Reason Controversy Over Lee Jung-hyun’s Acting In “Parasyte: The Grey” Arose

While other “Parasyte: The Grey” actors received compliments, Lee Jung-hyun faced unexpected criticism over her acting

Lee Jung-hyun once revealed that she rejected Netflix’s “Parasyte: The Grey” at first due to her pregnancy, saying “I told director Yeon Sang-ho that it would be difficult for me to do it during pregnancy. However, he postponed the filming for my pregnancy and childbirth. I’m so thankful for that”.

In “Parasyte: The Grey”, Lee Jung-hyun plays Choi Jun-kyung, the team leader of “Grey Team” who lost her husband and tries to eradicate parasites. Three months after giving birth to her first daughter, she joined the filming and performed high-level action scenes. The actress had to exercise hard to build muscles and run around carrying a long gun as big as her body.

Lee Jung-hyun

Thanks to the efforts of the actors, including Lee Jung-hyun, “Parasyte: The Grey” ranked No.1 in Netflix Global Top 10 (non-English) Series. The drama reportedly attracted over 6,300,000 views within three days after its release on April 5th and entered Top 10 in a total of 68 countries.

Despite her hard work, Lee Jung-hyun eventually faced controversy over her acting performance. 

After portraying a crazy girl in the aftermath of the Democratization Movement in her debut film “A Petal” (1996), Lee Jung-hyun was called an “acting genius” and received praise from director Park Chan-wook. She even swept the Rookie Award at the Blue Dragon Award and Grand Bell Awards with her debut film. Later, she also won Best Actress at the 36th Blue Dragon Film Awards with “Alice in Earnestland”.

However, her acting performance in “Parasyte: The Grey” received negative reviews from viewers. Some people pointed out that they felt like watching a play rather than a movie due to the actress’s excessive lines and expressions. Some said Jun-kyung’s madness when mourning her husband did not go in harmony with other characters.


In this regard, director Yeon Sang-ho said, “Jun-kyung suffered tremendous pain, and this person hides her pain under a mask called ‘fake madness’. In this case, didn’t actress Lee Jung-hyun show a lot? This character fit her well”, adding “I hope the character Jun-kyung doesn’t feel real because everything about her is hidden behind a mask. I think actress Lee Jung-hyun expressed this character very well”, expressing his satisfaction.

However, many viewers still complained that Jun-kyung’s tone and actions did not match the overall atmosphere of the drama. Making use of the actor’s personality and specialty is important but harmonization between the characters is also a crucial factor. As such, some believe the controversy over Lee Jung-hyun’s acting in “Parasyte: The Grey” also involves Yeon Sang-ho’s misjudgment as a director.

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