With ‘Parasite’ victories, Bong Joon-ho’s interpreter Sharon Choi shines in awards circuit
With “Parasite” as a runaway winner in the 2019 awards season, South Korean director Bong Joon-ho has had to face hordes of English-speaking audiences and interviewers. Thankfully, he has come armed with his interpreter, Sharon Choi, who has been masterfully translating his responses — at times into catchy one-liners.
A much-cited quote of his, for instance, is when “Parasite” snagged the Golden Globe in January for best foreign language film. As per Choi’s interpretation, which was met with cheers: “Once you overcome the one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.”
Choi is not a professional interpreter but she has been running the awards circuit with Bong since May. Back then, “Parasite” went home with the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival. The film has since made history at the Oscars with four wins, including the coveted Best Picture.
Her role has not gone unnoticed: online she has been praised for remaining unflappable from press junkets to late-night shows.
How about a hand for Sharon Choi, the interpreter who's been just as excellent in speaking for Bong Joon-ho this awards season! #Oscars https://t.co/aHOAQK3Y8T
— Jao (@Jaollibee) February 10, 2020
“She has a big fandom,” Bong said of her in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter on Jan. 5.
Asked about what it’s like to be in the spotlight, she said, “I’m just a huge fan of this film, with all the filmmakers so it’s been great. This is so embarrassing but yes.”
She also said that despite her composure onstage, “I’m always super anxious.”
Choi is a director too, a fact that Bong has revealed in some interviews, to her embarrassment.
“She is perfect but we all depend on her. And she is also a great filmmaker,” he said in the Hollywood Reporter interview.
At the Oscars red carpet yesterday, Feb. 10, Choi had to once again translate his praises for her to E! News. “It’s very embarrassing to translate but he said thanks to me, this campaign has been a smooth journey. I’m grateful.”
As for what’s next for Choi, Bong revealed at an Oscars press conference: “You already know that she’s a filmmaker. She studied film in the university. I’m so curious about her script. Actually she’s writing some feature script.” Niña V. Guno/JB
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