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Park Hae-jin, Cho Bo-ah usher in spring with ‘Forest’

Park Hae-jin (left) and Cho Bo-ah pose for photos during a press conference for KBS2 drama series “Forest,” held in Seoul, on Wednesday. (Yonhap)
Park Hae-jin (left) and Cho Bo-ah pose for photos during a press conference for KBS2 drama series “Forest,” held in Seoul, on Wednesday. (Yonhap)

The first episode of KBS2’s upcoming drama series “Forest,” a love story between a perfect-but-heartless man and a hurting-but-warm-hearted woman that unfolds in the woods, is slated to air Wednesday night.

Park Hye-jin plays corporate takeover specialist Kang San-hyeok, who, looking for new prey fakes his way into working as a special rescue worker at Miryeong Forest. Here, Kang comes face-to-face with past trauma that has been causing a burning pain in his arm and tumbles into a doctor at a local hospital, Jung Young-jae, played by Cho Bo-ah.

This is Cho’s first drama series since her departure from SBS food show “Baek Jong-won’s Alley Restaurant” in March last year.

Although Kang is described as a cold-hearted and aggressive figure, Park said there will be some unexpected twists in Kang’s character as the relationship between Kang and Jung complicates matters.

“Kang suffers from phantom pain due to a traumatic experience, but he does not accept this fact. Meeting Jung in Miryeong Forest, Kang starts to acknowledge his syndrome and searches for a way to heal,” Park said during a press conference held in Seoul on Wednesday.

In preparing for his role, Park took part in firefighters’ drills, including rappel training, wall climbing and hiking, the actor said.

Thanks to producer Oh Jong-rok’s love for the mountains, most of the shooting took place in the mountains of Gangwon Province.

“As I needed to travel to and from Seoul every day, I was hesitant about taking the role at first,” Park said. “But, with the support of the local fire department and the crew members, everything worked out quite well.”

“We traveled almost 20,000 kilometers in total to find spots to shoot scenes,” Cho said. “The scent of phytoncide all around the set itself was a healing experience for me, and I hope that our viewers will be able to share the moments with us through the drama,” Cho added, referring to the substance credited for the distinctive aroma of the forest.

“There are many beautiful sceneries and the freshness of the mountains in the drama, and although it’s still cold, I hope we can greet the spring a little earlier with ‘Forest,’” Park said.

Starting this week, the 16-episode series will air at 10 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays on KBS2.

By Choi Ji-won (