Joo Ji Hoon Talks About Why He Chose To Star In

Ahead of the premiere of “Jirisan,” Joo Ji Hoon shared behind-the-scenes stories from filming, spoke about his character, and more!

Written by Kim Eun Hee (“Signal,” “Kingdom”), tvN’s “Jirisan” is a mystery drama starring Jun Ji Hyun as Seo Yi Kang, a top ranger at Mount Jiri National Park, and Joo Ji Hoon as Kang Hyun Jo, her rookie partner who is hiding an unspeakable secret. The drama follows the rangers at the national park as they uncover the truth behind a mysterious accident that occurred on the mountain.

Regarding his decision to star in the series, Joo Ji Hoon shared, “Although I’ve already worked on a project with writer Kim Eun Hee, I had a lot of curiosity this time in terms of ‘What kind of story will unfold?’ and ‘How will she utilize a place of nature like Jirisan in the project?’ I chose this because I wanted to try working with director Lee Eung Bok, who has been producing great dramas, and Jun Ji Hyun, who portrays every character in a charming manner.”

In the drama, Joo Ji Hoon stars as rookie ranger Kang Hyun Jo, who hides a big secret and a mysterious past. When asked to pick three key words for his character, Joo Ji Hoon answered, “Jirisan,” “willpower,” and “youngest.” He explained, “Kang Hyun Jo is the youngest out of all the rangers and is someone who loves people. Hyun Jo, who is originally from Seoul, ends up at Jirisan because of people. He’s someone whose willpower and sense of responsibility for protecting people and the mountain are stronger than anyone else.”

Joo Ji Hoon continued, “It was around late summer last year. Before we officially went into filming, the writer suggested that we personally go visit Mount Jiri. Our writer, who was only focused on writing, could have a chance to refresh. I also thought that even greater things could come out as it’s the setting of the drama and I’m the type to meet often with the director and writer, who know the project’s characters best, and discuss how to create my character.”

Adding on about their teamwork, Joo Ji Hoon commented, “While we spoke about a lot of things, starting with casual conversation to discussions about the project, the writer shared her opinions like, ‘It would be great if this exact facial expression came from Hyun Jo during this scene,’ so I received lots of help in creating my character.”

Lastly, Joo Ji Hoon shared, “[My character] has a completely different personality and career from all the characters I’ve acted as before, and because the background is Mount Jiri, a lot of topics are new. I think all of this will be seen as a ‘new side.'”

“Jirisan” premieres on October 23. Watch a preview here!

Check out Joo Ji Hoon in “The Item” below!

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