Choi Woo Shik Facts

Choi Woo Shik, one of the stars of the Oscar-winning Parasite movie, is back to grace your screen with his new drama on Netflix, A Killer Paradox. If you can’t get enough of the versatile actor, here are 22 facts about Choi Woo Shik for you to feed on.

1. Moved to Canada as a child

Choi Woo Shik FactsSource

Choi Woo Shik was born in Seoul, South Korea on 26 March 1990.

When he was 10 years old, the actor migrated to a city called Coquitlam in Vancouver, Canada with his family. 

2. Was ostracised in middle school

choi woo shik (19)Source

When Choi Woo Shik first moved to Canada, he couldn’t speak English at all and struggled with making friends. 

The actor received hurtful comments whenever he brought Korean food to school for lunch. The other students said his kimchi was smelly, and left him alone.

Fortunately though, the actor managed to befriend a group of Korean students while in high school, and formed a 14-member clique called FF14, short for Friends Forever 14.

3. Goes by Eddie

Choi Woo Shik’s English name is Edward, but friends and family call him by the nickname Eddie.

4. Went back to Korea to pursue acting


Choi Woo Shik decided to return to South Korea for an audition in 2011. He landed in Seoul a day before his audition and had 6 hours of sleep before the big event. Tired, unprepared and, according to him, “dressed terribly”, he failed his first audition.

However, he didn’t give up and eventually made his acting debut in a period drama, The Duo (2011).

5. Parents disapproved of his acting career

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At the time that Choi Woo Shik flew to Korea for his first audition, he was studying at Simon Fraser University, and was well on his way to getting his Bachelor of Arts. His decision to drop out of school for his acting dream didn’t sit well with his parents at first.

The actor got his way in the end and pursued a degree in cultural studies at Chung Ang University in South Korea while acting at the same time.

6. Was under JYP Entertainment

JYP Entertainment is a South Korean agency that is mainly known for producing top K-pop idols. Choi Woo Shik, however, joined the company as an actor.

choi woo shik (20)The actor in DAY6’s Congratulations music video

He appeared in some music videos for DAY6, a boyband under JYP Entertainment.

His contract with JYP ended on 7 November 2018 and he decided not to renew it. He is now under Fable Company.

7. Rose to stardom with Set Me Free

choi woo shik (21)The actor in Set Me Free (2014)

His first taste of stardom came after his lead role in Set Me Free (2014). The film follows a high school boy, played by Choi Woo Shik, who is put in a group home by his irresponsible father. As he reaches the age of 16, he becomes too old to remain at the home. Choi Woo Shik’s character then enters a Catholic boarding school while pretending to want to be a priest, just so he has food and shelter.

8. Has acted in sitcoms 

choi woo shik (14)Choi Woo Shik in The Boy Next Door (2017)

Many might know him from his role in Parasite but the actor doesn’t just keep to serious and intense films. 

choi woo shik (15)The Star in Family (2012)

Choi Woo Shik has also acted in his fair share of sitcoms, including Family, also known as Shut Up Family, and The Boy Next Door.

9. Achieved international acclaim with Train to Busan

choi woo shik (22)Choi Woo Shik in Train to Busan (2016)

Prior to Parasite, the actor starred in another internationally successful film, Train to Busan (2016). The movie premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival and grossed US$93.1 million worldwide.

10. Has worked with Parasite director Bong Joon Ho twice

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Bong Joon Ho, the director and mastermind behind Parasite (2019), is known to be chummy with his actors. Choi Woo Shik and Bong Joon Ho are especially close since the pair also worked together on the Netflix movie, Okja (2017).

11. Has “sibling chemistry” with his Parasite co-star

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Choi Woo Shik and Park So Dam acted in Parasite as a pair of siblings, Ki Woo and Ki Jung. Fans have commented that they look alike, and that their “sibling chemistry” is off the roof.

choi woo shik (2)The actor in front of the food truck sent by Park So Dam

Park So Dam also sent the actor a food truck to the set of The Policeman’s Lineage, a film that is currently in the works, to show her support for him.

Also read: 

Oscar-Winning Movie Parasite Could Very Well Have Been A Singaporean Tale On Class Struggle 

12. Was at his heaviest weight for A Killer Paradox


For a long time, Choi Woo Shik had grappled with insecurities about his slender frame. However, he was determined to undergo a transformation while filming Netflix’s A Killer Paradox. 

According to an interview with Sports Chosun, Choi Woo Shik disclosed that he had deliberately gained weight and built muscles to portray his role as Lee Tang – this marked his heaviest weight yet.

Moreover, he tried his best to embody the essence of Lee Tang by immersing himself in the original webtoon, and even went as far as dyeing his eyebrows to match his appearance. 

13. BFFs with V and Park Seo Joon

Choi Woo Shik FactsSource

To add to his list of friends, Choi Woo Shik is part of a BFF squad known as “WOOGA”, consisting of V from BTS, Park Seo Joon, Park Hyung Sik from ZE:A and musician Peakboy.

Choi Woo Shik and Park Seo Joon are so tight that rumours of them being a gay couple have surfaced in the past, which Choi Woo Shik personally denied.

park seo joonPark Seo Joon’s cameo in Choi Woo Shik’s movie, Parasite

The pair are always making cameos in each other’s works, including The Divine Fury (2019) and Parasite (2019).

choi woo shik (3)Choi Woo Shik and Kim Da Mi in The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion

A notable coincidence is how the BFFs have both worked with Kim Da Mi on separate shows: Choi Woo Shik in the mystery action film, The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion (2018), and Park Seo Joon in the recent K-drama Itaewon Class (2020).

14. Is not a good speaker

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Despite being an actor, Choi Woo Shik isn’t the best speaker. He tends to stammer during interviews, causing his co-stars to laugh at his adorable blunders.

choi woo shik (4)Source

During a press conference for Parasite, director Bong Joon Ho was spotted taking a picture of the actor while he spoke. Actor Song Kang Ho (who played Choi Woo Shik’s father in the movie) also commented that “Choi Woo Shik has good energy today”, referring to Choi Woo Shik’s unusually fluent replies during the event.

15. Likes to travel


The star is a travel junkie and has expressed his desire to travel anywhere—even within Korea—when he can.

16. Is a lightweight drinker

The actor’s tolerance is 1.5 bottles of soju and he admits that though he enjoys the atmosphere while drinking, he isn’t a good drinker. 

17. Has difficulty with action scenes


Choi Woo Shik found it difficult to film his action scenes for the movie Monstrum (2018) and jokingly blamed his body for it. He said, “Whatever I do, I end up flailing around. In ‘Monstrum’, I made up for the flailing by taking advantage of my sword.”

He might have struggled with action scenes because of his body but it was also his physique that played a part in getting him the role in Parasite. Director Bong Joon Ho approached the actor after Okja, asking him to “stay skinny, because Ki Woo (Choi Woo Shik’s character in Parasite) needs to be really skinny and kind of looking vulnerable.”

18. Wants to venture into directing

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The actor is trying to pick up directing via baby steps. In an interview, he says that he plans to use his spare time to do some scriptwriting and video editing to “get closer” to his goal.

19. Got tattooed for Time to Hunt

time to huntSource

For his role as Ki Hoon in Time to Hunt (2020), the actor got fake tattoos drawn to “make it believable that [he] was friends with the older guys”, since he was the youngest of the cast.

time to hunt 2From left to right: Ahn Jae Hong, Lee Je Hoon and Choi Woo Shik for Time to Hunt

The tattoos spanned his neck and arms, and the actor mentioned that he had to arrive early for shoots to prep for his tatted look, saying: “It took really long to do it. If we were filming at, for example, 6 o’clock, I had to arrive at like 4 o’clock.”

20. He is the ambassador of Ami Paris 


For a global star like Choi Woo Shik, it’s not surprising to learn that he is the ambassador of the French fashion brand Ami Paris. His selection as Ami Paris’ Global House Ambassador was first announced in October 2022, and since then, he has been attending fashion shows by the French maison.

21. Will return for Jinny’s Kitchen Season 2

Choi Woo Shik FactsSource

Back in 2023, Choi Woo Shik travelled to Mexico with the cast of Jinny Kitchen, such as BTS’ V and Park Seo Joon, to run a Korean restaurant. They served popular Korean food like potato corn dogs and Korean fried chicken, while also taking time to explore the country. The show became such a hit that many viewers hoped for a second season. 

Well, their efforts did not go in vain as Jinny’s Kitchen announced its return with a second instalment, and they will kickstart filming later in 2024. Choi Woo Shik is confirmed to also reprise his role as an “intern”. 

Perhaps in the next season, Choi Woo Shik will be promoted to a full-timer? 

22. Has more in store for his fans

Choi Woo Shik will play Go Kyum, the lead character of the K-drama

With the success of A Killer Paradox, the actor has recently confirmed his next acting project, a K-drama titled Melo Movie. He will be acting alongside other A-list actors such as Park Bo Young, Lee Jun Young, and Jeon So Nee. 

While the actors are one reason to look forward to the drama, fans should also not miss out on the fact that director Oh Choong Hwan will be directing it. He has previously directed other popular K-dramas such as Start-Up, Hotel Del Luna, and Castaway Diva. 

Choi Woo Shik Is A Versatile Actor

Choi Woo Shik never fails to wow us with his roles, be it in A Killer Paradox, Parasite, Train to Busan or Set Me Free. We expect to see more of the talented actor as he continues to act in new productions.

Cover image: Source, source, source

This article was first published on 27 May 2020 by Penny Wong and last updated on 27 February 2024 by Jou Teng Tan

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12 Facts About Lee Sun Kyun, The Late Actor From Parasite, Like Memorising 2,000 Phone Numbers In The Army