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Don Lee says ‘Eternals’ will warm people’s hearts

Don Lee poses at the premier for “Eternals” in Los Angeles on Monday. (The Walt Disney Company Korea)
Don Lee poses at the premier for “Eternals” in Los Angeles on Monday. (The Walt Disney Company Korea)

Korean American actor Don Lee, better known as Ma Dong-seok in Korea, says that he will return to the cinema with a heartwarming Marvel film in “Eternals.”

“The film centers around the people of different races from around the world getting together to form a new family. The audience will be drawn to the touching stories of the film,” Lee said during an online press conference with a group of reporters Friday morning.

“It was a surprising experience to become friends with many actors from different background in a short period of time. I am certain that our chemistry can be seen in our upcoming film,” he added.

The 50-year-old stars in “Eternals” as Gilgamesh, the strongest physically of the 10 superheroes in the squad.

Asked how he felt about working with Angelina Jolie, Lee said it felt like meeting an old friend he knew very well from the past.

“Though Angelina Jolie is a global superstar, an actor with amazing career, working with her on the film was not strange and unfamiliar. Jolie told me that she became a fan of me after watching my film and told many good stories about us during other press conferences. Our chemistry is definitely something that the audience should look forward to in the theater,” Lee told The Korea Herald.

Jolie made a brief, surprise appearance at Lee’s press conference.

“It was a dream to work with him. I was a fan before. When I realized that we were doing a lot of scenes together and becoming a pair in the film, I was unbelievably excited. We are partners, but he is also a protector and he has become a dear friend,” Jolie said.

Angelina Jolie (left) and Don Lee appear in an online press conference Friday. (The Walt Disney Company Korea)
Angelina Jolie (left) and Don Lee appear in an online press conference Friday. (The Walt Disney Company Korea)

Lee continued the interview with praise for “Eternals” director Chloe Zhao.

“Before the Oscar-winning film ‘Nomadland,’ I was already impressed by ‘The Rider.’ After working with her in person, I came to realize she is both an artistically and commercially successful director. And rather than insisting on her thoughts, Zhao continues to communicate with the actors to figure out the best ways to shoot the film and provide a comfortable environment for the cast to act,” Lee said.

While excited to star in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the first time, Lee believes it will not drastically change his life.

“I started working with Hollywood before Korean contents came to the attention to international fans and viewers. Finally, I get to share my first result, ‘Eternals.’ But I try not to dwell too much on having been in a Marvel film. I will continue to work hard to become a better actor and entertain both domestic and global fans,” the actor said.

Lee shared an important message of his upcoming film as well.

“Being a superhero movie, ‘Eternals’ aims to entertain the audience with spectacular actions and dramatic scenes. However, it also seeks to deliver an important message of accepting others without any prejudice because of race, sex, age and nationality. Though individually the heroes have insane powers, they become invincible when standing together in harmony,” Lee said.

“Eternals” opens in Korean theaters on Nov. 3.

By Lee Si-jin (sj_lee@heraldcorp.com)
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