October 10, 2015 – As part of promotions for his recently concluded drama series The Gang Doctor/Yongpal, Korean actor Joo Won landed in Singapore earlier this month alongside his co-star Park Hye-su!
The Gang Doctor/Yongpal, airing currently on the cable channel ONE, is about a dedicated doctor Taehyun (played by Joo Won) who goes into dark dealings in order to earn enough money to treat his sick sister, Su-hyun (Park Hyesu). Along the way, he discovers the secrets of the wealthy families and falls in love with a chaebol family’s daughter as well.
Despite having touched down at the airport a mere four hours ago, the duo greeted us with bright smiles and cheery laughter during the press conference. With funny anecdotes and the occasional smart quip, Joowon’s answers elicited laughter from the members of the media. Hyesu, on the other hand, dazzled with her shy smile and feminine demeanour. Thanks to the smooth emceeing from the interview host, the press conference was wrapped up efficiently and the two stars were bustled off to their next schedule – the fan meet to be held the same afternoon at Suntec City.
Check out the footage from the press conference below, or, continue reading for the questions and answers.
Qn: This is your first time in Singapore. Is there anything you would like to share with your fans?
JW: Singapore seems like a really good country. From right when we stepped into the airport, I felt that maybe since the nature is very well maintained, it gave off a very good vibe, and seemed free-spirited, and it is very clean as well. My first impression was really good.
HS: I came to Singapore with my family last year, it was so pretty that I wanted to come again, and I was lucky enough to come back through the drama promotions this time.
Qn: Today we’re really glad to share with you some good news that the Gang Doctor has reached really great success – not just in Korea but in Singapore as well. It is the highest rated prime time drama of 2015 to date, on One. Isn’t that amazing? Also the Gang Doctor is also on the number one spot for it’s time slot across all the channels on Starhub paid-TV. How do you feel about being a part of something so successful?
JW: When I first got the script for The Gang Doctor, while drama ratings in Korea were at a rather low level during that period of time, but I felt a desire to come out with a drama that would raise the roof. So, along with the staff and actors, we all worked hard to make this work, and I’m thankful it turned out to be successful. It’s a really fun drama so I hope many would watch it.
HS: The Gang Doctor is my first drama and to have my debut drama be so successful I feel very lucky and thankful that many people watch it and love the character of Suhyun.
Qn: How is it like working with each other?
JW: In The Gang Doctor, to my character Taehyun, Suhyun is a very important character. In order to treat her, he even goes into illegal means. His greatest goal is to cure her from the start to the end. So, it is a very important role and Hyesu played it very well and rather than really great acting skills, more important for the role of Suhyun is the chemistry between us and Hyesu really made me feel like I want to care for her like an older brother so I am really thankful.
HS: Suhyun’s character is very ill so most of the time my scenes were in the hospital lying down. On and off set Joowon has been a great support to me and gave me great advise. I am very thankful to have met him through the drama as he has encouraged me so much when I was nervous.
Qn: Which films were the hardest to film?
JW: It wasn’t just a few scenes that were hard… but I think the hardest was the first half of all the scenes. It was very physically draining as there were many action scenes. I think the hardest would be the car scene. It was dangerous in order to film a cool scene. I had to collide with walls and run a lot, but I am thankful that the scene came out well even though it was tiring.
HS: The time I had to practice the acting was short so I was really nervous and this was my first drama. Also because Suhyun is a sick character, I had to lose weight and I felt very burdened and I went into the filming very nervously. Also the first scene was eating with Taehyun but he made it easier by talking to me and giving me advice and made me less tense so I was really thankful. If it wasn’t for him I couldn’t have done it as well as I did, and I learnt much from him.
Qn: What advice would you give your 15 year old self?
JW: If that is 15.. is it 15 years ago? Ah right I’m 29.. Is that secondary 3?
HS: Secondary 2
JW: That’s a long time ago… Ah there is something I regret a lot. Then it was the World Cup. I was going through puberty and I didn’t study as much as I should have. The World Cup was really fun to watch though…
HS: Back then I fought with my parents a lot due to puberty and I went out a lot to play with my friends. If I could tell my 15 year old self something, I’d tell myself to be better to my family.
Qn: JW you have acted in a medical drama before. How did you make sure it would end up different?
JW: In The Good Doctor, the character was very kind and innocent and it was meant to be a drama to bring warmth and fun to the viewers. However, The Gang Doctor is more spectacular in content and thrilling with lots of drama. The character is also more rough and arrogant. Both characters were so different that I didn’t have to think about how to make it different but it was natural. I was considering not doing another medical drama because memorising medical terms was so hard but I wanted to do it because it was a very different role anyway.
QN: Hyesu, you originally was from a reality singing show, KPOPSTAR. Can you compare between acting and singing?
HS: Acting was harder to me. Singing is more where you can embrace your own emotions which acting is where you have to convey the emotions in front of the camera. Of course both are different but since both are about expressing your emotions, there was a common point and I tried my best to do as I did with singing.
Qn: The Gang Doctor has had such a good response. We would like to know if you have been resting sleeping and eating back all the weight you lost?
JW: I always gain back all the weight I lost at the end of a production but this time, because I am less active than when I film but I eat the same amount so I gain weight. But now, I am eating less as compared to when I was filming, but I feel like I am becoming healthier after ending the filming because back then I didn’t have time to both eat and sleep due to late night filming. I received a lot of stress. But now it’s ended and I feel relieved and happy that I ended a production, so I’m living healthier and am less tired. I do not need to get into character also, so I am calmer and definitely feeling better.
Qn: Last words to media/fans?
HS: It was my first drama but I am thankful that the viewers will view it to the end and continue to support me and I hope they will love the characters and drama as much as I did.
JW: I am thankful that everyone came down today despite them probably having had a crazy Friday night out and being tired. Thank you for all the interest you have shown. It is great that the response is good overseas and in Korea. I hope you write about the drama and us favourably. Thank you for coming down and have a good weekend.
Thank you to ONE TV Asia for the media accreditation and for bringing the stars of The Gang Doctor to Singapore. We hope that the fans have enjoyed meeting Joo Won and Hye-su, and will continue to love and support them as actors!