'The effects are that good': Kim Tae-ri talks about role in 'Alienoid 2'

Actor Kim Tae-ri plays Lee Ahn in director Choi Dong-hoon's science fiction-fantasy mash-up ″Alienoid 2,″ a woman with superpowers who can wield thunder [CJ ENM]

Actor Kim Tae-ri has played a wide range of roles since her debut, from a handmaiden to a gun-wielding freedom fighter and demon-possessed student. But no other role has challenged her as much as the character of Lee Ahn in the two-part “Alienoid” films, the second of which opens in theaters on Jan. 10.

“I was stuck between a rock and a hard place playing this character because there were so many emotions and themes that I had to act out,” Kim said during an interview with reporters on Jan. 4. “My character would lose someone close to her one moment, and the next people would be joking around her, and we would be jumping from one century to another. It was very overwhelming and difficult to stand my own ground while all this was happening. But in the resulting film, the editing, music and direction from director Choi Dong-hoon made it all work.”

Kim’s character Lee Ahn is one of the central figures of the “Alienoid” films: a woman who can summon the power of thunder and who confronts alien prisoners who overtake human bodies. As Lee Ahn has a lot of action scenes involving her fighting with aliens and the handful of other central characters of the ensemble cast, Kim had to train very hard, especially since “Alienoid 2” reaches the climax of the overarching story.

“I am not very physically apt nor that good at action sequences, but I did train hard with a martial arts specialist and practice a lot,” Kim said. “I especially like observing how my expressions also change with the different ways that I use my body during the action bits. And each of the cast and characters have very distinct fighting styles, so that is also a point to look out for when watching ‘Alienoid 2.’”

Actor Kim Tae-ri [CJ ENM]

Another element to watch out for in “Alienoid 2” is the visual effects, which have been significantly upgraded from the first part that was released two years ago, according to Kim.

“Scenes that we actually did film and those that were realized through visual effects have been so meticulously mixed and fused together that I was left wondering which ones were which,” Kim said with a laugh. “Even as a cast member, knowing what was fake and what was not — it was confusing. The effects are that good.”

Kim also addressed the underwhelming box office results and viewer response from the first “Alienoid” film, saying that “Alienoid 2” will make up for the disappointment.

Main poster for ″Alienoid 2″ [CJ ENM]

“I think the audience will find answers to questions in the second part of the story that could have left them slightly disappointed with the first part,” Kim said. “The unique background setting and why the director had laid out the story in such a distinct way will also become clear in ‘Alienoid 2.’”

Having Ryu Jun-yeol, who plays another central character, Mureuk, alongside Kim’s Lee Ahn, was a comfort for Kim, as the actors developed a close friendship after working on the 2018 indie film “Little Forest.”

A scene from ″Alienoid 2″ starring Kim Tae-ri [CJ ENM]

“Knowing that a friend and colleague around your own age is doing so well in the industry is comforting and encouraging,” Kim said in reference to Ryu. “Filming scenes together with him and learning from each other helped me a lot in getting in character for Lee Ahn and tuning into the story for ‘Alienoid.’”

Kim also praised director Choi Dong-hoon for his professionalism on set.

“Choi is someone who really, really loves films and the process of making them,” Kim said. “I enjoyed working with him and would love to collaborate again on another project. His dedication and professionalism shows especially in ‘Alienoid 2,’ and this film will hopefully bring audiences in who have not watched the first film to go back and watch that one also.”

Actor Kim Tae-ri [CJ ENM]

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