Has anyone been missing Nam Joo Hyuk in action? Fret not guys, the actor will be returning to the small screen with the upcoming K-drama series, “Twenty-Five, Twenty-One” (스물다섯 스물하나). Apart from Joo Hyuk, the series also stars Kim Tae Ri, Bona from the girl group WJSN, Choi Hyun Wook, and also Lee Joo Myoung.
Airing on Netflix for 16 episodes, the series tells the wandering and growth of teenagers who lost their dreams in 1998. The story focuses on a couple (played by Joo Hyuk and Tae Ri) who first met when they were 22 and 18, and are now 25 and 21 respectively. Apart from their love story, the series recalls pure and passionate memories of five young people who experience different types of emotions and relationships.
We at Hype.my recently attended the virtual press conference of the upcoming drama series with the director and also the cast members. Here are 6 fun facts we got from the session:
1. The series is set in the year 1998
“Twenty-Five Twenty-One” is set in 1998. According to director Jung Ji Hyun, South Korea was experiencing a monetary crisis at that time. “The 90s was a period where a lot of change happened. In that era I was still a student, it was a dark time, just like the pandemic now, so seeing the way young people lived in 1998 will give a message that can be felt by today’s audience,” he explained.
Director Jung also said that they were trying to make settings as close as possible to the era. He revealed, “We actually give a lot of effort to get the style and choose the right location.” In addition, the actors had to do some preparation to get into their roles. For instance, Lee Joo Myoung and Choi Hyun Wook – the latter actor being born in the year 2002 – had to research on the style that was on trend back in 1998.
2. The backstory behind Hee Do’s diary
In the drama, Kim Tae Ri plays Na Hee Do, a high school girl who dreams of becoming a national fencer. In preparing for the role, the 31-year-old revealed she had to undergo six months training. While practicing, Hee Do wrote about her experience practicing fencing on her diary. It was revealed that the journal was personally written by Tae Ri herself.
“I actually can relate to my role Hee Do. In fact, I wrote a diary about my experience practicing fencing sports. And the diary I wrote appeared as a prop in the drama,” Tae Ri was quoted as saying.
3. Nam Joo Hyuk & Kim Tae Ri’s first impression of each other
During the roundtable session, Nam Joo Hyuk and Kim Tae Ri were asked on their first impressions of each other. “I was looking at the monitor and I thought, wow, why is he so handsome?” the latter told the interviewer when describing the first time he met the heartthrob. Her comment made Joo Hyuk smile shyly.
Likewise, the 27-year-old also recalled their first meeting at the scriptwriter’s office. Since it was his day off at that time, Joo Hyuk appeared with a more casual and relaxed attire. He pointed out on how he was impressed by how laid back his co-star was in real life. He said, “Tae Ri actually came to the office on her bicycle. I assumed she lives around the area, since she’s so popular, if you look at her appearance. That’s the cool thing I saw from her.”
4. Nam Joo Hyuk & Kim Tae Ri appeared in two commercials together previously
Joo Hyuk shared, “We haven’t worked together before. But we actually met when we shot an advertisement. I thought I had first met her when we were shooting this drama. But actually, that really made us become good friends.”
While Tae Ri revealed, “Actually, we did two commercials together, but we didn’t remember. We were excited thinking that this was our first time seeing each other (for the drama),” to which the actor chimed in, “All of a sudden, I remember that I’ve seen her before. I thought I mistook her for someone else, but anyways, we ended up reuniting in this project.”
5. Bona on being Kim Tae Ri’s arch-nemesis in “Twenty-Five, Twenty-One”
For those who don’t know, Tae Ri’s character, Hee Do, and Bona’s character, Go Yoo Ri, are portrayed as rivals in the show. In speaking about her experience working with the former K-pop idol shared, “My training period is shorter as compared to Tae Ri’s. I practiced for about three months. She was doing so well in her training, and I felt like I had to follow suit and put a lot of effort in portraying my role. We’re both super competitive, so when one of us lost, we would schedule another competition for the following week.”
6. The overall message of the drama
Director Jung Ji Hyun remarked, “The script is very clear. There are a lot of good lines, and those good lines were sincerely delivered by these five great actors and the other cast members. I hope you will watch while focusing on those aspects. When you reminisce on old memories with old friends, you’re bound to feel happy and excited, and I hope you feel that same happiness through watching our drama.”
“It’s a drama that shines very brightly. The key point that viewers can look forward to is that the story takes place in the past. We all know that nothing lasts forever, but this is a good drama that allows you to feel nostalgic about the past moments that was very bright,” Tae Ri commented.
Joo Hyuk also said, “I hope this becomes a warm drama for viewers during this cold winter. I hope it becomes a sunny drama, just like the approaching spring.” Bona added, “It feels like I’ve made good life memories while filming. I hope viewers will feel the same way.”
Choi Hyun Wook (who starred as Moon Ji Woong shared, “Watching the highlight clip made me teary and emotional. It felt like I had actually lived through 1998. I think there’s a charm that makes you gradually fall deeper into the story.” Lee Joo Myoung (Ji Seung Wan) then added, “The key point of our drama is the chemistry. I hope you look forward to our chemistry.”
“Twenty-Five, Twenty-One” will be premiering on Saturday (12th February) on Netflix.