Ahn Bo Hyun Talks About Training For Action Scenes And Working With Han So Hee In “My Name”
On October 25, Ahn Bo Hyun sat down for an online interview with Sports Chosun about his recent Netflix series “My Name.”
“My Name” is about a woman named Yoon Ji Woo (Han So Hee), who joins an organized crime ring and, under their direction, infiltrates the police as an undercover agent to learn the truth behind her father’s death. Ahn Bo Hyun co-stars as Jeon Pil Do, her partner in the police force, and Park Hee Soon as Moo Jin, who takes Yoon Ji Woo under his gang and helps her go undercover in the police.
The series performed well on Netflix in several countries around the world, and Ahn Bo Hyun said, “It was a very moving feeling. To be honest, I think that the popularity of ‘Squid Game’ played a big role. I definitely felt like I couldn’t believe it. A lot of people watched our series and there were people who told me they even subscribed to Netflix just to see it. The feedback that I remember most were the people who said that they couldn’t imagine me playing a police officer because I’d played a troublemaker and criminal in ‘Itaewon Class’ but that I’d fit the role better than they’d expected.”
Ahn Bo Hyun talked about whether he was similar to his character, Jeon Pil Do. “I think that there are many people in the world who cannot hold back when they see injustice in the world,” he said. “I’ve never seen injustice like that before, but I’m also not the type to hold back. I think that’s something that Pil Do and I had in common. The director told me, ‘You feel a lot like Pil Do, so just express things naturally as if you were him.’ As a police detective, his character really shone through. After experiencing the things in the drama, I like to think that if I encountered a situation like that in real life, I would become a justice-oriented person.”
Han So Hee has frequently discussed the heavy action scenes in the series. Ahn Bo Hyun, who was previously a boxer, said, “I don’t know if it’s because I did sports before, but I’ve always had interest in doing action scenes. I’d watch boxing movies and think, ‘This person isn’t a boxer but they’re good. Since I used to be a boxer, I’d be good at boxing scenes.’ Ever since then, I’d been interested and curious about doing action scenes. I’d always wanted to try it if I could, but it’s very different from boxing in real life. The most important thing in action scenes is being on the same level as your partner so that no one gets hurt. I went to action school and worked hard at matching with other people, but I’m not satisfied with the results. But the people around me told me that it did look like a real fight, so I hope that the two or three months I spent learning wasn’t wasted.”
For his role, Ahn Bo Hyun built about 5 kilograms (11 pounds) of muscle. “I was an athlete for a long time and I’m tall. In the past, I wasn’t able to bulk up like this and I didn’t have a very big body either. But I wanted to raise people’s anticipations and respond to their expectations, so I focused on my strengths as a former athlete. I always monitor my diet at least 300 days out of 365 and I’m always taking protein supplements. I think that the work and effort I put in allowed me to get to where I am today. It’s all to help viewers stay immersed in the world of the drama. Pil Do isn’t a character with a threatening build, but I wanted to show that he was solid, so rather than show visibly defined muscles, I wanted to fill out his jackets and hoodies with some additional weight. Han So Hee also said that she gained weight for the role, but it’s not just getting heavier. I ate and exercised well and never skipped a workout on set and gained more than 5 kilograms while filming.”
About working with Han So Hee, he said, “I met her for the first time at action school. Maybe it was because of the unfamiliar setting, but she looked different. Normally you meet your co-stars for the first time at a formal meeting or a script reading, but I was suddenly seeing someone I’d only seen on TV sweating at action school. The very first time we met, we started learning how to do stunts. I could feel that she was overflowing with passion. We didn’t have many action scenes against each other, but rather we were fighting as one team against many opponents. We became a better team as time went by. It could have been really tough for her because there were just so many action scenes, but she never complained or showed signs of it, and it gave me strength as well.”
The two also filmed a bed scene together for the show. “There are a lot of people who have responded to that scene and those scenes, which makes me think that many people saw it from very diverse perspectives,” he said. “Rather than getting immersed into the emotions, I thought instead that both Pil Do and Ji Woo have suffered and can comfort each other as people who are both hiding pain inside. I think that those scenes were important to show Pil Do and Ji Woo’s feelings, as well as Ji Woo changing from someone who wanted to give up on being human and turn into a monster. It also helped motivate her revenge when I was killed off.”
Although “My Name” was filmed a year ago, it came out around the same time as Ahn Bo Hyun’s other drama, “Yumi’s Cells.” In “Yumi’s Cells,” the actor has much longer hair. He shared, “Whether I think about it from an objective or subjective point of view, I think my hair makes a big difference in my appearance. Me with long hair and me with short hair looks very different. It makes me look like a totally different person. Before I became an actor, I hated it. There were a lot of people who didn’t recognize me when I cut or grew out my hair. At first, I didn’t like it when people said, “That was you?” about my dramas either, but I like it now. I really like it as an actor. I worried for a long time about growing out my hair that long, but I think that it was able to show a completely different side of me. If you watch ‘My Name’ carefully, my hair is quite long in the ‘past’ scenes, but after he goes through a big incident with Ji Woo, it gets quite short. I think that it represents a turning point for him. I like that I can show a lot of diverse characters through my hairstyle. I could shave my head for a role if I wanted to. I want to match the role as much as possible.”
Watch “Yumi’s Cells” below!