If you’ve already watched the first two episodes of the Korean drama ‘It’s Okay to Not be Okay’ on Netflix last week, you have probably realized that it’s, well… different from other Korean dramas. The characters are unlike any I’ve ever seen before and they touch on sensitive subjects while adding gorgeous animation and stories to the mix. Check out my personal review here.
I was lucky enough to interview the lead actors Kim Soo-hyun and Seo Ye-ji at an online press conference recently, where they shared their thoughts on what makes ‘It’s Okay to Not be Okay’ unique and special.
Soo-hyun, who plays Moon Kang-tae in the show, shares that he felt heartache when he first read the script. “I think you will agree once you see the show,” he says confidently. “There are a variety of characters and all of them have different stories, but there’s also a lot of love. I think that whatever angle you see our show from, there is something there for everybody.”
Ye-ji shares that she thought the script was truly intriguing when she first read it. “I can almost say that I have never seen a character like the character that I play in any Korean drama before,” she says about her role as Ko Moon-young. I also felt heartache because my character is unable to feel empathy for other people, therefore she is very selfish. The sense of obsession that she has hurts herself and other people around her.”
Still, Ye-ji found herself really drawn to the character. “I felt like she has a lot to offer. I also believed that if I were able to truly express all of the things that were really hidden inside her, then it could create a truly wonderful story.”
“Our drama narrates difficulties endured by people,” Ye-ji adds. “I hope that viewers can feel hope and courage to overcome everything through watching our drama.” “The characters in our drama don’t pose and don’t try to be weighty,” Soo-hyun adds. “I hope you can enjoy and let go of everything as you cry and laugh with us.”
In a press conference in Korea, Oh Jung-se (who plays Kang-tae’s autistic brother, Moon Sang-tae, in the show) says that he personally feels like most Korean dramas have characters that you fall in love with immediately from the first episode. “Our characters raise questions like: Can I give love to this person? Can I receive comfort from this person? Can I receive empathy from this person? You get to know the characters steadily and understand them in a different way.”
Soo-hyun points out that the show also showcases a lot of different circumstances and characters. “You can get immersed into a different character every time you rewatch the drama,” he says, urging us to rewatch episodes – which I definitely will (and already have)!
Jung-se says he doesn’t have any expectations and hasn’t seen complete episodes yet, but “from what I have seen, it seems like an out of the ordinary, fresh, and new drama will come out.” Park Kyu-young (who plays nurse Nam Joo-ri in the show) adds that “you can look forward to visuals on another level” – also very, very true!
Director Park Shin-woo adds: “When I first met the writer, I thought the drama’s message was kind of felt like a letter of apology. There are a lot of instances where we see people and judge that they are this or that kind of person. This can lead people to make mistakes and feel regret. I think the writer wrote this script with this kind of mindset. I think that is the message: an important message of accepting people for who they are.”
Director Park knows that people have different preferences, though, and thinks there will be different reactions to the drama. “I think our characters might receive various responses,” he admits. “Some might like it, dislike it, or feel uncomfortable. I hope that people will not watch the drama with their preferences, but rather view each character individually.”
(ALSO READ: 6 Reasons to Watch ‘It’s Okay to Not be Okay’)
‘It’s Okay to Not be Okay’ is currently streaming on Netflix with new episodes out every Saturday and Sunday night. Have you been watching it? What do you think of the show so far?
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