SEOUL – Actress Bae Doo-na talked about Cloud Atlas in her home country through a mobile Internet application, perhaps the smartest way to spread the word about the sci-fi film given that 60 percent – or 30 out of 50 million – of mobile phones used in South Korea are smartphones.
Movie promotions in the country have quickly evolved with the proliferation of digital technology, and it’s not uncommon for press conferences to be streamed live online, as it was when Hugh Jackman and Cameron Mackintosh visited for Les Miserables, or when local fans had a real-time international video conference with Daniel Craig about Skyfall earlier this year.
Smartphones are also fast becoming the major tool for accessing the Internet in the most wired country on the planet. In 2012, the number of mobile Internet users in Korea rose 17 percent to exceed 23.8 million, whereas those connecting to the Web through a personal computer increased by just four percent.
Bae chatted Friday evening about the movie with five fans, chosen through a drawing prior to the event, on the mobile messenger service My People. The chat, which was intended to last 30 minutes, was extended an extra half-hour as the conversation continued, according to organizers.
The event created buzz online, as the conversation was revealed live through the local portal site Daum. Cloud Atlas shot up to fourth place among the most researched items in real-time in the country (according to ranking by Korea’s largest portal, Naver).
Bae emphasized that the film is “a piece of work that marks a milestone in cinema history.” She said she was “excited to hear the names of her co-stars,” Hollywood A-listers such as Tom Hanks and Halle Berry, when she was cast. The 33-year-old expressed much affection for the film’s “amazing” special makeup effects team, which enabled her to play three different characters. She said she felt the most fondness for Sonmi-451, a role she assumed during about 95 percent of her time with the film’s production.
“Thinking about the connection between the different characters a given actor plays will add to the fun of watching the movie,” Bae told fans during the chat. “You’ll be able to piece the puzzle together if you allow yourself to get immersed in the story.”
Cloud Atlas opens in Korean theaters via NEW on Jan. 9.