Squid Game actor Lee Byung-hun regrets declining to take part in Parasite

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : April 21, 2023, 12:26 Updated : April 25, 2023, 14:21

[Courtesy of BH Entertainment]

SEOUL -- Lee Byung-hun, a South Korean actor who appeared in Netflix drama series Squid Game, said he regrets declining a casting offer for Parasite, an Oscar-winning film, at a conference held by Standford University's research institute. The 52-year-old has interacted with global fans at the event designed to discuss directions for South Korean films, K-drama, and Korean studies.
Parasite is a non-English language film that vividly depicted the rich-poor gap. The 2020 Oscar-winning film has created a global sensation by winning four titles including best picture and best director. Lee said he could not participate in the film due to his schedule.
The South Korean actor has aroused fans' curiosity regarding his role in the second series of Squid Game. The first season of Squid Game, released on September 17, 2021, was watched by some 111 million households around the world only 28 days after its release, beating Bridgerton with about 82 million. In the thriller drama series, Lee played the head staff member in charge of the competition of deadly games. Squid Game's director announced in June 2022 that Lee would appear again in Squid Game season 2. 
At the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC) held on March 19, Lee said the popularization of over-the-top video (OTT) service has greatly helped South Korean artists showcase their talents to global fans. The conference called "The Future of Hallyu: Korean Cinema on the Global Stage" was attended by various experts including a UCLA professor with expertise in Asian languages. According to Lee, he was also offered to take part in Oldboy, a 2003 thriller film.  
Along with Lee, Park Ji-eun, a screenwriter for a 2019 drama called "Crash Landing on You," also highlighted the conference. The drama, which portrayed a forbidden love story in North Korea between a South Korean lady and a North Korean military officer, garnered attention among drama lovers in South Korea, China, Japan, and Vietnam. The show starred popular actor Hyun Bin and actress Son Ye-jin.
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