Joo Ji Hoon Shares Opinion On His “Kingdom” Character’s Fate, Concerns About COVID-19, And More
Joo Ji Hoon recently sat down to chat about his hit drama “Kingdom”!
In zombie sageuk “Kingdom,” Joo Ji Hoon plays crown prince Lee Chang, who stops at nothing to protect his citizens from the plague, even if it means going against his own family.
Season two of the series, which dropped on March 13, is already accumulating numerous positive reviews. Joo Ji Hoon commented, “Movies count moviegoers and dramas have viewership ratings, but it’s fun to look for the responses to ‘Kingdom’ firsthand. I’m currently looking at reviews through social media and I feel happy and thankful that viewers seem to be enjoying it.” He added, “I do my best regardless of what project I’m filming, but what would make an actor happier than hearing positive feedback?”
The global response to Lee Chang’s fate has seen quite the divide, but Joo Ji Hoon shared, “I like the ending as it is. If I didn’t make that choice, I think I would’ve had to leave the series. I didn’t want to do that.”
He also revealed that he read the script for season two on the plane to a conference in Singapore. While sitting beside and reading with co-star Ryu Seung Ryong, he shared that they both kept exclaiming, “Huh? What do we do next?” adding, “We were constantly shocked while reading.”
Joo Ji Hoon also spoke about the relationship he has with his other co-stars, including Bae Doona and Kim Sung Kyu. He commented, “If you combine it all, we’ve spent over two years together and we’ve consistently maintained positive relationships, frequently meeting up.”
He continued, “When season one ended, season two was not confirmed, but we were all looking forward to it as if it was. Recently, I watched all of season two by myself and I was so overwhelmed by emotions. I was so caught up in my late-night emotions that I texted all the actors. I regretted it the day after but I had told them that I was thankful. Although I don’t consider season two to be the end, it felt like our long two years together had concluded and I felt a void. It was a fascinating feeling.”
Regarding Jun Ji Hyun, who made a cameo appearance in the finale of season two, Joo Ji Hoon shared, “I’ve been a fan of Jun Ji Hyun since I was young.” He also explained that he heard the news of her appearance late, saying, “I heard of her addition way later. After hearing it, I said, ‘Jun Ji Hyun is making a cameo?’ I was so shocked. I was so excited to work with her but I wasn’t even able to meet her on set. I didn’t even get to hear her voice.”
“Kingdom” has also garnered a lot of attention for its similarities to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Joo Ji Hoon shared his concerns regarding the virus, saying, “It’s quite ironic. We completed this project in August of last year, but it really hurts my heart that this story sees parallels with our world, because this is our reality and not a drama.”
The actor continued, “My parents and family members are currently struggling to find masks. As an actor, I have my own car to ride, but most citizens have no choice but to take the bus or subway even when we should not be in packed areas. Situations like this are so regrettable. Since we’re adults, we can put up with it, but how can children contain their energy, especially when the weather is getting nicer? Looking at families around me with young children makes me wish that much more for this situation to settle down, so I’ve been praying every day.”
Regarding the potential for “Kingdom” season three, he shared, “I’m looking forward to it too. Although nothing has been confirmed yet, the entire cast including myself have expectations for a third season. From what I’ve heard, it’s going to be an even larger spectacle. Since season two had a lot of physical action, I hope season three has a lot of strategical action.” He added, “I wonder if I’ll be able to meet Jun Ji Hyun for season three. Since nothing’s been confirmed, our viewers need to encourage it so Netflix begins to take action. Please encourage it lots.”