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[Herald Interview] Actor Jung Woo-sung open to more challenges as producer

Jung Woo-sung (Netflix)
Jung Woo-sung (Netflix)
An accomplished actor, Jung Woo-sung, 48, wishes to offer stunning Korean content to viewers as a producer.

“‘The Silent Sea’ was my second experience in reproducing a short film, following ‘Remember You’ in 2014. I always find the task of an executive producer difficult, but I wish to continue this work to bring the splendid projects created by the skilled directors to more viewers,” executive producer Jung said in an online interview Tuesday.

The actor and producer said he had never intended to work behind the scenes.

“As an actor, I always had the dream of directing movies or drama series, but not producing. But after I heard how the young directors in our film industry suffer from various hardships, I wished to help them by introducing other producers. But this surely had some limits,” Jung said.

“To encourage the talented directors, I decided to be brave and tried my best to showcase the projects,” the producer added.

Though Jung did not have a particular role model or specific goal, he hopes to continue to introduce outstanding works to the public after his experience as producer of “Remember You” and “The Silent Sea.”

When asked why the sci-fi mystery short film was reproduced as a Netflix’s series, Jung said he believed Netflix was a perfect partner for many reasons.

“The project was first considered as a feature film. However, because Korean sci-fi flicks do not have a great reputation in the domestic market, there was a possibility of doing harm to the unique charm of the original ‘The Silent Sea,’” Jung said.

“When I turned my eyes to foreign production companies, Netflix welcomed the idea and hoped to turn the short film into an eight-part series. This was how another challenge was started, but I gladly accepted,” the producer added.
Jung Woo-sung (Netflix)
Jung Woo-sung (Netflix)
The actor said that being an executive producer was an interesting experience.

“When a new movie or drama series is unveiled, (as an actor) I should focus my performance on expressing the given role. But I had to see the bigger picture as a producer. I tried hard to listen to different comments and reflect on what I could have done better to satisfy viewers,” Jung said.

Though Jung thought that some criticisms were expected and certainly understandable, he hoped viewers and drama fans would see the new attempts being made through “The Silent Sea.”

“Because there were not a lot of sci-fi projects about the moon, we did not have enough data and references to look up. But I thought this was a chance for all of us, believing we could become a good reference when we produce the characteristics of the moon in an amazing fashion,” the passionate producer told The Korea Herald.

“The process was frightening, but we were proud after shooting the scenes,” Jung added.

Toward the end of the interview, Jung talked about the characters in the series.

“After the short film was chosen to be reproduced as a series, I believed it right to not star in the series. And when Gong Yoo was chosen to take the role of the space explorers’ captain, I was extremely satisfied with the news and did not have any thoughts of becoming involved in the series as an actor,” Jung told The Korea Herald.

While Jung previously questioned himself about the next season during the production stage, he said that he is currently more concerned about ways to meet viewers’ expectations and improve the series.

After its release on Dec. 24, 2021, the eight-part series ranked fifth in Netflix‘s global TV show list, according to FlixPatrol.

By Lee Si-jin (sj_lee@heraldcorp.com)
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