Inquirer Super

Park So-dam, Bae Doona and the women in Bong Joon-ho’s films

By Ruel S. De Vera
01/28/20 11:49 AM

Whether or not he wins an Academy Award, Korean director Bong Joon-ho is the most talked about director right now. That’s because his 2019 film “Parasite” is an extraordinary genre-defying work that brings a larger, more diverse audience to Bong’s similarly extraordinary earlier works. A story of families and societal stratification, “Parasite” won big at the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the Golden Globe Awards. Bong’s 11th film, it is nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, the first Korean film to do. Bong’s earlier films should get a look, most notably the bleak 2013 sci-fi film “Snowpiercer” and the 2006’s monster movie “The Host,” both among the highest-grossing Korean movies of all time.

Bong certainly has his favorites: Song Kang-ho, who plays Mr. Kim in “Parasite,” has appeared in four Bong movies. “Parasite” also shines a bright light on the Korean actress who have played prominent roles in Bong’s films. Here are four who stand out:

Park So-dam

No one has had as much of a breakout success with a single Bong movie as So-dam has had with “Parasite.” She plays Ki-jung or “Jessica,” the smart daughter of con man Kim who pretends to be an art tutor. The 28-year-old is best known for her star turn as a lead in two different 2016 series, the rom-com “Cinderella and the Four Knights” and the drama “A Beautiful Mind.” Her star is on the ascendency, so expect her future projects to get a lot of buzz.

“Parasite”

Bae Doona

One of the most famous Korean actresses in Hollywood, Doona played a former Olympic archer who deals with a tragedy in “The Host.” Doona previously appeared in the films “Jupiter Ascending” and “Cloud Atlas”; she has a great role on the “Sens8” TV show and will return in the second season of the Netflix period zombie series “Kingdom.”

“The Host”

Read: Our Top 10 favorite K-drama actresses

Go Ah-sung

The quirky, cute Ah-sung has appeared in two Bong movies, “The Host” as schoolgirl Park Hyun-seo and “Snowpiercer” as train baby Yona; Doona had recommended her to Bong for “The Host.” Ah-sung has done a lot of YV, most notably 2017 legal comedy “Radiant Office” and 2018’s “Life on Mars,” a Korean adaptation of the BBC time travel series.

“Snowpiercer”

Cho Yeo-jeong

Yeo-jeong is no stranger to daring roles. She played Hwa-yeon, the aristocratic daughter who becomes queen in “The Concubine.” She plays the rich, spoiled and clueless mother Park Yeon-gyo in “Parasite.”   

“Parasite”

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