×

Busan Facetime: Actor Choi Woo-shik Looks to Make a Hollywood Leap

South Korean actor Choi Woo-shik’s career spans indies (“Set Me Free”) to hit mainstream films (“Train to Busan”) to international productions (“In the Room”) but it’s Bong Joon-ho’s “Okja,” which bowed at Cannes and is screening in the BIFF’s Korean Cinema Today — Panorama section, which put Choi on small and big screens worldwide in the Netflix film that also stars Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano and Steven Yeun.

You first rose to fame with Kim Tae-yong’s “Set Me Free,” for which you earned multiple awards including actor of the year prize at the Busan festival in 2014. Have more opportunities arisen for you ever since?

Yes, thankfully. Until “Set Me Free,” I had to pass auditions to [get] roles but fortunately, these days there are quite a few roles that I am offered directly. Yeon Sang-ho and Bong Joon-ho had approached me for “Train to Busan” and “Okja,” respectively, [telling me] that my performance in “Set Me Free” was impressive.

“Okja” is an American film and was the biggest international production that you have ever been involved.

The production scale of “Okja,” which I had never experienced before, was jaw-dropping. Not only the actors but also all the staff were experts in their fields. If I ever make it to Hollywood, I assume that there must be even more for me to learn and feel.

Speaking of which, having spent your teenage years in Vancouver, Canada, you’re bilingual. With the opportunities for bilingual Asian stars getting better, you must be keen to make a leap to the U.S.

I have always dreamed of working in the U.S. There are already some audition offers [from overseas] and I am going to almost all of them, whatever the roles might be. For now, I think the most important thing to do is to try for what could be done.

Are there any specific characters that you want to play?

Cho Seung-woo’s role in recent Korean TV series “Strangers” is what I would really love to play: a character that’s both smart and manly, like those in BBC’s “Sherlock.” “Strangers” feels somewhat like the series’ Korean version.

More Film

  • With PGA win, 'Green Book' is

    Oscars: With PGA Victory, 'Green Book' Becomes Best Picture Frontrunner

    Save for a pair of recent back-to-back discrepancies in “The Big Short” and “La La Land,” the Producers Guild’s Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Theatrical Motion Pictures has been a fairly reliable barometer for the annual Oscar season outcome. At least, ever since both the PGA and film Academy expanded their top categories, sharing the [...]

  • Peter Farrelly30th Annual Producers Guild Awards,

    PGA Awards: 'Green Book' Wins Top Feature Film Award

    “Green Book” has won the Producers Guild’s Darryl F. Zanuck Award as the top feature film of 2018. The 1960s drama-comedy topped “BlacKkKlansman,” “Black Panther” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Crazy Rich Asians,” “The Favourite,”  “A Quiet Place,” “Roma,” “A Star Is Born” and “Vice. “When you make ‘Dumb and Dumber’ you never expect to get an award,” [...]

  • Netflix HQ LA

    Andy Gruenberg, Veteran Film Executive, Dies at 68

    Veteran film executive Andy Gruenberg, who most recently oversaw theatrical distribution at Netflix, died suddenly on Friday. He was 68. Gruenberg worked on classic films like “Ghostbusters,” “Karate Kid” and “Silverado” while at Columbia Pictures in the 80s and 90s. He then moved to MGM where he served as exec VP of distribution. There he [...]

  • Fyre Festival Caterer Receives Thousands in

    Unpaid Fyre Festival Caterer Raises Thousands in Donations on GoFundMe

    As two Fyre Festival documentaries hit the airwaves, a couple who say their credit was ruined due to the Fyre Festival’s lack of payment for their services have raised $54,381 at time of publication on GoFundMe. Elvis and Maryann Rolle wrote on their page that they catered “no less than 1000 meals per day” in [...]

  • DF-10956_R – Gwilym Lee (Brian May) and

    'Bohemian Rhapsody' Producer Confirms Bryan Singer's Reason for Leaving, Says 'No One' Was Attached to Play Mercury

    “Bohemian Rhapsody” producer Graham King provided insight into some of the events surrounding the Golden Globe-winning film Saturday at the Producers Guild Awards Nominees Breakfast, including director Bryan Singer’s departure from the film partway through production. “It’s an unfortunate situation, with like 16, 17 days to go and Bryan Singer just had some issues, his [...]

  • Author Tony Mendez arrives at the

    Tony Mendez, Former CIA Officer Depicted in 'Argo,' Dies at 78

    Tony Mendez, the former CIA technical operations officer who orchestrated the 1980 rescue of six American diplomats from Iran and who was portrayed by Ben Affleck in the Academy Award winning film “Argo,” has died. He was 78. Mendez’s book agent, Christy Fletcher, announced the news on Twitter Saturday morning. “Early this morning, Antonio (Tony) [...]

  • Glass Movie

    'Glass' to Rank in Top 3 MLK Debuts With $48 Million

    M. Night Shyamalan’s “Glass” is on its way to a solid debut with an estimated $48 million for the four-day Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. A sequel to 2000’s “Unbreakable” and 2017’s “Split,” the Universal superhero thriller should bring in around $41 million from 3,841 domestic locations over the Friday through Sunday period. The estimates are [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content