Park Chan-wook is currently in production on the post-Vietnam War drama series The sympathizer for HBO and A24, but with a weekend off, the Decision to leave helmer made the decision to attend Saturday’s BAFTA Tea Party in Beverly Hills.
Before entering the ballroom, Park took a moment to talk to The Hollywood Reporter on the red carpet, where he shared a bit about what it’s like to not only direct Robert Downey Jr. in the adaptation of Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, but also to watch the way he moves on the tray.
“First of all, he’s a very charming and enjoyable character, with a personality that really lights up the whole setting and makes everyone happy to be there and having such an enjoyable experience,” Park explained per the through a translator. “He remembers every member of the team and all the background players. He’s really friendly with all of them and gives them each a good pat on the back after their performances. He’s so encouraging to everyone. world.
While this all sounds lovely and expected from the highly respected Downey, Park said he’ll have his work cut out for him when he gets to the editing bay. “With every setup and every outlet, [Robert] improvises dialogue that is incredibly witty each time and stems from something really deep in the character himself. For me, choosing which grip to go with is really going [be] the biggest problem I have as a designer working with him.
The sympathizer, ordered to series by HBO in July 2021, is described as part spy thriller and part cross-cultural satire. It follows Captain (Hoa Xuande), a half-French, half-Vietnamese communist spy during the final days of the Vietnam War and his exile to the United States. After leaving Vietnam during the fall of Saigon in 1975, the captain becomes entangled in the Southern California exile community and serves as a cultural advisor for an American war film. He is then recruited to return to Vietnam for a raid against the Communists.
Fred Nguyen Khan, Toan Le, Vy Le and Alan Trong round out the cast. Park and Don McKellar are co-showrunners on Sympathyr. The series is a co-production between HBO, A24 and Rhombus Media, in association with Cinetic Media and Moho Film. Park and McKellar produce with Robert and Susan Downey and Amanda Burrell of Team Downey, A24, Kim Ly, Niv Fichman of Rhombus Media, Ron Schmidt, author Nguyen and Jisun Back of Moho Film. A start date has not been set.
When The Hollywood Reporter Scott Feinberg sat down with Downey and his wife and producing partner Susan Downey in December to talk about their Netflix documentary Sr.Susan has confirmed that her husband plays five roles in The sympathizer.
“That one is really fun,” she said of the limited series, with Robert adding that he shaved his head for the series to save an hour a day rather than putting on a bald cap. to change the appearance of each character. (Paparazzi photos from the set surfaced last week showing the actor in a variety of looks.)
Although Park is best known for his feature film work with credits like Oldboy, The Servant, Lady Vengeance, Stoker and The thirstthe director says he’s not coming near The sympathizer limited series as for the small screen. “I consider it a very long film in the sense that the episodes are continuous and create a long story,” says Park, who previously directed the limited series. The Little Thresher Girl. “Previously, when making a film, you had to think about the length and whether you were at the script or editing stage. You should always think about which scenes you can delete. With this, I don’t have to do that anymore, which is great.
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