Roundtable Interview With Pom Klementieff And Mark Protosevich On Oldboy [New York Comic Con 2013]


I’m happy to report that one of the most exciting surprises of the New York Comic Con came during the Oldboy panel, where an exclusive scene from the movie was shown. The footage was greeted with cheers, shrieks, and mass approval. If you want to hear more about exactly what was depicted, I go into detail about the scene and what the attending cast had to say over in my coverage of the panel. So if you’d like to hear me explain how Spike Lee is absolutely attempting to keep Park Chan-wook’s dark vibe in tact, head over and check it out!

While that panel itself was a lot of fun, I was also invited to participate in roundtable interviews with the cast, which granted us some more exclusive content, including two more press only scenes that I can’t say a lick about.

After Michael Imperioli gave us a fun talk, we sat down with actress Pom Klementieff and writer Mark Protosevich to discuss their roles in Lee’s production, what we can expect as far as the adaptation is concerned, and just how twisted Mark’s ending is. Hope you enjoy!

Starting things off, we asked Pom abut the physical nature of her role:

Pom Klementieff: Oh yeah! I had to train in martial arts, like Tae Kwon Do inspired training for two months, like three hours a day. I lost a toenail. [Laughs] It was really ugly. I lost it after the movie because I’m really professional, and after I put a bandaid on it with Angry Birds to make it more cute.

Delving into Pom’s character, we asked if she could reveal any details as to what her character’s role in Oldboy is:

Pom Klementieff: Yeah, I’m the bodyguard of the villain. Thanks to [Mark], I’m a girl!

Mark Protosevich: In the original film there was the Mr. Han character, who was always at the villain’s side. Pom is the equivalent of that character, and when I was writing the script I thought it would be cool if it was a woman.

Pom Klementieff: Yes, thank you!

Addressing the fact that Oldboy is a remake, we asked Mark how much freedom he had to adapt the source material:

Mark Protosevich: A lot. When you’re faced with an adaptation, whether it’s a book, an existing film, a graphic novel, or a video game, a lot of it is purely analytical. There’s only so much of this material we can take, and there’s only so much of this that might work. A lot of it becomes this emotional, gut, creative feeling. A lot of times you’re going on instinct, so there are definitely things in terms of – I’ve brought up the analogy before that a lot of the things that Spike and I talked about were, in terms of intent, like cover versions of songs. I love Neil Young’s “Like A Hurricane,” but Roxy Music does this awesome cover of it. You’re honoring the original, but you’re trying to make it as much your own as possible.

One thing I find boring, even in a cover version, is if the song sounds exactly the same as the original. Then I’ve also heard covers where I barely recognize the original song. It’s finding that balance in between, of honoring the original. Believe me, I have nothing but respect for the original, and our intent was to come from a place of honor and respect, but also as a creative person, you want to bring something of yourself to it. Perhaps boost up themes that are a little more interesting to me and to Spike [Lee].