Robert Downey Jr ‘remembers every single crew member and background actor’, says director Park Chan-wook

Robert Downey Jr ‘remembers every single crew member and background actor’, says director Park Chan-wook

Director Park Chan-wook has only had nice things to say about working with Robert Downey Jr.

The South Korean director is working with Downey Jr on a HBO and A24 TV adaptation of The Sympathiser, Viet Thanh Nguyen’s debut novel, set in the aftermath of the Vietnam War.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Park sung the praises of the show’s star Downey Jr, who is also executive producing the series.

“First of all, he is very delightful and pleasant character, with a personality that really lights up the entire set and makes everyone happy to be there and having such an enjoyable experience,” Park said, via a translator.

“He remembers every single crew member and all the background actors. He really is friendly with all of them and gives them each a good pat on the back after their performances. He’s so encouraging to everyone.”

Discussing Downey Jr’s acting process, he continued: “With every setup and every take, he improvises dialogue every single time that’s incredibly witty and stems from something really deep from the character itself.

“For me, choosing which take to go with will really [be] the biggest problem that I have as a creator working with him.”

The Sympathiser will see the Iron Man star playing five different roles. He will be joined in the cast by Fred Nguyen Khan, Toan Le, Vy Le and Alan Trong.

Park is best known for films such as Oldboy, The Handmaiden and his recent project Decision to Leave.

In a recent interview with The Independent, Park explained why he had toned down the sex and violence that made The Handmaiden so notorious in his new film, saying: “If there’s too much violence and nudity, it would completely overwhelm the audience and dominate their impression of the film.”

Explaining that “even applying lotion to someone’s hand can become very erotic”, he added: “I tried to avoid too much stimulation so that the audience could really focus and read into the small things, like the trembling of an eye.”