"I'm more curious about how audiences react (to my film) than the award from the Cannes Film Festival."
Director Park Chan-wook said this on June 2 at a news conference for "Decision to Leave" at JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul in the capital's Jongno-gu District.
"Compared to my previous films, this one has more aspects that only Koreans can understand," he added. "Tang Wei's lines in Korean are special."
The conference came after Park on May 28 received the Best Director award from the Cannes festival and returned to Seoul. Actors Tang Wei and Park Hae-ill also attended to discuss the film.
On his Best Director award, the director said, "This time, the film festival has changed," adding with a smile, "It was nice and happy to see trophies offered to the winners of other categories, not just (the top honor of) the Palme d'Or."
On casting Tang, the director said, "Scriptwriter Jeong Seo-kyung recommended that I have a Chinese actor play the main female lead, with Tang in mind."
"I had also hoped to work with her and above all, Tang could make the character more persuasive, something the scriptwriter and I both wanted."
Born in Hangzhou in China's Zhejiang Province, Tang last appeared in a Korean film in 2011, starring in "Late Autumn" directed by her husband Kim Tae-yong.
On the film's male lead played by Park Hae-ill, the director said, "I've known him for years and thought that I'd worked with him on at least one or two movies, but realized that we'd never worked together on a film."
"The script was almost tailor-made for him."
Tang's lines in Korean in the film also attracted media attention.
She said, "When director Park first told me about the film, he spent about 1 1/2 hours explaining it," adding, "Thanks to his talk, I could approach the story and felt relieved instead of worried over having to act in a foreign language."
"As a fan of director Park's film style, I was lucky to work with him," she said with a smile.
On the Korean Tang spoke in the movie, the director said, "Though her Korean was accurate and showed good learning of the language, she still showed an accent and pronunciation different from those of native Koreans, which could seem unfamiliar and strange to the audience."
"She mostly studied Korean from books and said old-fashioned expressions from historical dramas, and this is her character's charm."
"Decision to Leave" is about a detective named Hae-jun (Park Hae-il) who views Seo-rae (Tang), the widow of a murder victim, with both interest and suspicion in his latest murder investigation. The film is slated for release in Korea on June 29.
Park Chan-wook won Best Director for the film at Cannes, his third award from the festival and the most received by a Korean. He previously won the Grand Prix for his thriller "Oldboy" in 2004 and the Prix du Jury for his vampire drama "Thirst" in 2009.