This years Oscars had quite the racial bashing from every side. So the 88th Academy decided to polish up their image by at least making minor changes. Most people are complaining about Afro-American actors not being nominated, but what about Latin-American, Middle Eastern-American or Asian-American actors? Other minorities and countries are so seldom respected that only this year the first Korean actor ever presented an Oscar (not nominated for one – this will still take a while): actor Lee Byunghun.
To any one only a little familiar to Korean cinema, Lee Byunghun has been a somebody for years. He is a major Korean actor and is mostly known for movies like Joint Security Area, The Good, the Bad, the Weird, Inside Man or TV-series like Iris or Masquerade. He gained attention to the U.S.-American and Hollywood audience by starring in the G.I. Joe series, RED 2, Terminator Genisys and Misconduct. Sadly, he also had unwanted attention from the Korean public in a scandal in 2014 in which a Korean K-pop idol and a Korean model tried to blackmail him. So I’d say being able to be present at the Oscars was also a way for Lee Byunghun to redeemed himself and his reputation.
On the red carpet Lee Byunghun was joined by soprano Jo Soomi who sung the nominated original song Simple Song #3 by David Lang from the movie Youth. However, she was not able to perform at the Oscars as originally intended. On the Oscar stage Lee Byunghun presented the award in the category “Best Foreign Language Film” together with Colombian actress Sofia Vergara – what a pretty couple they made. I may sound a little ignorant, but I wasn’t aware of Lee Byunghun having quite some English speaking skills – sorry! Watch the section of Lee Byunghun presenting the category.
Lee Byunghun reflected his appearance at the Academy Awards by this statement via his agency: “I’ve been to many award ceremonies and film festivals in various countries, but this time around, seeing first-hand the event organization, manners, the carriage of the actors, I realized there is much I have to learn. Seeing so many actors that have achieved so much over long careers, I had the thought that I need to do better moving forward.” – such a Korean statement to me, hehe.
Find pictures here: Dramafever