By Chung Joo-won
SEOUL, June 15 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's new medical drama series "Doctors" turned out to be a daunting challenge for even experienced actors like Kim Rae-won and Park Shin-hye.
Kim, a veteran with a 19-year-long acting career, said he felt pressured by his first medical drama and some of his "excessively cheesy lines."
"At first, I was confident about my first role as a doctor, but it didn't take long before I felt the pressure," said the 35-year-old actor in the press conference for "Doctors" in Seoul on Wednesday.
"I joined the drama late, immediately after shooting the film 'The Prison" with actor Han Suk-kyu. I try to reset myself for the new drama, but as soon as I started shooting, I threw myself into quite a challenge."
Kim said he owed much to the medical professors who stood by on set to help the actors with the medical scenes.
The SBS TV drama depicts a coming-of-age story of Yoo Hye-jung (Park Shin-hye), a female high-school bully who slowly changes, influenced by her supportive new homeroom teacher Hong Ji-hong (Kim Rae-won). Years later, they meet again in the cerebral department of a hospital as doctors and fall in love.
The Monday-Tuesday drama is set to launch on Monday at 10 p.m. after "The Royal Gambler." It only finished recording three episodes so far, according to the drama's chief producer Oh Choong-hwan, who is of the same age as Kim, the youngest of all SBS' drama producers.
Oh said "Doctors" is about "special encounters that leads to incredible changes and growth," crediting the two actors for beautifully bringing their roles to life.
In spite of Oh's compliment for Kim, the actor admitted that he had to "compromise" for "Doctors."
Cheesy, romantic lines are proven magic ingredients for Korean rom-coms these days, as seen in the mega-hit K-drama "Descendants of the Sun." Yet this was a trying mission for Kim, with serious roles outweighing romantic ones in his filmography.
"I was embarrassed, or intimidated, when I first saw the lines in the manuscript. Only after I began acting them out did I realize how cool those lines could be."
Age made him shy about those lines, but the producing crew cheered him up, reminding him how "cute" he appeared while blurting out those lines, the actor said.
Kim seemed to have much to say about the heroine, Park, regarding her "tremendous action skills."
Park, best known for her small screen roles in "The Heirs," "You're Beautiful" and "Pinocchio," admitted that she was nervous about her first-ever action scenes.
"I learned that exercise surely make things easier," she said, pointing at the night club scene where she flaunted second-to-none high kicks.
The 26-year-old poured so much effort into the scene that she could not "get up the next day."
"Later I did think that I overworked myself in the action scenes to the point that I should have slacked on certain things. But now I think the outcome will be worth the effort."
Having played mostly good-girl types, Park showed much ambition for her new role, as a resistant, devil-may-care student from a troubled family.
"Yoo Hye-jung is a character with the guts to do whatever she wants to. Watch her whip out a high kick, and you will see how wild and untamed a girl she is."
The actress claimed herself a "passionate fan of Kim from long ago," pleased to act with someone she can depend on.
The two main supporting actors of "Doctors," actress Lee Sung-kyung and actor Yoon Kyun-sang who played Yoo's co-workers in the same hospital, also came to the spotlight.
Lee, a super model-turned actress who played Baek In-ha in tvN's romantic series "Cheese In the Trap," was pinpointed as the most anticipated actress in the drama, according to the producer and the production staff. The 25-year-old is the youngest main character in the drama.
"This girl, Jin Seo-woo, is someone who has never experienced a loss in anything, say, academic performance, family and friend relationships," she said.
"This cheerful girl begins to become self-critical and jealous as she becomes threatened by Hye-jung in love, friendship and other important things."
The actress said she did her best to depict someone "who has a hard time admitting that she is hurt."
Yoon, another rising star actor of "Doctors," showed love for his character, Chung Yoon-do.
"Yoon-do is a warm-hearted man in the guise of a rich, sassy perfectionist," said Yoon. "He is the sort of guy that you can never hate."
Among the 'Doctors' crew, Yoon is called "the secret weapon" whose scenes will multiply in sweetness and fun, according to Kim.
The 29-year-old was openly elated about working with two beautiful colleagues.
"I mostly worked with male actors. 'Doctors' means a lot to me," he said.
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