — where warriors train, harvest and even battle — themselves. Two wheat fields, in fact, were set at different stages of the crop's growth cycle in order to portray different senses of scale, production designer Stefan Dechant told Netflix in a recent interview.

“They planted the crops and grew the wheat until it was just the right height,” Bae recounted. In her opinion, those fields, and Snyder's other unique sets, are the film's cream of the crop.

“Director Snyder’s unique vision and portrayal of alien planets and life is what viewers should look out for,” Bae said. “The CG is gorgeous and so are the visuals.”