Many local moviegoers liked her previous movies, especially “Lost in Translation” (2003) and “Marie Antoinette” (2006).
Sofia Coppola’s latest film is arriving in Korean theaters next month, and the movie ― titled “The Bling Ring” ― will likely draw those who love designer labels, interested in the lifestyle of Hollywood celebrities, and of course, Coppola and her well-known taste in fashion. (The filmmaker is the famous muse of Marc Jacobs).
|A scene from Sofia Coppola’s latest work “The Bling Ring.” (Challan)|
And the high-fashion heist film has another local connection. It is based on a teen true-crime case, where a group of seven Los Angeles teenagers who infamously burgled the homes of Hollywood celebrities, including Paris Hilton, Rachel Bilson, Megan Fox and Lindsay Lohan from 2008 to 2009. The leader of the gang, Rachel Lee, is a Korean-American who had reportedly been obsessed with reality television.
The teens stole more than $3 million worth of luxury goods from the celebrity homes, including designer bags, clothes and Rolex watches. The celebrity and fame-obsessed youngsters are plausibly performed by Emma Watson, Taissa Farmiga, Israel Broussard and emerging actress Katie Chang.
Ironically, Paris Hilton, who was one of the victims of the burglary case, let Coppola film the movie in her house. A number of the crime scenes were shot in Hilton’s real-life home ― filled with luxurious goods and framed photographs of the actress in glamour. Hilton also makes a cameo appearance in the movie.
Among the actors, Katie Chang, who performs Rebecca Ahn ― a stand-in for the real-life Rachel Lee ― is one-quarter Korean from her father’s side. A native of Winnetka, Illinois, she won the role of Rebecca through an audition. She steals the show in the film as the troubled and beautiful Rebecca, who is both shallow and obsessed with fame, fashion and celebrity culture.
“One of the great things about working with Sofia is that she lets you knock down the wall and just let loose and go crazy,” said Chang through the local promoter of the movie. “She really encouraged us to be as free as we could be and that was fun because we knew we were allowed to do what we (wanted. We) were like, ‘Let’s have fun and play.’”
Unlike her highly flawed character in the movie, Chang is described by the U.S. press as “intelligent” and “grounded.” She is said to be moving to New York later this year to attend Columbia University to study creative writing.
“It’s difficult,” Chang said. “My view was that I couldn’t go in judging my character because she did seem really shallow, but in order to play her you can’t think that she’s shallow. I don’t think of myself as shallow but I very well could be.
“So in that sense you have to dig deeper and you know at the root of it. She’s a teenage girl and I’m a teenage girl and right there you have similarities, because all teenage girls end up unfortunately being self-conscious, lacking self worth, things like that ― that’s just normal.”
One of her costars is the popular British actress Emma Watson, who mastered a Los Angeles accent for the film. “Emma is very approachable and I know that if we ever had a question about the media we could go to her,” she said through the promoters.
“She’s like the Mother Hen of our group. She’s lovely. But it’s fascinating to do press with her and see how she handles it. I know that all the rest of us look up to her and try to learn from her.”
“The Bling Ring” opens in local theaters on Sept. 5.
By Claire Lee (email@example.com