SINGAPORE – The cast of the Kingdom period zombie series, set in ancient Korea, may seem adept at battling hordes of flesh-eating zombies onscreen, but they’re not that difficult in real life. life.
In a phone interview with Singaporean media, actor Kim Sung-kyu, who plays a fierce fighter Yeong-shin, admits he would give up quickly.
“I will let them know where to bite to kill me immediately,” said the 34-year-old.
The Netflix series, starring actor Ju Ji-hoon, was a smash hit when it debuted last year, gaining fans and critics alike. Its second season aired on the platform on March 13.
The political thriller wrapped in a zombie-apocalypse epic is based on a comic book series written by screenwriter Kim Eun-hee, who also directed the writing of its adaptation. This is Netflix’s first South Korean original series.
Actress Bae Doo-na, 40, known for works like the American drama Sense8 (2015 to 2018), says she was touched by the response to the first season.
“Kingdom is a very Korean piece of art. The costumes, the production, it’s all based on Korean history and culture, even though it’s a fantastic story. I’m very proud that the most Korean content can be. the most global, ”she says.
Lead man Ju, 37, who plays protagonist Lee Chang – a righteous prince accused of treason – says a Netflix project didn’t feel any different despite being produced over the seasons, unlike most K-dramas .
He says: “It didn’t look any different because we didn’t know it would be broken down into seasons. We’re very happy because Season 1 was so well received that it sparked a lot of anticipation for season two. . “
Kim Sung-kyu said, “Probably the biggest difference is the curiosity about the story. My character is in a lot of fights and dangerous scenes, so for me it’s a question of whether he’ll still be there. life.”
Although a year passed between filming the first and second seasons, the four protagonists say that returning to the wardrobe and makeup immediately brought them back to their character.
However, the change has been more pronounced for Ryu Seung-ryong, the 49-year-old actor who plays a cruel and ruthless politician on the series.
He laughs, “During the break I played a very different role. I was frying chicken in an action comedy (the 2019 Korean hit movie Extreme Job), so I was a little worried. “
The cast is discreet about the developments of the new season. But, in a separate email interview, screenwriter Kim Eun-hee said that while the first season revolves around the idea of hunger, the new season is about blood.
“I wanted to tell a story about monsters that thirst for blood and humans who desire a particular lineage and lineage,” said the 48-year-old, adding that Bae Seo-bi’s doctor and the sinister Queen Consort are characters that the audience should pay “closer attention to.”
Screenwriter Kim, whose television hits include the crime thriller Signal (2016), has always been fascinated by zombie films such as Dawn Of The Dead (1978, 2004), the Resident Evil series (2002 to 2017) and World War Z (2013). She says her zombie series could only come to life through Netflix.
She specifies: “The partners of Netflix did not intervene at all on the content and our freedom of expression was guaranteed. It’s essential to show beheaded zombies in a zombie series, but a Korean TV channel reportedly scrambled all the beheading scenes. “
She says she has a rough idea of when her characters will end, but the actors don’t know when their journey will end.
Ju said, “If my character is to die, I hope he dies after realizing what he has set out for.”
Actor Kim Sung-kyu says the question has been on his mind since season one. “I thought about how I would like my character to die. The obvious answer is that he fights to his last breath.”
Ryu and Bae, however, are much more reluctant to leave the story.
“I’m going to find as many resurrection plants (a plant in the story that can bring the dead back to life) as possible – take salad and bibimbap with that, have tea with it. I’m going to boost my immunity, I ‘I’m not dying,’ Ryu says.
The same goes for Bae, who says, “I once told writer Kim that I won’t quit the show. Even if I die, I stay onscreen like a zombie.”
Kingdom is available on Netflix.