Han So Hee is set to show K-drama fans a different side of her in the new Netflix original series My Name. The noir series, which comes from Extracurricular director Kim Jin Min, features the actress as a woman who takes on a new name to seek revenge on the one who killed her father. It premieres this October 15 and stars Park Hee Soon, Ahn Bo Hyun, Lee Hak Ju, Kim Sang Ho, and Jang Yull.
Watch the trailer here:
My Name follows a young woman named Ji Woo, who witnesses the murder of her father one night. Determined to take revenge on the one who killed him, she abandons everything and joins the criminal underworld. There, she takes on a new name and infiltrates the police force undercover to find him.
Just ahead of the drama’s premiere on Netflix this Friday, we got to join the drama’s press conference and chat with the three leads — Han So Hee, Park Hee Soon, and Ahn Bo Hyun — in a roundtable interview. Here’s what we got to know about My Name during the virtual press events:
1. Han So Hee focused on bringing out two different characters in Ji Woo and Hye Jin
Fresh from the success of dramas The World of the Married and Nevertheless, Han So Hee explained that she joined the action drama because she saw it as a chance to try out something new. “When I read the script of My Name, I thought that this is going to be something that will make me grow as an actor,” she said. “I wanted to break the limitations of my previous images.”
Asked about what it was like to play Ji Woo, So Hee said that she feels and “aches” for her character and that she admires her strength and determination to throw away her life and name for revenge. She also said that something her fans could look forward to in this drama is how she’s showing the different sides of her character in Ji Woo and Hye Jin. “I would say that Ji Woo’s approach to revenge is more one-dimensional. She runs for it without thinking about anything else,” she said. “Hye Jin is more strategic. She approaches [things] in more detail.”
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2. Ahn Bo Hyun and Park Hee Soon are both fans of Dir. Kim Jin Min’s previous work
Asked about what made him want to join the project, Park Hee Soon said that it was all because of his great trust in Director Kim, who “did an amazing job in directing Extracurricular.” He also mentioned that he could feel “the passion and heat” when he read the script because of its unique take on the noir genre. “When you think of the noir pieces, you tend to think of very dry and cold themes and the stories of the machos,” he said. “My Name is a slightly different one. It’s led by a female lead and her story brings some complex emotions.”
Ahn Bo Hyun, who’s always wanted to do action noir, said that it wasn’t really that he chose the project, but it was the project that chose him. “Director Kim Jin Min’s earlier work was something that I enjoyed so much watching so I was more passionate when I decided to join the project,” he said. “[The script] is a real page-turner, [and] I was so immersed in it that I didn’t know that time passes.”
3. The cast had to train 2 months before filming to prepare for the drama.
From the trailer alone, fans can already expect My Name to be an action-packed drama that will keep them hooked and on the edge of their seats. Park Hee Soon, who plays the Dongcheon boss Choi Moo Jin, called the action scenes in the drama “real action,” since the cast members did their stunts 99% of the time, without relying on wires or computer graphics to pull everything off.
To prepare for the intense action scenes, the cast actually had to go to action school 2 months before production. Aside from training and learning all their stunts, it was also in action school that the cast built their chemistry and camaraderie, which the viewers can see when watching the police force and the Dongcheon cartel members on-screen.
Han So Hee, on the other hand, had to start a month earlier than everyone else and trained for three months. She explained that because her stunts were complicated, she had to focus and train hard so as not to hurt the people around her. “My character had to portray a lot of emotions through her bodily moves. So when I lose a little bit of focus, then somebody could get hurt. I had to maintain that level of focus consistent the whole time,” she said.
Meanwhile, director Kim Jin Min mentioned that he is proud of the cast for doing more action scenes in the series than you would see in other projects. To this, he gave credit to the martial arts directors who made sure of everyone’s safety in performing these scenes. “Thanks to their efforts, the actors were able to feel comfortable while filming,” he said. “The cast could have gotten hurt, but because the amazing martial arts directors and stunt actors did so well, all of us were able to film without worrying too much about our safety.”
4. Han So Hee and Park Hee Soon both had to watch films to prepare for their characters
Aside from going to action school to learn their stunts, lead stars Han So Hee and Park Hee Soon also said that they watched films of the action genre to look for inspiration on their fighting styles. One of the titles she mentioned was Atomic Blonde, which stars Charlize Theron and is famous for its long-take action sequence. She also said that she watched a lot of female-led action films like The Old Guard for pointers on how to act out scenes that involve different weapons like knives and “hitting the vital part of the opponent.”
As for Park Hee Soon, the actor said that he also revisited the classics for inspiration on how to play a drug cartel boss like Moo Jin. He said: “There are so many great pieces in the genre of noir, but I tried to rewatch some of the classics once again rather than the recent works to get myself into the role. I’ve watched The Godfather, from one to three, to be able to learn the inner workings of the boss.”
5. My Name isn’t like your usual action-noir drama
Aside from having a strong female lead, what sets My Name apart from other titles of the action genre is how although there will be a lot of fast-paced action, the series won’t purely just be “action for the sake of action.” And with Ji Woo being undercover, the audience can also expect a variety of action scenes that feel fresh and realistic.
“There are some parts that will need to be physical, but then some parts will need to involve some weapons,” he said. “Starting from Bruce Lee and all the famous action actors, we’ve already seen a lot of variety. So what I wanted to highlight here was that it should be realistic action because it’s about an undercover agent.”
Another unique aspect of this new drama compared to other titles of the action genre is how it tackles revenge and how it relates to righteousness and justice. Speaking about this, Director Kim Jin Min said, “This is such an important theme that penetrates the entire story, and that is really melted in all of the three-dimensional characters. Ji Woo is constantly confronted with the questions “Is this revenge reasonable?”; “Is this right? Is it something worth fighting for?”
My Name premieres on Netflix this October 15.