Bong Joon Ho and his interpreter Sharon Choi presented the award for Best Director at Sunday’s Oscars

By Ally Mauch
April 25, 2021 09:50 PM
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Bong Joon Ho and translater Academy Awards
Credit: ABC

One year after Bong Joon Ho swept awards season with hit thriller Parasite, the South Korean director and his interpreter, Sharon Choi, are side-by-side once more. 

Bong, 51, and Choi, 26, made an appearance at the 93rd Academy Awards Sunday to present the Best Director award. (Nomadland's Chloé Zhao took home the honor, making her the first woman of color to win).

"What is directing?" Choi interpreted in English after Bong spoke in Korean. "What does it really mean to be a director? I'm a director myself, but I don't really know what to say when I get asked this question. It's a little embarrassing to answer with a straight face, a bit cringy as well. But more than anything else, it's difficult to give a short and clear answer." 

She continued, "When I get asked this question during an interview, I just want to gloss over the answer or run away. But this time, I was the one to ask this question to the five directors nominated tonight." 

BONG JOON HO Sandra Choi ABC's Coverage Of The 92nd Annual Academy Awards - Show
Bong Joon Ho and Sharon Choi at the 2020 Academy Awards
| Credit: CRAIG SJODIN via Getty

"The question was: If you have to explain to a random kid on the street what directing is in 20 seconds, what would you say? The five directors all sent their replies. Their replies were something very personal," Choi, a director herself, concluded before Bong mentioned each nominee. 

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Choi accompanied Bong throughout the 2020 awards circuit leading up to Parasite's four major Oscar wins, including Best Director and Best Picture, interpreting for the director and sharing his hilarious and often touching messages with English-speaking audiences around the world.

Following the Academy Awards last year, Bong revealed that Choi actually had a project of her own in the works

RELATED VIDEO: Bong Joon Ho Relates 'Parasite's Popularity to Ancient Korean Proverb: 'I Have Been Dancing'

"You already know she's a filmmaker. And she studied film in the university, yeah, so I'm so curious about her script," he said. "Actually, she's writing some feature-length script. I'm so curious about it."

The Wrap journalist Steve Pond later tweeted that Choi's project would touch on something she's already quite used to — awards season. 

"Sharon Choi is a director. When awards season ends (i.e. tomorrow), she says she wants to start making a movie… about awards season," he wrote at the time. 

The 93rd Academy Awards are airing live on Sunday, April 25 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ABC.