Bong Joon-ho Age, Wife, Family, Children, Biography and More

Bong Joon-ho

Nickname(s)Bong Tael-il [1]
Profession Film Director, Producer, and Screenwriter
Physical Stats & More
Height (approx.)in centimeters- 183 cm
in meters- 1.83 m
in feet inches- 6’
Eye ColorBlack
Hair ColorBlack
DebutShort Film: Baeksaekin (White Man)(1994)

Feature Films
As a Screenwriter: Motel Cactus (1997)
As a Director: Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000)
TV: Snowpiercer (as Executive Producer) (American; 2020)
Acting: In the short film "Incoherence" (1994) as 'Delivery Boy'
Awards, Honors, Achievements 2020: British Academy Film Awards - Best Original Screenplay and Best Film Not in the English Language for "Parasite"
2020: Writers Guild of America Awards - Best Original Screenplay for the film "Parasite"
2020: Critics' Choice Movie Awards - Best Director for the film "Parasite"
Bong Joon-ho during his Acceptance Speech at Critics' Choice Movie Awards
2020: Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards - Best Asian Film for "Parasite"
2019: Eungwan Order of Cultural Merit (the second highest class of national cultural medals) by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism (South Korea)
2019: Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award - Best Director for the film "Parasite"
2019: Asia Pacific Screen Awards - Best Feature Film for "Parasite" in 2019
2019: Cannes Film Festival - Palme d'Or for the film "Parasite"
2016: Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Officier in 2016

Academy Awards
2020: Best Picture for "Parasite"
2020: Best Director for the film "Parasite"
2020: Best Original Screenplay for the film "Parasite"

Blue Dragon Film Awards
2019: Best Director for the film "Parasite"
2019: Best Film for "Parasite"
2013: Best Director for the film "Snowpiercer"
2009: Best Film for "Mother"
2006: Audience Choice Award for the film "The Host"
2006: Best Film for "The Host"
2003: Audience Choice Award for the film "Memories of Murder"

Buil Film Awards
2019: Best Screenplay for the film "Parasite"
2019: Best Film for "Parasite"
2013: Best Film for "Snowpiercer"
2009: Best Film for "Mother"

Grand Bell Awards
2007: Best Director for the film "The Host"
2003: Best Film for "Memories of Murder"
2003: Best Director for the film "Memories of Murder"

Korean Association of Film Critics Awards
2019: Best Director for the film "Parasite"
2019: Best Film for "Parasite"
2017: FIPRESCI Award for the film "Okja"
2013: Best Director for the film "Snowpiercer"
2013: Best Film for "Snowpiercer"
2009: Best Screenplay for the film "Mother"
2009: Best Film for "Mother"
2003: Best Director for the film "Memories of Murder"
2003: Best Film for "Memories of Murder"
Personal Life
Date of Birth14 September 1969 (Sunday)
Age (as of 2022)53 Years
BirthplaceBongdeok-dong, Nam District - Daegu, North Gyeongsang Province, South Korea
Zodiac signVirgo
Nationality South Korean
HometownJamsil-dong, Seoul, South Korea
SchoolJamsil High School, Songpa-gu, Seoul
College/University• Yonsei University, Seoul
• Korean Academy of Film Arts (KAFA), Busan
Educational Qualification• Major in Sociology from Yonsei University, Seoul [2]Vulture
• A Two-Year Course in Filmmaking from Korean Academy of Film Arts (KAFA), Busan [3]Clermont Film Fest
Religion/Religious ViewsCatholicism [4]BFI-Sight & Sound
Food HabitNon-Vegetarian
Political Inclination• New Progressive Party (South Korea; now, dysfunctional) [5]Jacobin Magazine
• Democratic Labour Party (South Korea) [6]Bong Joon-ho - Google Books
HobbiesWatching Film & Collecting Blu-rays
Controversies• At the screening of the black and white version of the film "Mother" (2009), actress Kim Hye-ja said that Bong Joon-ho had allegedly asked the actor, Won Bin to touch her breast; when the scene was not in the script. The issue was brought up later in 2019 when social media users and various media outlets turned the scenario into her 'MeToo Story.' When the things went out of hands, Hye-ja clearing the air, said, [7]Soompi

"I was absolutely flabbergasted when I saw the articles and comments. I have blisters on my lips because I’ve been so upset. It was my mistake trying to explain it in a fun way, but to say that it was ‘Me Too’ as if I had witnessed something big? To say that director Bong and Won Bin planned to fool me and sexually harassed me? I feel scared and embarrassed even saying this. Mother’ was a film where I talked a lot with director Bong and he said to me, ‘I’m not a mom so I think you’ll probably know the mind of the mom in the film more than me.'” Explaining the situation at the time, she said, “Now that I think about it, director Bong said to me before filming began, ‘Do Joon could put his hand on his mom’s breast,’ and I said, ‘So what if he puts his hand on it. A mentally challenged son can sleep while touching his mom’s breast.'” According to the actress, she spoke with the director before filming the scene, and it proceeded after it was discussed in advance."

• In 2012, the distribution rights to the film "Snowpiercer" (2013) was given from CJ Entertainment to The Weinstein Company, with a plan of a wide release in North America, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Harvey Weinstein, an owner of The Weinstein Company, requested 25 minutes of the footage from the film to be edited, to which, Bong disagreed. As a result, the release of the film was delayed. Eventually, Bong succeeded in getting the film released in an uncut form. However, the distributor of the film was later switched to TWC. [8]Indiewire
Relationships & More
Sexual Orientation Straight
Marital StatusMarried
Marriage Date1995
Wife/SpouseJung Sun-young
ChildrenSon- Bong Hyo-min (Filmmaker)
ParentsFather- Bong Sang-kyun (Graphic Designer & Professor at Seoul National University of Science and Technology, Seoul; died in 2017)
Mother- Park So-young (Homemaker)
SiblingsBrother- Bong Joon-soo (elder; English Professor at Seoul National University)
Sister(s)- Bong Ji-hee (elder; Fashion Designer & Professor of Fashion Designing at Hanyang University) & 1 more (elder)
FoodRamen, Jjapaguri
FilmmakersEdward Yang, Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Shohei Imamura, John Frankenheimer, Sidney Lumet, and John Schlesinger, Martin Scorsese
Modern Horror MovieMidsommar [9]Slash Film
FilmThe Wages of Fear (1953)
BandPink Floyd
Money Factor
Salary (approx.)1.4 Billion $ (as in 2020) [10]Republic World

Bong Joon-ho

Some Lesser Known Facts About Bong Joon-ho

  • He enjoys watching movies and collecting Blu-rays.
  • Bong Joon-ho’s artistic sense comes from his family. Her father was a graphic designer and her maternal grandfather, Park Taewon, was a renowned Korean writer.
  • He never had the chance to meet his maternal grandfather because their family had separated after the Korean War. His grandfather lived the rest of his life in Pyongyang, North Korea. His mother’s sister also lived there and reunited in 2006 after 56 years.
  • Since childhood, he loved to watch movies. In college, he decided to become a director.
  • He was part of the student protests of the South Korean democracy movement, where Yonsei University had become one of the centers of the movement. Bong, as a student activist, demonstrated the expansion of democratic rights, unions, and reunification with North Korea. Speaking, he says,”We hated going to class. Every day was the same: protesting by day, drinking by night. With the exception of a few people, we didn’t have much faith in the teachers back then. So we formed our own study groups covering politics, aesthetics, history. We drank late into the night, chatting and chatting. . The main organizers probably thought I was a bad activist.”
  • During his years as an activist, Bong, along with the other protesters, mixed Molotov cocktails from a mixture of paint thinner and water, which were visually explosive but less dangerous than gasoline-based ones. He was even arrested for throwing explosives.

    Students demonstrations at the South Korean Democratic Movement

    Students demonstrations at the South Korean Democratic Movement

  • During the demonstrations, demonstrators threw stones and police threw tear gas canisters from cannons. He was also subjected to tear gas during the first two years of his university, describing the experience, Bong said,

“It was a very traumatic smell. It’s impossible to describe: nauseating, pungent, hot. It’s strange, sometimes I feel it in my dreams. Usually, dreams are pictures, but sometimes I have this feeling of feeling it. It’s really awful, but I guess it would be like that.”

  • During his college years, Joon-ho taught children from wealthy backgrounds in his locality.
  • He was once a member of the now dysfunctional New Progressive Party and supports the Democratic Labor Party.
  • Many American celebrities like Chris Evans, Brad Pitt, and Quentin Tarantino talk about Bong Joon-ho and express their desire to work with Bong. In an interview, Quentin Tarantino, speaking about Bong, said,

“Of all the filmmakers of the last 20 years, he has something that [the 1970s] Spielberg has. There is this level of entertainment and comedy in his films. [The Host and Memories of Murder] are both masterpieces…excellent in their own way.”

Bong Joon-ho with Quentin Tarantino

Bong Joon-ho with Quentin Tarantino

  • In an interview, Bong confessed that he writes his scripts and does the storyboarding himself. Additionally, he said he wanted to become a cartoonist in his next life; how he loved manga.

    A Storyboard Sketched by Bong Joon-ho

    A Storyboard Sketched by Bong Joon-ho

  • Bong’s films take years to plan; while the idea for his Oscar-winning film “Paradise” (2019) came to him in 2013.

    Bong Joon-ho during the Shooting of Parasite (2019)

    Bong Joon-ho during the Shooting of Parasite (2019)

  • During his Oscars award speech, Bong Joon-ho said that he grew up watching Martin Scorcese’s films and also quoted a sentence from Scorcese,

“The most personal is the most creative.”

  • In 2020 Bong made Time Magazine’s annual list of the world’s 100 most influential people, and he also got his name on Bloomberg’s list of the top 50. [11]Player.One
  • He gives a huge importance to the backgrounds and locations in his films in addition to the actors. [12]The Talks

I feel as excited as if I’d found a great actor!

  • Parasite, his Oscar winning film, first started out as a play! [13]The Atlantic
  • Bong says that he does not believe in having any villain but instead, his films are based on misunderstand and the miscommunication between the characters. [14]The Atlantic
  • Bong’s second movie, Memories of Murder, was based on the real-life hunt for a serial killer in the 1980s, who had never been caught.
  • The dish in the movie Parasite is actually a made up word by thetranslator who used “ram-dom” for the noodle dish. It is actually a mixture of two different types of instant noodles: one is a black bean and one is a spicy seafood flavor. [15]GQ
  • Bong in an interview said that his cretaivity is because of  a “very simple lifestyle,” which involves drinking coffee, writing and not meeting a lot of people. [16]CNBC
  • The hashtag “#Bonghive” started showing up on Twitter after Parasite picked up the Palme d’Or at Cannes. The hashtag is named after the film’s quirky and extremely meme-able Korean director Bong Joon-ho. [17]La ist
  • The diploma that Ki-jung cobbles together in Photoshop in the film Parasite is embossed with the crest of Yonsei University, which isn’t just one of Korea’s three most exclusive universities, but also Bong’s alma mater (he graduated in 1995 after making his first short films, founding a movie club, and being teargassed during several student demonstrations). [18]Inde Wire
  • Bong tells in an interview that “Parasite” was directly inspired by “Fury Road.” [19]Inde Wire
  • The name of Mr. Park’s company in the movie Parasite is only mentioned once, but viewers were quick to flag “Another Brick” as a reference to the anti-establishment anthems of Pink Floyd. Bong confirms the nod on the commentary track, and elaborates that Pink Floyd was his favorite band in college, when his political convictions were first taking shape. [20]Inde Wire

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