Namgoong Min, Park Ha Sun, And Kim Ji Eun Talk About The Epic Scale Of MBC's New Blockbuster Drama

On September 16, MBC’s upcoming drama “The Veil” held an online press conference with producing director (PD) Kim Sung Yong and actors Namgoong Min, Park Ha Sun, and Kim Ji Eun.

“The Veil” is MBC’s first Friday-Saturday drama and has been described as a blockbuster with a budget of 15 billion won (about $12.8 million). It is a special project to mark MBC’s 60th anniversary, and the script, which was written by Park Seok Ho, won a prize at the MBC drama script contest in 2018.

“The Veil,” which is about an intelligence agent seeking revenge on the traitor who caused his downfall, is also the first Korean drama to be set entirely within the National Intelligence Service (NIS). Although other dramas have featured NIS agents, “The Veil” will focus on the internal workings of the NIS and episodes will be based on real events and historical evidence. The NIS also provided advice and sponsored filming in the early stages of the drama.

Namgoong Min stars as Han Ji Hyuk, an elite field agent whose perfect record and skill at completing missions made him a legend at the NIS. However, just when he seemed to have finally succeeded in driving an organized crime syndicate into a corner, he suddenly vanished off the face of the earth. After losing his memories and going missing for a year, he makes a bold return to the organization to find the traitor responsible for his downfall.

PD Kim Sung Yong said, “Namgoong Min is an actor you can trust, and he’s brilliant at analyzing the script. As soon as I got the script, I thought of him. I thought that if he accepted the casting offer, we were more than halfway to our goal. Thankfully, he was interested in the script and responded to our offer. Now that I’ve worked with him, I can understand why people trust in him as an actor. He’s great at picking scripts, but he also immerses himself so deeply in his acting that you can’t help but believe him. I’m depending on him a lot these days.”

He continued, “I saw a photo of Park Ha Sun at an awards show and thought that she looked really similar to the character. In her short hair and intense makeup, she exuded a charismatic appeal. Park Ha Sun told me that when she was imagining the character, she thought of that look too. I felt that we were on the same page and actively made her the casting offer.”

Namgoong Min has garnered a lot of attention recently for bulking up by over 10 kilograms (about 22 pounds) while working out for his role in “The Veil.” Namgoong Min said, “I was looking through a lot of drama scripts, and it was a time when it was the trend to go for stylish, light, appealing dramas. I was a little bit tired of those kind of stories, so I looked to see if there was something different. Then I saw ‘The Veil’ and it had a much weightier appeal. I think that it will be a drama with a message and exciting elements that people will enjoy.”

He continued, “I first decided [on bulking up] after meeting the writer for the first time. This character is mostly focused on revenge and punishment, so he’s always on the attack. I wanted to give him the feeling that he couldn’t be easily approached. I started working out on January 20. I’ve been lifting weights regularly since my early 20s, but this was the first time that I really built my body and bulked up for a role. I started to bulk up around 64 kilograms [141 pounds] and now I’m around 78 kilograms [172 pounds]. I craved floury foods and even had nightmares while bulking up. In my dream, I’d take off my shirt and look in the mirror and all my muscles would be gone. I wasn’t aiming for a perfect body, but I worked really hard so that I wouldn’t have any regrets later. It was really difficult.” He added jokingly, “I wish that filming would end soon.”

Park Ha Sun plays Seo Soo Yeon, a team leader at the NIS’s Crime Information Center. She said, “The script of ‘The Veil’ kept getting more and more interesting as it went on, and I was looking forward to it even just as a fan. I wanted to play a character I’d never done before. There are times when an established actor feels jealous of rookie actors and wants to do something completely new. I’m grateful to the director for believing in me. This is also the first time I’m saying it, but I also chose the drama because of Namgoong Min. I really wanted to work with him, so I’m honored to have been able to this time. I’d heard a lot about him, but I was really able to learn a lot from him.”

Kim Ji Eun plays Yoo Je Yi, an elite agent who joined the NIS at the age of 20 and is Han Ji Hyuk’s partner at the agency. She said, “Each episode will feature several incidents, with that one big incident at its core. It’s more fun to watch if you try to guess what’s going to happen next.”

Namgoong Min added, “Han Ji Hyuk returns to find the traitor in the organization. While he’s hunting the traitor, his memories from a year ago come back slowly one by one, but I think it’ll be fun if the viewers also try to guess who the traitor could be.” Park Ha Sun said, “The big thing to keep in mind is that you can’t trust anyone in this drama. You can’t easily divide those who are good characters from the bad.”

“The Veil” premieres on September 17 at 10 p.m. KST and will be available on Viki. The first two episodes will be rated 19+.

Check out a trailer below!

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