French actress Isabelle Huppert is escorted by Kim Dong-Ho, former festival director of the Busan International Film Festival, as they arrive to attend the opening ceremony of the festival at the Busan Cinema Center in Busan, South Korea, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011. The biggest film festival in Asia showcases more than 300 films from 70 and runs from October 6-14. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
BUSAN, South Korea (AP) — French actress Isabelle Huppert says curiosity has drawn her to Asia and helped her discover the region’s innovative talents.
Huppert made inroads into Asia as an actress this year when she starred in Filipino director Brillante Mendoza’s “Captured.” In the thriller, she plays a hostage taken by a group of terrorists.
Huppert has appeared in more than 90 productions since making her screen debut in 1972. She received the best actress award at the Cannes Film Festival for her 2001 role in “The Piano Teacher.”
She told reporters Friday that she is now working with South Korean director Hong Sang-soo on a new film.
“Since the very beginning, I’ve been attracted to going on the road,” she said on the sidelines of the Busan International Film Festival. “I was never willing to stay in my country. I wanted to travel.”
Huppert said she noticed a “kind of proximity” between French and South Korean movies when she discovered Hong’s “Woman Is the Future of Man,” a satirical 2004 movie about two men and their mutual former girlfriend.
Huppert said she began to approach Asia “out of curiosity” and is impressed by its filmmakers’ “capacity to invent.”
“It’s alive. It’s vivid,” she said.
Asian films have been gaining international prominence with the success of directors like China’s Zhang Yimou, South Korea’s Park Chan-wook and Thailand’s Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
Huppert is among the most-nominated actors in France’s annual Cesar competition, comparable to the Academy Awards, and was head of the Cannes Film Festival jury in 2009. Earlier this year, she was honored with the Stockholm Film Festival’s lifetime achievement award.
Huppert is one of dozens of guests adding to the glamor of the nine-day Busan film festival that kicked off Thursday.