On the afternoon of 22 December 2020, Kakao TV’s new drama, “Lovestruck in The City” introduced its main cast through a press conference held at an undisclosed location in Gangnam-gu and broadcast live through its YouTube channel. What follows is a compilation of the various news reports from the event.
Looking a lot like the Masked Marvel upon his arrival at the venue, Ji Chang Wook was joined by his fellow cast members Kim Ji Won, Kim Min Seok, So Ju Yeon, Han Ji Eun and Ryu Kyung Soo, along with PD-nim Park Shin Woo. Because of the Seoul Metropolitan Area’s recent COVID-19 regulations, the cast members were seated, masked up, and separated by Plexiglas partitions. Only a very small number of press were allowed into the venue for the event.
The first story of “Lovestruck in the City,” which will be produced on a seasonal basis, opens its doors with the subtitle “My Lovely Camera Thief.” A city man and a woman who dream of another life and enjoy the escape into innocence in search of happiness and love. The “real” love story of those who know how to live their lives more honestly and actively than anyone else will inspire empathy.
Director Park Shin Woo, who has been recognized for sensuous and sophisticated productions through directing skills such as “Psycho, But It’s Okay” and “Jealousy Incarnate,” and writer Jung Hyun Jung, who boasts solid writing skills with the “I Need Romance” series, “Discovery of Love” and “Romance is a Bonus Book,” will be responsible for the production.
Regarding the reason for casting him, Director Park Shin Woo said, “Just looking at Ji Chang Wook’s face makes me feel good. He comes with natural manners and natural sweetness,” he said. “It’s a style that makes people feel good even when they don’t like it,” he said. “I’m curious about the home environment. How can you be so big? He’s a star, but he doesn’t seem to act like a huge star,” PD-nim Park said, drawing attention.
Regarding Kim Ji Won’s first impression, Ji Chang Wook said, “I thought, ‘Oh, it’s Kim Ji Won. Kim Ji Won is pretty and strong.’ There is anxiety about meeting new people as a partner. But Ji-won said, ‘Thank you for being trustworthy and reliable.’ In order to shoot such difficult scenes, I thought it would be much more advantageous to form a bond and be comfortable. We felt comfortable while filming on Jeju Island and in Yangyang.”
Ji Chang Wook said, “I practiced surfing the most while filming. Even though I worked really hard, I didn’t surf well enough to shoot. I couldn’t shoot with my skills, I couldn’t do well enough to shoot even though I practiced, so the cast and the filming team had a hard time. I’m really sorry,” he said with a smile while drawing laughter.
“I had a good first impression,” Kim Ji Won said of Ji Chang Wook. “I received a lot of help because [Chang-wook] was considerate and took care of me.”
Asked about the main actors’ chemistry, PD-nim Park said, “Ji Chang Wook and Kim Ji Won are really close. They get along so well. It’s not an empty word. We need a lot of modifiers to say something that’s not there, but they don’t have to do that.”
PD-nim Park continued, “They felt like brother and sister, so they are really close. On the contrary, I was worried about whether they would play the role of a couple well, but now I’m worried that the two are really dating,” bringing laughter to the room. When they work professionally, they seem to compete with each other regardless of their friendship. They have good chemistry as actors, but we also benefit from good chemistry as a person, and their romance is also the highlight of the drama.”
Ji Chang Wook plays passionate, honest and romantic architect Park Jae Won, while Kim Ji Won plays Lee Eun Oh, a bold freelance marketer, and Eun-oh’s alter ego, Yoon Sun Ah, a bright, free spirit. Other cast members include Kim Min Seok, who transforms himself into Choi Kyung Joon, a romantic lover even though he is cynical about the world. Han Ji Eun plays Oh Sun Young, a hot woman who dates according to her intuition. Ryu Kyung-soo plays Eun-oh’s easygoing male friend Kang Geon, and So Ju Yeon plays another friend Seo Rin, whose current happiness is her only top priority.
On this day, PD-nim Park explained about “Lovestruck in the City” that “we are trying to show stories that everyone would have experienced at least once, which are routine and ordinary, rather than special and dramatic.”
“Lovestruck in the City” will be released in a 30-minute short-form format. PD-nim Park said, “The short running time was not a distinction,” and added, “I have been a drama PD steadily, and I am trying to work like an entertainment and cultural PD, not a drama PD. If you watch the show, you will be able to feel why I thought that way.”
Actors were also curious about the unique style of “Lovestruck in the City.” Ji Chang Wook showed his confidence in the drama, saying “It’s a short [episode] time, but there are many stories that are very interesting. I also thought that the drama itself was more formal at the time when I talked a lot with the director during the first meeting. I wanted it to feel like I was doing a fake documentary interview, so I think I acted more as ‘Ji Chang Wook’ rather than creating a new character. It was a very interesting and different work for me,” he said, expressing satisfaction.
Kim Ji Won also said, “As the [episode] time is short, I was immersed. I wondered if that was all? Had I already finished it?” When I first got the script, I was so excited because it would be directed by Park Shin Woo and written by Jung Hyun Jung, and so I really wanted to do it,” she continued. Kim Ji Won explained that she had thought a lot about the physical appearance of her character because she wanted to create a distinct difference between the appearance of Lee Eun Oh and her alter ego Yoon Sun Ah, saying “I think you’ll be able to see it clearly.”
Ji Chang Wook said about his collaboration with Kim Ji Won, “This is the first time I”ve been in a drama like this,” and the level of physical affection of Jae-won and Sun-ah’s characters was too strong to deny. “It was important to form a bond and feel comfortable to film scenes with difficulty,” he said.
Another couple, Kim Min Seok and So Ju Yeon, also have high expectations. Kim Min Seok said, “I paid close attention to understanding So Ju Yeon`s tendencies. We talked about each other’s love stories and found the middle point where we could relate to each other and acted.”
So Ju Yeon added, “We talked on the phone often and talked to each other often. Kim Min Seok led us a lot on the spot, so we learned comfortably.”
Ryu Kyung Soo and Han Ji Eun will also show a new side of them through this work. Han Ji Eun explained, “The character Oh Sun Young came to me attractively because it felt like a character that I couldn’t do until now,” and added, “I wanted to try it because there were many different parts from my actual appearance.” Ryu Kyung Soo confessed that he wants to hear the modifier “sexy cutie” through this drama.
PD-nim Park said of the actors, “Kim Min Seok has a masculine charm when working. This friend actually plays a cool role, but I thought he was hidden. So Ju Yeon was the most interesting actor to see recently and the most curious about her future. As a real person, she is a lovely friend. Han Ji Eun has never worked before on short dramas, but she has seen the [other actors] prior works.”
PD-nim Park continued regarding Kim Min Seok, “There is also a puppy that people talk about these days, but it’s a sexy puppy. He’s unique. He looks like a fool but also has a sexy vibe. He’s really funny in acting. I am grateful for his good acting.”
PD-nim Park says, “Ryu Kyung-soo said, ‘Let’s do it together’ about a minute or two after meeting her [Han Ji Eun] for the first time at an audition. On the contrary, there are a lot of different things to look at, and I think there are a lot of things that many people don’t have. The parts that people don’t expect, especially when they work, explode the most when they take pictures with Kyung-soo. It may not be delivered through the media, but there is air delivered through the site, and he is the most interesting person who uses breathing. He is an actor who creates a lot of unusual acting regarding things like that.”
Kakao TV’s original drama, “Lovestruck in the City,” has its first broadcast on 22 December, and further epiosdes will air at 5:00pm KST, with an additional release 2 hours later on Netflix at 7:00pm KST, on Tuesdays and Fridays for 16 episodes total.