The Sympathizer: Robert Downey Jr’s new HBO show from A24 welcomes five new cast members

Last Updated on November 14, 2022

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Director of the notorious Korean drama Oldboy, Park Chan-wook, will be the showrunner of an upcoming series from HBO and A24 called The Sympathizer, which will be co-starring Robert Downey Jr. The show is an adaptation of a Pulitzer prize-winning novel by Viet Thanh Nguyen. Downey Jr. will also be producing the show. The series has just concluded a worldwide search for the five lead cast members of the series.

Deadline has the details on each of the five main characters that will be joining Robert Downey Jr.

Hoa Xuande from Cowboy Bebop plays “The Captain, a spy for North Vietnam embedded in the refugee community in Los Angeles. A man of two minds and dual identities, the Captain is caught between conflicting loyalties, contradicting desires, and is ultimately forced to confront what it means to sympathize.”

Fred Nguyen Khan of Transplant plays “Bon, the Captain’s childhood friend who refuses to bring the Captain’s multiple identities into focus. A proud member of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, Bon arrives in Los Angeles after a tragic loss and ultimately finds new meaning in the most unlikely of places and circumstances.”

Toan Le will be playing “The General, the larger-than-life former leader of the South Vietnamese Secret Police. Overtaken by paranoia, the General is fixated on sniffing out traitors amongst the refugee community in Los Angeles and is in feverish pursuit of his goal to lead a counter-revolutionary mission back in his homeland.”

Vy Le plays “Lana, the rebellious daughter of the General. Fluent in both American and Vietnamese culture, she has an uncanny skill of absorbing and adapting to American popular culture, a capacity that is dizzying for the Captain and unnerving for her father.” 

And Alan Trong of The Tomorrow War will portray “Sonny, the idealistic former classmate of the Captain and now the editor of a Los Angeles Vietnamese-language newspaper. Sonny is free to pursue his desires and ideals with open passion which provides the perfect foil for the Captain.”

The Sympathizer is an espionage thriller and a satire on the hardships of a half-French, half-Vietnamese communist spy during the last days of the Vietnam War. The show is described as a “blistering exploration of identity and America, a gripping spy novel and a powerful story of love and friendship,” while the novel has been compared to Kafka, Orwell, and le Carré.

Source: Deadline

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E.J. is a News Editor at JoBlo, as well as a Video Editor, Writer, and Narrator for some of the movie retrospectives on our JoBlo Originals YouTube channel, including Reel Action, Revisited and some of the Top 10 lists. He is a graduate of the film program at Missouri Western State University with concentrations in performance, writing, editing and directing.