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[K-Star’s Best Character] When Choi Woo Shik Met Young Jae in ‘Set Me Free’

Edited by Hwang Hong Sun
Translated by Jeon Gyeong Ju

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Credit: Filament Pictures

Among the cast of Parasite, Choi Woo Shik is the actor who drew the biggest attention at the promotional events for the movie. At that time, his lack of the gift of gab and flustered expressions gave the audience a big laugh. Indeed, he is a professional actor who becomes very serious during his work.

Choi Woo Shik developed his career since his actual debut as an actor through MBC’s historical series The Duo (2011). Performing mostly in the television dramas, including Tree With Deep Roots (2011) and Rooftop Prince (2012), he made it to the movie scene in 2013 with the role of Yoon Yoo Joon, a high school student who harasses Kim Soo Hyun, in Secretly Greatly. After then, he met with Set Me Free, the film that would change his acting career, in 2014.

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Credit: Filament Pictures

Set Me Free is an independent film about Young Jae, a teen boy who left home and grew up in a group home, suffering from growing pains. In this movie, Choi Woo Shik plays the role of Young Jae, revealing his various sides. Young Jae is a twofold character who behaves nicely and sincerely in front of adults, saying that it is his dream to be a priest, but deceives his conscience and lies to others constantly for his own benefit. Choi portrayed desperate heart and anger of Young Jae, fearing that he would be kicked out of the shelter, with his heartfelt acting. After watching his performance, critics showered him with high praise, saying “the discovery of the year” about him.

The same was true of the moviegoers who watched the film. Set Me Free gained so huge popularity that it was difficult to get tickets of the work at the Busan International Film Festival. Thanks to these enthusiastic responses, Choi Woo Shik won Actor of the Year award, newly created in 2014, at the Busan International Film Festival in the same year. Since then, he was consistently recognized for his acting talent by sweeping the Best New Actor awards at the 36th Blue Dragon Film Awards, the 35th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards, and the 16th Busan Film Critics Awards. Winning one of the prizes at the Blue Dragon Film Awards, he again made a cute mistake of hitting his head on a microphone while saying words of thanks after his acceptance speech.

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Credit: NEON Twitter

Choi Woo Shik, well recognized for his acting skills through Set Me Free, has actively been continuing his career on the big and small screens. His schedules is quite tight this year as well. Besides Time to Hunt, his latest work to be released on Netflix on April 10, he’s still busy preparing for his next films such as The Policeman’s Lineage (working title) and Wonderland. In particular, he has received a lot of love calls not only in Korea but also from overseas due to the global hit of Parasite. I’m looking forward to the next move of Choi Woo Shik, who showed off his improved performance through Set Me Free and secured his position as an actor after meeting with Parasite.

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