January 20, 2015 08:19
In the weepie "Ode to My Father," which portrays the sacrifices of a man through 50 years of Korean history, the youngest of the family is adopted to the U.S. and finally meets her brother after a TV campaign searching for families separated by the Korean War.
The part of the grown-up daughter was played by Korean-American actress Stella Choe, and her performance in the reunion scene makes a powerful impression.
In a phone interview with the Chosun Ilbo on Thursday, Choe said getting the part was "like a fairy tale."
Born and raised in Los Angeles, she hardly speaks any Korean.
She said she has been acting for a long time but did not land any major roles. A couple of year ago, she and her friends made the comic video "What Kind of Asians Are You?" for fun and posted it on YouTube. It ridicules prejudices against Asians in the U.S.
The producers of the film saw the video and got her to audition for the role in March, competing with some 200 others. Five months later, they called to tell her that she got the part.
Choe watched the film with her mother and two sisters in Los Angeles when it was released in the U.S. early this month.
"The theater was a sea of tears. Everybody's eyes were red from crying. When I was taking a picture in front of a poster, people recognized me and crowded around to ask for taking a picture with me," she said.
The actress was surprised when the film attracted 10 million viewers in Korea, but she said what pleased her most was that she could tell her mother about things that she never talked about after they watched the movie.
Her father can't go to a theater as he is sick, so she will watch the film again with her family when it is available on DVD.
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