Tang Wei explores AI, emotions in heartwarming sci-fi drama ‘Wonderland’

Chinese actor Tang Wei plays the role of Bai Li in the new sci-fi drama film “Wonderland.” Courtesy of Acemaker Movieworks

“I like movies that deeply provoke my thoughts. And I think this movie will draw various reactions from the audience. Before filming ‘Wonderland,’ I used to think that evolving AI technology was a bit scary,” the actor said during an interview with The Korea Times at a cafe in Jongno District, central Seoul, Monday.

“The movies about AI that we’ve been seeing so far tend to be dark, violent and somewhat frightening, but ‘Wonderland’ is different in that it’s heartwarming. It directly reflects the sincerity, warmth and hope that director Kim Tae-yong has in his life.”

The new sci-fi drama film, set to hit the local theaters Wednesday, revolves around an AI platform service called Wonderland, which allows people to video chat with a virtually 안전 created version of a deceased person. To reunite with their loved ones, a young flight attendant Jeong-in (Bae Suzy) and a Chinese single mom Bai Li (Tang) request the service to communicate with them through video calls.

Bai Li requests to create an AI version of herself to hide her death from her young daughter, making her daughter believe that she is on an archaeological expedition abroad.

Tang has most of her scenes talking through a video call to her daughter and her older mother, who is skeptical about the service and stays aloof from the AI version.

“I mostly had to act alone, imagining against a jade-colored background (for graphics) while looking at my phone. The AI version of Bai Li doesn’t have flaws like a real-life person and doesn’t have emotions, so expressing it was very challenging,” she said.

“But since it was a type of acting I hadn’t done before, it was also quite fun … I approached the role thinking that, when she transitioned from the real-life Bai Li to Wonderland’s AI version, there would be no sadness or regret, but only a perfectly positive demeanor.”

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