Q. What are the biggest charms of the two female characters Cheong-jo [Lee Yubi] and Yeo-wul [Suzy], who are both in love with Kang-chi?
Lee: Cheong-jo represents a strong female figure that looks at the world realistically and with a cool head. She also has an elegance from being raised in a noble family. That exclusivity seems to be what attracts Kang-chi. On the other hand, Yeo-wul is a new type of female figure that only looks up to Kang-chi like a sunflower and helps him out.
Q. Suzy, this is your first historical drama and and your first character with action skills. It may have not been easy for you.
Suzy: I’ve exercised since I was young so I enjoyed learning action skills before we started filming. But things didn’t go smoothly as I thought they would while trying to put on the right facial expressions at the same time. It was somewhat tough physically, as well.
Q. What about “Kang Chi, the Beginning” do you think is appealing as a fantasy period drama?
Yoo: In my opinion, I felt that it’s not a good idea to try to give viewers a lesson on history. I also felt that a historical drama needs to have a global sensitivity about it with thorough directing and script along with a great ensemble of a cast. And this drama possesses all of them. I was surprised at its interesting story and the delicate direction through which my character Lee Soon-shin is fused in.
Q. Expectations over the drama are increasing, especially regarding the romance.
Lee: I consider romantic acting the most difficult. I become nervous because there seems to be no right answer. I think you need good communication with your partner, instead of techniques, for such acting. In that sense, Suzy expresses many feelings in her eyes so I think it won’t be hard to express my feelings by looking into her eyes when acting. After the character Koo Wol-ryeong [Choi Jin-hyuk] appears, the destinies of many will be unveiled one by one and lots of stories will come forward. So I think it’ll be a painful melodrama.
Suzy: Yeowool is becoming increasingly feminine and prettier after meeting Kang-chi. (laugh) And as this progresses, I think it’ll bring out the natural sides to Kang-chi and Yeo-wul.
Q. Yeo-wul went against her fate to meet Kang-chi. Are you actually similar to Yeo-wul in any way?
Suzy: I’m the type that does what I want no matter what people say. I’m stubborn so I easily regret too. I feel that Yeo-wul’s way of loving is by doing anything for Kang-chi and helping him as far as she can. Those parts seem to be similar to me.
Q. What was the most impressive scene?
Lee: It’s the scene of Kang-chi having a private meeting with admiral Lee Soon-shin [Yoo Dong-geun]. My tears flowed at the thought of talking with real Lee Soon-shin alone as I filmed it. I couldn’t control the burning sensation inside of me so I felt like I was almost possessed by a spirit. When I thought about how to shoot this scene, I thought I would have to raise the level of my emotions. But then Yoo advised, ‘It’s right to do it with serenity because the message that the writer tries to cast is important in the scene.’ I was so grateful for him for making me feel those emotions inside me.
Q. What is the message of “Kang Chi, the Beginning” to the audience?
Lee: I’m not capable of taking a message into consideration when acting. I’m not seasoned enough to consider the deep meaning to a drama but I feel that the writer Kang Eun-gyeong is such a warm-hearted person. She seems to deliver what it is like to live as a human, what is the right mindset and attitude for relationships through the half-man-half-beast Kangchi’s spectacular story. It’s a great story to show people with conflicts as well as what a good figure is.
* Correction: The official name of MBC’s current Monday and Tuesday is “Kang Chi, the Beginning,” not “The Gu Family Book” as TenAsia has reported in the past.
Reporter. Jang Seo Yoon email@example.com
Translator. Lee Hye Ji firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor. Jessica Kim
Courtesy of MBC