Oldboy, 10th Anniversary (November 21, 2003)
Oldboy will be re-released as a remastered version in South Korea theaters on November 21, in time for the film’s 10th anniversary.Choi Min-sik: The eating of the octopus was actually my idea – at first in ‘Oldboy’, the traditional way of eating it would be to twist it around your chopsticks. However, to portray the psychological state of the character Oh Dae-su that felt insufficient and inappropriate and after being imprisoned for 15 years becoming a primordial being full of anger it felt more appropriate to simply grab it and eat it. So, I suggested that to Park Chan-wook and he accepted it.
Q I’d like to ask you about Han Suk-kyu: At the beginning of your career, you worked with him a lot in films and on TV but around 1999 your careers drifted apart. I’m interested to know how your relationship has progressed over time as you have focused on younger directors and talent and as you’ve said you choose the director to work with first?
Choi Min-sik: Our relationship hasn’t changed at all. Personally, he was one of my juniors at university and I’ve known him since he was 21 years old. Even now, we would often meet up and talk and in ‘Oldboy’ the character that Yoo Ji-tae played, called Lee Woo-jin, I actually recommended that character to him very strongly. I also recommended the character played by Lee Byung-hun in ‘I Saw the Devil’ to him as well but it didn’t work out. Even now, he’s an actor that I would love to work with again and he’s also a dear friend… but the director’s opinion is more important.