Exclusive Interview: Kim Jung Hyun And Im Soo Hyang Share Their Favorite “Kokdu: Season Of Deity” Scenes, Personal Goals, And More
“Kokdu: Season of Deity” is gearing up for its much-anticipated premiere!
The new fantasy romance tells the story of a grim reaper named Kokdu (Kim Jung Hyun) who comes down to this world to punish humans every 99 years. When Kokdu meets Han Gye Jeol (Im Soo Hyang), a doctor with mysterious abilities, he starts working as a visiting doctor.
Ahead of the premiere, the actors took time to share some insight into the drama and reveal a few fun facts about themselves.
Read their responses below!
Minor spoilers ahead.
What do you think is special about “Kokdu: Season of Deity” when compared to other fantasy romance dramas?
Kim Jung Hyun: I think the character’s traits are unique. Kokdu is eccentric, delicate, and also thoughtful at the same time. Although he is a character that does not exist in reality, I think his personality and temperament make this drama unique when compared to other dramas.
Im Soo Hyang: I think the character Kokdu, who is the god of the underworld who guides the way of the deceased, is a distinguished point that sets this drama apart from other fantasy romance dramas. He sometimes breaks the rule of not intervening in the life and death of humans and even harms them. Also, it was new to me that a human being does not have to unconditionally obey the word of the god but rather that the god cannot disobey the word of Gye Jeol who is a human. With these aspects added, the drama has refreshing and special charms.
Is there anything that you specifically prepared for this role?
Kim Jung Hyun: Do Jin Woo is rather static when compared to Kokdu, and Kokdu is very dynamic. So I tried to restrain myself as much as possible when portraying Do Jin Woo, whereas I tried to portray Kokdu’s expressions bigger than what I imagined. However, as always, I tried to focus on the particular goal of each scene for each character rather than focusing on playing dual roles.
Im Soo Hyang: I paid a lot of attention to Gye Jeol’s fashion style because there were scenes where Gye Jeol had to look neither too pretty nor too old-fashioned but still lovely. So that’s why I put a lot of thought into her styling. Also, because Gye Jeol has [scenes with] a lot of lines, I tried to keep the [speaking] tempo fast to match the flow of the drama.
What is your favorite scene in “Kokdu: Season of Deity”?
Kim Jung Hyun: The scene that comes to mind is the one where Kokdu asks Gye Jeol if she is Seol Hee on the ginkgo tree road comes to mind. I think it was interesting to see [Kokdu’s] anticipation for his ex-lover when he was thinking that a thousand years of waiting was meaningless.
Im Soo Hyang: All the scenes in “Kokdu: Season of Deity” are my favorites, so it is hard to pick just one. But if I were to name one memorable scene, it would be the scene where Kokdu and Gye Jeol meet for the first time. I doubt that there is a romantic comedy drama where the male lead will kick off the first encounter with the female lead by strangling her neck. It was a gesture befitting the god of the underworld Kokdu, who is unfamiliar with the world of humans. I thought it was cute that Gye Jeol was not intimidated even in that situation. I find it memorable because it is such an intense first encounter between the two.
What is the most difficult aspect of playing your character in this drama?
Kim Jung Hyun: I tried to portray Kokdu’s expressions and gestures to be bigger than those of other characters. I am concerned about how viewers will react to this.
Im Soo Hyang: Since there are many scenes that go back and forth between historical backdrop and modern backdrop, we often had to travel to other regions of the country for filming, and we traveled long distances, there was not a lot of time. There were a lot of lines in each scene, but because there was little time, I had difficulties with memorizing them. I tried to memorize the lines while traveling or during breaks.
Besides your own, which “Kokdu: Season of Deity” character is your favorite?
Kim Jung Hyun: I have a soft spot for Gak Shin. She is like a mother, and I think she is a character who sincerely understands Kokdu.
Im Soo Hyang: My favorite character is Kokdu. Kokdu is cute, sexy, and has special powers, but he also hides secrets and pain inside. He is really a three-dimensional character to that extent. Because Kokdu has everything, he is a character that interests me as an actor. Of course, there is a lot that has to be expressed, so I also think that he would be more difficult to act out.
What were your first impressions of each other, and how have they changed??
Kim Jung Hyun: When I first met Im Soo Hyang, she was so bright that I thought that she really just Gye Jeol. We are currently filming the second half of the drama, but she still exudes her bright energy.
Im Soo Hyang: My first impression [of Kim Jung Hyun] and his current image are the same. Even when I first met him, he seemed to have a quiet and composed personality. As we’ve been filming together, I realized that it really is the way he is. He seemed to be careful and mature, and it has not changed between then and now.
Both being born in 1990, do you feel that there are any advantages of acting with someone of the same age?
Kim Jung Hyun: Not only because we’re of the same age, but I think we can communicate freely with each other thanks to Im Soo Hyang’s bright and relaxed personality.
Im Soo Hyang: Not only Kim Jung Hyun, but also many other cast members are of the same age or of similar age, so we are filming in a pleasant atmosphere. I think that sets of productions with many people of similar age are always filled with laughter. We are filming in a fun and friendly atmosphere.
Do you have your own way of getting close to your co-stars when you first join a new production?
Im Soo Hyang: I tend to approach them first and try talking to them a lot even if it’s just small talk. When I talk a lot [with people] on set, at a certain point, it seems to help create a cheerful atmosphere where everyone is encouraged.
What do you enjoy eating when you’re hungry on set?
Kim Jung Hyun: I think I drank a lot of ionic drinks.
Im Soo Hyang: I used to enjoy eating chips/crackers. There were a lot of snacks in the vehicle, but I’ve been refraining from eating them to avoid gaining too much weight. Instead, I’ve been eating a lot of tangerines, a major winter fruit.
What is your favorite season?
Kim Jung Hyun: It’s fall. Rather than extreme heat or cold, I think the moderate chilliness makes it a season that makes you miss the warmth of people just the right amount.
Im Soo Hyang: I like spring. I was born in spring, and I like it because it’s weather that’s not too cold or too hot. Throughout winter, it’s too cold, but I like that as it gets gradually warmer, you can feel the warm air unique to spring.
What is your TMI of the day?
Kim Jung Hyun: I went to get fitted for my press conference outfit today.
Im Soo Hyang: The day of this interview is the day we’re filming Kokdu and Gye Jeol’s kiss scene.
What is a personal goal you want to achieve in 2023? How about your goals as an actor?
Kim Jung Hyun: Currently, I am wishing for the “Kokdu: Season of Deity” team to wrap up filming in good health. My personal goal is to gradually and quietly carry out my projects diligently.
Im Soo Hyang: First of all, my goal is to wrap up “Kokdu: Season of Deity” well until the end and make it a fun production. I hope viewers enjoy it as much as we worked hard to film it. As an actress and as an individual, my goal this year is to become a stronger person. I hope this year becomes one in which I can have a diverse array of experiences.
Please say a word to Soompi readers who will be tuning in to “Kokdu: Season of Deity” from abroad!
Kim Jung Hyun: Hello. I’m happy to greet viewers in the New Year like this. Please spend the start of the new year with us. Happy New Year!
Im Soo Hyang: I wish our drama that can bring you happiness like an unexpected present that is like snow in midsummer. We are working hard on filming, so please anticipate the drama a lot. I hope you enjoy watching.
“Kokdu: Season of Deity” premieres on January 27 at 9:50 p.m. KST.
Watch a teaser below: