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[Herald Interview] Yun Ji-on says he does not want to let go of Lim Ryung-gu, not just yet

Actor Yun Ji-on (CultureDepot)
Actor Yun Ji-on (CultureDepot)

Yun Ji-on, who has successfully carried out his role as a grim reaper Lim Ryung-gu in MBC’s fantasy drama “Tomorrow,” believes that it will be difficult to meet such a meaningful drama series and interesting character again.

“The synergy, created by the staff and fellow actors, was splendid. I was able to work in a comfortable environment always surrounded by positive energy. I think I still live in the world of ‘Tomorrow,’” Yun said in a recent interview with The Korea Herald at a cafe in Gangnam-gu, southern Seoul.

The 32-year-old actor said that he is a type of actor who cannot let go of his character as soon as a series comes to an end.

“I spent a huge amount of time analyzing the character and trying to understand his emotions. I want to hang on to Ryung-gu just a little bit more,” Yun added.

Starring in a TV series as a lead character for the first time in his 5-year acting career, Yun played the role of an afterworld official, rescuing humans in desperate situations and preventing them from committing suicide.

Prior to “Tomorrow,” the actor believed that helping others required having many talents. But Yun recognized that just listening to others is one of the best ways to console them.

“In ‘Tomorrow,’ there were many characters who were hurt for various reasons -- school violence, cyberbullying, abandoned pets, comfort women and more. Instead of a special action, maybe we should pay a little more attention to the people around us and hear their stories,” Yun said.

When asked about playing a lead character for the first time, Yun said he believed that his performances in “Tomorrow” will enable him to become a “go-to actor.”

“The drama holds a lot of meaning for me. I got to experience so many things for the first time. I went to an action school to learn the dynamic fight scenes. I wore hanbok and experienced what it’s like to work in a period drama while portraying Ryung-gu’s past,” the actor said without hiding his excitement.
Yun Ji-on plays the grim reaper Lim Ryung-gu in “Tomorrow” (MBC)
Yun Ji-on plays the grim reaper Lim Ryung-gu in “Tomorrow” (MBC)

Yun added that he was honored to work with many talented actors, who had their own stories in each of the 16-part series.

As “Tomorrow” was adapted from a webtoon of a same title, Yun believed that balancing the stories from the two sides has become an important task for the actors as well.

“I think a webtoon-based drama is a double-edged sword. The character is already well-known to many webtoon fans and readers. If performed poorly, it will not meet their expectations,” the actor said.

While the actor feels grateful to hear that “Tomorrow” ranked in the Netflix’s global top 10 chart, he was surprised to know that even foreign viewers were able to empathize with the stories of the series.

“The idea of this world and underworld might have been unfamiliar to some foreign viewers. But the idea of a grim reaper, who works in a company rescuing people, could have triggered the viewers' interest,“ he said.
Actor Yun Ji-on (CultureDepot)
Actor Yun Ji-on (CultureDepot)

The 16-part series, which wrapped on May 21, is available on local streaming platform Wavve and Netflix.

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