Disney+’s GRID Interview – Lee Si Young: “large (plot depth) enough to go for 50-100 episodes”

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GRID Disney+ Interview

Disney+ Grid Interview – Sci-fi drama Grid marks a significant step in Disney+’s foray into Korean content on it’s streaming platform following the success of Snowdrop. The sci-fi thriller is different from the previous Korean titles released and promises to keep viewers at the edge of their seats, and proving to be so in the few episodes released.

Along with a star-studded cast—including the return of a popular actor Seo Kang Joon—exciting plot and cliffhangers, there are many reasons why Grid is a must-watch. Having said that, with not much headway and equal amounts of suspense and lingering questions, perhaps the casts of the drama would be able to shed some light. 

Disney+ Grid Roundtable interview with Lee Si-young and Kim Sung-kyun 

How was it when you read the script? Did you know the whole story before you started shooting or were you kept guessing about the ending when you started to shoot?

Kim Sung-kyun: I got to tell you, the world that has been built for this series was just amazing and it was very interesting to watch. The whole imagination, what was imagined, was very exciting. I was constantly curious about what’s going to happen while I was working on this work. It was so interesting because there was a lot of room for our director on how he would direct the actors. The actors themselves have a lot of different approaches in terms of how to bring the character into life.

Lee Si-young: I’m a big fan of this writer’s previous works, and I was looking forward to seeing the series written by Soo-Yeon. When I read it, it was just a perfect script to say the least, and I was very much moved by it. With every scene, I could visualise everything in front of my eyes, and how amazing it would be if each written scene can be realised on screen. I was so moved and so thankful that I’m part of this project.

The world that was built is larger than you could ever imagine. Although this series is 10 episodes, there is so much more behind what’s seen on screen. There’s so much background information, back stories, and a lot of room for different interpretations, which we found out about through our discussions with the writer herself. With so much more behind it, it’s large enough to go for 50-100 episodes. We had that opportunity to find out more about the background story, and that was one of the reasons why I felt that I was riding this roller coaster that took unexpected turns around every corner.

You play the role of The Ghost and it’s supposed to be this mysterious being, so how did you prepare yourself to portray The Ghost as realistically as possible?

Lee Si-young: It was important for me to understand The Ghost that was written by the writer, her intention, and her description. I was able to discuss this in-depth with the writer and I could get to the bottom of the character with all the explanation and discussions with her. There was one thing that I struggled with about The Ghost, because The Ghost is not just about mystery, but there’s something bright about this character too. Whenever this character encounters something that she likes, she brightens up so quickly – and I struggled to portray that side of her.

You play the role of a murderer, how did you prepare yourself to play that role?

Kim Sung-kyun: The murderer that I played (Ma Nok) was just a wild animal. My approach is this – you know how animals in the wild depending completely upon their instincts to survive, and you wouldn’t call a wild lion feeding on a rabbit ‘evil’ right? Just because Ma Nok is a human, he is being labeled as evil. He is just a person without a home, no friends, and he just roams the streets learning how to survive. You know how an animal would defend itself because of the fear that it feels whenever he encounters something that he doesn’t understand? That is the image that I had in my mind when I was playing this character.

Could you tell us what was the most unforgettable experience during the filming process?

Lee Si-young: I would say my first shoot was the most memorable experience of this series because it was the closing scene of episode one, and we shot the scene all night. This is the first encounter between The Ghost and A-Joong’s character, and there were not many encounters between these characters.

Kim Sung-kyun: I remember how she (Si-young) – The Ghost was looking at me. The way she looked at me was so memorable because it’s quite confusing. The way she looks at me is not friendly. It’s clear that she hates me, but there’s something deeper and mysterious about how she looks at me. I think this boosts the whole mysterious and enigmatic nature of the scene too.

in the first episode I saw that you climbed outside the building –  could you tell us how you felt behind the scenes while taking this scene? 

Kim Sung-kyun: Si-young said she enjoys action scenes so much but that’s not the case with me. The more I try it, the more it becomes difficult for me to pull it off. The scene that you were referring to is a wire action scene and I am afraid of heights, so it was even more challenging for me. I did my best to pull it off, but it was still very difficult and that got me thinking about how I should care for my body and train myself to be able to do such scenes.

What should the audience look forward to in this series? Is there anything you would like to say to fans? 

Lee Si-young: Twist and turns would be two words to describe The Grid because what you see is not everything. There is so much that’s hidden behind what you can see on the screen and you’d definitely be able to empathise with my character because she had a very tough life. For the fans, I would say if you’re a fan of a genre with a big universe, then Grid will be a good choice for you and you will not regret it.

Kim Sung-kyun: I would describe the Grid as a treasure trove, and a closed one. It’s not open yet because it will keep you curious about what’s inside. For the fans, I would say let us meet each other in the world of Grid and let’s go on an exciting roller coaster ride together.

GRID Disney+ Interview

Disney+ Grid Roundtable interview with Kim A-joong and Kim Moo-yul

As a crime-mystery drama, we can look forward to some action scenes from the actors. Was there any specific training that has been done for the scenes?

Kim A-joong: I have to be honest with you, I didn’t go through any training for a long time but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t prepare for my role. It would seem a little odd if my character, who is one of the police detectives, can do these flashy, action moves that the CIA agents would do, you know? So I kept my character faithful to the reality of Korean detectives. I did receive some training for shooting, so you will be able to see what I can offer in terms of shooting and the action. 

Kim Moo-yul: I just want to add on to what she said because she’s just being humble. She did everything she could do, and she poured her heart and everything that she could into the action scenes. One of the anecdotes that I remember, is that we were shooting a car chase scene and all the actors were driving the cars themselves with no stunt doubles. There’s a small accident that happened, but thank god no one got hurt. This shows how serious we were about ensuring the authenticity of the scenes.

I read that the director was very pleased with Seo Kang-koon’s performance. How was it like acting with him and were there any memorable anecdotes?

Kim A-joong: There’s something special about Kang-joon’s eyes, and you can definitely see that he is very serious about and loves what he does. The Grid will be the series through which we will be able to see a new side of him and how he perfects his character Sae-ha, and brings this character to life. It will leave a long lasting impression, a good impression about him.  

Kim Moo-yul: Sae-ha is the character that Seo Kang-joon plays and he is the one who chose this lonely, gruesome, and struggling path. To portray that, he is really good at bringing out the sadness, loneliness or the scars from the past and bringing about those emotions through his eyes. He’s more than just a pretty face. I could definitely see that he was playing this role in multifaceted ways, and you will be able to see those new faces of him in The Grid.

You are a divorced couple in the drama and so I want to know how you prepared to portray this relationship in this drama? 

Kim Moo-yul: I would say I did my best not to show any emotions about my past with her. You know, I made sure I pretended that I didn’t know her. Even if people did find out about our past, it’s okay. I’m not going to show any emotions. So that was my state of mind when I was shooting the scenes with her.

Kim A-joong: Well, I didn’t actually plan anything or prepare anything in terms of our relationship. I was just curious how real we’ll perform when it comes to that kind of emotion. I just kind of went with the flow? You know he just said he tried not to show any emotions, but I think I was the one who was kind of trying to spill the beans without actually spilling the beans, you know what I mean? I want the viewers to find out that something is going on with these two. The more we resist that kind of revelation, I’m the one who kind of wants the world to know but in a kind of nuanced way.

Catch Korean sci-fi thriller “Grid”, now streaming on Disney+, with new episodes out every Wednesday.

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