Q&A: The Cast of Kingdom S2 on Surviving a Zombie Outbreak

We speak with four of the cast members of Netflix's Kingdom.

If you were like us who were left hanging after the last episode of season one, it's time to rejoice as the internationally popular Korean Netflix Original series Kingdom returns for season 2 on March 13, 2020!

Need a little refresher? The hit Korean series made its debut on the streaming platform in early 2019 which instantly received global liking. The series is set during the Joseon Dynasty of Korea and takes the popular zombie genre, giving it a unique historic twist. 

Season two becomes more exciting when they realize that the plague is much worse than what it is, the Crown Prince's struggle on who he can trust, Seo-bi's breakthrough with the resurrection plant, Cheo Hak-ju's hunger for power, and so much more. 

Watch the full trailer:

At a video press conference, we had the chance to speak with four of the cast members — Ju Ji-hoon (Crown Prince Yi Chang), Ryu Seung-ryong (Cho Hak-ju), Bae Doona (Seo-bi) and Kim Sung-kyu (Yeong-sin). The actors talked about their character development, similarities with their character and even shared who is least likely to survive a zombie apocalypse. Read the full interview below:


Question: The Crown Prince started out quite naive at the start of season 1. How has his character matured in season 2, and what would you say is his biggest character development?

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Ju Ji-Hoon: I’m sure you all saw the character development of Yi Chang during the first season, and what he had only known through books, he was able to experience, see and feel first-hand and he learned a lot from that. So compared to the first season, in the second season, he is a lot more active and tries to make improvements by actively participating.

Question: What traits do you admire most about your character? How similar or different are you from him?

Ju Ji-Hoon: First off, I truly admire the fact that he's very human. And by that I mean he isn't somebody who is a prominent leader from the very beginning, but at the very beginning, like many other people he's very afraid, wants to run away and shows a lot of vulnerabilities.

However, at the end of the day, he accepts what he is faced with, and tries to find ways to overcome the situation, within his capabilities and I really admire that about the Prince. And I think I am personally also similar to that. Although I am no Prince, when I am met with such difficulties or challenges, I like to think that I don't give up and push forward.

Question: As your character uncovers and reveals more about the resurrecting plant, there grows confidence in how she figures in the way the story unravels. What was it like going through that journey as an actress and as a woman?

Bae Doona: In season 1, Seo-bi previously had been just a nurse at a local clinic. And, as all the characters went through that when the first outbreak appeared, she was very confused and very startled. However, she goes through immense growth. And during season 2, she becomes more practical and hands-on in terms of how she can be of help in overcoming the crisis. I personally love stories about growth and so during season one, I think I intentionally played the role in a more naive way so that I can build on the character arc and create the story of her life nicely and I really enjoyed watching that as well.

Question: What do you think drives your character to be so manipulative? What fuels your hunger for power? What are Cho Hak-ju’s redeeming qualities?

Ryu Seung-Ryong: I don't think that he began as absolute evil in the very beginning. I'm sure he had a sense of justice and a sense of need to really rebuild the nation the way he saw right. However, during the process, he stuck with the wrong direction and the wrong values, which are mixed with the next hunger for power and desire, which ended up creating hit the character that is Cho Hak-ju.

Question: What is it like fighting with zombies as opposed to real people?

Kim Sung-Kyu: I think thanks to the events, energy and the grit that my character have, I have a lot of fun and it was exciting to shoot the scenes. However, there were definitely some difficulties, compared to what I would be working against human characters. 

Question: Among your co-actors, who is most likely and least likely to survive a zombie apocalypse?

Kim Sung-Kyu: I think it's actually obvious that the person who will most likely survive the zombie apocalypse will be Beom-pal played by Suk-ho Jun. And the reason being, unlike Yeong-sin, the character I play, he will never be on the outside of the fighting with zombies he will always right inside. I think Yeong-sin will probably be the first to die.

Question: How do you feel knowing your character is partly at fault for the zombie outbreak? How did that change Yeong-sin through the next episodes?

Kim Sung-Kyu: During season 2, because of the mistake that Yeong-sin committed, although it wasn’t intentional, what's done has been done so surpassing personal revenge. There will be factors that Yeong-sin really seeks to find, so that he kind of greater meaning to everything and I just want to say that season two is all thanks to Yeong-sin.

Question: Kingdom is such a huge global success. What makes Kingdom from the dramas and movies you’ve done in the past. What has acting in Kingdom meant for you and your career?

Ju Ji-Hoon: Kingdom is unique and that it is a very successful mix of film and drama series. And I think that finding the midpoint between the two genres really brought a lot of positive aspects of each genre. And it was also very interesting. It wasn't always the most comfortable, but I really am satisfied with the outcome. 

In terms of what Kingdom has brought for me is just, look at us today — thanks to Kingdom, I’m sitting right here in this chair video conferencing you guys. 

Kingdom Season 2 launches on Netflix on March 13, 2020. Stream the first season here.

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TV Show Info

Fantasy, Horror, Thriller
Produced by
Kim Seong-hun


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