Who would have thought that resigning from a nine-year post as a secretary would be difficult? That’s the basis of the storyline for the new Korean drama What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim?’. Starring the charming Park Seo-joon (Fight For My Way, Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth, Dream High 2) and the lovely Kim Min-young (Healer, City Hunter, Sungkyunkwan Scandal) as they portray the role of Vice President of a major corporation, Lee Young-joon and his secretary Kim Mi-so, respectively.
The drama kicks off with Kim Mi-so announcing her resignation from her post as the Vice President’s secretary and Lee Young-joon is having trouble accepting that.
This light-hearted drama is a lot of fun to watch as it blends both romance and comedy into one show. The story is based on a popular Korean web novel of the same title by author Jung Kyung-yoon and was later turned into a comic series. The show premiered earlier this month, and after receiving so many great reviews FEMALE caught up with the main cast to share with us everything on What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim?’ .
1. What is it about the drama What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim?’ and the roles that attracted you to it?
PSJ: I think I was attracted to the whole narcissistic vice president role because he has a totally different background and personality from me. To portray the character, I began to think how I would do if I were in the situation and challenged myself to put my feet in the shoes of this character.
PMY: I’ve always wanted to be in a romantic comedy/drama because I have never been in this specific genre. I was convinced the moment I read the script and decided that I had to be in it no matter what. I think the role of Mi-so was well-suited to my personality.
2. This drama is based on the novel and webtoon of the same title, and it received a lot of love from the readers. Have you read the novel and webtoon itself? Was there any pressure?
PSJ: I have. I started to read them so that I won’t make fans of original works disappointed while watching drama since they were so popular. I don’t feel pressured but I am always concerned and trying to concentrate on doing my best to act out the role.
PMY: I have read both and I also loved the novel and webtoon, so I took a lot of time to think about what parts of the original works are important for the fans. Mi-so herself is such a lovable character, I thought I should do my best in acting out this role and in order to immerse everyone from the beginning of the series. I decided to adapt my look and continuously discussed with hair stylists and make-up artists to ensure that my look was very similar to Kim Mi-so in the original webtoon.
3. What do you think about the character of Kim Mi-so and Lee Young Joon?
PSJ: Kim Mi-so has been working as a secretary of “the perfect man” Lee Young-joon for 9 years. I think the character has enough abilities to be declared as “the legendary secretary”.
PMY: Young-joon is a very unique character that cannot be seen in other dramas. His lines are very witty which makes the drama very fun and engaging.
4. What’s the most challenging part about acting as Lee Young-joon?
PSJ: I think Lee Young-joon is a character that’s an exaggeration of someone who is narcissistic – so the struggle was in delivering the lines and expressing the character in a way that is as naturally arrogant and witty. I’m also always concerned about how to show Young-joon’s characteristics through the way I speak, my mannerisms and gestures during filming.
5. How was your experience in delivering your role as Kim Mi-so?
PMY: Since the drama incorporates elements of both fantasy and sympathy, it was a very fascinating combination to translate through our characters. When I was first introduced to my character, Mi-so, I immediately began focusing on my physical health and started exercising in my free time. I was never diligent enough to exercise on a regular basis because I’m someone who likes staying at home, however, once I started exercising to prepare for the role, I’m proud to say that I’ve not skipped a single session!
6. What was it like working with each other for the first time?
PSJ: When I was in military service, I always watched ‘High Kick!’, which Park Min Young was in. I have been impressed ever since and hoped to work with her someday. Park Min Young’s role in the drama is named Kim Mi-so (‘mi-so’ means smile in Korean), and her beautiful smile fits that name so well that she should actually change her name to Mi-so in real life (laughs).
PMY: I was honored to be working with such a great cast. Park Seo Jun was already very well-known and acknowledged for his acting but I was surprised on set when I learned that he also had a great sense of humor. He carries the character so well that I often feel like I am with the real Young-joon. It also inspires me in a way that he is building up his own version of Young-joon with characteristics and details to suit the series’ storyline as well. Overall, he is a really fun person to work with.
7. How was it shooting with Park Seo Jun and Lee Tae Hwan?
PMY: Park Seo Jun’s ad-lib on set makes the overall vibe very energizing and fun. He is very creative and allows everyone to feel a sense of calm and enjoy the moment. This vibe is naturally reflected in the series and to the viewers as well. It’s refreshing to work with Lee Tae Hwan as he reminds me of what it was like when I first started acting.
8. What were some memorable or funny moments you experienced during shooting?
PSJ: The set is always full of laughter whenever we shoot the scenes with Lee Young-joon being narcissistic. All the cast and crew have told me how they love Young-joon’s authoritative yet sly way of speaking. There are just too many more scenes that will make you laugh.
PMY: I am not good with roller coasters or other rides at the amusement park. So I really had to challenge myself to go on those rides to shoot the dating scene with Young-joon. It was definitely not an easy task for me and as you can see from the show. The scenes where I scream and look terrified is not an act. It was the real me haha. I don’t even remember how I had the courage to shoot those scenes.
9. You are widely favored as the “King of Romantic Comedy”, How different is Lee Young-joon compared to your previous roles?
PSJ: Compared to the previous roles, this character is someone portrayed in a comic book. He’s confident, funny and arrogant. It will be interesting to watch how this extremely narcissistic man falls in love with someone like Mi-So, a character who is the exact opposite.
I previously did dramas like ‘She Was Pretty’, and ‘Fight For My Way’ – although the genre is similar (romantic comedy), the messages and characters of each series are very different. There is this cheerful energy which only ‘What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim?’ can provide. Each character has their own charming aspects and it’s definitely something everyone can look forward to.
10. What are some of your upcoming plans after ‘What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim?’ ?
PSJ: I have plans to act in Kim Joo Hwan’s (the director of Midnight Runners) next film, called 사자 (Saja). It is set to be released sometime in 2019.
11. You usually take more serious, heavy characters for dramas. Do you prefer those genre-titles to romantic comedy?
PMY: It depends on time to time. I’ve always wanted to act in a romantic comedy as well but it was not something that was compulsory for me. I believe the most important elements in playing a role is the character’s story and how it is depicted in the drama. This is the main element that I take into consideration when I choose a series.
12. Do you have any roles you want to play in the future?
PMY: I love mystery stories like Sherlock Holmes and especially stories that revolve around extremely intelligent or genius characters. I have this excitement when watching shows of intelligent/genius characters who have the ability to solve puzzles and cases. I am more than willing to play this kind of role who is needed to solve the problem.
13. Lastly, please send a message to our viewers from Malaysia.
PSJ: Viewers from Malaysia! ‘What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim?’ is a fun, unique drama that draws out the fun storyline with various characters. I guarantee that it will be a great series for all of you to watch! Also, stay tuned for my future projects as well! Thank you for your continuous support!
PMY: Hi all, this is Park Min Young.I would just like to say how much I appreciate all of you all for the support for our series for the character of Mi-so. I will deliver my best with this series and the character, Mi-so, so do stay tuned with to this series! Thank you.
What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim is a 24-express drama that airs on tvN Asia Every Thursday and Friday @ 9.45pm. Astro Channel 395 (HD) / Astro GO & unifitv Channel 211 (HD) / unifiplaytv app in Malaysia.