'Parasite' Star Lee Jung-eun Hungry for New Challenges

  • By Baik Su-jin

    November 14, 2020 08:23

    Lee Jung-eun left a lasting impression on moviegoers around the world with her performance as the housekeeper in director Bong Joon-ho's Oscar-winning film "Parasite." But now she says she is eager for new challenges.

    "I've usually played tough women or characters who stand out. I'd like to play something less conspicuous too," she said. Lee also stands out in her latest thriller "The Day I Died: Unclosed Case," which hit local theaters earlier this week.

    Lee Jung-eun

    The film also stars Kim Hye-soo as a detective investigating the mysterious disappearance of a teenage girl on a remote island.

    Lee's character is the last person to see the girl before she goes missing. Her character lost her voice in an accident and has to express herself with gestures only.

    Lee's first part was in the Korean adaptation of William Shakespeare's play "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in 1991 and she has since honed her skills in musicals, TV dramas and movies. She caught the attention of Bong in the Korean musical "Laundry" in 2008 and went on to appear in three of his movies -- "Mother," "Okja" and "Parasite."

    "Rising into the spotlight with 'Parasite' was quite overwhelming and made me want to return to my daily life and immerse myself in other work," she says. "I'm being offered bigger roles and that comes with a lot of responsibility."

    Although she has known co-star Kim, who is the same age as her, for quite a while, it is the first time she has worked with her, and this was one of the reasons she chose the project.

    "I've admired Kim for evolving as an actress during her long career. She is such a warm-hearted person and I feel cared for when I'm with her," Lee said. "She has been a star all of her life, unlike me, but I could feel a sense of camaraderie since we've both grown up in the same era."

    Lee said she feels she is old enough to start thinking about how younger generations will live and what it means to be a good grown-up. "I think the role of an adult is to notice when children need help and offer a hand. When the timing is right, I think both children and adults grow up together," she added.

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