Choi Woo-shik (Korean최우식; Korean pronunciation: [[tsʰø.u.ɕik̚]]; born March 26, 1990), or Edward Choi, is a Canadian actor based in South Korea. He first gained widespread recognition for his leading role in the film Set Me Free (2014). He then co-starred in the films Train to Busan (2016) and Parasite (2019), both of which received international critical acclaim and success, the latter winning the Palme d'Or at Cannes and the Academy Award for Best Picture. He also played the lead role in the popular television series Our Beloved Summer (2021–2022).

Choi Woo-shik
Choi in December 2021
Born
Choi Woo-shik

(1990-03-26) March 26, 1990 (age 33)
Seoul, South Korea
Other namesEdward Choi
CitizenshipCanada
Alma materChung-Ang University (Cultural Studies)
OccupationActor
Years active2011–present
AgentFable Company[1]
Korean name
Hangul
최우식
Hanja
崔宇植
Revised RomanizationChoe U-sik
McCune–ReischauerCh'oe U-sik

Early life edit

Choi was born in Seoul, South Korea, the younger of two sons. He migrated to Vancouver, Canada with his family when he was ten years old, in grade five, where he spent the next ten years of his life.[2] He attended high school at Pinetree Secondary School.[3] His English name is Edward Choi and he goes by the nickname Eddie.[4]

In 2010, while attending Simon Fraser University, then-20-year-old Choi was given permission by his parents to attend an acting audition in Korea, subsequently leading to him making his acting debut. Whilst in Korea, Choi enrolled at Chung-Ang University, where he majored in cultural studies,[3] the reason was because when he was little he didn't have the opportunity to know or learn Korean culture before, because he lived and grew up in Canada.[4]

Career edit

2011–2015: Early years edit

Choi made his acting debut in the period drama The Duo in 2011.[5] Supporting roles followed, and Choi was cast in crime drama Special Affairs Team TEN as detective Park Min-ho.[6] Choi reprised his role when the series was renewed for a second season in 2013.[7] He made his big screen debut that same year, starring as a supporting character in the film Flu and Secretly, Greatly. In the interim, Choi played several characters on television series such as Rooftop Prince, You Are My Destiny and Pride and Prejudice.

 
Choi in November 2014

In 2014, Choi took on his first leading role in the coming-of-age independent film Set Me Free.[8] He played the role of Young-jae, a sixteen-year-old student living in a group home, who pretends that he wants to become a priest in order to prolong his stay at the home. The film was well received by critics, and Choi was praised for his portrayal of the protagonist's inner conflict.[9] He won several awards for his acting, including Actor of the Year at the Busan International Film Festival.[10][11] Later that year, Choi also starred in the action comedy film Big Match, playing the role of genius hacker Guru.

Choi starred as the titular character in the romantic comedy cable series Hogu's Love. The series began airing on February 9, 2015.[12] Choi also took part in the R-rated Hong Kong-Singaporean film In the Room later that year. The film featured an anthology of characters, set in a single-room brothel at a hotel in Singapore.[13]

2016–present: Rising fame and international breakthrough edit

Choi first gained international recognition with the blockbuster zombie thriller film Train to Busan, where he played the role of high school baseball player, Yong-guk. Premiering at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival on May 13, the film was a critical and commercial success, going on to gross over $93.1 million worldwide.[14] He followed this up with a short, but memorable role as a truck driver in action-adventure film Okja.[15] This marked his first collaboration with director Bong Joon-ho and featured an international cast, including Tilda Swinton and Paul Dano. Okja was screened in several independent theatres domestically, and released on streaming platform Netflix worldwide.

 
Choi in June 2018

Choi continued starring in several other films after this, including The Princess and the Matchmaker and Monstrum. In 2018, Choi was cast as a mysterious assassin called the "Nobleman" in the action film The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion.[16] The dark persona of the Nobleman was a shift from the characters Choi usually played. In a press interview, co-star Park Hee-soon remarked that Nobleman could be Choi's once-in-a-lifetime character.[17]

In 2019, Choi reunited with director Bong Joon-ho for the black comedy thriller film Parasite.[18][19] Choi played the main character Ki-woo, the son of a poor family, who schemes to become employed by a wealthy family by infiltrating their household and posing as unrelated, highly qualified individuals. Choi was first approached by Bong after their first collaboration with Okja in 2016, who told the actor to "stay skinny" to play the character.[20] Parasite premiered at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival on May 21, 2019, where it became the first South Korean film to win the Palme d'Or, and was the first film to win with a unanimous vote since Blue Is the Warmest Colour at the 2013 Festival. Among other numerous accolades, Parasite won a leading four awards at the 92nd Academy Awards. It became the first South Korean film to receive Academy Award recognition, as well as the first film in a language other than English to win Best Picture.[21] The cast also won the award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture at the 26th Screen Actors Guild Awards.[22] In addition to his role as Ki-woo in Parasite, Choi performed the end credits song "Soju One Glass," which made the shortlist for the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

In December 2021, Choi starred in the SBS drama Our Beloved Summer[23] alongside Kim Da-mi. It marked his return to the small screen in 4 years since 2017,[24] as well as the reunion of the two actors after their film The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion (2018).[16]

In 2022, Choi returned to the big screen with the film The Policeman's Lineage which premiered on January 12, 2022.[25]

On April 28, 2023, it was announced that Choi's contract with Management SOOP has expired after he decided not to renew it.[26]

Upcoming roles edit

He will star in the upcoming South Korean sci-fi fantasy film Wonderland.[27]

Filmography edit

Film edit

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2011 Etude, Solo Hwang Kyeong-min Short film
2012 Circle of Crime [28]
2013 Secretly, Greatly Yoon Yoo-joon [29][unreliable source?]
Flu Jeong-Jin Cameo appearance [30]
2014 Set Me Free Young-jae [8]
Big Match Guru [31]
2015 In the Room Min-jun Singaporean film [32]
2016 Train to Busan Yong-guk [33]
2017 Okja Kim Woo-shik [34]
2018 Golden Slumber Joo-ho Cameo appearance [35]
The Princess and the Matchmaker Nam Chi-Ho [36]
The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion Gwi Gong-Ja (Nobleman) [37]
Monstrum Officer Hur [38]
2019 Rosebud Young Soon-cheol [39]
Parasite Kim Ki-woo / Kevin (alias) [40]
The Divine Fury Father Choi Cameo appearance [41]
2020 Time to Hunt Ki-hoon Netflix film [42]
2022 The Policeman's Lineage Choi Min-jae [25]
TBA Wonderland TBA Netflix film [27]

Television series edit

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2011 The Duo Young Gwi-dong [43]
Living in Style Na Joo-ra [44]
Deep Rooted Tree Young Jung Gi-joon / Ga Ri-on [45]
2011–2013 Special Affairs Team TEN Park Min-ho Season 1–2 [46][47]
2012 Rooftop Prince Do Chi-san [48]
Family Yeol Woo-bong [49]
Culprit Among Friends Young Do-hyun Drama special
2013 Who Are You? Hee-koo Cameo (Episode 10, 12, 13) [50]
Principal Investigator: Save Wang Jo-hyun! Boo Joong-shik Drama special [51]
2014 You're All Surrounded Choi Woo-shik Cameo (Episode 4) [52]
You Are My Destiny Lee Yong [53]
Pride and Prejudice Lee Jang-won [54]
2015 Hogu's Love Kang Ho-gu [12]
My Fantastic Funeral Park Dong-soo Two-part special [55]
2017 Fight for My Way Park Moo-bin Cameo (Episode 1–7) [56]
The Package Kim Gyung-jae [57]
2021–2022 Our Beloved Summer Choi Woong / Go-oh [23][58][24]
2024 Melo Movie Go Gyeom [59]

Web series edit

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2013 Someday Chae Man-sik
2015 Dream Knight Past student Cameo appearance [60]
2017 The Boy Next Door Park Gyu-tae [citation needed]
2024 A Killer Paradox Lee Tang [61][62]

Television shows edit

Year Title Role Ref.
2012 I'm Real Cast member [63]
2013–2014 Beating Hearts [64]
2015 Law of the Jungle in Nicaragua [65]
2020 Summer Vacation [66]
2021 Youn's Stay [67]
2022 In the Soop: Friendcation [68]
2023 Jinny's Kitchen [69]
Jinny's Kitchen Team Building
2024 Jinny's Kitchen Season 2

Music video appearances edit

Year Song title Artist Ref.
2014 "My Old Story" IU [70]
2015 "Congratulations" Day6 [71]
2017 "That Moment" Lim Seul-ong [72]
"You Were Beautiful" Day6 [73]

Discography edit

Title Year Album
"Some Guys"
(with Jang Ki-yong)
2017 OST of the web series The Boy Next Door
"Soju One Glass" 2019 OST of Parasite
"Poom"
(with Peakboy)[74]
2021 Non-album single
"Polaroid"
(With Wooga Squad : Park Seo-joon, Park Hyung-sik, Kim Taehyung, Peakboy)
2022 Theme Song of In The Soop : Friendcation

Awards and nominations edit

Name of the award ceremony, year presented, category, nominee of the award, and the result of the nomination
Award ceremony Year Category Nominee / Work Result Ref.
APAN Star Awards 2022 Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Our Beloved Summer Nominated [75]
Best Couple Choi Woo-shik with Kim Da-mi
Our Beloved Summer
Nominated [76]
Asia Artist Awards 2020 Popularity Award (Actor) Choi Woo-shik Nominated [77]
2021 Nominated [78]
Asian Film Awards 2020 Best Supporting Actor Parasite Nominated [79]
Blue Dragon Film Awards 2014 Best New Actor Set Me Free Won [80]
Buil Film Awards 2015 Best New Actor Nominated
2019 Best Actor Parasite Nominated [81]
Brand Customer Loyalty Awards 2022 Best Male Actor Our Beloved Summer Nominated
Busan Film Critics Awards 2015 Best New Actor Set Me Free Won [82]
Busan International Film Festival 2014 Actor of the Year Won [83]
Chunsa Film Art Awards 2017 Special Popularity Award Choi Woo-shik Won [84][unreliable source?]
2019 Best Actor Parasite Nominated [85]
Critics' Choice Awards 2020 Best Acting Ensemble Nominated [86]
Director's Cut Awards 2019 Best Actor Nominated
Korean Association of Film Critics Awards 2015 Best New Actor Set Me Free Won [87]
Korea First Brand Awards 2019 Best Actor (Film) Choi Woo-shik Won [88]
Max Movie Awards 2015 Best New Actor Set Me Free Nominated
2016 Rising Star Award Choi Woo-shik Won [89]
SBS Drama Awards 2021 Director's Award Our Beloved Summer Won [90]
Top Excellence Award for an Actor in a Mini-Series (Romance/Comedy) Nominated [91]
Best Couple Award Choi Woo-shik with Kim Da-mi
Our Beloved Summer
Nominated [92]
Screen Actors Guild Awards 2020 Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Parasite Won [93]
Korean Film Actors Association Star Award 2015 Popular Actor Award Choi Woo-shik Won [94]
Wildflower Film Awards 2015 Best New Actor Set Me Free Won [95]

Listicles edit

Name of publisher, year listed, name of listicle, and placement
Publisher Year Listicle Placement Ref.
Cine21 2021 Actors that will lead Korean Video Content Industry in 2022 6th[note 1] [96]
The Screen 2019 2009–2019 Top Box Office Powerhouse Actors in Korean Movies 42nd [97]

Notes edit

References edit

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