Yoon Sang Hyun, Kim Ha Neul, And Lee Do Hyun Share Stories About Their Pre-Debut And Rookie Years

Kim Ha Neul, Yoon Sang Hyun, and Lee Do Hyun, the stars of JTBC’s upcoming drama “18 Again,” appeared on the latest episode of “Ask Us Anything”!

Lee Sang Min started off the show by revealing that he had been the judge at Kim Ha Neul’s first audition. She had participated in an audition to be a model for a clothing brand, and Lee Sang Min had taken part as a judge to find potential singers. She shared, “I was a huge fan of Deux’s Kim Sung Jae. One day, my friend showed me a photo of him, and below it, there was a notice about the model audition. I had this big dream of meeting him.” Lee Sang Min explained that even though he had desperately wanted to turn Kim Ha Neul into a singer, she refused to sing or dance.

Then, Yoon Sang Hyun opened up about a time when he was jealous of his wife Maybee‘s relationship with Min Kyung Hoon (read more about this here), and the three actors performed a cover of SSAK3’s “Beach Again.”

Yoon Sang Hyun also talked about a turning point in his acting career. In the drama “Winter Bird,” Park Won Sook played his mother, and there was a scene in which she had to hit him. Yoon Sang Hyun explained, “When filming began, she began to genuinely hit me, and it hurt a lot. But that’s when I thought, I have to genuinely act. Until then, I just pretended or faked everything, but when I saw Park Won Sook really get into her character and show real anger, I was shocked. I went home and tried practicing like that, and everything, from my tone of voice to my expressions, changed. It was really life-changing. From then on, I began to truly act.”

Super Junior‘s Kim Heechul asked, “How bad were you before ‘Winter Bird’?” and Yoon Sang Hyun revealed, “I was criticized a lot since my first drama. For ‘Marrying a Millionaire,’ I told the director, ‘I can’t do this. Can’t you find someone else?’ He made me practice for two months straight, but I still didn’t get better. The screenwriter and director said they’d take responsibility for me, and everyone else besides them didn’t like me. At the script reading, Park Geun Hyung, who played the role of Go Soo‘s father, asked, ‘Where’d you find an actor like that?'”

He continued, “I kept reading the script all throughout the 11 hours on the flight to France for filming. When we arrived in France and I had to face Kim Hyun Joo, I couldn’t look her in the eyes or say my lines. I kept looking down at the ground while saying my lines. No matter how we tried to edit my scenes with Kim Hyun Joo, we couldn’t salvage them. So we threw the whole footage out.” He explained that the production team had to build a set that looked like France so they could film the scenes again back in Korea.

Kim Ha Neul shared a similar experience she had when she was a rookie. She began, “When I filmed my first drama, ‘Happy Together,’ I really didn’t know anything. The director met with me and persuaded me to join the drama, but I still told him that I couldn’t do it. So he said, ‘You have Song Seung Heon and Lee Byung Hun next to you. They’ll lead everything. You just have to stay still.’ I was persuaded, so I went to the set, but I was so bad at acting that the director was tearing his hair out. I was so embarrassed and sorry, and I even felt resentment towards the director for convincing me to join the drama. I had a really hard time, but I grew a lot through that drama.”

She continued, “Later, the director gave me another opportunity for a great drama, and that was ‘Piano.’ I was so thankful that he called me even though I had made such a bad impression. There was a scene where I had to speak to Go Soo, and my lines were 10 pages long. It was a long, emotional scene, but I did it in one go. All of the staff members there clapped. No one had thought that I’d be able to do it in one go. The director was so happy that he took out the 3,000 won (approximately $2.5) he had his wallet and gave it to me, saying that I had done well. The amount of money didn’t matter to me. I was so happy that I was acknowledged by the director that I teared up. I still have [the money] with me where I keep my stamps.”

Lee Do Hyun shared an interesting experience from a time he was looking for a part-time job prior to his debut. He said, “I was told that it was a job at a brunch café, so I went, but there was nothing there. I asked the owner there what I had to do, and the owner told me that I had to help them out with opening the café. So I helped design the interior, including the tiles on the floor and the arrangement of the chairs, and opened up the place with the owner.”

The actor added that while going through several part-time jobs, he also set time aside to do training for better intonation and pronunciation. He revealed that he used to have a more high-pitched voice and that doing this training helped him gain the low and resonant voice that he has now.

The first episode of Yoon Sang Hyun, Kim Ha Neul, and Lee Do Hyun’s upcoming drama “18 Again” airs on September 7 at 9:30 p.m. KST.

Watch an episode of “Ask Us Anything” with English subtitles here:

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