Since the first photos from the script reading came out back in June, fans of Shin Min Ah and Kim Seon Ho haven’t been able to contain their excitement for Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha. The two will be starring alongside Lee Sang Yi as the leads of the seaside rom-com K-drama which will surely make our weekends full of laughs and kilig when it premieres this August 28.
Before Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha premieres this Saturday, we got to join Shin Min Ah, Kim Seon Ho, Lee Sang Yi, and director Yoo Je Won in a virtual press conference where they talked more about the show and what to expect from it.
Here’s what you need to know about this new feel-good K-drama:
Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha follows the dentist Yoon Hye Jin, who moves and establishes a clinic in Gongjin after things go awry in the city. It’s in this seaside village that she meets Hong Du Sik, a jack-of-all-trades who’s known for doing odd jobs for the people in the village. Despite their differences, the two eventually grow fond of each other, developing a kind of chemistry that’s also full of teasing and bickering.
The drama comes from Yoo Je Won, who helmed Oh My Ghost and Tomorrow With You, with a screenplay by Shin Ha Eun, whose previous works include The Crowned Clown and Argon.
Shin Min Ah as Yoon Hye Jin
Shin Min Ah stars in the drama as Yoon Hye Jin, a dentist blessed with beauty and brains. When her plans in life fall apart, she decides to move from the city to the seaside village of Gongjin where she establishes her own clinic.
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The actress said that the charm of her character, Hye Jin, lies in the way that she’s a realist and a perfectionist, but also a bit clumsy at times. “She looks perfect, but she’s actually not and I think that’s really an appealing and lovely trait of hers,” she explained. “Hopefully, a lot of women watching can connect with the character.”
This drama marks Min Ah’s comeback in the rom-com genre after starring in 2 seasons of the political drama Chief of Staff. During the press conference, she said that she’s been wanting to return to the genre as well, but has been waiting for the perfect title to do it with. That is when she came across the script of Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha. “It was so well-written with a solid storyline and a lot of wonderful characters. I was drawn to the character of Hye Jin,” she said.
Kim Seon Ho as Hong Du Sik
After we all fell for him as Good Boy Han Ji Pyeong in Start Up, Kim Seon Ho makes his drama comeback in Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha as Hong Du Sik. He’s known in Gongjin as a jack-of-all-trades, doing all sorts of jobs — from plating fruits to delivering goods — for the people of the village.
Seon Ho said that the drama felt “really human,” and that he wondered what he could bring to Hong Du Sik’s character, who is capable of doing everything despite being unemployed. “When I read the script, I felt like it was heartwarming and I was drawn to it,” he added.
He was also asked whether he thinks he’ll be tagged as the “Rom-Com King” after the drama, especially since he’s starring in it with Shin Min Ah, who’s known to be the “Queen of Rom-Com.” To this, Seon Ho cheekily said: “I think it would be really nice if women who watch the drama think that it would be nice to have a boyfriend like Du-sik.”
Lee Sang Yi as Ji Sung Hyun
Lee Sang Yi, whose most recent project includes Youth of May, plays the TV producer Ji Sung Hyun, who’s pretty popular for creating content that warms people’s hearts.
Just like his co-stars, Sang Yo said that he, too, was drawn to the drama’s fun and intriguing story. “I know a lot of people are going to live in Jeju Island and that is the trend right now,” he added. “That’s exactly how I felt when I read the script. I felt like I was transported to this village.”
During the press conference, Lee Sang Yi was asked if he’s willing to do an OST for the drama. This is especially after he sang a few times in Kim Tae Ho’s program Hangout with Yoo. He said that he’s definitely willing to do it and that he’s discussed this a few times with Director Yoo. To this the director said, “I did mention it once to him, because we were talking about it a little bit. But it’s up to him. He’s the one who should decide.”
It’s now up to us to wait for a Lee Sang Yi OST, right?
On Preparing For Their Roles
Because Hye Jin, Du Sik, and Sung Hyun all do different jobs and are in different professions, the three stars also prepared for their roles in different ways. And that, of course, includes learning and immersing themselves in their characters’ jobs.
Shin Min Ah said that she visited her dentist to learn how she should act as Hye Jin. “I had my teeth looked at and tried to observe my dentist’s facial expressions. I also tried to spend some time understanding the dentist’s feelings.”
Meanwhile, Lee Sang Yi said that he watched a lot of Na Young Seok (New Journey to the West) and Kim Tae Ho’s (Hangout With Yoo) programs to learn more about the role he’s portraying. He said: “I tried to observe them and I noticed that they are not that talkative on set. They are usually quietly observing in the back.”
Kim Seon Ho had the most to prepare for, especially with Du Sik being an “expert” at basically every job out there. “I had to set apart some time to learn all of his abilities. I had to learn how to surf and how to make coffee as a barista. I had to maintain a certain balance since he’s unemployed but he has a lot of handy talents.”
As to what particular license he personally wants to have from Du Sik’s license collection, Seon Ho answered that he’s really interested in Du Sik’s realtor license since “a lot of people are interested in real estate these days.” He also said that h also finds interest in Du Sik’s license as a “professional fruit plater.”
On Working With Each Other
It’s the first time that Shin Min Ah, Kim Seon Ho, and Lee Sang Yi are all working in a drama, but they have already established a kind of chemistry that the audience of the drama will definitely be able to see.
Min Ah said that she really enjoyed acting with Seon Ho and that she didn’t feel a lot of pressure despite the high expectations on them before filming. “He’s a really good person and a comfortable person to be around. I think our good chemistry and flexibility are portrayed through our acting.”
She also mentioned that both Seon Ho and Sang Yi are both very funny and playful to work with. “We prepare a lot beforehand and when your partners are able to accommodate what you have prepared, there is a sense that everything is going to work out and turn out successful.”
Meanwhile, Seon Ho said that Min Ha is “a comfortable person to be around [with]” and that she accepts playful words and actions that he says or does. As to what it’s like to work with Lee Sang Yi, he said that he’s “often amazed by him on set.” He added: “He’s an actor with great potential and is recognized by everyone on set. He has a lot of ideas and we have a lot of fun filming the drama on set.”
Lee Sang Yi also had nothing but good words to say about his co-stars, saying that his experience in Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha was “really special” and that he learned a lot from both Kim Seon Ho and Shin Min Ah. “We’ve become quite close now, like friends. We can play jokes on each other,” he explained. “I feel that they really know me and I know them. I feel like I’ve been accepted by these great people so it was a really special experience.”
On Shooting in a Seaside Village
One thing that sets Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha apart from the other dramas right now is the fact that it’s set in a beautiful seaside village. And just like the fans, it seems like the cast members themselves have completely fallen in love as well with their location, and the people they encountered there.
Kim Seon Ho explained that since they stayed in the village for a long time, he felt like they were able to blend and become a part of the village as well. “We would wake up, go to bed at the same time, and spend the whole day together shooting,” he said. “My mind is still there as a part of the village in a way.”
Shin Min Ah, on the other hand, said that there were times that she would get tired on set. However, the beautiful scenery helped her deal with these challenges. “I would look at the ocean and hear the waves and feel comforted. There are some challenges, of course, in the process of filming, but the scenery is very soothing and gives us energy.”
Lastly, there’s Lee Sang Yi, who talked about missing the place and his co-stars after shooting in the village. “When I return home to the city from the set, I really miss it. I miss the staff and my co-stars,” he started. “I would grab my phone to talk to them or send them messages.”
On the Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha’s Healing and Heartwarming Story
From the teasers and highlight trailers alone, it’s already looking like the perfect healing drama to watch on the weekends, especially after such a long work week. As director Yoo Je Won had said, Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha is a drama that’s “not about big events.” Instead, it’s about the little but relatable stories about “healing and warmth” in our daily lives and emotional changes.
Kim Seon Ho also pointed out that the scenes in the drama can bring healing to the audience. He said: “All of the scenes are beautiful, and even though the incidents are not particularly special, these incidents could happen to any of us and you can experience healing.”
Lee Sang Yi, truly immersed in his character, answered with a very PD-like message to viewers: “On Saturday and Sunday, after you’ve had a long week and you’re ready to relax, I think our drama will be fun to watch and can feel like a retreat. There are elements that will look like a documentary and there are elements that have a dramatic side. I am sure you’ll be able to get good sleep after watching this comfortable drama.”
Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha launches on Netflix this August 28, with new episodes dropping every Saturday and Sunday at 10PM.