If you’ve seen the 2019 hit Parasite, then you’d recognise Choi Woo-Shik as Ki-Woo, the Kim family’s son who pretended to be a skilled tutor named Kevin. Ki-Woo’s kind and credible-looking exterior with an underlying cunningness was perfectly portrayed through Choi Woo-Shik’s versatility. That’s why it’s no surprise that his performance left an impression on viewers. But have you ever wondered why he seemed so familiar?
Prior to Parasite, Choi Woo-Shik was already an established actor. He has appeared in numerous TV shows and movies, some of which were also directed by Parasite’s Bong Joon-Ho (BJH). Curious what these other Choi Woo-Shik movies and TV shows are? Find them below.
TV show: Rooftop Prince (2012)
Rooftop Prince, one of Choi Woo-Shik’s earlier and underrated works, is a time-travel fantasy rom-com. The story starts with the disappearance of conglomerate heir Yong Tae-Yong (Park Yoo-Chun) in modern-day South Korea. In a twist of events, his ancestor and eerie lookalike, Crown Prince Lee-Gak from the Joseon era (also played by Park Yoo-Chun), gets transported to the present day along with his close crew, including palace eunuch Do Chi-San (Choi Woo-Shik). Given their similar appearance, Lee Gak gets mistaken for the missing Tae-Yong.
Why you should watch it: Fantasy Asian dramas like Rooftop often deliver a great balance between comedic moments and heartfelt sequences. The chemistry between the cast, especially the ‘Joseon time-travelling crew’ — including Park Yoo-Chun and Choi Woo-Shik in their portrayal of subservience versus friendship — also solidified the effectiveness of the plot.
Movie: Train To Busan (2016)
Your eyes may have been too busy watching Gong Yoo to notice anyone else in this 2016 hit, but yes, Choi Woo-Shik also appeared in Train To Busan. He played Yong-Guk, the ace baseball player who was with the group of students trapped inside the train when the zombie attack happened. Despite being playing a supporting role, Choi Woo-Shik was definitely a scene-stealer during his sequences; his character was one of the few genuine brave souls in the narrative.
Why you should watch it: If you love a movie that won't get stale no matter how many times you watch it, Train To Busan is the film for you. It’s a perfectly paced film that gives impactful storytelling without relying too much on exposition, leaving the audience in a rush at every scene. Just like Parasite, it also provides unmissable social commentary through a good ‘show and not tell’ kind of manner.
TV show: Fight For My Way (2017)
It’s pretty common in most K-dramas for close friends to cameo in each other’s works. With Choi Woo-Shik and Park Seo-Joon (who starred in this 2017 drama) being in the same clique, it’s no surprise that they also shared the screen together in some of their projects.
Prior to Park Seo-Joon’s short appearance in Parasite, Choi Woo-Shik had a short stint on Fight For My Way as Park Moo-Bin; the character’s a rival in love of Park Seo-Jun’s Kang Dong-Man. Similar to his role in Parasite, Choi Woo-Shik’s character was also two-faced, pretending to be a knight in shining armour to the female lead Choi Ae-Ra (Kim Ji-Won) but was actually two-timing her.
Why you should watch it: Aside from seeing the BFF oppas fighting for the same girl (at least for a short while in the plot), Fight For My Way is simply a great K-drama about friendship, love, family, and fighting your way to your dreams. It’s not without heart-wrenching moments, but overall, it’s a feel-good drama worth a couple of rewatches.
Movie: Okja (2017)
Okja, which is also directed by Parasite director Bong Joon-Ho, is about Mija (Ahn Se-Hyun) a young girl who befriends a genetically modified creature named Okja. One day, Okja goes missing, which of course leads to Mija looking for her. On her search, she encounters “environmentalist” CEO Lucy Mirando (Tilda Swinton) who is hiding a secret about the true nature of her company. We won’t completely spoil Choi Woo-Shik’s role in this star-studded film, but we highly guarantee that even with Hollywood A-listers joining the cast lineup, he never fails to steal the spotlight whenever he’s onscreen.
Fans of BJH would know that he loves working with the same actors because of his particular storytelling style. That’s why we take Choi Woo-Shik’s casting in a lead role in Parasite following his Okja stint is a sign that he now makes the director’s handpicked list of favourites, too.
Why you should watch it: If you liked Choi Woo-Shik in Parasite, there’s no doubt you’ll like him in Okja. We won’t spoil anything, but trust our word when we say that this adventure film about friendship is great for the entire family.
(Cover photo from: @dntlrdl)
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