Moniqueblog Interviews: Malana Lea (“Olympus Has Fallen”)

Malana Lea

I’ve mentioned Olympus Has Fallen before on this site, and, as I said before, I’m highly intrigued to see what this film will be like in the theaters. I’m a big fan of action and “Save America/The World” films and I’m especially interested seeing so many minority actors on the screen at the same time–Angela Bassett, Morgan Freeman, Rick Yune and Malana Lea. I was happy to speak with Lea about the film, how she got into character and what it was like to work with the cast.

Lea said her character, Lim, is “a really, really bad guy.” “She’s not a nice person,” she said. “Basically, Rick Yune is the main terrorist, so he’s the mastermind behind the whole plot. I’m like his…I guess you would say his technical brain because I’m charge of taking down the White House…securing the White House and [being] in control of the weapons we use to do more damage. I’m…the techie kind of guy.”

To get into the mindset of Lim, Lea found created a backstory for Lim that would explain why she is doing what she’s doing. “Obviously, when you’re playing a bad guy, you don’t think that you’re bad because you’re doing something right,” she said. “…So, I just went into a lot of [thought] about what that would mean for myself…” Through getting connected to Lim, Lea was able to imagine what could have pushed Lim to help with the White House attack.

Most of Lea’s scenes were with Yune, but Lea said working with the entire cast was “wonderful.” Even though she was in character, she said, she would occasionally get hit with the fact that she was a part of such a huge film with a star studded cast. “Being able to work with Antoine Fuqua and the cast, being a part of such a big production was a lot of fun,” she said. “Being able to play a character like Lim…being able to do such terrible things, that was fun.”

Olympus Has Fallen will not only have tons of explosions, but it’ll also have Lea’s martial arts skills on display. The film will also probably be one that cultural and social analysts will love to dissect, since this film is one that highlights many minority actors along with highlighting the “relationship” America has with North Korea.

Lea said that she doesn’t feel the film makes a large statement about America’s views on Korea, specifically North Korea.  “…I don’t think it says anything negative about Korea. It’s not like Korea is [attacking] America, it’s more like there’s a group of terrorists who happen to come out of Korea. I don’t think it has much credence on the relationship between America and Korea,” she said.

For those wondering about the film, Lea said that action buffs will love it. “It’s fun,” she said “If you’re an action fan, go see it. It’ll definitely be action-packed…There’s a lot of cool stuff going on in this film.”

Olympus Has Fallen comes to theaters March 22.

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