Oscar-Winning Movie "Parasite" Stars A Vancouver-Raised Actor
Choi Woo-Shik even went to SFU!
After dominating the Oscars on Sunday, February 9, the Korean thriller comedy Parasite launched its actors to the peaks of stardom. However, Choi Woo-Shik, the actor who played the cunning Kim Ki-Woo, reminds us that stars are just like us. The Parasite star was raised in Vancouver and he's so relatable.
Before he starred in an, the Parasite actor was a kid in Vancouver just like us.
In a 2012 interview with Star English, a Korean talk show that interviews all its guests in English, Choi told a tender tale of his childhood, growing up in a country that didn't speak his language.
"When I was 11 years old, my family and I immigrated," said Choi, specifying that he landed in Vancouver. "We lived in Coquitlam, a very small city."
After arriving in Canada, Choi had a hard time fitting in. Starting grade six as an immigrant who didn't know the language was tough.
"I basically had no idea about English and had no idea about making foreigner friends because of cultural differences," he said.
To top it off, Choi was a self-described "really shy guy." He said his classmates would make fun of him for bringing kimchi to lunch.
"They were like 'oh that's the new guy from Korea, yeah but he smells,'" said Choi. "So they didn't come and talk to me."
Fortunately, Choi soon fell in with a gang of friends at school that made him feel more at home. 13 friends, to be exact.
Soon dubbed the "FF14" (which stands for "friends forever 14"), Choi's group not only made him more comfortable with eating kimchi but also helped him to forge connections that would last a lifetime.
"I had a hard time kind of making friends but they kind of came and said... I don't know. They were really reliable," said Choi. "I can really talk about stuff with them."
After high school, Choi remained in B.C., pursuing a bachelor's in arts for a time at Vancouver's Simon Fraser University, but he wanted to act.
Ever since he was a child, Choi explained, he dreamt of, of a career in acting in Korea. He'd sometimes fly all the way from Canada to Korea just for an audition. As he studied at SFU, an opportunity finally struck.
"While I was in my freshman year of university, I finally had that chance of the online audition," he said. "So I dropped all my courses and I just flew here."
"My mother said 'This is going to be one of your tipping points, so you have to really think like an adult... When you take that ticket and go to Korea, don't blame us,'" Choi recalled.
"I said 'okay, trust me.' And I came here."
However, despiteat the Oscars, Choi's success could be bittersweet because he had to leave many of his Vancouver-based friends behind.
As Choi moved to Korea to pursue acting, most of his 13 friends stayed behind in Canada. However, he said they still keep in touch.
Now that he's moving on to a promising future on the screen, we couldn't help but feel proud that he's from B.C.