Netflix is back with another K-drama set to premier this coming weekend, and it’s called “Start-Up” (스타트업)! For those curious, the 16-episode series stars Bae Suzy, Nam Joo Hyuk, Kim Seon Ho and Kang Han Na taking on the lead roles.
Directed by “Hotel Del Luna” director Oh Chung Hwan, the rom-com tells the story of individuals involved in start-up companies (as the title suggests). “Start-Up” follows the lives of the four main casts as they manoeuvre themselves through the challenges of the start-up and business realms, taking place in a location known as the Sandbox (Korean version of the Silicon Valley).
We recently joined the virtual press conference of the upcoming drama series with the director and the four main casts. Here are 7 things we compiled from the session, specially for the fans:
1. The series reunites Suzy with “While You Were Sleeping” director and writer
Notably, the upcoming drama marks Suzy’s reunion project with Oh Choong Hwan and screenwriter Park Hye Ryun, who worked together with her on the hit 2017 drama “While You Were Sleeping.” Interestingly, the latter also penned the script for Suzy’s first ever drama, “Dream High” (2011).
“Because we worked together on my first acting project, I think that it feels especially meaningful working together again. I was excited to be able to meet her again after having grown and improved (as an actress),” commented the former miss A member.
2. Bae Suzy on why she was drawn to participate in “Start-Up”
The stunning Hallyu star said, “I was attracted by the subject of start-ups, since it’s fresh and new. I was very moved by the story about young people who are a bit clumsy, and rather than putting the focus on the pressure for success, it makes even the act of ‘taking on a challenge’ look beautiful as the characters face things head on, fall down, and get back up again.”
3. Nam Joo Hyuk & Suzy on their on-screen chemistry
“When I first heard about the casting, I really looked forward to acting with Suzy. In the beginning, we don’t have a lot of scenes together but when we met, we had good chemistry,” the hunky actor briefly commented.
Suzy then went on by stating, “When I first heard about his casting and when we were on set, there was a lot of good energy. He had a lot of good energy as well and it created good synergy between us. He’s Do-san himself and I was able to immerse myself in my role because of him. He’s bright and bubbly.”
4. The conflicts between the 4 main characters
In dishing with us about the characters’ conflicts and rivalries, Han Na opened by saying, “The characters In Jae and Dal Mi (played by Suzy) are rivals and there is a lot of subtle conflict going on between the two of us. Suzy, as we all know, is so loveable so it was difficult for me to bring my claws out to the character Dal Mi. While we are sisters who hate each other, on set we have a great friendship and I hope you can look forward to the chemistry between us.”
Suzy then continued, “In Jae is a very cold person, but Han Na is a bubbly and loveable person so I got a bit confused between the real Han Na and her role, In Jae. While we had to maintain some tension between us, there were times when we broke out of character and laughed.”
Whereas for the two male characters, Joo Hyuk shared, “Do San and Ji Pyeong have a difficult relationship as if it were something in real life. Do San is not someone you see every day. As I did my lines, sometimes I myself came out. There are some times when I felt sorry toward Ji Pyeong for saying these lines as Do-san. Those were times we had to film again because it was so funny and we broke out into laughter.”
“I first met Joo Hyuk through this series. He’s sincere and real about everything. Everything he does feels so real. I would just follow along with that energy and it was really fun. Chemistry wise, mutual trust is really important. Sometimes he would improvise and he ended up becoming the character himself. It was amazing,” Seon Ho then remarked.
5. Kang Han Na on changing her appearance for her character Won In Jae
The interesting part that we want to share is, Kang Han Na had cut her trademark long hair for her role in the series, sporting a shorter hairdo. In sharing about this, she stated, “We previously discussed on how short hair would suit the role better, so I decided to cut my hair. Won In Jae, as a CEO, is an amazing businesswoman. However, deep down I feel sympathy for her. I hope viewers can relate to that and cheer her on for her personal happiness.”
When asked on how she prepared herself for the filming of the series, the 31-year-old starlet responded, “In Jae is a CEO who works really hard and a thorough businesswoman. The writer gave me some reference videos to understand my character better. I also searched and watched some videos of successful CEOS to capture their aura.”
6. Kim Seon Ho on the process of preparing himself for the drama
“Although there are many startup companies that are near in our lives, I studied properly about the field of startups through this project. I read books relating to the subject, looked up terminology on the internet, and watched related lectures in an effort to earn various information,” shared the 34-year-old actor.
The heartthrob was also asked about how he managed to juggle his schedules between shooting “Start-Up” and appearing as a fixed cast member for the variety show “2 Days and 1 Night”. According to him, “The creators were all very considerate of me and my schedule, so I had no worries regarding that.
He added, “What I worry the most is that people who have seen me in the variety series might feel awkward when they see my character Han Ji Pyeong. I hope they will get used to my character with time and they can enjoy both me and my character in the series.” Director Oh then quipped in by stating that he’s a fan of the show.
7. Director Oh Chung Hwan on the overall message of “Start-Up”
“I was surprised to see many shows of similar genres among K-dramas. I think it reflects viewers’ desires to watch heart-fluttering stories about youth. Our story has ups and downs because it follows the characters’ ups and downs. You’re going to watch our characters grow and foster friendships with one another and also learn life lessons and learn more about who they are. It’s about love, but not just about love, it’s about having a vision for your life and working hard for your vision,” the director was quoted as saying.
Watch the trailer here:
“Start-Up” will be available for streaming starting from 17th October (Saturday).
Images by Netflix/tvN.