Kim Dong Hee Talks About Unexpected Similarities Between

Kim Dong Hee shared his thoughts on the Netflix original series “Extracurricular.”

On May 7, the actor participated in an interview about “Extracurricular,” a series about high school students who commit crimes to earn money.

A collaboration between “Lawless Lawyer” and “Time Between Dog and Wolf” director Kim Jin Min and rookie writer Jin Han Sae, “Extracurricular” is a reflection of our society and the dark side of teenagers that presents a powerful question to this generation.

The cast of “Extracurricular” consists of talented young actors including Kim Dong Hee, Jung Da Bin, Park Joo Hyun, and Nam Yoon Soo, who have been praised for their performances and potential.

Kim Dong Hee began, “I feel a new kind of feeling. It feels strange.” The youth prostitution crime in the storyline bore an unexpected similarity to the “Nth room” case where women were blackmailed into taking sexually exploitative videos, which were then circulated in pay-to-view Telegram group chats.

The actor continued, “It would be a lie to say I didn’t have any hesitation about appearing [in this drama]. It was the most shocking scenario and script out of all of the ones I’ve seen so far, so I wanted to do this project. It felt very new. I felt drawn to it because it’s been difficult to talk about this kind of topic in Korean drama conventions until now. The director said that it’s a story someone has to tell, and I also felt that way.”

The characters in “Extracurricular” are controversial for committing crimes of mediating teenage prostitution. “I tried not to fall too deeply into the character,” he said. “I tried to understand him, but there were times when I hit a wall when I couldn’t understand him any further. My friends showed reactions of feeling uncomfortable. I think that’s correct and feel as if the drama’s message was well conveyed.”

Kim Dong Hee was praised for his improved acting skills through this latest series. “I’m very thankful,” he said. “My appearance felt strange to me. It felt as if it wasn’t me. I’m still in the process of learning, so I could only see my areas of improvement. As for the praise, I feel a large sense of relief.”

This isn’t Kim Dong Hee’s first appearance in a drama with a serious topic. Speaking about his appearance in the widely popular drama “SKY Castle,” the actor said, “I think there are scripts that I’m drawn to. I felt like I shouldn’t lose this and that I really wanted to do it. I don’t know if it’s instinct or what, but I tried my best thinking that I wanted to do it no matter what and that it was a project I needed to face and attempt even if I wasn’t good at it.” He added, “I felt drawn to it, and I wanted to attempt and face it. I don’t mean to say that I have a good eye.”

Kim Dong Hee said that he still keeps in touch with the “SKY Castle” co-stars. “I felt moved when Park Yoo Na said that she enjoyed watching it,” he said. “I frequently meet up with Jo Byeong Gyu, and he’s someone that I need. He also gives me harsh advice and tells me good things. He’s someone who objectively evaluates me. We all still talk and meet up with one another.”

“Extracurricular” wrapped filming in August 2019, so the cast and crew were shocked with the rest of the world as the “Nth room” case unfolded in real life.

“I was shocked to see that an incident that shouldn’t have happened occurred in real life,” he said. “There might be overlapping parts with the drama, and I hope that people will become more interested in this project. I also think that those who committed crimes should receive harsh punishments. When I read the script, it made me think that adults should take more interest in teenagers.”

Kim Dong Hee has portrayed a model student from web drama “A-TEEN” to “SKY Castle” and most recently “Extracurricular.” “I graduated from a performing arts high school,” he said. “I just went to an arts school because I wanted to sing. I entered the school thinking that I could learn how to sing in the department of theater and film. I didn’t have a lot of interest in acting during my first year. I became a passionate student after auditioning for a musical and becoming a lead.” He added with a laugh, “I was tardy a couple of times, so it might be hard to say that I was a model student.”

As for any concerns about becoming typecast as a uniform-wearing student, Kim Dong Hee commented, “I was worried too, but I think I should be open to and be able to [portray characters] as long as I am able to wear uniforms. In the past, I was worried because I consecutively portrayed a student in many projects, but I want to do everything I can when I’m able to do it. Ji Soo wore a school uniform in ‘Extracurricular,’ but he’s a character that has never existed before. If this kind of character were to be created in the future, I want to do it no matter what without any prejudice.”

The ending of “Extracurricular” left viewers with questions and suspense. “The ending was filmed in various versions,” he said. “So I was also curious about the ending. I can’t not wonder what happens after Ji Soo and Kyu Ri run away. Could they not have told more of the story? They made an unbearable and irreversible choice. I don’t think they’ll be able to take responsibility for all of it. When I asked my friends, each person had a different answer. I’m curious as well.”

About the possibility of season two, he replied with a smile, “I want to ask the writer too. Ji Soo could meet a new assistant and could also become a wanderer. Ji Soo could be punished, and Ji Soo or Kyu Ri could betray one another. I can think of various stories.”

Start watching “SKY Castle” with English subtitles now!

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