After Oscars, ‘Parasite’ stars are booked and busy: Now beloved at home and abroad, the actors have a lot on their plates this year

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After Oscars, ‘Parasite’ stars are booked and busy: Now beloved at home and abroad, the actors have a lot on their plates this year

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From left, actors Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Choi Woo-shik, Jang Hye-jin, director Bong Joon-ho, Park So-dam, Park Myung-hoon and Cho Yeo-jeong pose for a photo backstage after the Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday. [YONHAP]

After snatching up four Oscars, including Best Picture, at the Academy Awards on Sunday night, the cast of “Parasite” quickly became some of the biggest stars in Hollywood and all around the world.

After winning their awards, Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik, Park So-dam, Lee Jung-eun, Jang Hye-jin and Park Myung-hoon mingled alongside Hollywood megastars such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Renee Zellweger and fit right in with the crowd.

The cast returned to Korea on Tuesday morning, and even after a 13-hour flight, they were beaming with pride, smiling for the photographers who were there to greet them. After the whirlwind success of “Parasite,” naturally many people are wondering what’s next for the film’s stars.

The most attention is on Song, a major star in Korea in his own right, who has come to be known internationally as director Bong Joon-ho’s muse for the number of films he has done with the award-winning director. “Parasite” was Song’s fourth lead role in a Bong film after “Memories of Murder” (2003), “The Host” (2006) and “Snowpiercer” (2013).

When asked if he was willing to work with Bong for a fifth time at a press conference after the Academy Awards, Song sarcastically replied that he was “not so sure.”

“[The characters I played] were so tiring. I had to live in an underground apartment and had to get soaked in the rain. Maybe if the next character is like the CEO [that Lee Sun-kyun played], I’ll think about it,” Song said.

Song’s next film is “Emergency Announcement” (translated) from director Han Jae-rim. The disaster movie is set on an airplane on high alert due to an epidemic happening outside. It’s the actor’s third collaboration with Han after “The Show Must Go On” (2007) and “The Face Reader” (2013). Anticipation for the film is high as it stars Song and actor Lee Byung-hun in the lead roles.

Many are also curious about what’s in store for the young stars of “Parasite” Choi Woo-shik and Park So-dam.

Choi’s schedule for the rest of the year is packed, starting with director Yoon Sung-hyun’s upcoming thriller “Time to Hunt,” set to be released in the local box office on Feb. 26. Choi appears alongside actors Lee Je-hoon, Ahn Jae-hong and Park Jung-min in Yoon’s second feature film after his widely acclaimed “Bleak Night” (2011).

The crime film “The Policeman’s Lineage” from director Lee Kyu-man is still in production and is scheduled to be released later this year. Choi stars in the film with Cho Jin-woong.

He will also appear in the highly-anticipated “Wonderland” from director Kim Tae-yong, which is set to begin filming later this year. The film will star big names Bae Suzy, Park Bo-gum and Tang Wei. The movie is set in “Wonderland,” a virtual world where people get to see loved ones that they have lost using artificial intelligence. Choi will play a mediator of the land.

The actor has also reportedly received an offer from American film distribution company A24 to play the male lead in the upcoming romantic film “Past Lives” from director Celine Song. His agency Management Soop released a simple statement last month saying that the actor was deliberating the offer. The film is about childhood sweethearts from Korea meeting again later in life. Choi, who grew up in Canada and speaks English, may be the “Parasite” actor who would be the most comfortable taking on a role in an American production.

Park So-dam’s next film is next month’s “Fukuoka” from director Zhang Lu. The movie is about two men and a girl named So-dam (played by Park) who end up traveling together. The two men are former friends who loved the same woman 28 years ago. They are played by veteran actors Kwon Hye-hyo and Yoon Je-moon.

She will also appear in the upcoming crime action film “Special Delivery” (translated). Park plays the lead role of a driver named Eun-ha, who is willing to deliver anything as long as her customers can pay her cash. In the film, Park is reunited with child actor Jung Hyun-joon, her “Parasite” co-star who played Da-song, the Park family’s youngest child.

The film’s other stars have been keeping busy working on various television dramas and films as well.

Cho received rave reviews from viewers of the KBS drama series “Woman of 9.9 Billion,” which wrapped up last month. In the series, Cho played a role that would be entirely unfamiliar to people who only know her as the naive stay-at-home mother Yeon-gyo in “Parasite.” She portrayed Seo-yeon, a woman suffering from domestic violence who one day comes upon a large sum of money that she uses to start a new life with.

Lee Sun-kyun is preparing to start filming the movie “King Maker.” In the film, he will play a strategist, a hidden but important figure who sets the atmosphere for the presidential campaign of aspiring politician Kim Woon-beom (played by Seol Kyung-gu). Lee recently wrapped the JTBC drama series “Diary of a Prosecutor” and also contributed his voice to the comedy “Mr. Zoo: The Missing VIP,” playing a goat.

Jang is currently appearing alongside Park Myung-hoon in the popular tvN drama series “Crash Landing on You.” Jang plays the mother of main character Seo-dan, and Park plays her uncle. As they come from an elite North Korean family, some viewers hardly recognize the duo as they went through a radical transition from their shocking portrayal of the poor couple living in the rich family’s home in “Parasite.” Park will also appear in “The Policeman’s Lineage” with Choi and is preparing to start shooting the films “Save Us from the Evil” (translated) by director Hong Won-chan and “Vacation” by director Yook Sang-hyo.

However, it seems like the title of busiest actor among the eight belongs to Lee Jung-eun. Lee wasn’t even able to participate in the press conference after the Oscars because she had to go straight back to Korea due to her shooting schedule.

She currently appears in the Netflix drama series “My Holo Love” which was released last Friday and is currently shooting the KBS2 drama series “I Went Away Once” (translated), which will start airing next month.

Lee’s face was seemingly always on television last year as she appeared in the JTBC drama series “The Light in Your Eyes,” the OCN series “Hell Is Other People” and “When the Camellia Blooms” on KBS. Each series was a hit, and viewers showered the actor with praise and compliments for her moving and haunting performance.

This year, viewers will get to see Lee back on the big screen as well. The actor will appear in the historical drama “Jasaneobo” by director Lee Joon-ik and also in director Park Ji-wan’s debut feature film “The Day I Die” (translated). The actor will star alongside Kim Hye-soo and Kim Sun-young in the film.

BY MIN KYUNG-WON, LEE JAE-LIM [lee.jaelim@joongang.co.kr]




할리우드도 부른다…러브콜 쏟아지는 ‘기생충’ 배우들

영화 ‘기생충’이 제92회 아카데미 시상식에서 작품상 등 4관왕에 오르면서 출연 배우들에 대한 관심도 높아지고 있다. 송강호·이선균·조여정·최우식·박소담·이정은·장혜진·박명훈 등 주연 배우 8명이 모두 시상식에 참석한 데다 수상 무대에 오른 봉준호 감독이 이들을 모두 호명하면서 고루 스포트라이트를 받았다. 전 세계 시청자들에게 확실하게 눈도장을 찍는 기회였던 셈이다.
가장 주목받는 이는 송강호다. ‘살인의 추억’(2003), ‘괴물’(2006), ‘설국열차’(2013)에 이어 4편째 봉준호 감독과 호흡 맞추면서 봉 감독의 ‘페르소나’로 불린다. 5번째 작품도 함께 할 의향이 있느냐는 취재진 질문에 송강호는 “확신을 못 하겠다. 너무 힘들다. 반지하에 살고 비도 맞아야 한다. 다음에는 박 사장 역이면 생각해보겠다”며 유머로 답했다.
송강호의 차기작은 ‘비상선언’이다. 항공기 테러 소재의 재난 블록버스터로, 항공기가 재난 상황에 직면했을 때 무조건 착륙을 선언하는 항공 용어에서 제목을 따왔다. 투톱 송강호와 이병헌의 연기 대결도 관심사다. ‘관상’(2013)과 ‘더 킹’(2017)의 한재림 감독이 메가폰을 잡는다.
최우식과 박소담을 향한 관심도 뜨겁다. “물 들어올 때 노 젓겠다”고 공언한 최우식은 오는 26일 ‘사냥의 시간’을 시작으로 출연작이 줄줄이 개봉을 기다린다. ‘파수꾼’(2011)으로 주목받은 윤성현 감독의 신작으로 이제훈·안재홍·박정민 등 또래 배우들과 호흡을 맞춘다. 일본 작가 사사키 조의 동명 소설이 원작인 범죄 영화 ‘경관의 피’(감독 이규만)와 그리운 사람을 AI로 재현하는 가상세계를 배경으로 하는 ‘원더랜드’(감독 김태용)도 준비 중이다.
해외 러브콜도 쏟아지고 있다. 최우식은 미국 영화 제작·배급사인 A24로부터 ‘전생’ 출연을 제안받았다. A24는 ‘문라이트’(2018) ‘레이디 버드’(2018) 등의 제작사다. 어린 시절 한국에서 만난 두 사람이 재회하는 내용이다. 최우식은 한국에서 나고, 캐나다에서 자라 영어 장벽이 없는 것도 강점이다.
박소담은 다음 달 ‘후쿠오카’ 개봉을 앞두고 있다. 28년 전 한 여자 때문에 절교한 두 남자와 귀신같은 한 여자의 기묘한 여행을 담은 작품으로 미스테리한 캐릭터 소담 역을 맡았다. ‘군산: 거위를 노래하다’(2018)에 이어 두 번째 호흡을 맞추는 장률 감독은 “온몸의 세포가 다 연기와 관계된 것 같다”며 박소담을 극찬했다. ‘특송’(감독 박대민)에선 돈만 되면 뭐든 배송하는 성공률 100% 운전사 역할로 범죄 액션물에 도전한다. ‘기생충’에서 사제 관계로 호흡을 맞춘 정현준과의 재회도 기대 포인트.
스크린과 브라운관을 오가며 활약하는 배우들도 많다. 조여정은 지난달 종영한 KBS2 ‘99억의 여자’에서 물오른 연기력으로 호평받았다. 절망적인 상황에서 벗어나려 발버둥 치는 역할로 ‘기생충’의 부잣집 사모님과는 정반대의 매력을 선보인 것. 최근 봉준호 감독이 직접 연출한 ‘기생충’ 콘셉트의 화보로 미국 ‘W’ 매거진 표지를 장식하는 등 해외 매체들의 관심도 이어지고 있다.

이선균은 JTBC ‘검사내전’을 마치고 ‘킹메이커: 선거판의 여우’를 준비 중이다. 대통령을 꿈꾸는 정치인 김운범(설경구) 뒤에서 뛰어난 선거전략을 펼치는 서창대 역을 맡았다. ‘불한당: 나쁜 놈들의 세상’(2017)으로 열혈 팬덤을 끌어낸 변성현 감독의 신작으로 ‘지천명 아이돌’ 설경구에 이어 ‘불혹 아이돌’이 탄생할지도 관심사다. 지난달 개봉한 ‘미스터 주: 사라진 VIP’에서는 흑염소 목소리 연기를 맡기도 했다.
이정은은 시상식 직후 귀국해 기자회견에 참석하지 못했다.
장혜진과 박명훈은 tvN ‘사랑의 불시착’에 함께 출연 중이다. 서단(서지혜)의 엄마 고명은과 외삼촌 고명석 역을 맡아 극에 활기를 불어넣고 있다. 둘 다 ‘기생충’의 기택 부인 충숙과 지하 벙커에 살던 근세와는 이미지가 전혀 달라 같은 사람인지 못 알아보는 경우도 많다. 최우식과 함께 ‘경관의 피’를 촬영한 박명훈은 ‘다만 악에서 구하소서’(감독 홍원찬)와 ‘휴가’(감독 육상효)를 준비 중이다. 각각 범죄 액션와 휴먼 드라마 장르로 또 다른 모습을 선보일 것 예정이다.
시상식 직후 기자간담회 참석도 하지 못하고 귀국한 이정은의 스케줄은 올해도 꽉 찼다. 7일 넷플릭스에서 공개된 드라마 ‘나 홀로 그대’에 이어 다음 달 시작하는 KBS2 주말극 ‘한 번 다녀왔습니다’도 기다리고 있다. 각각 ‘아는 와이프’(2018)로 호흡을 맞춘 이상엽 PD와 양희승 작가의 신작이다. 지난해 ‘눈이 부시게’ ‘타인은 지옥이다’ ‘동백꽃 필 무렵’ 등으로 1년 내내 시청자들과 만난 데 이어 올해는 극장에서도 자주 볼 수 있을 것 같다. 이준익 감독의 신작 사극 ‘자산어보’와 박지완 감독의 장편 데뷔작 ‘내가 죽던 날’을 준비 중이다. 한 소녀의 자살 사건을 쫓는 추적극 ‘내가 죽던 날’에서는 김혜수·김선영 등과 호흡을 맞춰 걸크러시 면모가 기대된다.

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