Choi Min-sik at the 44th Carlsbad International Film Festival, July 9, 2009
|Revised Romanization||Choe Min-sik|
Choi Min-sik (born May 30, 1962) is a South Korean actor. He is best known for his critically acclaimed roles in Oldboy (2003), I Saw the Devil (2010), and The Admiral: Roaring Currents (2014). He also starred alongside Scarlett Johansson in the 2014 French film Lucy.
Choi was born in Seoul, South Korea. When he was in third grade, Choi was diagnosed with tuberculosis and told that he could not be cured. He claims to have regained his health by a month-long stay in the mountains.
Graduating with a degree in theatre from Dongguk University, Choi began his career as a theatre actor. He then started filming, playing roles in Park Jong-won's early movies, like Kuro Arirang and Our Twisted Hero. He continued to act on stage, as well as in television dramas like The Moon of Seoul with Han Suk-kyu.
In 1997, he played a police investigator in Song Neung-han's No. 3, and then accepted a role in Kim Jee-woon's debut film The Quiet Family. The first real success came with his role of a North Korean agent in Shiri in 1999. The film was not only critically acclaimed but also achieved box office success. Choi received the Best Actor award at Grand Bell Awards for his portrayal. In the same year he also took part in a stage production of Hamlet, and then starred in Happy End, where he portrayed a man who is cheated on by his wife. In 2001 he took the role of a gangster opposite Cecilia Cheung in Failan.
A year later he portrayed Jang Seung-eop, a Joseon painter in Im Kwon-taek's Chihwaseon, which was awarded the Best Director prize in Cannes. In 2003 he starred in Park Chan-wook's Oldboy, which made him popular not only in South Korea but also won him international recognition.
He continued displaying his versatility in 2004 and 2005, playing a trumpet player in Springtime, a struggling former boxer in Ryoo Seung-wan's Crying Fist, and a child murderer in Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, the last film in Park Chan-wook's revenge trilogy.
In 2005 he and Song Kang-ho were accused by director and Cinema Service head Kang Woo-suk of being greedy for money and demanding profit share for "contribution" when no contribution was done. Kang later rescinded the statement and apologized.
At various points during 2006, Choi (and other South Korean film industry professionals, together and separately from Choi) demonstrated in Seoul and at the Cannes Film Festival against the South Korean administration's decision to reduce the Screen Quotas from 146 to 73 days as part of the Free Trade Agreement with the United States. As a sign of protest, Choi returned the prestigious Okgwan Order of Cultural Merit which had been awarded to him, saying, "To halve the screen quota is tantamount to a death sentence for Korean film. This medal, once a symbol of pride, is now nothing more than a sign of disgrace, and it is with a heavy heart that I must return it."
In the next four years, Choi went on a self-imposed exile from making films, begun in protest over the screen quota but also partly due to the studios' reluctance to hire the outspoken and politically active actor. Instead he returned to his theater roots in the 2007 staging of The Pillowman, his first play in seven years.
During the retrospective on Choi held at the 14th Lyon Asian Film Festival in November 2008, the actor was asked his reaction to the upcoming remake of Oldboy, and he admitted to the French reporters present that he was upset at Hollywood for using what he described as pressure tactics on Asian and European filmmakers so they could remake foreign movies in the United States.
Though Kim Jee-woon's 2010 action thriller I Saw the Devil drew criticism from some quarters for its ultra-violent content, reviewers agreed that Choi's performance as a serial killer was memorable and the film emerged as a Box Office success.
He did voice acting for Leafie, A Hen into the Wild, which in 2011 became the highest grossing South Korean animated film in history. In his 2012 follow-up Nameless Gangster: Rules of the Time, Choi played another complex, layered antihero, and the Yoon Jong-bin film was both a critical and box office hit. and earned him the Best Performance by an Actor award at the 2012 Asia Pacific Screen Awards.
For his English-language debut, Choi appeared in Luc Besson's Lucy (2014), in the role of a gangster who kidnaps a girl and forces her to become a drug mule (Scarlett Johansson), but she inadvertently acquires superhuman powers.
He then played Yi Sun-sin in the blockbuster period epic The Admiral: Roaring Currents about the Battle of Myeongnyang, regarded as one of the admiral's most remarkable naval victories. Roaring Currents became the all-time most watched film in South Korean film history, the first ever to reach 15 million admissions and the first local film to gross more than US$100 million.
|1990||That Which Falls Has Wings|
|1992||Our Twisted Hero||Teacher Kim|
|1992||May Our Love Stay This Way|
|1993||Sara is Guilty|
|1995||Mom, the Star, and the Sea Anemone|
|1997||No. 3||Ma Dong-pal|
|1998||The Quiet Family||Kang Chang-ku|
|1999||Happy End||Seo Min-ki|
|2004||Taegukgi||North Korean commander||Cameo|
|2005||Crying Fist||Kang Tae-sik|
|2005||Sympathy for Lady Vengeance||Mr. Baek|
|2009||Tidal Wave||Man on Bridge, Man near Baby Store|
|2009||Himalaya, Where the Wind Dwells||Choi|
|2010||I Saw the Devil||Jang Kyung-chul|
|2011||Leafie, A Hen into the Wild||Drifter||Voice|
|2011||Ari Ari the Korean Cinema||Himself||Documentary|
|2012||Nameless Gangster: Rules of the Time||Choi Ik-hyun|
|2013||New World||Kang Hyung-chul|
|2013||In My End Is My Beginning||Doctor (voice)||Cameo|
|2014||The Admiral: Roaring Currents||Admiral Yi Sun-shin|
|2015||The Tiger: An Old Hunter's Tale||Chun Man-duk|
|2017||The Mayor||Byeon Jong-gu|
|2017||Heart Blackened||Im Tae-san|
|1990||Years of Ambition||KBS2|
|1992||Sons and Daughters||MBC|
|1993||The Burning River||MBC|
|1993||Sun and Moon||KBS2|
|1994||The Moon of Seoul||MBC|
|1994||The Last Lover||MBC|
|1995||Till We Meet Again||SBS|
|1995||The Fourth Republic||MBC|
|1996||Dad Is the Boss||SBS|
|1997||Love and Separation||MBC|
|1997||Miss and Mister||SBS|
- The Pillowman (2007)
- Leave When They're Applauding (2000)
- Hamlet (1999)
- Taxi Driver (1997)
- Equus (1990)
Awards and nominations
|1990||KBS Drama Awards||Best New Actor||Years of Ambition||Won|
|1992||13th Blue Dragon Film Awards||Best Supporting Actor||Our Twisted Hero||Nominated|
|1993||31st Grand Bell Awards||Best Supporting Actor||Nominated|
|38th Asia Pacific Film Festival||Best Supporting Actor||Won|
|1997||21st Seoul Theater Festival||Best Actor||Taxi Driver||Won|
|35th Grand Bell Awards||Best Supporting Actor||No. 3||Nominated|
|1999||22nd Golden Cinematography Awards||Most Popular Actor||Shiri||Won|
|35th Baeksang Arts Awards||Best Actor (Film)||Won|
|36th Grand Bell Awards||Best Actor||Won|
|20th Blue Dragon Film Awards||Best Actor||Nominated|
|2nd Director's Cut Awards||Best Actor||Happy End||Won|
|2000||45th Asia Pacific Film Festival||Best Actor||Won|
|2001||2nd Busan Film Critics Awards||Best Actor||Failan||Won|||
|22nd Blue Dragon Film Awards||Best Actor||Won|||
|21st Korean Association of Film Critics Awards||Best Actor||Won|
|4th Director's Cut Awards||Best Actor||Won|
|2002||38th Baeksang Arts Awards||Best Actor (Film)||Nominated|
|39th Grand Bell Awards||Best Actor||Nominated|
|4th Deauville Asian Film Festival||Best Actor||Won|||
|23rd Blue Dragon Film Awards||Best Actor||Chi-hwa-seon||Nominated|
|2003||24th Blue Dragon Film Awards||Best Actor||Oldboy||Won|||
|2004||40th Baeksang Arts Awards||Best Actor (Film)||Won|
|41st Grand Bell Awards||Best Actor||Won|||
|12th Chunsa Film Art Awards||Best Actor||Won|||
|24th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards||Best Actor||Won|||
|1st Max Movie Awards||Best Actor||Won|
|49th Asia Pacific Film Festival||Best Actor||Won|
|7th Director's Cut Awards||Best Actor||Won|
|1st University Film Festival of Korea||Best Actor||Won|
|3rd Korean Film Awards||Best Actor||Won|||
|25th Blue Dragon Film Awards||Best Actor||Nominated|
|2005||The Village Voice Annual Film Critics Poll||Best Performance, Rank #40||Oldboy||Won|
|9th Fantasia Festival||Best Actor||Crying Fist||Won|||
|5th Korea World Youth Film Festival||Favorite Actor||Won|
|2010||13th Director's Cut Awards||Best Actor||I Saw the Devil||Won|
|47th Grand Bell Awards||Best Actor||Nominated|
|8th Korean Film Awards||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|2011||Scream Awards||Best Villain||Nominated|
|2012||Fangoria Chainsaw Awards||Best Actor||Nominated|
|48th Baeksang Arts Awards||Best Actor (Film)||Nameless Gangster: Rules of the Time||Nominated|
|21st Buil Film Awards||Best Actor||Won|||
|6th Asia Pacific Screen Awards||Best Actor||Won|||
|49th Grand Bell Awards||Best Actor||Nominated|
|33rd Blue Dragon Film Awards||Best Actor||Won|||
|2013||4th KOFRA Film Awards||Best Actor||Won|||
|7th Asian Film Awards||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|2014||2nd Marie Claire Asia Star Awards||Actor of the Year||The Admiral: Roaring Currents||Won|
|23rd Buil Film Awards||Best Actor||Nominated|
|34th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards||Best Actor||Won|||
|51st Grand Bell Awards||Best Actor||Won|||
|4th SACF Artists of the Year Awards||Grand Prize (Daesang)||Won|||
|35th Blue Dragon Film Awards||Best Actor||Nominated|
|3rd Korea Film Actors Association Awards||Top Star Award||Won|
|2015||6th KOFRA Film Awards||Best Actor||Won|||
|10th Max Movie Awards||Best Actor||Won|||
|20th Chunsa Film Art Awards||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|9th Asian Film Awards||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|51st Baeksang Arts Awards||Best Actor (film)||Nominated|
|Grand Prize (Daesang) (Film)||Won|||
|2016||21st Chunsa Film Art Awards||Best Actor||The Tiger: An Old Hunter's Tale||Nominated|
|53rd Grand Bell Awards||Best Actor||Nominated|
|2017||6th Korea Film Actors Association Awards||Top Star Award||Heart Blackened||Won|||
- Jobling, Alison (30 April 2005). "Choi Min Sik - Korean Chameleon". YesAsia. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- Paquet, Darcy. "Actors and Actresses of Korean Cinema: Choi Min-shik". Koreanfilm.org. Retrieved 2012-06-23.
- Sunwoo, Carla (January 30, 2012). "Actor Choi Min-sik reveals that he nearly died in grade three". Korea JoongAng Daily. Archived from the original on January 27, 2013. Retrieved November 21, 2012.
- Kim, Sang-yoo (4 November 2010). "Dongguk Conquers Movie Screens and TV shows". Dongguk University News Clipping. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- "Interview with Main Actor, Choi Min-sik". Kino International. Archived from the original on October 5, 2009. Retrieved June 23, 2012.
- "Looking back on the Days of Oldboy: "Cannes Park" and the Rookies, "We Were Crazy Back Then"". The Kyunghan Shinman. 11 May 2006.
- "The Break-Up Artist". The Chosun Ilbo. November 9, 2003. Archived from the original on January 19, 2013. Retrieved November 21, 2012.
- "Pleasant `Springtime' Lacks Focus". Hancinema. The Korea Times. 23 September 2004.
- "Film preview - "Crying Fist" to Premiere in April". Hancinema. The Seoul Times. 19 February 2005.
- "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance". Variety. 31 July 2005.
- Chun Su-jin, Park Jeong-ho (June 30, 2005). "Director says actors are getting greedy". Korea JoongAng Daily. Archived from the original on January 27, 2013. Retrieved November 21, 2012.
- "Stars Miffed by Money-Grubbing Slur". The Chosun Ilbo. 29 June 2005. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- "Kang Woo-suk Apologizes to Song Kang-ho and Choi Min-shik". KBS Global. 30 June 2005. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- "Choi Min-shik, Song Kang-ho Accept Kang Woo-suk's Apology". KBS Global. 1 July 2005. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- "Korean Screen Quota Reduced From July". Twitch Film. 6 January 2006. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- "Scores of Stars Mobilize to Fight Against Quota Cuts". The Chosun Ilbo. 8 February 2006. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- Gowman, Philip (15 May 2006). "Choi Min-sik to stage screen-quota protest at Cannes". The Korea Times via London Korean Links. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- Bertolin, Paolo (23 May 2006). "Koreans, French Fight Hollywood Domination". The Korea Times via Soompi. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- Yi, Chang-ho (30 May 2006). "Cannes Backs Anti-screen Quota Cut Protests". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- "Old Boy Returns Medal in Screen Quota Protest". The Chosun Ilbo. February 7, 2006. Archived from the original on April 21, 2014. Retrieved November 21, 2012.
- "Choi Min-sik: Mr. Vengeance". Subway Cinema. May 29, 2012. Archived from the original on August 4, 2012. Retrieved November 21, 2012.
- "NYAFF 2012 Exclusive Interview: Choi Min-sik". The Diva Review. 2 July 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-04.
- "Choi Min-sik to Act in Theater Play". KBS Global. 22 March 2005. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- Choi, Min-woo (February 20, 2007). "Film star back on stage for The Pillowman". Korea JoongAng Daily. Archived from the original on January 27, 2013. Retrieved November 21, 2012.
- Han, Sang-hee (22 October 2008). "Film Fests Offer Retrospective, Award to Korean Movie Stars". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- Yi, Chang-ho (24 October 2008). "CHOI Min-sik retrospective at Lyon fest". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- "Choi Min-sik: Korean Film Legend and International Star [NYAFF 2012]". vCinemaShow. 2012. Retrieved 2016-01-16.
- "Choi Min-sik Rediscovers His Passion for Acting". The Chosun Ilbo. 7 October 2008. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- Lee, Hyo-won (31 May 2009). "Choi Min-sik Escapes Oncreen to Himalaya". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- Seo, So-ya (20 August 2010). "A shocking look at the corrosive power of evil". Korea JoongAng Daily. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- Sung, So-young (27 August 2010). "Violent films raise alarms". Korea JoongAng Daily. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- "Leafie wins APSA Best Animated Feature". Korean Film Biz Zone. 25 November 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- Lee, Claire (1 February 2012). "Choi Min-sik returns as layered villain". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- Lee, Ga-on (14 February 2012). "INTERVIEW: Actor Choi Min-shik - Part 1". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- Lee, Ga-on (14 February 2012). "INTERVIEW: Actor Choi Min-shik - Part 2". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- Kubas-Meyer, Alec (5 July 2012). "Choi Min-sik's next film is like The Departed, he's a cop". Flixist. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- Lee, Rachel (21 January 2013). "3 actors to show off talent in Sinsegae". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-01-23.
- Tae, Sang-joon (5 September 2013). "CHOI Min-sik Will Star in Luc Besson's LUCY". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 2013-09-07.
- Park, Si-soo (6 April 2014). "Korean stars grace Hollywood movies". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2014-04-07.
- Chung, Joo-won (28 July 2014). "Choi Min-sik kicks butt in Hollywood film Lucy". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2014-07-29.
- Kwon, Mee-yoo (3 August 2014). "Choi Min-sik sweeping box office in Korea, US". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2014-08-04.
- Lee, Ji-hye (17 October 2014). "Roaring Currents & Lucy CHOI Min-shik: Balancing Korea in one hand and Hollywood in the other". Korean Cinema Today. Retrieved 2014-10-30.
- "Busan: Choi Min-sik on Hollywood Breakthrough, Lucy, Roaring Currents". The Hollywood Reporter. 7 October 2014.
- Baek, Byung-yeul (30 June 2014). "Joseon's war hero back on screen: Choi Min-sik's Roaring Currents retraces 16th century maritime battle against Japan". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2014-07-04.
- Lee, Eun-sun (4 August 2014). "Yi movie sweeps audiences away". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-08-04.
- "Roaring Currents Most Successful Korean Film of All Time". The Chosun Ilbo. 18 August 2014. Retrieved 2014-08-20.
- "Actor of 'Roaring Currents' says film's popularity 'unbelievable'". Yonhap News Agency. 4 October 2014.
- "CHOI Min-sik's THE TIGER". Korean Film Biz Zone. 11 June 2015.
- "(Yonhap Interview) Choi Min-sik opens up about struggles in shooting 'The Tiger'". Yonhap News Agency. 11 December 2015.
- "Choi Min-sik unscrupulous politician in new film". The Korea Herald. 2 March 2017.
- "CHOI Min-shik to Play MAYOR OF SEOUL". Korean Film Biz Zone. 31 December 2015.
- "(Yonhap Interview) Politicians' craving for power now understandable, says 'The Mayor' actor". Yonhap News Agency. 20 April 2017.
- "CHOI Min-shik Signs on for SILENT WITNESS". Korean Film Biz Zone. 11 October 2016.
- "(Yonhap Interview) Actor Choi Min-sik: I'm motivated solely by self-interest". Yonhap News Agency. 26 October 2017.
- "HAN Suk-kyu and CHOI Min-shik Fated to Reunite for ASTRONOMY". Korean Film Biz Zone. 25 June 2018.
- "Film Awards Ceremonies in Korea". Koreanfilm.org. 19 October 2005.
- "Blue Dragon awards regain their glitter". Korea JoongAng Daily. 26 December 2001.
- "A Look Inside South Korean Cinema: K-MOVIE, The World's Spotlight on Korean Film".
- "Surprise winner for best picture". Hancinema. The Korea Herald. 13 December 2003.
- "Korean Films Honored at Dajong Film Festival". The Chosun Ilbo. June 2004.
- "When I Turned Nine unexpected winner of Chunsa Film Art Awards". Hancinema. Korean Film Biz Zone. 25 November 2004.
- "Old Boy reigns at Critics Choice Awards". Korean Film Biz Zone. 26 November 2004.
- "`Old Boy' Gets Best Picture at Korea Film Awards". Hancinema. The Korea Times. 6 December 2004.
- "Fantasia Wraps Up and Mind Game Cleans Up". Screen Anarchy. 2 July 2005.
- ""The Man From Nowhere" sweeps Korea Film Awards". 10Asia. 19 November 2010.
- Hong, Jeong-won (5 October 2012). "최민식-김민희, 부일영화상 남녀주연상 수상 (BIFF)" [Choi Min-sik-Kim Min-hee, Best Actor and Actress at Buil Film Awards (BIFF)]. Newsen (in Korean).
- "Korean Films Shine in Asia-Pacific Region and Europe". Korean Film Biz Zone. 27 November 2012.
- "PIETA Wins Best Picture at Blue Dragon Awards". Korean Film Biz Zone. 4 December 2012.
- "PIETA Regarded as the Best Film in 2012 by Reporters". Korean Film Biz Zone. 1 February 2013.
- "PIETA Nominated for Best Film at Asian Film Awards". Korean Film Biz Zone. 21 January 2013.
- "Top Honors for HILL OF FREEDOM at 34th Korean Film Critics Association Awards". Korean Film Biz Zone. 4 November 2014.
- "ROARING CURRENTS Tops 51st Daejong Film Awards". Korean Film Biz Zone. 24 November 2014.
- "The Winners Of The 4th SACF Beautiful Artists Awards". BNT News. 10 December 2014.
- "Kofra Film Awards Recognizes CHUN Woo-hee". Korean Film Biz Zone. 28 January 2015.
- "The 10th Max Movie Awards Winners; "The Admiral: Roaring Currents" awarded 2 trophies". Hancinema. TV Daily. 26 February 2015.
- Kim, June (6 March 2015). "2015 Chunsa Film Art Nominations Announced". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 2015-03-19.
- "Korean Films and Artists Nominated for the Asian Film Awards". Korean Film Biz Zone. 4 March 2015.
- "South Korean Actor Choi Min-sik Wins Grand Prize at Baeksang Awards". The Hollywood Reporter. 26 May 2015.
- "Top Star Awards for NA Moon-hee, LEE Jung-hyun, CHOI Min-shik and Hyun-bin". Korean Film Biz Zone. 8 January 2018.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Choi Min-sik.|