[Interview] Director of “The Impossible Heir” Gives Viewers More Insights Of The Casts

The Impossible Heir is Disney+‘s latest kdrama – a story of three outcasts clawing their way to the top of Korea’s biggest conglomerate.

Lee Jaewook as Han Taeoh

After years of abuse at the hands of his vicious stepfather, Han Taeoh acted by Lee Jaewook (Death’s Game, Alchemy of Souls: Light and Shadow, Alchemy of Souls, Move to Heaven, Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol, Extraordinary You) uses his sharp intellect to get his stepfather thrown in jail. Seeking a fresh start, Taeoh and his mother flee to a new town where Taeoh begins to pursue a better life through academic excellence.

Lee Junyoung as Kang Inha

After being accepted into a new school, Taeoh’s impressive grades draw the attention of the town bully, Kang Inha acted by Lee Junyong (Badland Hunters, Brave Citizen, May I Help You?, D.P.). The illegitimate child of the head of the Kangoh Group conglomerate, Inha has spent his life living as an outcast, using his connection to the group to intimidate people into doing what he wants. As Taeoh and Inha come to heads, Taeoh refuses to be cowed, instead proposing that he work with Inha to claim his rightful place at the top of his father’s empire.

Hong Suzu as Na Hyewon

Together the pair form an ambitious alliance, working tirelessly, seizing opportunities, and becoming the embodiments of excellence, with Inha in the spotlight and Taeoh secretly pulling the strings. As they get closer to their goal, their friendship and plan begins to falter with the surprise arrival of Na Hyewon acted by Hong Suzu (Be;twin, Lovestruck in the City), a beautiful woman with a similar past intellect and drive as Taeoh.

As the series unfolds, a complex web of lies, betrayal and ambition gets weaved ever tighter threatening to bind the trio together or cut them down completely.

Read on our exclusive interview with Director Min Yeonhong as we understand more on his thoughts for this show.

Question: As the characters grow older and move ever closer to the center of the chaebol family, the storyline becomes more dramatic, shifting in tone and genre. What was your focus when bringing this premise to life on screen?

Director Min: As the series progresses, the main characters find themselves at a crossroads that forces them to make certain choices in rapidly changing situations. I wanted to maximize the intrigue for the viewers regarding the decisions the characters would make. One of the goals we set out with for this series was for viewers to try to predict each character’s future and reflect on if they made the right choices. What unfolds in the series may seem shocking, but these are things that actually happen in real life, so I tried to avoid exaggerating or sensationalizing the characters’ emotions and their responses to situations.

Question: Can you tell us about Han Taeoh, play by actor Lee Jaewook?

Director Min: Han Taeoh is a genius. Despite his unfortunate family background, he excelled at school and it’s clear that he would have become a success with or without the Kangoh Group. There are so many factors that work against him, restricting his freedom. But through his genius, he finds ways to turn those limitations to his advantage.

Question: What seperates Han Taeoh from all the other characters that Lee Jaewook has played in the past?

Director Min: Jaewook’s most famous performance is probably the role of Janguk in Alchemy of Souls. It’s a performance beloved by many viewers, but compared to that character, Han Taeoh is much more serious. Taeoh doesn’t have a sense of humor and his only goal in life is to acheive his targets and survive. There are more moments where his emotions outweigh his reasoning, but in most cases, Taeoh excels at controlling his feelings. While at times he may come across as a cold-blooded character, deep inside he’s actually quite sweet.

Question: Can you tell us about Kang Inha, played by actor Lee Junyong?

Director Min: Kang Inha is like magma. He engulfs anything he wants, even if it ruins it. He’s like a volcano whose eruption is impossible to predict. He was born into an unfortunate background and has lived a crooked life because of the way the world has treated him. But after he meets a good friend, he tries to set his course straight. The amount of pent-up anger within him fuels his drive to execute his plans.

Question: Kang Inha shows the biggest shift in personality over the course of the story. He is also a multi-dimensional character that embodies both good and evil. What was your focus when capturing these changes?

Director Min: Kang Inha is a difficult person. At times, he’s terrifying – so much so that you feel like Taeoh and Hyewon deserve our respect for staying focused on their goals, despite Inha’s distruptive presence. Because his transformation is so massive, my focus was to capture what he used to be like in his youth. We built his character up through different phases, from high school to university, from the early days of his career to his peak as an adult. We then adjusted the tone of the performance, costumes, and even the character’s hairstyle to match the era being depicted.

Question: Can you tell us about Na Hyewon, played by actor Hong Suzu? Why did you decide to cast her for the role and did you have any conversations with her about how to build out the character?

Director Min: Hyewon is smart and beautiful and someone that Taeoh falls in love with at first sight. Hong Suzu‘s beauty and her performances so far have made her incredibly popular and in some ways parallel to Na Hyewon. Even though the three characters are social outcasts and carry their respective trauma, Na Hyewon has always been strong and independent – a trait unique to this character. I really highlighted these character traits when discussing the role with Suzu.

Question: The Impossible Heir is Hong Suzu’s first project as a leading role. What do you expect viewers to discover about Suzu through her performance as Hyewon?

Director Min: Suzu is chic and down-to-earth, yet boyish, which made it easier for us to build out the character of Hyewon. Hyewon is very ambitious, and she takes some big steps but she’s also someone you can’t hate because she’s pretty, strong and down-to-earth. I hope the viewers will relate to Hyewon and her choices as the story progresses.

Find out what happens and what choices the three main chracters make when The Impossible Heir debuts February 28, exclusively on Disney+.

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