Choi Woo-sik: “After ‘Parasite’, the burden on my acting has increased. I can’t sleep properly thinking about the future”

Actor Choi Woo-sik is returning to the silver screen with the movie “The Policeman’s Lineage” by director Lee Kyu-man. 

The Policeman’s Lineage”, which will be released on Jan 5th, is based on the novel of the same name by Japanese writer Sasaki Joh. The movie is a crime investigation drama that depicts the dangerous pursuit of Kang-yoon (Cho Jin-woong), the ace of the Metropolitan Investigation Unit who doesn’t care about the investigation, and Min-jae (Choi Woo-sik), a new undercover police officer who has come to monitor Kang-yoon.

Choi Woo-sik plays Choi Min-jae, a new police officer who sneaks in as an undercover to dig into the truth of Park Kang-yoon (Cho Jin-woong), the ace and class leader of the Metropolitan Investigation Team who boasts an unrivaled arrest rate. Choi Min-jae is a person who sticks to principles as firmly as he believes in it, and he is at odds with Park Kang-yoon who doesn’t hesitate to violate the law in order to catch the criminals.

Choi Woo-sik’s representative works are “Giant,” “Train To Busan,” “Witch,” and Parasite where he has been loved for his boyish charm. However, in “The Policeman’s Lineage,” he will leave a strong impression with his unexpected masculine charm. From rough action scenes to sleek suit fit, he showcases a variety of charms and will greet the audience with a new face. Choi Woo-sik has talked about “The Policeman’s Lineage” through a video interview.

  • You have done crime action, romance, and many other genres both on the silver screen and home screen, which genre is the most difficult to you?

Both of the genres you have mentioned are very difficult. There seems to be no easy genre for me. While filming “Our Beloved Summer”, I felt something new, and I think the teamwork between actors is really important here. Looking at both works, acting with Kim Da-mi and Cho Jin-woong are two different types of teamwork. I don’t think there’s an easy genre considering this. What’s fortunate is that both characters of me are released on the silver screen and the small screen at home, which makes me feel strange. Fortunately, my chemistry with both actors work so well that there are times when unexpected ad-lib acting came out.

Choi Woo-sik The Policeman’s Lineage
  • You’ve experienced the Cannes and Oscar one after another with “Parasite”. How do you feel about the achievement of K-content nowadays with the recent global success of “Squid Game”?

I’m really looking forward to the future. Now, I think it would be great to be able to meet a movie like “Parasite,” but it also feels like the path has changed a little. Nowadays, it’s the power of OTT. As the audience gets to know more and more about the K-content, they found out that the previous works are also interesting. They will expect more from future works, but as in the case of previous works in the past, we just film it without thinking about this before, but now it’s so new and interesting to approach with the mindset that “The foreigners will like this too.” I’m also excited now that people all around the world can easily watch these works. In the past, there were almost no foreigners watching movies with subtitles, but now that there are more of them, they changed their minds and look for old movies overseas on OTT platforms, which makes me look forward to the future. I want to be able to act in new titles that everyone will like, as soon as possible.

Choi Woo-sik The Policeman’s Lineage
  • “The Policeman’s Lineage” is the first movie you filmed since “Parasite”. What was your biggest concern and what kind of change did you want to make in this work?

After “Parasite”, I felt a lot of pressure about my acting. The burden of “What should I do next?”, “What kind of work should I approach in the future?” was too great. When I think about my future, there were many times when I couldn’t even sleep properly. I have to reduce my greed and thoughts, but what should I do? Then, what came to my mind was the “process”. I thought the process of expressing the character Min-jae would be fun. Director Lee Kyu-man was similar to “Kingsman”. He was so nice to me. During the first meeting, we discussed about Min-jae together and he said that the process of creating this character would be interesting. Most importantly, I looked forward to acting with senior Cho Jin-woong. I think “The Policeman’s Lineage” is a movie with a happy process that could suppress my burden after “Parasite”.

Choi Woo-sik The Policeman’s Lineage
  • You are likely to get many calls from Hollywood. 

There aren’t many love calls from overseas for me after “Parasite”. However, with the success of “Squid Game”, it seems more advantageous to put K-contents into the foreign markets. I have a lot of greed for overseas movies and I think I can speak English well, but I’m looking forward to meeting good works in Korea because most of the roles in Korean films are more meritful and interesting.

  • “The Policeman’s Lineage” is the first Korean movie in 2022, so there may be expectations and responsibilities.

People couldn’t go to the theater a lot because of the pandemic, and I think it was very difficult to watch movies in such a situation. I felt really good to be able to greet the audience with a movie that widely opens the door to the year 2022 with the energy of the Year of the Tige. It’s been a while since I went to the cinema, and what I felt during the preview was “It’s a movie that you can enjoy at the theater.” I hope you’ll support and love “The Policeman’s Lineage” as it is the first Korean movie in 2022.

Choi Woo-sik The Policeman’s Lineage
  • I wonder how you feel about competing with actress Park So-dam as the movie starring her also got premiered at the same time.

There is a cheering atmosphere between us. We cheered each other on with good energy. The “Parasite” family also gave us the same message of support. I think it would be great if our movies come out well and people go to the cinema safely while following safety rules.

  • What are your plans for this year and the title you want to get?

I’m currently starring in “Our Beloved Summer”. What I was greedy for through “Our Beloved Summer” was “Did Choi Woo-sik have that kind of image?” I want to show you that I’m an actor with various aspects, an actor who doesn’t feel awkward in any role. I hope 2022 will be a year where you can see a new side of me.


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