Entertainment Lifestyle

Jang Dong Yoon and Krystal Jung speaks on playing their character in their latest K-drama, Search, an iQIYI Original

Search is an iQIYI Original Korean drama (K-drama) series and exclusive to iQIYI app platform. The K-drama is starring Jang Dong Yoon, which is best know for leading role in The Tale of Nokdu, plays the role of Yong Dong Jin and Krystal Jung, known as a member of South Korean girl group f(x) plays the heroine Son Ye Rim.

Search is a sci-fi drama about a search party that encounters monstrous creatures as they struggle to escape the demilitarised zone together. In their adventure of tackling creatures and challenges, the members of the search party creates a bond that includes heartwarming moments and also conflicts.  

This interview transcript is from iQIYI and here’s Dong Yoon and Krystal share their experience in playing the characters and how they interpret them.

Jang Dong Yoon

1.You played as military dog handler in this drama, so did you receive any special training before acting with the military dog? Could you please tell us what was it like to act with your military dog partner? Are you a dog person or a cat person? Do you think you have a cat-face or a puppy-face?

I learned how to manage military dogs at the training school. There are two unforgettable scenes I had with the military dog. One was when I was looking for him when he was lost, and the other was when I was searching for missing people with the military dog.

 I’m both a dog person and a cat person. I think I have a puppy-face.

2. What impression do you hope to leave on the audience by acting on Search?

This is the first time I’ve tried this type of drama. I hope to give the audience something new, something different from what Jang Dong-Yoon acted in the past.

3. If you’re given the opportunity to launch your own SNS channel or entertainment show, which theme do you hope it will be focusing on? What type of entertainment shows or other shows do you usually watch? Do you want to challenge yourself and be a host?

I love eating and cooking, so I’d like my channel or my show to be on the theme of a food tour or cooking. Travel shows would be nice, too. I also love talking, so talk shows also seem nice. I don’t watch entertainment shows that much, but I watch shows hosted by Yoo Jae-suk a lot. I don’t think I’m confident enough to be a host right now, I’m sorry.

4. Is this your first time working with Krystal? What’s your first impression of her?

My first impression of her was that she was an out-going and innocent girl. Later when I started working with her, I found out that she was exactly that kind of person. She’s straightforward and quite considerate as well.

5. You were faced with lots of unknown and dangerous situations in this drama. In reality, are you a brave person who’s ready to take adventures?

I am an adventurous person, but I often get hurt because of that. So before we go on any adventure, we should consider our safety and health.

6. What made you decide to play this role in this drama? In what way do you think this role is attractive?

The script is quite interesting, and that’s why I chose to play this role in this drama. Sergeant Yong Dong-jin is defiant and a bit rough, which is exactly why he is attractive. I’ve been a sergeant before, so a lot of what this character has gone through has reminded me of my past experiences.

7. Your character is quite a curious person. Are you a curious person as well? Could you please tell us if there are any similarities between you and this character? 

I’m a curious person just like this character I played. When I was playing this role, I used my experiences and feelings as a sergeant before, so I think we have lots of similarities. I was a bit proud when I was a sergeant and sometimes even lazy. This role also has these characteristics.

8.What challenges did you meet in the shooting process? How did you cope with them?

I think the biggest challenge was to turn the lines in the script into flesh and blood on site. I wasn’t sure if I could make this character as lively as possible with my acting skills. But I overcame this problem by talking with the other actors, the director and other crew members and having lots of meetings and discussions.

9.What similarities and differences do you think you have with this character you played in this drama?

I think I have lots of similarities with this role, but very few differences. Besides, when I was playing this role, I used my experience and feelings as a sergeant in the past. That’s why I think we’re similar in many ways. I am curious, just like the character I played, was a bit pretentious and proud when I was a sergeant, and sometimes even lazy. This role also has these characteristics. If there’s one thing that makes us different, I think it would be that Sergeant Yong Dong-jin is defiant, while I’m an obedient person.

10. What kind of physical/military training/diet did you do to prepare for your role and action scenes in Search? Did your experience serving in the military help you to portray your character better? Was there any real-world experience that you used for your acting in this drama? Could you elaborate more on that?

I learned fighting techniques at a fighting academy and also learned dog training methods at a training facility. As far as managing diet, I gained weight mainly by taking more protein (meat). This character shares similarities with my experience serving in the military, so that experience helped a lot. I referenced images of me as a sergeant or of many sergeants I’ve come across, as well as the tones of soldiers and officers, and the way military cadres handle relationships with one other.

11. If you are given the chance to choose, what role do you want to play in a drama or film?

I want to play the characters that speak in dialect, characters that serve the public such as journalists and lawyers, and I also want to play the role of a father in a piece of work with a humanist background.

12. What is your message to your fans in Malaysia?

 We worked very hard to make this drama, so I guess it will be fun to watch it. Thank you to all the fans who watch Search and enjoy my acting.

13.What have you been doing during the COVID-19 pandemic? Have you learned any new hobbies? What’s the first thing that you want to do when things get back to normal?

I like to search for all kinds of delicious food, but under the current situation I’m not allowed to, so I order takeout food instead. I also cook myself more often than I did before the pandemic. When things get back to normal, I’d like to go on a trip with my family.

Krystal Jung

1. There are lots of action sequences in Search, so did you receive any particular training before the shooting started? What preparations did you make to portray this role as a female officer? How did you cope with this physically demanding role? Or did you go on a diet to maintain your strength and a good state of mind?

To better portray this role as a female officer, I went to talk with real female officers, learned and practiced the actions we were going to use in the shooting process. To maintain a good physical strength, I workout a lot. But I didn’t try to go on a diet when we were shooting. I just had more water than usual and had a more balanced diet.

2. What is the biggest challenge in playing the female officer?

Everything seems to be a great challenge for me in portraying this character.

3.Do you have a different idea about military officers before and after this drama?

It’s rather a different experience than a different idea. In the past I only knew that being a military officer is tough. Now that I’ve acted as one, I feel like I respect them even more.

4. You once said that when you couldn’t travel you would prefer having a stroll. This year, since you couldn’t travel because of the pandemic, have you developed any other hobbies aside from strolling?

I’m like every other person in my daily life. I‘m a homebody and love to stay home to watch movies, listen to the music and cook.

5. You were faced with lots of unknown and dangerous situations in the drama. In reality, are you a brave person who’s ready to take adventures?

I don’t like adventures, or things that might get myself hurt or get myself in danger. I would be thoroughly prepared if I were to do something dangerous.

6. You are an extremely decisive person in the drama. Were you faced with any challenges or difficulties when you were playing Son Ye-rim?

I think the greatest challenge in portraying this role as a military officer is that I have to remember and be familiar with lots of military jargon. Besides that, as an officer, I have to remain calm the entire time and refrain from revealing my true feelings.

7.What do you think are the similarities and differences between your role Son Ye-rim and yourself?

We’re both straightforward, which is what makes us similar. In terms of our differences, I think she’s more calm and composed, while I’m the complete opposite.

8. What made you decide to take on this role in this drama? What do you think makes this character attractive?

The script is interesting and this character as a female officer is quite unique.

9. Could you give us a brief idea about the difference between Search and the previous shows you’ve played in?

Lots of stories happened in the military in Search and it’s packed with scenes with a strong visual impact. These are what my previous shows don’t have. I hope to give the audience something different and fresh with this new show.

10. Your roles in Player and Search are both physically demanding. Do you maybe want to act in a romantic drama next time, so you can relax and have some romance?

I don’t restrict the type of drama I play in. I love to try different kinds of characters.

11.From your previous shows, we’ve seen how your acting skills have improved. Are you more confident in your acting skills now? What expectations do you have for your career as an actress?

I have two upcoming movies – More Than Family and Sweet and Sour. The roles I played in these two movies will give the audience a fresh idea about myself. As an actress, I hope that I’d be able to act in more good works.

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