Who’s excited for the premier of Netflix’s brand new original series “My Holo Love” (나 홀로 그대)?
Directed by Lee Sang-yeop, the 12-episode sci-fi romantic drama stars Yoon Hyun-min (윤현민) taking on the dual role of the titular character Holo and Go Nan-do. He’s paired with rising rom-com queen Go Sung-hee (고성희) as Han So-yeon.
The synopsis reads:
“Han So-yeon has been suffering from face blindness disorder, which made herself becoming distant from the public. Eventually, she becomes the beta tester for the newly-programmed AI (Artificial Intelligence) hologram named Holo.
As the story goes, Holo becomes more familiar with human beings’ traits and struggles as he spends more time with So-yeon. Holo’s developer, Go Nan-do, on the other hand, bears similar characteristics from Holo. He later finds himself falling for So-yeon. However, Nan-do realised that his cold and unapproachable personality is not in his favour in order to win her heart.”
Hype was fortunate enough to join several other media outlets across Asia for a special video conference featuring the 2 main stars of the show. For those interested, check out the full interview here:
Sung-hee, you’re playing a character who is suffering from face blindness disorder. How do you relate to the character?
Sung-hee: It was quite difficult because I had to act based solely on imagination. So I had to do my best to not look into the person’s eyes whenever we shoot. There are times within the scenes where the character has a panic attack because of her condition, so during those times I had to really try hard to express all the emotions using only my facial expressions.
How well do you recognise people in real life?
Sung-hee: I actually have to admit that I do have difficulties matching faces with names so that’s an area I need to put in more effort. So, that helped me out to actually relate to the role.
Hyun-min: Usually when I’m on set, I would work with about 60 to 70 people including all the staffs. I have found from experience that when I remember their faces and call them by their names, it really cheers them up and bring about a positive energy on set for everybody.
Hyun-min, what’s the hardest part of playing a hologram character?
Hyun-min: For me, acting as Holo wasn’t really that big of a difference from the other characters throughout my career. I think it’s rather more difficult for the director. But the thing that I put focus on mostly was during the beginning of the series, when the computer-programmed character hasn’t familiarise himself with the human character.
So, he learns different kind of emotions throughout the series. That’s what I focused on the most. Towards the conclusion of the story, Holo has evolved where he can feel all sorts of feelings, so I tried to pace my emotional expressions throughout the entire process.
How was the chemistry between you two?
Sung-hee: The chemistry came naturally for us. Because both of us really had good energy with everybody on set. Hyun-min really played a good role and uplifted the mood we had throughout the scenes we played together. Both of us are like siblings in the neighbourhood; just casually hanging out. And I think that kind of energy really brought up a good chemistry between us. What about you, Hyun-min?
Hyun-min: With Sung-hee, we really became close friends very quickly. We actually live in the same area. And I think that helped since I’m the type of person that needs to take time in getting to know someone.
Hyun-min, can you tell your experience of navigating between your dual roles?
Hyun-min: I believe the experience was twice as difficult as compared to playing a single role. I had to go through a lot of process switching back and forth between the characters; the wardrobe, the hairstyle, the way you utter your words, literally everything! It made me more sensitive than I usually was on set.
This is your first time working together in a drama, right? What was your first impression of each other?
Sung-hee: Hyun-min seemed like a person that’s hard to approach, cold and distant. But getting to know him, I realise that he’s very humorous, he’s really a funny person and all around he’s a very sensible guy.
Hyun-min: When I first met Sung-hee, I thought that she’s quite similar to her character. At first glance, I was very impressed with the amount of energy she brought on set, and of course, her beauty. I also think that Sung-hee is a bubbly and happy person. As I got to know her more, she’s able to show a softer side of her. So I think the role So-yeon suited her pretty well.
Were there any fun and memorable moments that happened behind the scenes?
Sung-hee: There was this skating scene and obviously I cannot skate; so despite the many hours I put in practising I just couldn’t do it. (laughs) So we ended up putting on the shoes, but the camera director had to pull me by the hand as he was shooting my face. With larger shots, I was just casually sliding on top of the ice, pretending to be a professional skater.
Hyun-min: I was there right next to Sung-hee when that happened. It was very tragic (laughs). On a serious note, switching back and forth between the characters – Holo and Nan-do – was very difficult because there were days I had to take a shower 7 times per day because I had to change to and fro between the 2 characters multiple times. I thought I was the cleanest person ever on set.
What did y’all learned from working with director Lee Sang-yeob? Is he any different from the previous directors you’ve worked with?
Sung-hee: He is a very detailed and gentle person. He is also very understanding in terms of the actors’ wellbeing. Adding to the fact that he’s very helpful, I’m very grateful to have worked with him. In terms of his directions, I had a lot of emotional scenes so I had help on how to control my feelings on set.
At the end of the day, he will always tell me to just be myself as much as possible while playing the character So-yeon. So, I think he’s a very considerate director to work with.
Hyun-min: First of all, I would say that the director is a very brilliant man. Whenever I had questions regarding my acting or the emotions that I had to express while filming, he would always provide a clear answer. And I had a lot of questions to ask in terms of how to act as an AI.
I also thought about how vivid the character needs to be portrayed on screen. I was very satisfied just by seeing the trailer itself. I think he really did a great job with the CG effect as well. So I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his hard work.
Hyun-min, is there any specific routine that you do in preparation for your dual role?
Hyun-min: At the end of the day, Holo is an AI created by my character Nan-do. So I thought to myself, “Why would he create Holo in the first place?” And my own answer was Nan-do wanted to create someone to fulfil things that a normal human being didn’t have enough of or was lacking in.
So, Holo appeared as someone who is more warmer and lighter as compared to Nan-do. In terms of the differentiating factor, I focused more on switching between each character’s way of speech as well as the facial expressions.
Will you ever fall in love with an AI though?
Sung-hee: Yes! I think there is a possibility that all holograms can be as charming as Hyun-min. But, the character Holo in the series is completely loveable. And once you get to really delve with Holo in the show, I think feelings can naturally develop so I think that is something that definitely can happen. But of course much like So-yeon’s case, people might experience a lot of confusion in the process.
Hyun-min: When you look at the series, I’m talking about the topic of romantic feelings developing between an AI and a human-being. I think this is something that can be possible in the future. Relating to the fact that we’re having this interview via video conferencing. That’s completely unimaginable!
How does the show stands out from other similar shows that feature similar storyline?
Sung-hee: Honestly, I haven’t actually seen any other shows that touch on a similar theme. But, I think that Holo is probably the most human in terms of his ability and intelligence. That makes our show more relatable to the audience.
Hyun-min: I’m not really familiar with the other works that deal with the same exact topic. But, I think our AI is far more different from them. Our Holo evolves and goes through a growing process through which he learns to develop all human emotions. By the end of the series, he already has the ability to feel the same way as human beings do. So, I think that is something that differentiates between Holo and other works that talk about the same theme.
What would you do if you have a holographic friend?
Sung-hee: Because I often suffer from insomnia, I would like a holographic friend to be by my side whenever I try to get to sleep and help to calm me down and comfort me.
Hyun-min: I would like my holographic friend to take me back to school. So every time during my exams, he will copy the answers and be the smartest student in class and take myself to Harvard and then become a president (laughs).
Do you have any scene or dialogue that you remember the most?
Sung-hee: The one that I remember the most is the one that appears in the trailer. The line that says, “Can I fall in love with a hologram?”
Hyun-min: There’s this scene where both characters, Holo and Nan-do have a conversation. It was an emotional one as Nan-do was crying profusely. I was taking my shower because I had to switch to Holo. So, when I got back to shoot my scene as Holo at the same place, I was too immersed in Nan-do’s emotions at that time, so I couldn’t help myself but cry again as Holo.
After filming, the director came up to me and said that we had to reshoot because AIs cannot cry the way I had just done. Usually, the tears will come at the corner of my eye. But they wanted it to fall from the centre of my eye. I jokingly responded by asking the director to do it. So, for me that was one of the difficult scene to finish. We spent over 2 to 3 hours just to shoot that scene.
“My Holo Love” is now available for streaming starting today (7th February)!