Actor Choi Woo Shik Almost Turned Down The Movie Role That Eventually Led To Him Being Casted For “Parasite”

Do you recognize this movie?

Actor Choi Woo Shik is best known for his role as Ki Woo from the 2019 critically acclaimed film Parasite. He received praise for his mature acting skills which perfectly accompanied the heaviness of the movie.

Choi Woo Shik

It’s almost hard to think that such a role would never have come to him had he turned down another one a few years before. In an interview with MMTG, Woo Shik delved deeper into why Set Me Free (2014) was such a pivotal project from him.

I only used to play very bright and frivolous characters in dramas so I was a bit like, ‘I want to play different roles.’ And this film came to me at that time.

— Choi Woo Shik

He initially turned down their offer to star in the lead role of the indie film. He believed he was not yet competent enough to play Yeong Jae, an unfortunate teen who struggled to find a home after being abandoned by his father and orphanage.

But at first I rejected it because I thought I wouldn’t be able to play it. I’ve never seen such a character before. The ones I used to play were high tension. They were high tension but this one was too low so I thought I wouldn’t be able to play it.

— Choi Woo Shik

Even if it turned out to be “difficult to play,” Woo Shik challenged himself and received remarkable results. He won major awards such as “Best New Actor” in prominent award shows.

The director of Parasite, Bong Joon Ho, watched Set Me Free and was left with a big impression of the budding young actor. Though it wasn’t a big role, Woo Shik was offered to be part of the cast of Okja, another iconic Korean film.

Director Bong Joon Ho watched this and said, ‘Choi Woo Shik in ‘Set Me Free’ is so good at acting’…so Woo Shik worked with Director Bong Joon Ho in a work titled Okja. He was evaluated as the scene stealer for his role as Mr. Kim and Director Bong said he felt sorry for Woo Shik when he was just standing still.

— JaeJae

Woo Shik agreed that Set Me Free was the “butterfly effect” that led to the happiest moments of his life and career with Parasite.

He cast me for this film because of Set Me Free.

— Choi Woo Shik

After that short role as a truck driver in Okja, Bong Joon Ho was convinced that he needed to cast Choi Woo Shik again, this time in Parasite.

Bong Joon Ho: Woo Shik, what will you do from now on?

Choi Woo Shik: Nothing, I’ll work out.

Bong Joon Ho: Don’t work out and wait. Keep yourself skinny.

And the rest is history!

Check out the full video below to learn more about Woo Shik’s latest project, Our Beloved Summer.

Source: YouTube