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What makes Our Blues star Kim Woo Bin happy?

PhilStar Global logo PhilStar Global 02/05/2022 Nathalie Tomada

MANILA, Philippines — Kim Woo Bin has returned to the small screen in Our Blues six years after his health recovery.

In case you haven’t seen an episode of this South Korean drama on Netflix, the story written by Padam Padam and It’s Okay, That’s Love creator Noh Hee Kyung is told omnibus-style. It features seven main characters with interweaving lives, loves and relationships all unfolding in Jeju Island.

Woo Bin portrays a ship captain named Park Jeong Jun. Seemingly aloof and reticent at first, he turns out to be a romantic guy who falls deeply in love with a haenyeo or a female sea diver in Jeju, played by Miss Baek star Han Ji Min.

During a virtual press event, the 32-year-old spoke about being very nervous over his comeback project after his battle with cancer. His last drama, Uncontrollably Fond, in 2016 also gave him his first-ever lead role after making a mark in such series as A Gentleman’s Dignity, School 2013 and The Heirs. He’s been reported to star in another drama titled Black Night and the film Alien to be released this 2022.

“It’s been quite some time so I am nervous. I did appear on a scripted variety show and some commercials, but I’m so happy and thankful that I’m able to appear on a drama series,” Woo Bin admitted during the mediacon.

“I put emphasis on trying to put myself in Jeong Jun’s shoes — to understand how he grew up and the emotions he feels. So, I followed writer’s Noh’s script and the emotional journey of Jeong Jun. And when I was getting prepared for the role, I wanted to understand the environment that he lives in so I went over to Jeju earlier than I needed to and met and talked with some boat captains. Sometimes, I just followed around haenyeo divers to see how they commute and also learned how to trim fish. I put a lot of time into trying to understand him.”

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In a separate e-mail interview with The STAR, he answered more questions about the series, which incidentally stars real-life girlfriend Shin Min A. They were intentionally partnered with different actors in Our Blues. Writer Noh had previously explained that she decided not to cast them as a romantic pair, otherwise they would never agree to appear on her TV show. But a scene in Episode 6, which saw them sharing screen time, should be interesting to watch for the fans of the celebrity couple.

Here are more excerpts from the email Q&A with Woo Bin:

How was your experience of filming an “omnibus” series and being part of an ensemble cast of lead stars?

“Since it was a new format, it was unfamiliar at first but I enjoyed it. I was surprised to see that despite being a drama with many stories of many characters, they were all connected and I could resonate with each one of them.

“It was also great to work with so many actors, though it really would not have been easy to gather everyone. We had fun and the set was filled with laughter and warmth in scenes where the characters all meet each other. Each episode and character has a different story, so there weren’t that many scenes with all of us in it, regrettably.”

What was your favorite part about filming on Jeju Island?

“I liked being able to bask in the beautiful scenery of Jeju each night. The vast skies, the cool ocean and the palm trees — it felt like I was on a trip somewhere.”

If there’s another role in the drama that you want to portray, who will it be?

“I haven’t really thought about it since Jeong Jun is the character who fits me the best. But if I had to choose one, I guess Dong-seok (played by Mr. Sunshine star Lee Byung Hun)? I am always eager to show new sides of myself.”

What part of the story in Our Blues did you find special?

“We haven’t experienced all of the stories that are in this drama, but I think a lot of people can relate to some parts of it. Viewers can (feel) hurt with the characters and root for them as well — which makes this drama special.”

How similar or different are you to the role you’re playing?

“Jeong Jun is positive and is thankful for his current life. He’s a people-person, and is true to his feelings. I’m like that, too. The difference would be that he has many jobs, while I don’t.”

Since there are several main characters in Our Blues compared to other series, what is the most memorable thing about your character?

“When Jeong Jun is out on the waters, he’s on edge because danger could strike at any moment. But usually, he’s easygoing and positive. He’s true about his feelings. I want the audience to just take in Jeong Jun as he is.”

All of you have had plenty of acting and filming experience, I’m curious if there is any new experience you have gained from filming Our Blues?

“My previous roles have been flashy or sharp, given the genres of my previous projects. But this time it’s different — my character is an all-around warm person. I liked taking on this new character.

“There are a lot of things that I tried out for the first time while filming. For example, I went down to Jeju Island before we started filming to learn how to steer a boat from a boat captain. I trailed haenyeos on their work to and from the ocean to see what they saw. I went to my mother’s favorite fish market and asked the owner to teach me how to filet fish. There were many ‘firsts’ for me, which were all enjoyable experiences.”

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Our Blues has brought together a star-studded cast. What do you think is the core message that Our Blues wants to convey to the audiences?

“We are all main characters of our own lives. I think we deserve to be loved and supported, just by being ourselves. I want this drama to provide comfort and cheer for all of the audiences, like it did for me when I read the script.”

In this series, which couple’s story impresses you most — and why?

“All of the stories are very impressive. I was impressed and touched by each episode’s script, and cried. I really loved the script.”

Given that the main theme of Our Blues is, “Let’s live a life filled with happiness,” what is your own definition of happiness?

“Happiness is being able to live in the moment with people you love, without any big issues.”

(Our Blues airs on Netflix every Saturday and Sunday at 10 p.m., Philippine time.)

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