Netflix is back to treat fans with another original K-drama series this week called “Move To Heaven” (무브 투 헤븐: 나는 유품정리사입니다). The 16-episode series stars Lee Je-hoon, along with rising actor Tang Jun-sang taking on the lead roles.
The heartfelt drama tells the story of Cho Sang-gu (Lee Je-hoon) and Han Geu-ru (Tang Jun-sang) who work together as trauma cleaners, following the death of the latter’s dad, under the company Move To Heaven. Geu-ru, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, shows his new guardian Sang-gu how to respectfully clean and organise the belongings of those who have passed away. Together, the duo assist the deceased with their final move and convey messages left behind by them.
We recently had the opportunity to attend the virtual press conference of the upcoming drama series with the director and the main casts. Here are 10 fun facts we got from the session.
1. The series is inspired by an essay written by a former trauma cleaner
Director Kim Sung-ho revealed that he was inspired by Kim Sae-byul’s nonfiction essay titled “Things Left Behind” and wanted to show how trauma cleaning helps people experience proper closure. When asked to point out similarities and differences between the essay and the series, he told us, “Basically, the essay shows the process of trauma cleaning and how it conveys various stories.”
He added, “So we took those stories as motives and it touches on various social issues. In portraying that into a TV series, we added some dramatic effects into it. So that’s the difference that we have. As for the similarity, these episodes actually happened in real life, (so) we want to keep it real and very authentic.”
2. Main actor Tang Jun-sang is half-Malaysian!
Many may not know, but Tang Jun-sang has a Malaysian connection. You could notice it from his last name, Tang, which is not commonly found among Koreans. According to hellokpop (as per The Star), Jun-sang’s an only child. His dad is Malaysian Chinese and his mother’s a Korean born in a multi-cultural family. Tang is a common last name in the Malaysian Chinese community.
3. Lee Je-hoon undergoes a drastic transformation for his character Sang-gu
If you’ve been following the actor’s career, he’s a total chameleon and has tackled many diverse roles. According to Je-hoon, in real life he’s actually the opposite of his unkempt and abrasive character in the drama. Though he stated that it was fun acting as Sang-gu while transforming into a different personality and style.
“Sang-gu is a dirty and untidy character who’s got no manners. He’s someone that you don’t want to be close to. So, I kind of saw a different world through this role. At the same time, he also has his own trauma and hurtful experiences. I felt sorry for him in that respect. But everything changes after he met Geu-ru. I was also very proud of his personal growth,” the 37-year-old shared.
4. Tang Jun-sang talks about his character who has Asperger’s syndrome
Jun-Sang also explained that his character Geu Ru is a person who has difficulty showing his feelings and expression, because he doesn’t show any emotions. “When Sang-gu shows up at his house and messes up the rooms, he might have some changes in his emotions, but he’s unable to express it,” the young star shared.
In getting familiar with his role, Jun-sang would often communicate and discuss with the director about his intonation, as well as his choice of words. “I also referred to the main character in the drama “The Good Doctor” and recreated the character into Geu-ru,” Jun-sang said.
5. What the director liked about Hong Seung-hee
In the series, Hong Seung-hee plays the character Na-moo, a friend of Geu-ru. When asked about why he chose the rising actress, Director Kim responded, “As you can see, she has this very positive and vibrant feel, just like Na-moo.”
He continued, “We held hundreds of auditions for the character. We had the 1st round, 2nd round, 3rd round and so on. We narrowed it down to a few dozens at the very end. I decided that I wanted to work with Seung-hee because of her vibrant energy, and I was sure that she’s 100% or maybe 120% perfect for the role.”
6. Lee Je-hoon’s first impression of Tang Jun-sang
Je-hoon shared, “(During the first encounter) He was like a baby, he was very cute! I was looking forward to working with him. I saw some of his previous works and I thought he was so young but he was good at acting. So, I believed that we could make a good ensemble and maybe he could help me out, and yes, he did help me a lot during the filming process.”
7. Geu-ru listened to classical music to help him calm his nerves
In the drama, Geu-ru is often seen with his white-coloured headphones. So what does the item mean to the character? According to Jun-sang, “When he does his cleaning job, he always puts his headphones on and listens to classical music. It’s kind of like a consolation to him and it comforts him, and it’s also like a friend to Geu-ru.”
Additionally, he also treats sea creatures, particularly stingrays, as his best buddies. “When Geu-ru faces a difficult situation or has an emotional turmoil, he will chant out these characteristics about stingrays,” Joon-sang was quoted as saying.
8. Tang Jun-sang becomes Lee Je-hoon’s fanboy
When talking about his first impression of Je-hoon, the 18-year-old expressed, “From our early meeting up ’til now, I’m always surprised because I’m his biggest fan. I really like his facial features. Every time I see him, I just become a big fan of him. I like to see him as a main character in a really cool movie. So I was just really happy that I could see him almost everyday,” to which Je-hoon quipped, “I should send a gift or something to him for saying that.”
9. Star-studded cameo appearances
In addition to the main cast, there will be plenty of familiar faces appearing as cameos. Some of them include actor Ji Jin-hee (as Geu-ru’s father and Sang-gu’s brother), together with Girls’ Generation member Choi Soo-young, who plays a social worker who crosses paths with the trauma cleaners.
There’s also Lee Jae-wook (“Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol”) whose character learns how to fight from Cho Sang-gu. Other cameos to look forward to include Lim Won-hee, Hong-seok from the K-pop boy group PENTAGON, Jung Young-joo, Kevin Oh, and more!
10. Feel-good bromance between the two main characters
As expected, fans can also look forward to a heartwarming bromance between the two male characters. Geu-ru is on the autism spectrum and Sang-gu experiences some difficulty adjusting to the fact initially. Likewise, the young trauma cleaner finds his ex-con uncle disorderly and rough around the edges.
However, they begin to accept one another and begin to care deeply for each other as the series progresses. Lee Je-hoon and Tang Jun-sang shared that while they portray an uncle and nephew, both of them have grown closer just like brothers in real life. Awh, how sweet!
Watch the trailer here:
“Move To Heaven” will be available on Netflix starting this Friday (14th May).
Images courtesy of Netflix.