[CELEB] Chun Woo-hee doesn't discriminate if the role is right


Moviegoers will be able to see actor Chun Woo-hee in two thrillers this week — “Anchor,” released last Wednesday, and “I Want to Know Your Parents,” which will be released this Wednesday.

Both releases were postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but as the government's social distancing measures eased up, allowing moviegoers to consume food inside theaters from Monday, local films have been lining up for their long-overdue premieres one by one.

In “Anchor,” Chun portrays the perfectionist news anchor Se-ra — an irreproachable, composed elitist who seems to have everything but suffers from both exterior and inner pressure that builds up as she dives into a case she reports.

Scenes from “Anchor,” where Chun Woo-hee plays a perfectionist news anchor burdened by her complicated relationship with her mother. [ACEMAKER MOVIEWORKS]

“There were three keywords that I singled out for Se-ra,” Chun said at an online interview last week. “Coolness, heat and craze — I wanted to express them through her. As the film reaches the peak of its narrative, I wanted the audience to be able to picture the graph leading up to when her inner madness implodes, the point in her life when everything is destroyed and reborn. It's been a while since I was in a project where I had to carry the full narrative of the story from the beginning to the end, and one where I had to do that through portraying the inner commotion of this character.”

It turns out that Se-ra suffers from dissociative identity disorder, an accumulative result of childhood trauma associated with her mother. Chun feels that the bond between Se-ra and her mother is what distinguishes the film from other similar thrillers.

“I did relate a lot with Se-ra, because I think that everyone has a desire to become accepted, to be recognized within their respective positions in the society,” she said. “What I sympathized most with her is her love for her mother. She grew up to be the anchor that her mother wanted to be, lived all her life vicariously fulfilling her mother’s dream like an avatar, but I believe that in a way she had accepted that. A relationship between a mother and a daughter is very intricately formed and complex — it is the most difficult relationship yet the closet one, I think.”

A scene from “I Want to Know Your Parents,” where Chun is a high school teacher who struggles to get the word out on school bullying when she receives a suicide letter from one of her students. [MINDMARK]

Another film starring Chun is “I Want to Know Your Parents,” a film which tackles the socially prevalent issue of school bullying through the perspective of the perpetrators’ parents, adapted from a Japanese theatrical play with the same title by Seigo Hatasawa. Chun portrays a high school teacher under a contract who receives a suicide letter from one of her students Geon-woo, a victim of school bullying. When first offered for the role, Chun had initially declined because she had seen the original play in Korea and wanted to “preserve the original feel of the play.” However, she accepted the role when actor Seol Kyung-gu personally gave her a call to persuade her.

Chun debuted through the 2004 film “Love So Divine” and consecutively featured in supporting roles in director Bong Joon-ho’s “Mother” (2009) and “Sunny” (2011). It was in the latter film that she began to receive attention for her performance as high school student Sang-mi who sniffs glue and threatens her peer with a knife. She was given the best actress award at the 2014 Blue Dragon Film Awards with her role in the independent film “Han Gong-ju,” adapted from the true story from 2004 of a middle school student who was repeatedly gang-raped for a year in Miryang, South Gyeongsang. Her performance for this film was spotlighted by international film auteurs as well, such as Martin Scorsese, who called the film “outstanding,” noting its “mise-en-scene, image, sound and performance,” and French actor Marion Cotillard, who said, “So much detail […] and the actress was amazing,” at the 2014 Fribourg International Film Festival.

A scene from “Han Gong-ju” (2014), through which the actor gained global recognition for her portrayal of a teenage student named Han Gong-ju, a victim of gang rape. [CGV ARTHOUSE]

Chun continues to star actively in projects regardless of the scale and is recognized for her wide range of acting in films such as “The Wailing” (2016) by Na Hong-jin and “Maggie” (2018) by Yi Ok-seop and television series such as tvN’s “Argon” (2017) and JTBC’s “Melodramatic” (2019).

Chun Woo-hee

Date of birth: April 20, 1987
Zodiac sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Icheon, Gyeonggi
Debut: August 2004 through film “Love So Divine”
Agency: H& Entertainment

Chun Woo-hee debuted through a small role in 2004 film “Love So Divine” and began to receive recognition for her vivid performance in 2011 film “Sunny.” She was internationally spotlighted for her performance in the 2014 independent film “Han Gong-ju,” receiving praise from multiple-Oscar winner Martin Scorsese and French actor Marion Cotillard. She continues to feature actively in small- and big-budget projects regardless of genre.

This information was confirmed by H& Entertainment on April 21, 2022.