Lee Young Sook, the screenwriter of the drama “The Witch’s Diner,” participated in an interview where she talked about the drama, its cast, and a potential second season.


“I received the commission to write a drama script based on the original novel in 2019,” she said. “Hee Ra is a character who has a powerful aura but not actually that much screen time, so I had a lot of concerns about the actor they would select. When I heard from the production company that Song Ji Hyo had agreed to play Hee Ra, I didn’t believe it at first. I’ve never bought lottery tickets before, so it felt like I had suddenly spent all the luck that I’d saved up until then. I think that Nam Ji Hyun, Chae Jong Hyeop, and the directors were all able to trust in the project because Song Ji Hyo had been cast.”

The character of Gil Yong, played by Chae Jong Hyeop, is not in the original novel. Lee Young Sook said, “The character in the novel was more like Young Jae [played by Shin Joo Hyup], who gets bullied. He has his own charm, but I wanted someone who could be mature and a strong supporter to Jin [played by Nam Ji Hyun]. Jin is a character who goes through a lot of feelings and growth, so I wanted someone unshakeable by her side.”

The interviewer commented that Jin and Gil Yong’s relationship was like a younger version of Hee Ra and Mr. Oh (played by Ha Do Kwon). Sh replied, “There was no character like a ‘supporter’ in the original novel. I didn’t want to hurt the original story, but I also wanted to show the birth of a new witch and her supporter that was different from Hee Ra and Mr. Oh. There was a vicious circle of the witch inheritance, from Park Sun [played by Ji Soo Won] to Hee Ra to Jin. Park Sun just carried out the circle as usual, Hee Ra tried to break the circle, and Jin was finally able to break the circle at last. I wanted to show that process of growth.”

Asked about comments that there were disappointing elements of Jin and Gil Yong’s romance, the writer replied, “I’d been a fan of Nam Ji Hyun for a while, and I first noticed Chae Jong Hyeop in ‘Stove League.’ Their chemistry is so beautiful and just seeing them together makes you feel warm. I also feel a lot of regrets about their romance because it was so short. At the very start of the planning process, I thought about the level of their romantic mood. But there were so many stories to tell in ‘The Witch’s Diner’ and there was a limit on the running time, and I wanted to bring the main storyline and the customers’ stories to life, so… At some point, I had to do what the opening narration of ‘The Witch’s Diner’ says: ‘Choose. Right now!’ It might not have been the best choice, but it was the best that I could do.”

The interview ended with the reporter asking what she would do if she was asked to return for a second season. “At the start of ‘The Witch’s Diner,’ Hee Ra and Mr. Oh had already reached a certain level and we never saw their awkward stage,” she said. “If we did have a second season and I was chosen to write for it, I think it might be fun to see how Jin and Gil Yong work as a rookie witch and supporter. Because they’ll make a lot of mistakes, Hee Ra might have no choice but to intervene, and Mr. Oh will have to take care of the cleaning-up… Might there not be a new villain who covets Hee Ra’s strength? This is all just my imagination.”

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