Full-time mom, part-time contract killer—Jeon Do Yeon lives the double life in her first-ever action movie, Kill Boksoon! In just two days after its release, the Korean film quickly placed first in Netflix's Top 10 Movies in the PH and if we're gonna be honest here, it deserves a spot in our list of the *best* Original films on the streaming platform.
Helmed by Baeksang (or South Korea's version of the Oscars) award-winning director Byun Sung Hyun, Kill Boksoon tells the kickass story of a woman named Gil Bok Soon. By day, she's a single mom raising her 15-year-old daughter Gil Jae Young (Kim Si Ah). At night, she's a ruthless hitman at killer agency MK Entertainment with a 100% success rate. As she lives a ~life of lies,~ Bok Soon encounters the parenting pains that come with her secret job. When she decided not to renew her contract with the company, she gets tangled in a situation where there are only two choices: Either she kills or she will get killed.
Here are eight interesting things we learned about Kill Boksoon after attending the movie's press con and talking to the cast:
1. Kill Boksoon was made for Jeon Do Yeon.
Director Sung Hyun came up with the plot for the film with only one lead star in mind and it was none other than the internationally-acclaimed actress. He is a such big fan of hers! It was Sol Kyung Gyu (a.k.a CEO Cha Min Gyu in Kill Boksoon) who introduced Do Yeon to the director and he said that nobody can pull off the role except her. Goo Kyo Hwan, who plays Han Hee Seung, also shared that Do Yeon is incomparable. Slaaaaaay!
2. The movie's title is ~inspired~ by the name of Jeon Do Yeon's aunt.
It's really those *random* moments when we get the best ideas! Once upon a time when director Byung Hyun was discussing the Kill Boksoon script with Do Yeon, the actress' aunt called her and he saw that the name on her phone is "Auntie Boksoon." He then told Do Yeon that he was interested in using the name for the film's title and when the actress was hesitant, he became even more deadset to keep it! Do Yeon said that her aunt was honored and although the actress was unsure of it at first because the name contradicts Gil Bok Soon's chic personality, she eventually realized that it fits the story perfectly.
3. Kim Si Ah is super close with Jeon Do Yeon IRL.
Their relationship in Kill Boksoon might be a bit rocky but behind the scenes, they get along with each other so well! "I still call her Mommy Do Yeon. I felt so at home because she really treated me like her own. She would give me advice and help me out not just regarding acting but in other areas as well. I really trusted her and relied on her a lot," says Si Ah during the movie's press conference.
4. Kill Boksoon is Sol Kyung Gyu's third time working with Director Byun Sung Hyun.
You know that feeling when you're already so comfy with each other that no explanation is needed in any convo? Director Sung Hyun only had to call Kyung Gyu once to tell him about Kill Boksoon—take note that it's a "tell" and not an "ask"—and poof, there goes the veteran actor recording his scenes as CEO Cha Min Kyu! Previously, they worked together in Kingmaker (during the 58th Baeksang Arts Awards, they won Best Actor and Best Director for this movie) and The Merciless.
5. Numerous action scenes in Kill Boksoon were filmed without a stunt double.
The epic parts of the movie both have long takes and close-up shots and to achieve this kind of quality, the actors had to do their action scenes on their own. Despite being physically challenging, the cast said that they haven't felt this uplifted. Director Byung Hun mentioned that he wanted to stop midway but the actors were so passionate about it: "I felt an immense amount of gratitude but I did feel very bad looking at them struggling."
6. Kill Boksoon is peppered with references from the entertainment industry.
ICYDK, Do Yeon is a mom IRL and director Sung Hyun thought that it would be great to stitch her public life as a celeb and private life as an eomma in Kill Boksoon—which shows the main character's impressive duality. Apart from that, several terms used in the acting field are applied in the film such as the killer agency having the word "entertainment" in its name (which is often used by management labels in South Korea); murder plans are known as "scripts"; a killing assignment is called a "show"; and wannabe killers have to train first before they can make their "debut" as hitmen (the word "debut" is used by both Korean actors and K-pop idols when they're finally shown to the public as celebrities after going through rigorous training).
7. Kill Boksoon was first shown at a prestigious event in Germany.
A.k.a the Berlin Film Festival! The special screening was attended by 1,800 viewers. Wow!
8. Jeon Do Yeon has realizations after filming Kill Boksoon.
During the roundtable interview, we asked the actress about her biggest takeaway from the movie to which she responded: "I want to live a life where I can be proud of myself, and make choices that are true to who I am. It’s not a lesson learned from a mom, but rather a realization from something a daughter says to a mom. Bok Soon matures as a mom throughout the movie, and I think that process resonated with me, too." Go, Do Yeon eomma!
You can watch Kill Boksoon on Netflix.