Park Chan-Wook’s “Sympathizer” Sets Cast
HBO and A24 have lined up the main cast of its post-Vietnam War drama “The Sympathizer” which hails from numerous major talents, including former “Iron Man” star Robert Downey Jr. and Korean filmmaker Park Chan-Wook (“Oldboy,” “The Handmaiden”).
Part espionage thriller and part cross-culture satire, the series is an adaptation of Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer Prize-winning debut novel. Following an open casting call worldwide, Hoa Xuande (“Cowboy Bebop”) has scored the lead role in the series and will be joined by Fred Nguyen Khan (“Fatherhood”), Alan Trong (“The Tomorrow War”), Toan Le and Vy Le.
Xuande plays the Captain, a half-French and half-Vietnamese communist spy who exits Vietnam during the fall of Saigon in 1975, the Captain becomes enmeshed in the Southern California exile community. He soon serves as a cultural adviser to an American film about the war and is later recruited to return to Vietnam for a raid on the communists.
Khan will play the Captain’s childhood friend, Trong plays an idealistic former classmate turned Vietnamese language newspaper editor, Toan Le plays a former South Vietnamese Secret Police chief, whilst Vy Le plays said ex-chief’s daughter.
Downey will take on several roles in the project, all antagonists who represent different facets of the American establishment. He will also executive produce alongside Park Chan-wook and Don McKellar who serve as co-showrunners. Park is also directing the series.
Nguyen, Susan Downey, Amanda Burrell, Kim Ly, Niv Fichman, Ron Schmidt and Jisun Back also executive produce. Shooting is now underway in Los Angeles and Thailand.