“Youth of May” Director Talks About Its Historical Setting + Lee Do Hyun And Go Min Si Talk About Going From Playing Siblings To Lovers
On May 3, KBS 2TV’s new Monday-Tuesday drama “Youth of May” held an online press conference ahead of the drama’s premiere.
“Youth of May” is a melodrama about the romance between Hwang Hee Tae (Lee Do Hyun) and Kim Myung Hee (Go Min Si) set against the turbulent backdrop of May 1980, a historically significant time period in South Korea. Lee Sang Yi and Geum Sae Rok co-star as Lee Soo Chan and Lee Soo Ryun, siblings from a wealthy family background but completely different goals in life.
Director Song Min Yeob said, “Set in Gwangju in 1980, it’s about the universal stories of love, sadness, and hate among young people at the time. It’s not about a specific incident. It’s about the stories of the people who lived during that time.”
Recently, dramas and other content have come under fire for historical distortion, misrepresenting real figures and events from Korean history. The director stated, “The drama is set during a historical period, but it’s not the central part of the drama. It’s about universal emotions like love and joy and hate that were felt by the young people who were living at the time. It’s about what the average person will do and choose when faced with unexpected situations.”
Lee Do Hyun stars as Hwang Hee Tae, a medical student who returns to his hometown after a traumatic incident. Asked to compare Hee Tae to his character in his previous drama, “18 Again,” the actor joked, “Well, Hee Tae doesn’t have kids.” He added, “Hee Tae is a very lonely person. He’s the only stranger in the drama. The drama is about what happens to a group of people when a stranger enters their lives.”
Go Min Si stars as Kim Myung Hee, a nurse in the third year of her career. Instead of an “angel in white,” as nurses are often called, her character is described as a “warrior in white,” battling through difficult childhood circumstances in order to achieve her dream. “I felt that the character Kim Myung Hee gave me strength,” the actress said. “I’d always wanted to do a period piece or a melodrama. This project was like fate for me. I carefully reviewed the script and did research.”
Lee Do Hyun and Go Min Si previously worked together in the Netflix series “Sweet Home,” where they played brother and sister. Go Min Si said, “When I read the script for ‘Youth of May,’ it occurred to me that it would suit Lee Do Hyun, so I was shocked when I heard he’d really been cast. We still keep in touch, and I told him that I thought this project would be a good fit for him, but I only learned later that he had actually been one of the favored casting choices.”
She added, “I’m grateful and happy to be working with him again. If people enjoyed watching us together in our previous project, then we can promise a completely different kind of chemistry in this one.”
Lee Do Hyun said, “In our previous project, we played characters who didn’t think of each other as ‘men’ and ‘women,’ but now we were playing characters of the opposite sex who were attracted to each other. We thought a lot about how to approach it and how to make viewers relate to them and feel excited to see them together. I discussed this a lot with Go Min Si and the director.”
“Youth of May” premiered on May 3 and will be available on Viki.
Check out a trailer below!