Park Hyung Sik and Jeon So Nee of “Our Blooming Youth” have chatted about their first impressions, why they enjoy acting, the meaning of love, and more with Elle Korea!

tvN’s “Our Blooming Youth” tells the love story of Lee Hwan, a crown prince suffering from a mysterious curse, and Min Jae Yi, a genius woman falsely accused of murdering her family. Park Hyung Sik stars as Lee Hwan, the prince who must clear Min Jae Yi’s name, while Jeon So Nee plays Min Jae Yi, the gifted woman who will remove Lee Hwan’s curse.

Comparing their first meeting to their relationship now, Jeon So Nee remarked, “In a good way, Hyung Sik is the same. When we first met, he was friendly, polite, and looked like he would definitely do what he had to do. That’s exactly how he was. When you film for close to a year, there are days you’re exhausted and days that don’t go as planned, but he’s never shown himself losing composure. I guess I could say he’s constant.”

In response, Park Hyung Sik joked that Jeon So Nee was a good friend and the actress replied that she was being honest. Park Hyung Sik then shared of his co-star, “So Nee looked blunt and aloof at first. I thought to myself, ‘Ah, this won’t be easy.'”

When Jeon So Nee asked if he was serious, the actor elaborated, “Because I didn’t know you then. But that didn’t go for long. Whenever we went back and forth with our lines, I kept discovering new sides. Ultimately, we quickly became close while sharing our thoughts and concerns with each other. Additionally, while it’s easy to meet people on set who are similar in age as you, it’s hard to meet someone who’s the same age. In addition to So Nee, this set has a lot of ’91-liners so it’s interesting and nice to see.”

In “Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth,” Park Hyung Sik portrayed King Sammaekjong, which is similar to his role as Crown Prince in “Our Blooming Youth.” Despite the potential similarities between the two characters, Park Hyung Sik touched on the differences, saying, “‘Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth’ is set in Silla, while ‘Our Blooming Youth’ is a Joseon Dynasty story, so the costumes are completely different. If you look at the characters’ positions, they seem similar at first glance, but they’re very different. If Sammaekjong is the process of growing with friends in a group called Hwarang, Lee Hwan is a bit more mature. I tried to unfold Lee Hwan by focusing on the things he had to protect and achieve as Crown Prince.”

An important part of Jeon So Nee’s role as Min Jae Yi is her dressing up as a man while running away from authorities. As this concept is adopted often in historical dramas, the actress was asked how her take on it differs from others. She responded, “To tell you honestly, I felt no pressure that this setup of a woman dressing as a man had to be different from other dramas. No matter the role, if you categorize it, you end up with no choice but to tie it up in one place. They can be restricted to their job, personality, or family situation. Fundamentally, when I take on a role, I have this greed that I have to do differently than if someone else were to do the role. So I’ve tried to differentiate myself as Min Jae Yi, not as a woman dressing as a man.”

On why they enjoy acting, Park Hyung Sik shared, “Acting is…fun. Meeting new characters and expressing new emotions. The opposing actor also always comes with a different energy and personality. There’s a different kind of novelty that comes from that conflict. Given that, I grow curious of what’s to come this time. Of course good results aren’t always created, but it’s the process itself that I like.”

After sharing earlier that her love of acting is what’s most important, Jeon So Nee elaborated, “I have a childlike love for acting. My seniors and colleagues say this to me. ‘You’re so fascinating. I can’t believe you still like acting that much.’ Because I kept hearing that, I wondered, ‘Is eventually growing to dislike it the decided order?'”

The actress added, “I felt really comforted after meeting Jang Hye Jin. I gained hope from watching her sincerely enjoy acting. I hope that I still find acting exciting 10 to 20 years later. And I wish to dwell on acting. I want to continue being swayed by acting. Since I feel this way, it’s nice to meet other actors who have similar energy. I guess I could say I feel a hope that anything can happen. The hope that since that person also likes acting, if I approach them and show affection, we’ll be able to do something together.”

When the interviewer asked about their “life themes” for 2023, Park Hyung Sik recalled a recent trip he went on. “It was my first time going on vacation solely for myself,” he said. “If I went somewhere, it was for a schedule and I’d stay a bit longer after finishing the schedule. While on this trip, I wondered why I had been living all this time without doing this and I began thinking that I had been a bit indifferent to myself. I thought that I now want to use my rest time for myself.”

Jeon So Nee explained, “These days, I have a lot of interest in experiences. Regarding things that I’ve personally seen, heard, and experienced. I suddenly wondered whether we were living while relying too heavily on the experiences of others. From restaurants, travel destinations, and even movies, we look up reviews then make our decisions. I think the desire to not fail is what makes us look things up beforehand, but I think that ultimately makes us live the same. I realize that I’m also used to living this kind of life. These days, I want to personally experience things, both good and bad. I really want things to wholeheartedly be my own experiences.”

Park Hyung Sik elaborated on Jeon So Nee’s thoughts, saying, “I was originally that kind of person. As an example, there was a time I went to Thailand with my ZE:A members and one of the dishes that came out was tom yum soup. Because it was unfamiliar, no one was going to try, but after I tried one big spoonful like a food tester, they all began to eat it. I am always like that. I’m the type to try something out, no matter what. I don’t like having regrets. I want to try it out and then judge.”

After sharing their thoughts on life, the two actors shared their thoughts on love. Park Hyung Sik commented, “It’s something you obviously have to do. Whether the object [of affection] is your pet, family, or lover, I think love is something that always has to be in your heart. With love, my family’s influence was really big. I grew up in a house where we said ‘I love you’ everyday. Even while on the phone with my older brother, we say ‘I love you~’ I don’t think I ever thought deeply about love. Because it’s a given. But as I grew older, I became aware of the stingy world and realized that love is not something that’s obviously by your side.”

Jeon So Nee continued, “You know how there’s the fear of potentially not receiving as much love as you’ve given? I was like that. I didn’t like feeling upset so I thought, ‘I will just give enough to feel okay if I do not get it back.’ But that instead made me calculative. Then, there came a time where I had a change of heart and thought, ‘Let’s just see how much love I can give.’ That’s how my calculations stopped and I learned what a happy thing it is to give. These days, I’m very happy. Because I’m giving that love to my family and friends.”

The interviewer’s last question was asking the actors what promise they’ve made to themselves for 2023. Both stars shared that they hadn’t made any promises, with Park Hyung Sik explaining, “Because I’m incredibly spontaneous. I also feel like a promise with myself would feel like shackles.” Jeon So Nee chimed in, “I’m not a spontaneous person and have to keep to my word, so I intentionally don’t make any kind of promise. So for me it’s ‘because I really hate not keeping my word.'” Park Hyung Sik added with a laugh, “For me it’s ‘because I won’t keep it anyway,’ I’ll just live diligently each day!”

Catch the actors’ full interview in the February issue of Elle Korea! Park Hyung Sik and Jeon So Nee’s new drama “Our Blooming Youth” premiered on February 6 and will air its next episode on February 7 at 8:50 p.m. KST.

Check out the first episode below!

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