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(Yonhap Interview) Supporting actor for 'Descendants of the Sun' says he 'could have been better'

All Headlines 11:28 April 06, 2016

By Woo Jae-yeon

SEOUL, April 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korean mega hit TV series "Descendants of the Sun" was adapted from the original script "Doctors without Borders" by writer Kim Won-seok.

Kim initially wanted to tell a story about doctors' sacrifice and dedication in war-torn areas. But when Kim Eun-sook, popular for her romantic comedy TV series, joined the team, the soap took a dramatic shift from its original storyline.

If the series had stuck to its initial plan, Daniel Spencer, a peacemaker emergency doctor played by Cho Tae-kwan, would have been one of the main characters.

Feeling amazed by the drama's popularity, Cho said it gave him "a sense of regret rather than accomplishment," in an interview with Yonhap News Agency on Tuesday.

With no previous experience in TV, he was told by the production team that he was given the role precisely because he was a fresh face for viewers.

Mentioning that script writer Kim Won-seok had previously met a doctor from the international humanitarian-aid group, Cho said he was asked by Kim to express the "soft, warm and healing traits that could be found in those selfless doctors."

Meanwhile, co-writer Kim Eun-sook had other expectations for him in mind.

She asked Cho to assimilate into the role of a biracial man who was born to a Korean mother and a American father and raised in America.

"I think I was okay in delivering Daniel's gentle characteristics... but still, I could have been better overall," he said. "Honesty, I was a bit overwhelmed to act with the country's best actors and actresses."

The scene of him reuniting with his lover Ri Ye-hwa (Jeon Soo-jin), in particular, seemed to be nagging him.

"It was my first scene where Daniel met Ye-hwa after a few months' hiatus. I should have been more impressive... I realized the importance of small details like a hand gestures (when acting)."

Cho is a son of Cho Ha-mun, a popular Korean singer from the 1980s and early 90s, and he grew up mostly in Canada.

"I got a flurry of messages via my social media accounts. When I walk on the streets, people recognize me, talking in whispers about me... I know it is all thanks to the popularity of the series but I hope people keep supporting me down the road," Cho said.

jaeyeon.woo@yna.co.kr
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