In a recent interview, producing director (PD) Kim Sang Hyub of “True Beauty” talked about working with ASTRO’s Cha Eun Woo, Moon Ga Young, and Hwang In Yeop for the upcoming tvN drama.

Based on the hit webtoon of the same name, “True Beauty” is a romantic comedy about a girl named Lim Ju Gyeong (Moon Ga Young) who zealously uses makeup to hide her bare face and combat her insecurities about her looks. Cha Eun Woo will star in the drama as Lee Su Ho, a popular student who has his own emotional wounds, while Hwang In Yeop will play Han Seo Jun, an untamable rebel with a surprisingly warm heart.

On why he decided to take on the drama, PD Kim Sang Hyub said, “I didn’t specifically think of doing a drama about school life. After I worked on my first school drama ‘Extraordinary You,’ I thought to myself, ‘If I get to direct another one next time, I think I can do a better job.’ While I was thinking that, I received an offer to create a drama version of ‘True Beauty.'”

He continued, “The main point of ‘True Beauty’ is Lim Ju Gyeong’s funny but sad growing pains. Rather than telling the story realistically, I thought that if I twisted it to be a comedy instead, the strange absurdities would be fun to watch. I hope ‘True Beauty’ will become a drama that viewers can watch comfortably.”

Kim Sang Hyub went on to describe his thinking behind casting Moon Ga Young, Cha Eun Woo, and Hwang In Yeop. “I think the original webtoon was a hit because of the drawing style and the characters,” he said. “I considered that to be important, and I worked on casting people who were really similar to the characters.”

He spoke about having faith in the three actors, first describing Moon Ga Young as someone with lots of dynamic energy. “I thought that it would be nice if Lim Ju Gyeong went around recklessly, and Moon Ga Young was especially talented in portraying that,” Kim Sang Hyub said.

He continued, “Starting her career as a child actress, Moon Ga Young has relatively more acting experience than others, and I liked how she was able to interpret her character.” Kim Sang Hyub went on to describe how the actress was not afraid to let herself go during certain scenes and to try out special effects makeup.

On Cha Eun Woo, the “True Beauty” PD said, “I think both the writer of the original webtoon and the webtoon’s fans would all think of Cha Eun Woo as the best person to play Su Ho. Before working on the drama, I had thought that Cha Eun Woo was someone who only had soft and refreshing sides to him, but as we worked together, I noticed he can be very manly, and when he looks at his co-star, he has a way of appearing innocent but sad at the same time.”

Kim Sang Hyub added, “We’re adding onto Su Ho’s character with his image from the webtoon as our foundation.”

He shared his praise for Hwang In Yeop as well, mentioning that the competition for his role had been intense. “First of all, Hwang In Yeop’s voice is so nice,” Kim Sang Hyub said. “He appears rough but also has a kind of sorrowful gaze.”

Kim Sang Hyub went on, “Hwang In Yeop is very considerate. He works hard on maximizing the chemistry among the characters.” He added that all three stars have bright energy and are hard workers. “Thanks to them, I’m having fun working on the drama,” he said.

Kim Sang Hyub also mentioned that the supporting characters of “True Beauty” will be adding to the fun, and he expressed his hope that the rookie actors cast in the drama will be able to be discovered.

On the drama’s message, the PD said, “To Ju Gyeong, makeup is like a mask. It’s a mask used for survival, and I wanted to discuss the problems of this generation and personal isolation through a story about a high school student who has no choice but to hide behind that mask and chooses to live as her persona.”

As a final thought, Kim Sang Hyub shared, “There are moments in life that were as sweet as chocolate. I’m directing this drama with the hope that viewers can go on a trip through their memories while watching this drama.”

“True Beauty” premieres on December 9 at 10:30 p.m. KST and will be available on Viki.

In the meantime, check out a teaser for the drama below!

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