'Elysium's' Matt Damon, Sharlto Copley Pay Tribute to 'Gangnam Style' in Seoul
South Korea is the only Asian country included in the film's promotional tour, and the actors made sure to mention Psy along with local filmmaker Park Chan-wook.
SEOUL — Matt Damon and Sharlto Copley on Wednesday visited South Korea — the only stopover in Asia for the promotional tour for Elysium — and expressed much interest in the local film market and, of course, Psy’s “Gangnam Style.”
“Everyone in America knows it’s a huge [film] market and a growing market. I wasn’t surprised when I was told by the studio that I was coming here. I hope next time I can bring my family here,” Damon said, adding, “I have four kids so believe me, we all know ‘Gangnam Style.’”
The 42-year-old is the latest Hollywood actor to visit Korea this year following Hugh Jackman and Brad Pitt and said he would “jump at the opportunity” to work with local director Park Chan-wook.
Copley spoke about starring in the Spike Lee remake of Park’s Oldboy. “I really love the original Korean film. I felt an affinity [with Korean cineastes] as a South African coming from outside of Hollywood — doing something very different, very creative, and finding it embraced by [Hollywood]. And I think that is the case in Oldboy and the case of 'Gangnam Style,'” he said. “People actually do want to see different things and different accents like I do for Elysium.”
For Elysium, Copley reunites with District 9 director Neill Blomkamp and adopts an ultra-thick South African accent to play the villain. “[Playing my role] was difficult because it’s the most far removed from my natural character,” he said, though he was also able to draw from real-life experiences growing up exposed to racism-fueled violence. “[The film is] a dramatized metaphor for how the world is today.”
While Blomkamp showcases more of his “sci-fi socialism” in the film about discrepancies between rich and poor in a dystopian future, Damon also agreed that that the story resonates with the world we live in today.
“You could enjoy the film from many levels,” he said. “I think Elysium is a metaphor for the haves and haves-not. It’s set in a dystopian future but resonates with the world we live in today. But … you can also just come and enjoy and eat popcorn."
Elysium hits Korean theaters Aug. 29.