Pom Klementieff caught eyes worldwide in the Spike Lee remake of the Korean classic, Oldboy. She's since ditched the yellow umbrella her character is synonymous with and has been making the rounds through Hollywood after relocating from France. Light-hearted, funny, and strikingly beautiful, Klementieff can next be seen in Hacker's Game, a story of love in the internet age. She sits down with our Rogue correspondent Mike Falkow to talk travel, MMA, and her obsession with Eggs Benedict.
You have a very interesting cultural background. Russian/French father, Korean mother. You lived in many places as a child and then lived in France before coming to Los Angeles.
Yes, my father was a French diplomat. He worked for the French consulate. He traveled a lot. Canada, Japan, Ivory Coast in Africa. He met my mother in Seoul, Korea. Apparently he chased her down the street when he first saw her because he wanted to meet her.
So you're very well-travelled. How do you think that effects your view of the world, having seen so much of it?
I loved to travel. I feel I want to travel even more. There's so much to see in the world. I feel like it definitely gives me a sense of a bigger world view.
What was your favorite place you've visited?
Africa is an amazing place. The minute you get off the airplane, you can feel it. It's physical. It's hard to explain, but everything there is so big, so raw, so much more danger there. It's an energy there that hits you as soon as you arrive.
After all that traveling, how did you come to LA?
I was living in Paris, and I felt like I needed a change. I had done a lot of films there, but it was a time in my life where a lot of personal things happened at the same time, and it was one of those moments where you say, "What am I doing with my life?"
Then an opportunity came to me. A producer friend, Roy Lee, gave me the script for Oldboy. Obviously he couldn't offer me the part, because Spike Lee is the kind of director who does whatever he wants. He's a very independent guy and has very strong ideas. But Roy helped me to come to LA, and I am so grateful. It was one of those things where someone helps you and doesn't ask for anything back. So generous. I told him that one day I will pay him back, even if I have to give up a kidney or something if he ever needs it! Haha!
You've been in LA two years now. How do you like it?
I like it a lot. People say the weather here is beautiful. And it's true! The weather is amazing. There's so much to do in this place. Hiking, running, the beach, driving. So many things. Nobody walks in LA (like in the song) but I love to walk. And it's a city that is obsessed with movies. Which I love. All the billboards, and the people. It's great.
Besides acting, do you have any other creative outlets?
I like to sing. But just to myself, if I'm at home, or driving. I was singing to Marylin Monroe on the way here! And my friends tell me that I should write but I don' know. I haven't done it yet. Maybe I'll try it one day.
What kind of films do you love?
It really depends on my mood, but I saw Ex Machina recently and I loved that. Gaspar Noé's films. I'm a fan of his work for sure.
Tell me about your last film Hacker's Game. It looks awesome.
Thank you. It's a love story between two computer hackers. It's out on VOD right now so people can see it on iTunes. I actually was nominated for Best Actress at the Tenerife International Film Festival [for it]. I had never heard of this festival but it's fun.
The director, Cyril Morin, it was great to work with him. The role was very cool. She's like a Girl with the Dragon Tattoo type of character. Very interesting.
And before that you did Oldboy.
Yes. That was a very challenging, but very awesome experience. Spike Lee is a wonderful director. And working with Josh Brolin was a lot of fun too. I trained very hard for that role. Taehwondo for two or three months, three hours a day. It was stressful. I was very focussed on doing a good job, but it was funny though. After all that training, in running shoes, and then I had to do the fight scenes with high heels. So it was even harder.
And did you continue training after the film?
Yes! I studied Taekwondo for about a year after that. I made it through two belts, but after a while I wanted to try something else. I didn't like all the bowing so I tried MMA. I liked that. I think everyone should learn some self-defense. It gives you a kind of confidence.
What's next for you?
I can't talk about it yet. You know how movies go. You can't talk about it until you can. Haha!
Ok, fair enough. Let's talk about something else. I have some random questions for you.
What makes you completely happy?
It's that moment when you're in a bath and the temperature is just right. I love that. That makes me happy!
What makes you laugh?
I laugh all the time! So many things make me laugh, but I have to be careful because sometimes people might think that I'm laughing at them and I'm not. Sometimes I make myself laugh just thinking about something that a friend said to me or whatever. I just think some things are really funny. Hmmm, what makes me laugh? Zach Galifianakis. He's hilarious. Kristen Wiig. She makes me laugh. Chris D'Elia. His instagram is so funny.
What's your favorite music?
I love all kinds of music. It's very eclectic. Except reggae. I feel like I'm a baby bird, just waiting to be fed good music sometimes. But again, it depends on the mood. You know if you're running, or working out, I like to listen to Daft Punk.
What are your rules to live by?
Have fun! That's number one. And try not to hurt others, if you can avoid it. Sometimes you can't avoid it but that's okay. It's important to be tough sometimes too. I don't know. I don't really have rules like that, but I think to have fun is one of them.
You're a food lover right?
If you could have a meal with anyone in the world, who would it be? And what would you eat?
I have an obsession with Eggs Benedict. I love Eggs Benedict and hash browns. I would want to have Eggs Benedict with Lena Dunham. I think that would be so great.