Bong Joon-ho: The secret of the man behind Parasite

Bong Joon-ho: The secret of the man behind Parasite

For film enthusiasts around the world, there is no reason for Bong Joon-ho not to celebrate. His hit thriller Parasite has continued to break records – with honours from the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards – and is now a top contender for Best Picture at the Academy Awards.

But the man himself said he is just doing what he can to “survive”.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Bong said he struggled with anxiety.

“I don’t think people around me can feel it, but I do have a lot of anxiety,” he said, mentioning his fear over appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

“[Sometimes] I feel like a baseball player who’s forced to go up on the mound.”

The Okja director and co-writer said movies saved his life.

“A psychiatrist actually told me that I have severe anxiety, and I have severe compulsive tendencies to the point where it would be impossible for me to have a social life,” he said. “But thanks to filmmaking, I’ve been able to survive.”

When asked whether he would take on a big studio film or a superhero franchise to reduce his anxiety, Bong rejected the idea with a laugh. “It would make me much, much, much more anxious. If I do something like that, I think I will suffocate to death,” the 50-year-old said.

“For me to feel safe, I have to start the project, build everything up, one by one, and see it to the complete finish. I really admire directors who can easily do superhero movies and big-budget films.”

The director is currently in talks to make a six-hour for HBO limited series of Parasite. “I just couldn’t include all those ideas in the two-hour running time of the film, so they’re all stored in my iPad and my goal with this limited series is to create a six-hour-long film,” Bong told TheWrap’s Sharon Waxman.

The estimated release date for the limited series is yet to be announced.