“Royal Secret Agent” ( 암행어사) recently concluded its 16-episode series on a high note by maintaining its viewership ratings. Kim Myung-soo (김명수) who played the secret royal inspector, Sung Yi-Gyeom, recently talked about his experience in the Korean hit comedy drama.
Known professionally as L, the boyband from Infinite delved into the challenges in “Royal Secret Agent”, the chemistry between his fellow co-stars Kwon Na-ra and Lee Yi-kyung, as well as other interesting fun facts you probably didn’t know.
1. What attracted you to the script and role of “Royal Secret Agent”?
The thrill of eradicating society’s corrupt forces and the resurrection of a hero familiar to both men and women since childhood, the vivid character of the royal secret agent, the meaningful storyline, and the pleasant atmosphere are the attractions.
2. What was more challenging and interesting about the role you played in this series compared to the modern series?
The diverse action scenes and disguises of Sung Yi-gyeom under different circumstances in the series were fascinating and challenging.
4. Have you worked out or learned any new techniques for the action scenes in the drama? If so, could you share what kind of activity?
I went to action school and the gym almost every day. I practiced all types of moves and various weapons, and trained the strength I needed in the gym.
5. How was the chemistry between you and Kwon Na-ra? What is her charm?
We have great chemistry, and we’re so close. I think the bright and cheerful looks is a charm.
6. Please share some interesting scenes while shooting with actor Lee Yi-kyung, especially the bromance part. This series has several comedic elements. Did you burst into laughter a lot during filming?
He improvised a lot while acting. It was so much fun that the staff on the set enjoyed it. Thanks to that, I also acted spontaneously with Chun-sam in the flow.
7. In the series, you played the role of a slave with Lee Yi-kyung, a love line with Kwon Na-ra, and a half-brother with Lee Tae-hwan. What do you remember most about the actors you shot with and what impressed you most about shooting together on set?
We have great chemistry, and we’re so close. If there’s an NG, it’s funny, because we know each other so well that we get NG. It’s just Da-in, Chun-sam, Yi-gyeom. And they’re all kind people.
8. Is there anything in particular you want the audience to pay attention to?
Just like the modifier of the Joseon version of “Kingsman” says, “Royal Secret Agent” is the joy of punishing the evildoers, rescuing the needy, and punishing moments of good and evil. “Royal Secret Agent” guards the long-standing value of didactic morality. The characters’ vivid characteristics seem to be attractive.
9. What is your favourite scene in the series, and why?
“In the face of death, there is no difference between a nobleman and a pariah. Why should the son of the great governor despise the generous people and regard their death as insignificant?” – There was no reason. It was just something that went deep into my heart.
10. What’s the appeal of “Royal Secret Agent” without giving away spoilers?
The charm of “Royal Secret Agent” lies in the thrilling joy of executing evil, rescuing the needy, and the battle between good and evil.
11. After the broadcast of “Royal Secret Agent” on iQIYI, the number of global fans watching the series has grown. Do you think this role will further help develop you as an actor?
The world is going through tough times due to Covid-19, so if the “Royal Secret Agent” can be a satisfying and refreshing breakthrough for everyone, I think it’s an overstanding achievement.
12. What are the similarities and differences between you and your character Sung Yi-gyum?
As the shooting continues, it seems that I became more and more assimilated into the character of Sung Yi-gyeom. Although I can’t convert it into a percentage, when I see how I automatically put my hands behind my back when I wear Hanbok, I sometimes think, ‘Oh, I’m becoming Sung Yi-gyeom‘. Also, the way Sung Yi-gyeom concentrates on his assigned task seems to be like mine. Ah! There are a few things that Sung Yi-gyeom fears. Don’t miss it!!
13. There is a scene early in the series where you are very good at gambling, so do you think you have a poker face? Do you think you can fool others if you play a mafia game?
I think it’s different from time to time. Sometimes the poker face works, but sometimes it doesn’t work.
14. I heard that you performed 95% of your action scenes. Have you ever been injured during filming or practicing beforehand? Did you get blisters on your hands because of the shooting?
After receiving two months of treatment for a knee injury sustained while shooting action scenes in the early stages of filming, I had a hard time every time, but I was happy and the experience was still enjoyable.
15. “Royal Secret Agent” is a historical series with comic elements. Have you ever done any ad-libs when acting? Was the dance in the first episode an ad-lib scene?
The dance was improvised. Other than that, there were many unscripted parts of the acting in the series that I hope to compare with the script later.
16. What is the charm of Sung Yi-gyum in the series?
With a relaxed and easy-going side in regular times and a sincere face when solving the cases, the vivid characters’ gradual growth is charming.
17. In the bathing scene in the lake, the audience admired the body of Sung Yi-gyum. Did you have any unique exercise or on a diet before shooting this scene?
I worked out hard for about 4~5 months. I exercised twice a day for about six hours while controlling my diet.
18. Were you satisfied when you disguised yourself as a girl? Which part do you think was pretty when you dressed up as a girl?
Rather than being satisfied, I thought I looked beautiful with a half updo.
19. Any final words?
It’s been a long time since the last time I greeted you. I’m Kim Myung-soo (L). I’m here to see you through the series “Royal Secret Agent”. Even in the new year, everyone is suffering from Covid-19. I hope this situation will calm down soon and we can talk face to face with you. I hope that the series “Royal Secret Agent” will be the series that brings a day of laughter to everyone. I miss you so much. Stay healthy and happy!