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Sandra Oh Joins Robert Downey Jr. in HBO’s The Sympathizer Series

According to Deadline, Golden Globe winner Sandra Oh has officially signed on for a recurring role in HBO and A24’s upcoming series adaptation of The Sympathizer, which will be led by Robert Downey Jr.

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She is set to portray the role of Ms. Sofia Mori, “a liberated feminist who, in the midst of a love triangle, begins to awaken to the complexity of her own Asian American identity.”

In addition to Oh, The Joy Luck Club alum Kieu Chinh and Paris by Night star Nguyễn Cao Kỳ Duyên have also been cast to recur. Chinh will play the Major’s homesick mother while Kỳ Duyên will play the General’s elegant and commanding wife, Madame.

Based on Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer-winning debut novel, The Sympathizer is being directed by award-winning South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-Wook, who is also serving as a showrunner with Don McKellar. The series will feature Downey Jr. taking on multiple supporting roles as the main antagonists, which will all somehow represent a different part of the American establishment. Joining Downey are Hoa Xuande, Fred Nguyen Khan, Toan Le, Vy Le, and Alan Trong.

The series centers around a half-French, half-Vietnamese man who served as a spy for Communist forces during the Vietnam War. The novel follows the unnamed protagonist as he experiences the final days of the historical war, lives in exile in Los Angeles, and continues to move throughout Southeast Asia.

The series is executive produced by Downey Jr., Park, McKellar, Susan Downey, Amanda Burrell, Niv Fichman, and Kim Ly. It is a co-production between HBO, A24, and Rhombus Media.

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Since the novel’s debut, it has earned positive reviews from critics and has won a number of awards in 2016, including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the Edgar Award for Best First Novel, and the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. Nguyen also recently published the novel’s second installment, titled The Committed.


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