'Call It Love' actors says slow pace of drama sets it apart
The two leads of Disney ’s drama “Call It Love” — Lee Sung-kyung and Kim Young-kwang — believe that the slow pacing and overall gloomy mood of the series help distinguish the show from a plethora of others.
With only two episodes left to be released on Wednesday, the two actors met with a handful of local reporters on Monday to talk about nothing more than love.
“Call It Love,” a Disney original drama released earlier this year, saw a sluggish performance on streaming service rankings, falling behind other hits such as “The Glory” and “Big Bet,” but has gained a following among smaller groups of audiences who the actors believe are "those who love to talk about love."
The drama series revolves around two people downtrodden by life — Shim Woo-joo, played by Lee, and Han Dong-jin, played by Kim. Woo-joo and Dong-jin are unlikely people to fall in love with each other and the central plot of “Call It Love” is about whether the two’s relationship is actually based on love.
“I think our drama is a different kind of drama than others out there,” said Lee. “Some have pointed out that ‘Call It Love’ is very slowly paced, and that may not appeal to some viewers. But I think that the pacing and the distinct mood of our series are what make ‘Call It Love’ special. And we needed those elements to tell this story of two people who are very lonely and have almost given up on the concept of love.”
The characters of Woo-joo and Dong-jin are types that you do not normally see in Korean dramas, with especially Dong-jin being a bleak sort of person, according to Kim.
“My character has this sadness and hollowness to him that is not so frequently depicted in dramas,” said Kim during another roundtable interview with local reporters on Monday. “And I do not think that I completely identify with that, but I also think that everyone has a fundamental loneliness to them. We are all lonely to some degree or depth. So I tried to express that kind of sadness and hollowness in Dong-jin.”
Lee and Kim felt a kind of liberation in being able to portray emotionally complex protagonists without much restrictions from the director, according to the actors.
“I do not think I have ever displayed or shown so much emotion as I did while playing Woo-joo, said Lee. “The director gave us a lot of freedom to choose how to play our characters, and that helped in bringing out those emotions that we wanted to depict.”
The actors said filming “Call It Love” gave them a sense of liberation and freedom of expression in acting, due in large part to the "trust" they have in director Lee.
Kim agreed that director Lee allowed the actors to make a lot of choices and let them express the characters’ feelings more naturally.
“The director and also our cinematographer did such a good job with taking what we did in acting and depicting that authentically on screen,” said Kim. “I would just be standing with my back to the camera and somehow that would get translated to a melancholy shot in the drama. It was thanks to the director and cinematographer that I could act comfortably as Dong-jin.”
Regarding the question of whether the relationship between the two characters Woo-joo and Dong-jin is really love, Lee and Kim gave different yet similar answers.
“I think there must be such a kind of love somewhere in this world,” said Lee. “Some people may not understand that such a love exists, but it could be love, something that started from alternative intentions but slowly developed into that raw feeling.”
“I would say that we need to understand everyone is different,” said Kim. “We cannot understand everyone else and so we cannot understand all different kinds of love out there. I think it depends. It depends on each viewer to interpret whether the two protagonists’ feelings are love, or sympathy, or an emotion resulting from loneliness, or something else.”
The last two episodes of “Call It Love” will be released on Disney+ on Wednesday.
BY LIM JEONG-WON [firstname.lastname@example.org]