Set in a high school, “Live On” is a romantic comedy following a popular Korean schoolgirl, Baek Ho Rang (Jung Da Bin), who joins her school’s Broadcasting Club to work hand in hand with the club’s president Go Eun Taek (NU’EST’s Hwang Minhyun), to protect a secret from being revealed.
Through an interview, both stars have shared more about the new series and also touched on how they prepared for the role, the actors’ impressions of one another and similarities that they have with their on-screen characters, and so on. Read on for Hwang Minhyun’s and Jung Da Bin’s full interview below.
Interview with Hwang Minhyun
1. You’re a perfectionist in the play, but is it the same in real life? If not, is there any aspect of the character that you can’t stand?
Minhyun: Actually, I have something in common with the character, such as being fussy about cleanliness, and taking action after planning things out. But at the beginning of the drama, Go Eun Taek is indifferent and calm, and comes down hard on others, which are different from my actual image. But since it’s a drama, I thought I could experience that sort of personality and then happily put myself into acting.
2. If you could choose again, what club would you like to join at school? Why?
Minhyun: Mountaineering club. Recently, I have the idea of mountaineering. But I may hesitate to do it by myself. I think it would be better to go climbing with my friends.
3. You covered a Chinese song Miss you 3000, which got many favourable reviews. How did you learn Chinese? Have you thought about which song you will cover next time? Or a new surprise for everyone?
Minhyun: After I got the news to cover Miss you 3000, I practiced the pronunciation and intonation with the help of many staff members during the preparation stages. If I have another chance in the future, I want to cover good songs in my own style.
4. How did you feel on the first scene? Were you nervous? If yes, how did you calm down? Did the crew/co-workers take care of you?
Minhyun: At the first scene, I had my mind stuffed with just the idea of having to act well, so, I felt very nervous. Thereafter, I learnt a lot and received a lot of help while working together with the other actors. It was an enjoyable process.
5. Which scene of Live On do you recommend the most so far?
Minhyun: I remember Go Eun Taek telling Baek Ho Rang the things he didn’t get to say in the later part of the drama, and Baek Ho Rang’s sincere reply moved Go Eun Taek to tears. This scene left a deep impression on me.
6. How do you feel about being the lead actor for the first time since your debut? What do you want to say to the fans?
Minhyun: Although I’m stressed and nervous about being the lead role for the first time, I feel honoured to be able to work with a good director, crew and fellow actors. What’s more, the atmosphere is also very joyful. Additionally, I would like to express my gratitude to the fans who cheer me on as I took on the lead role for the first time.
7. What’s your impression of Da-bin? How did that impression change during the filming?
Minhyun: I met her for the first time during rehearsal. Jung Da-bin has accumulated much experiences since she joined the industry. It is amazing. I got a lot of help from her during the filming too.
8. If you were the host of a live show, what topic or subject would you like to discuss?
Minhyun: If there is an opportunity, I would like to be a host of a music program. I think Jung Da Bin would do a great job if is a host of a music program too.
9. Finally, could you tell us some must-see reasons to watch Live On?
Minhyun: Go Eun Taek, Baek Ho Rang and other four characters grow up despite the contradictions and distress they face, and there are a variety of emotions involved in the process. I hope everyone could strike a chord with these. Although it is very hard for the crew and actors to work in the sweltering heat during summer, we have worked hard and finished the filming happily. Please look forward and tune in to the drama! Thank you.
Interview with Jung Da Bin
1. What did you do to prepare for the character in the play? What is a big challenge for you?
Da Bin: When I prepared for this character, I didn’t want to miss out anything about it, so I have been cracking my head for a long time. Baek Ho Rang can express herself well through her style, so, before the start of the filming, I learnt from magazines or accounts of social media celebrities, youth movies, etc. In addition, I prepared various plans together with the director and the crew.
In order to play Baek Ho Rang well, I tried to accumulate the emotions that develop as the plot progresses. I had to understand how Ho Rang interacts with the various characters and grows as a person as she is faced with different developments in the drama. Because this is a story that revolves around Ho Rang, I plan to relax and blend in the drama naturally. The biggest challenge is to integrate myself with Baek Ho Rang along the emotional developments.
2. How does it feel like to put on the school uniform again?
Da Bin: While preparing for Live On and learning about the character, Baek Ho Rang, I deliberately spent a day in my character’s pace. So, I can understand her better than anyone else, and also strike a chord with her. I was able to mix a lot of my own ideas into playing Ho Rang because I could act it out based on how I feel.
3. If you could choose again, which club would you like to join in school? Why?
Da Bin: I am very interested in the broadcasting department now that I get to experience it. Although I am a radio announcer in the drama, I want to be a reporter in real life. I think the broadcasting department is the intermediary channel in delivering the big news in school. During this period, I operated the mixer, camera and other broadcasting equipment, and experienced a lot. Although the work can be tough at times, I think it could leave me good memories.
4. During filming, do you recall your campus life and use that experience or memory to interpret the plot or character?
Da Bin: Because I graduated not long ago, so high school life remains fresh in my memory. Although there was nothing special at that time, just meals, celebrations, school trips, school stores and other ordinary daily life activities, I suddenly remembered the ordinary activities can no longer be done once I became an adult. Since my younger brother is still a student, I often ask about his school life and combine it with my acting. Whenever there is a story about friendship, I’ll read the script, cry and laugh as I act.
5. Which scene impress you the most so far?
Da Bin: In Episode 14, when Ho Rang wants to drop out of school due to the conflict with her classmates, Eun Taek conveys his inner thoughts about Ho-rang through the broadcasting department. After hearing this, Ho-rang recalls the past and sheds tears – this scene left a deep impression on me. Friends around Ho Rang and Eun Taek’s words encourage Ho-rang who never believes anyone – I have special feelings for this scene, and resonate with it. In the drama, Ho Rang likes Eun Taek but can’t get close to him. But Eun Taek waits for her and trusts her, which gives Ho Rang an opportunity to open her heart and becomes her precious memory. They get close to each other in their own ways and at the pace of each other. The script depicts this point well.
In Episode 7, there is a sentence “You go ahead in your own way. Always trust the other person and blame him if you’re disappointed. Although the saying goes ‘no disappointment if there is no expectation’, that is still an unpleasant thought.” This was the day when Eun Taek and Ho Rang went up the roof for the first time. While enjoying having the wind in her face, Ho Rang listens to Eun Taek and answers him with her own story. This scene left a deep impression on me. Because this is a process in which Ho-rang gradually changes the way she used to communicate with others, and also gradually dismantles her inner wall because of Eun Taek. It feels very good. Ho-rang’s words are prosaic, but seem to have a lot of meanings. I recall feeling a sense of comfort as it resonated with me as I acted out my character.
6. What’s your impression of Hwang Minhyun? How did that impression change during filming?
Da Bin: From the beginning to the end, he was dedicated to his character which left a deep impression on me. He stayed focused until the second half, so I was able to focus and put myself into the act. Besides, he took good care of me, which allowed me to rely on him during the filming, and keep focused and learn a lot at the same time.
7. Are there similarities or differences between the real you and the character in the play? What’s the reason?
Da Bin: The way everyone treats Ho-rang is similar to the way that my friends initially treated me when I was a student. As I joined the entertainment industry since I was young, my classmates approached me very differently at the beginning of the semester. But with the passage of time, they gradually treated me as an ordinary classmate; instead they couldn’t stand my image on TV. I think that part is the same but different. Although there are almost no similarities, as Ho-rang, I cried a lot and also laughed a lot during the filming, and my emotional performance got improved.
8. Finally, could you tell us some must-see reasons to watch Live On?
Da Bin: Live On is a drama that anyone can resonate with it, fun and enjoy watching it. The characters are charming and lovely, and they joke around and have many interesting stories, which are worth watching.
Korean drama “Live On” is free and available to watch on iQIYI, with new episodes premiering every Wednesday.
Photo credits: iQIYI