‘Parasite’ actor Lee Sun-kyun dropped by film project before apparent suicide: report

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“Parasite” actor Lee Sun-kyun, who died in an apparent suicide, was reportedly dropped from a film project before his death.

The 48-year-old was being investigated for his alleged drug use weeks prior to his passing and was apparently let go because of it, according to the Daily Mail.

The South Korean star was set to appear in the drama “No Way Out,” a mystery thriller TV show about the contract killing of a man just released from prison after 13 years behind bars.

The series was set to start shooting in October. However, when police asked production for a sample of Lee’s hair for drug testing, he agreed to exit the show.

Filming was then put on pause for two weeks while the show was recast.

“Following an unfortunate incident last week with the actor Lee Sun-kyun, he expressed that it would take a considerable amount of time to sort out the current situation and that he will inevitably drop out,” the company behind the film, Studio X+U, announced in an October statement, per the Hollywood Reporter.


Lee Sun-kyun
One of the shows that the South Korean star was laid off from in October was a mystery thriller TV show titled “No Way Out.” Getty Images for Turner

The press release continued, “The company reached an agreement with Lee’s agency and respects the actor’s position. Shooting will continue as scheduled, and there will be no further delay.”

The late actor also had the projects “Project Silence” and “Land of Heaven” on deck before his death.

As The Post previously reported, Lee was found unconscious inside his car on Wednesday morning at a Seoul park after being reported missing earlier that day. His wife, Jeon Hye-jin, an actress and former Miss Korea contestant, called police after finding a suicide note.

The actor was dead at the scene. He had a charcoal briquette next to him, which suggests he died from possible carbon monoxide poisoning.

Lee had been interrogated by police about his reported drug issues on Oct. 28, Nov. 4 and Dec. 23.

Lee apologized for “causing immense disappointment” during his first interrogation. “I am sorry for my family, who are enduring extreme pain at this moment,” he had said.

During the interview, he claimed he had been coerced into taking drugs such as marijuana by a bar hostess. The waitress then attempted to blackmail him, he alleged.

On the last occasion, he had been questioned for 19 hours.

Lee passed two drug tests during the police probe and also submitted to a polygraph test.


Lee Sun-kyun
Lee starred in the 2019 film “Parasite.” Courtesy Everett Collection

On Dec. 23, Lee’s lawyer asked if his client’s interrogations could be handled more privately and with less publicity. Prohibitions on drug use are strictly enforced in South Korea.

An official cause of death has not been confirmed.

In director Bong Joon-ho’s critically acclaimed 2019 film “Parasite,” Lee starred as the patriarch of a rich family.

The thriller was the first non-English-language movie to win the Best Picture at the Academy Awards a year later.

The feature also scored awards for Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best International Feature Film.

If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues raised in this story, call or text the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988.



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