JTBC’s new drama series based on the webcomic of the same name, “Itaewon Class” is set to air its first episode Friday night.
Original webtoon artist Cho Kwang-jin also took charge of the script.
“When I was writing the comic it wasn’t easy for me to delve into the details of every character because of the weekly deadlines. So it was a grateful opportunity that I could get the chance to develop even the small characters through working on the script,” Cho said during a press conference on the TV drama in Seoul on Thursday.
Not diverging much from the original story, the series revolves around a young man named Park Sae-roy who loses his dad through a tragic accident and becomes determined to take revenge on the Jang Ga Group, a restaurant franchise giant whose owner and son are connected to the death of Sae-ro-yi’s father. Fascinated by the unique and vibrant energy of Itaewon, there Sae-roy opens up his own restaurant, Danbam.
Park Seo-jun, who scored the lead role of Sae-ro-yi, commented that he was a fervent fan of the original comic.
“I read the comic before I was cast and I was so captivated by the character that I imagined how I would act out certain aspects of Sae-ro-yi. But I didn’t know I would actually be able to,” Park said.
Although some fans have worried that Park, who mostly played cheery characters in the past, may not be well suited for Sae-ro-yi’s role, the writer and actor were confident about the casting.
“All the cast members, especially Park, showed 120 percent sync with the characters,” Cho said at the press conference. “Although, I was the one who knew about the characters the best in the beginning, as we went into shooting, the actors were thinking about and studying the characters even harder than I was.”
Kim Da-mi, who made herself known to moviegoers through action-thriller “Witch” in 2018, is making her small-screen debut in “Itaewon Class,” where she plays Jo Yi-seo, a social media star with a genius mind who comes to manage Sae-roy’s restaurant.
Singer-actress Kwon Nara plays the part of the other female lead, Oh Soo-ah. Sae-ro-yi’s down-to-earth high school friend and the subject of his unrequited love now works for Jang Ga Group to make her living.
Veteran actor Yoo Jae-myung plays Jang Dae-hee, the self-made owner of Jang Ga Group who stands in conflict with Sae-ro-yi after he covers up his eldest son’s misdeed that results in the death of Sae-ro-yi’s father.
“I think this series also portrays the issue of the generation gap,” Yoo said. “The relationship between a successful man who faces a youth just starting from scratch. He feels complex emotions inside that are difficult to explain in words.”
With the original webtoon boasting a huge fandom both in and out of the country and 220 million views since its inception in 2017, the dramatization has also been long awaited by readers.
The 16-episode series airs at 10:50 p.m. every Friday and Saturday beginning this week.
By Choi Ji-won (email@example.com