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Monday, Jan 25, 2021

There's A Ton Of Love And Memes For The Interpreter Of "Parasite" Director Bong Joon-Ho

Sharon Choi is an aspiring filmmaker who has a legion of fans online thanks to her work translating for Bong Joon-ho this awards season.

South Korean director Bong Joon-ho was on stage a lot during Sunday night's Academy Awards ceremony thanks to his acclaimed film Parasite making history and winning four Oscars.

That also meant viewers watching at home saw a lot of a young woman on stage with him: his interpreter Sharon Choi.

Choi - who, according to the Guardian, is a 25-year-old Korean American living in Seoul - has been a staple during the awards season as the Parasite squad slowly conquered Hollywood.

"I'm just a huge fan of this film and all the filmmakers. So it's been great," she told the Hollywood Reporter last month.

She's been working with Bong since May 2019, when the film won the top prize at the Cannes film festival, according to the Korea Herald.

Bong's jokes and speeches have charmed fans and industry figures alike, but many have praised Choi for her nuanced and careful interpretation and delivery of his remarks.

"I'm always super anxious," she told the Hollywood Reporter of appearing on stage before some of the biggest stars on earth.

"She has a big fandom," the director told the same outlet. "She's perfect, and we all depend on her."

Indeed, Choi was the subject of a ton of internet love during Sunday's show.

 Lulu Wang, the writer and director of The Farewell, and Henry Golding, star of Crazy Rich Asians, are among her fans.

Fans have even made videos for Choi, celebrating her work this season.

Rachel Choi, an 18-year-old fan who lives in Georgia and who tweets at @squashgalosh, made this video because she's been struck by how well the interpreter does her job.

"Often times interpreters will translate the words but not the emotions or ideas as well, so I think Sharon’s doing an amazing job," she told BuzzFeed News. "Also as a Korean who isn’t fluent, I feel in awe every time I see Sharon do her thing. She’s so so cool."


"She’s also so charismatic and charming from the interviews I’ve watched and how the Parasite cast and crew speak of her," 17-year-old fan Romina Estrada of Los Angeles told BuzzFeed News.

Estrada, who tweets under the handle @rominamargie, made a video for Choi, saying she had a new respect for translators everywhere.

"This is such a Gen-Z thing, especially on Stan Twitter, where if we see someone who’s talented and popular at the moment, we make fancams for them," she explained.

Being a translator is not Choi's only job. She's studied film at college and is an aspiring director.

Bong told reporters in the press room at the Oscars that Choi was working on a script.

"She's writing a feature-length script," he said. "I'm so curious about it."

According to the Wrap, the script is about — what else? — awards season.

Choi, through Parasite's distributor, did not immediately return a request for comment. But as he and Choi walked the red carpet before Sunday's ceremony, Bong told E! he was grateful for her work — although, of course, it was Choi who spoke for him.

"It’s very embarrassing to translate,” she said, “but he said that thanks to me, this campaign has been a smooth journey."


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