Credits to 10.asiae.co.kr
"Will fans of Kim Hyun-joong please exit the room to facilitate the interviews?" The host of the press conference for upcoming MBC TV series "Naughty Kiss" had to repeat this line several times during a Q&A session. The show had drawn people's interest due to the popularity of the original Japanese comic series combined with the participation of director Hwang In-roe of hit series "Goong" fame. And it became a 'hot' drama even before going into production after singer and actor Kim Hyun-joong's casting for the show was announced. Will the interest be reflected in its ratings? Below are excerpts from the press conference held at Seoul's Imperial Palace hotel on Thursday.
Q: How do you feel about starring in "Naughty Kiss"?
Jung So-min: I went into "Bad Boy" not knowing anything but this time, I'm trying to be careful, taking many things into consideration.
Kim Hyun-joong: I'm working on improving on the aspects I lack in. I'm not trying to be acknowledged for my acting skills -- I just want to make people feel that I've worked hard for the role. I think there have been a lot of dramas which are serious these days and none that are cheerful and sweet so I hope viewers will have fun watching it.
Q: Director Hwang In-roe, you've gone back to doing a love story about a young man and woman like in "Goong." What is the message that you want to deliver?
Hwang: Upon seeing these bright and cheerful characters, I hope people will feel that they look sweet together and are loveable.
Q: What is your opinion on the original comic series?
Hwang: When I first read it, I felt that it was cute. (laugh) But the more I looked closely at it to produce the show, the more I started to realize why people enjoy it and I started seeing things that I shouldn't leave out. It wasn't easy to go with the flow of the original series though. We have to show the story of the two going to college but Korea and Japan work under different educational systems so I had a tough time changing it. (laugh)
Q: The video clip revealed a few moments ago showed that the show has a very strong comic-like vibe to it.
Hwang: It's based on a comic so I tried to bring out the strengths that comics have. And this is about showing the process of how the love between a man and woman come true so I'm trying to express the emotions of young people. I'm focusing particularly hard on the rhythm. And for the parts where Oh Hani imagines things, I'm trying to make those seem more comic book-like. But there's a limit to it as well because you don't have much freedom in terms of frame usage so I'm trying to show it more through characters' expressions.
Q: Why did you cast Kim Hyun-joong and Jung So-min?
Hwang: It was as if they were the characters that popped out of the comic. And I think they've done well so far in trying to express what I want. There are some things they lack at because they're still newcomers but I think that actually suits the show better. I'm trying to do a good job of delivering what they're trying to express rather than demand for certain points.
Q: Kim Hyun-joong, you play the role of Baek Seung-jo who is a genius and good at everything. Don't you feel any pressure in having to play such a role?
Kim: He's someone who is good not only at his studies but at sports too so I have to learn the proper posture even for when he's running in a race. And since I'm supposed to be a genius, I have to be at ease when teaching Jung So-min her studies. So it's very hard. (laugh) I've also been trying to pronounce my words outwardly when saying my lines because I think I mumbled when I did "Boys Over Flowers."
Q: Jung So-min, you took on "Naughty Kiss" right after "Bad Boy." Was this difficult?
Jung: I had a hard time because of that. The shoots overlapped a bit and my two characters were so different that I was having a hard time psychologically because I was worried I might not do well. I think I have been improving now that one is over.
10: Is your character Oh Hani like you in any ways?
Jung: My character Monet from "Bad Boy" was similar to me in a way and I think the same thing about this character as well. It's as if I maximize on the aspects that exist within me to a certain extent.
Q: All the characters have unrealistic sides to them. What's your interpretation of yours?
Kim Hyun-joong: As much as they're unrealistic, I think I'll be able to show more unique sides to them than I would be able to in conventional dramas. And Baek Seung-jo is a genius so he sometimes uses words that I don't usually use so I have a hard time with those. For scenes related to studying, I need to be natural with it so I actually study those parts and make sure I understand them. I'm doing the studying that I hadn't done in high school for "Naughty Kiss." (laugh)
Q: Which parts are you paying a lot of attention to in order to establish your character? What's the difference between your character now and Yoon Ji-hoo from "Boys Over Flowers"?
Kim: When I acted the role of Yoon Ji-hoo, I tried to become a tender person so I kept myself from even letting out sounds of my breath. But I think I could do a bit more yelling this time. (laugh) I think there'll be scenes where I'll ruin my image and I'm trying to show more of an aggressive disposition because I have to speak in a more rudely than Yoon Ji-hoo did. And I saw the clip that was shown earlier on -- it seems like they've done a good job with the corrections. (laugh)
Q: Have you ever cringed playing the role of a genius who is good at everything? (laugh)
Kim: During yesterday's shoot, there was a scene where Oh Hani says to me, "You're good at everything, running as well..." to which I'll say, "Yes, I'm good at basketball and swimming as well." But I felt a bit embarrassed doing this because I'm not a genius. (laugh)
Q: Singers and actors work in different environments. Have you adjusted well to the set of the drama?
Kim: I'm been trying hard to. Singing is about showing a perfect three minutes and 30 seconds on stage but dramas are about waiting and preparing for long hours and then filming for long hours with the results out on the day of its showing. I think that's why there's more of an excitement about that wait. But I feel more natural as a singer since it's what I've been doing for a long time.
Q: How is it playing the role of a high school student? You've kept on playing that role including in "Boys Over Flowers."
Kim: I had actually thought for a bit before the interview whether this will be my last high school student role. There are certain types of roles that I want to try playing but I want to put that aside for now.
Q: You're being called the next generation Hallyu star. What are your plans regarding your activities in Japan?
Kim: I honestly think there's a bubble to being called that. When I go to Japan, I don't go outside much so I don't know if I'm popular and I don't think I've been able to go to Asia much so far. I heard there are a few fans out there waiting for me (laugh) so no matter how small the number, I would like to go on tour in Asia after the drama ends.
Q: Do you feel that your popularity or life has changed?
Kim: I did back then and I do till now -- I live my life fiercely. I think I should work even harder because an increasing number of talented people are debuting.
Q: What did your agency's chief Bae Yong-jun say about "Naughty Kiss"?
Kim: He said he'd visit the set sometime.
Q: Do you meet him often? What do you talk about when you meet him?
Kim: I think we meet two to three times a week. He said I should work hard at the drama (laugh) and when we meet, I drink green tea and he'll drink coffee. We don't talk too much about work. We talk about stuff that other guys usually do. (laugh)
Q: How far are you into the shoot? I hear there is going to be a scene where you show some skin when Baek Seung-jo and Oh Hani go to the beach. (laugh)
Kim: We've only shot up till the fourth episode now so we haven't done that scene yet. We're leaving to the beach soon and I'll do it if the director asks me too but Baek Seung-jo probably doesn't need to show any skin, does he? (laugh)
Senior Reporter : Kang Myoung-Seok two@
Editor : Jessica Kim jesskim@, Lee Ji-Hye seven@
<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>