g.o.d’s Danny Ahn Talks About How “Imitation” Reminds Him Of His Early Career + Being Proud Of The New Generation Of Idols
The former idol member now works as an actor and appeared in “Imitation” as Ji Hak, the CEO of Tea Party’s agency. Ji Hak was the head of the major agency NOG and helped propel the boy group SHAX to superstardom before he suddenly left the entertainment industry. Three years later, he returned to set up his own agency and re-debuted the forgotten girl group Omega 3 as Tea Party.
In the interview with Maeil Kyungje, Danny Ahn said, “It reminded me of g.o.d’s early days. The process of Tea Party’s development and growth is similar to g.o.d’s debut as well. I knew about the webtoon for a while, but I only read it properly after I got the script. The original webtoon is also really interesting.”
In the drama, Jung Ji So plays Lee Ma Ha, Lim Nayoung plays Shim Hyun Ji, and Minseo plays Yoo Ri Ah. The three girls had been all set to debut as Omega 3 when their fellow trainee Annie died, indefinitely postponing their debut. Abandoned, the members had to take on various part-time jobs on their own to survive, until Ji Hak gathered them together again to give them another chance at debuting.
“I played a lot of playful, vulgar, comedic roles before, and this was the first time I’d played someone who was serious and sincere,” he said. “I saw comments like, ‘He’s such a kind CEO,’ and ‘Is it possible for a CEO like this to exist somewhere?’ and ‘He’s a CEO that protects the kids.’ I felt good when I saw those. Many agency CEOs do think about the young trainees’ futures, but they’re still the CEO of an agency, so it’s inevitable that they’ll also think about the financial side when raising them. But Ji Hak tries to understand his kids rather than think about the money. I wonder if I could be like him if I were ever the CEO of an agency. I’ve met a lot of CEOs over more than two decades in this field, and they’re definitely not all like him.”
In the drama, Mr. Park (Gong Jung Hwan), the CEO of NOG, is the complete opposite, thinking of his idols only as cash cows and exploiting every inch of them he can. Danny Ahn said, “He’s a character created to heighten the drama. There aren’t really CEOs like that now. If there were, it would be a serious issue. There might have been such one-sided villains in the past, in the 1980s or 1990s, but I think that now they would be sued. The entertainment industry isn’t completely heartless.”
Several of the young cast members on “Imitation” are current or former idols themselves. Asked if he had advice for his juniors, Danny Ahn said modestly, “Idols these days are doing so well that I don’t have any advice for them. Rather, I’m jealous of them. The market is so different now. In the past, we wouldn’t even have dreamed of going abroad and doing something, but I’m both envious and proud that our idols today can take Korean music abroad and receive good feedback. I think if g.o.d debuted today, we’d have trouble competing with the current generation.”
About idol-turned-actors, he said, “I think of that as a positive factor. I think it means that they’re talented in many fields. Since the drama is about current idols, I think the director cast them because they could pull off the scenes of dancing and singing most effectively. Jung Ji So and Lee Jun Young are well-synchronized with their characters Ma Ha and Kwon Ryoc, but the best-synchronized one is [T-ara’s] Jiyeon and La Lima. She’s similar to the character in looks, but even her gestures and gaze are the same.”
Check out the first episode of “Imitation” below!