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Bong Joon Ho, ‘Parasite’ cast talk about Oscars experience

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After the historic win of “Parasite” at the 92nd Oscars, director Bong Joon Ho and the stars of the movie held a press conference in Seoul on Feb. 19 to talk about their experience and plans.

“Parasite” won the Oscars best picture, the first non-English language movie to bag the award. It also won Best International Feature Film, Best Original Screenplay and Best Director for Bong.

Besides Bong, Korean stars Song Kang Ho, Lee Sun Kyun, Cho Yeo Jeong, Park So Dam, Lee Jung Eun, Jang Hye Jin and Park Myung Hoon attended the press conference without Choi Woo-shik.

Bong said to campaign for the Oscars, he and Song Kang Ho “conducted more than 600 interviews and over 100 talks with audiences.”

“Song Kang Ho and I worked until we got nosebleeds many times. While the other films had large billboards across LA and appeared on advertisements of major magazine covers, we could only work hard to take a reversal and overcome disadvantages by our strong teamwork and unique ideas. The busy artists temporarily put their work aside to spend time for the campaign, and the studio had to use quite a lot of estimated budget,” said Bong, according to JTBC Plus.

The road to the Oscars took six months, Song Kang Ho revealed, saying, “Looking back, I think this is a process of seeing the greatness in others, not ourselves. We did not rely on this process to win prizes but used the work to communicate and sympathize with filmmakers around the world.

The cast of 'Parasite' at the Oscars (Instagram/Park So Dam)

The cast of ‘Parasite’ at the Oscars (Instagram/Park So Dam)

Martin Scorsese, who won the Oscars best director at the 2007 Academy Awards for “The Departed, sent Bong a letter on Feb. 19 before the press conference took place.

In the letter, Scorsese told Bong, “You have worked hard in the past time, get some rest. But just a little.. Everyone is looking forward to your next work, so take a little rest and come back to work soon.”

“I feel very happy and grateful. Previously, I was diagnosed with exhaustion after making the movie ‘Okja.’ However, because I really wanted to make ‘Parasite,’ I gathered all my strength and spirit to film this movie. I was still able to do well the campaign for the “Oscars” even though it was more time-consuming than the filming. I thought about taking a break, but director Martin Scorsese told me not to rest too much, so I’ve kind of giving up on that,” Bong said.

Bong said “Parasite” drew interest because it “is a story that we can see in our neighborhood. The cast realistically portrayed this. It’s a movie based on reality. Because of that, I guessed it would be more influential.”

He revealed that he has been preparing for his next two movies, which are not related to “Parasite.”

“I’m still preparing them as normal. ‘Parasite’ is a movie keeping my inherent calmness. I don’t film for any fixed purposes. I just try my best to create the works of high perfection as usual. In the future, I will probably continue to maintain that foundation,” he said.

With the Oscar awards, the stars of the movie have received offers to work in foreign projects but Song Kang Ho said, “I want to have a domestic job instead of Hollywood. My most recent job was in January 2019.”

Lee Jung Eun, who played the housekeeper in “Parasite,” said that “when I first filmed ‘Parasite,’ I thought, ‘As an actress, I have to go to Hollywood once.’ However, when the movie became famous all over the world, I thought, ‘The world still knows me even if I don’t come to Hollywood.’

“Perhaps, thanks to ‘Parasite,’ people paid me attention and interest. If I have an opportunity, I always want to try to work abroad once,” said Park So-dam, who played the role of Jessica in the movie.

Lee Sun Gyun, who essayed the character of Nathan, said that “I’m the kind of person who sticks with nothing, so I don’t have that plan. However, if I have a chance, I hope to do many things.”

Cho Yeo Jeong, who is Lee Sun Gyun’s wife in the movie, said that “acting in Korean is hard enough already. Maybe, advancing to Hollywood needs thinking thoroughly. I want to join numerous great works in Korea.”

Bong Joon Ho and the “Parasite” stars will meet Korean President Moon Jae-in today at the Blue House in Seoul.

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