We took a behind-the-scenes peek at Netflix hit Parasyte

The making of Parasyte: The Grey

Soon after the Netflix series Parasyte: The Grey premiered, the latest Korean series became the most watched non-English TV Netflix show globally, clocking 6.3 million viewing hours last week.

One of the most talked about moments in the series is when a person’s head splits open to reveal the parasite within. To make it look realistic, director Yeon Sang-ho focused not only on how the parasite’s movements looked in CGI but also how they should affect the physical environment.

“When the parasite head moves by, elements like hair should move naturally. We even tried pulling objects with strings. The biggest challenge was continuously filming things we couldn’t see as if we could,” says Yeon, who is no stranger to creating believable creatures, from Train to Busan to Hellbound.

Parasyte: The Grey is based on the original comic Parasyte by Hitoshi Iwaaki, which sold an accumulated record of over 25 million copies in over 30 regions and countries with its ingenious imaginative storyline of a parasite permeating through a human brain and controlling its body, and philosophical message. Parasyte: The Grey expands the universe of Parasyte with a new story in a different setting: Korea. Iwaaki commented: “I hope that people from all over the world can enjoy and appreciate the fact that different stories are born when Parasyte is created in different places on Earth.”

Taking a hands-on approach to help the actors visualize the seamless transformation between human and parasite, Yeon would show them how to move their head as the parasite emerged or jerk their body as the parasite took over.

“Director Yeon Sang-ho threw his body to direct us. He would physically demonstrate to us. We came onto the set after watching and understanding his demonstrations, so we could visualize the action lines,” explains Koo Kyo-hwan, who plays Kang-Woo, a man driven to fight parasites in his search for his missing sister.

Parasyte: The Grey revolves around supermarket employee Su-in (Jeon So-nee), who ends up co-existing with a parasite when it fails to take over her brain. Even as she grapples with her new reality, the relentless Team Grey, led by Jun-kyung (Lee Jung-hyun), goes all out to eliminate the parasites. You can binge-watch all episodes on Netflix now. Meantime, the series has been confirmed for a second season.

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