Netflix series 'Somebody' centers on the deadly side of dating apps
Director Jung Ji-woo, who is behind Netflix Korea’s upcoming original series “Somebody,” brings two unlikely genres together through a tale of a serial killer who murders women he meets on a dating app, but ironically makes a connection with the app's developer.
“Maybe it can be labeled as a thriller, but deep, deep down, I believe I created an uncanny love story, which is about people’s desire to communicate and hope to find a person who sees through them,” Jung said at a press event to promote the series at the Konkuk University Entrance branch of Lotte Cinema in eastern Seoul, Tuesday.
Kim Young-kwang portrays successful architect-turned-serial killer Sung Yoon-oh. Due to his attractive physique, he has no issues when is comes to being approached by women, but within him, he is filled with hatred for people and full of twisted desires.
Kim, who is well-known for his appearances in rom-coms, goes through a drastic transition in “Somebody.”
“When he was a protagonist in a rom-com, he had an image of someone trustworthy,” Jung commented. “Regardless of genres, I think it’s very difficult to possess this mask of making someone feel that they can depend on you. So I wanted to work with Kim, and the actor himself wanted to challenge himself [...] so it was the perfect match.”
Rookie actor Kang Hae-rim portrays eccentric app developer Kim Seom, who feels that she doesn’t “quite fit” with the rest of the world until she finds a “connection” with Yoon-oh.
Kang beat out some 600 hopefuls for the role.
Jung described her character as "a one-of-a-kind person.”
“It’s not so much as that she is strange, but I wanted to find an actor who could completely maintain her distinct originality, and I believed that Kang was the one. So during character development, I tried to input as much of Kang’s opinions and thoughts into her character.”
Jung is especially well-known for his knack of discovering new faces, such as Kim Go-eun in the film “Eungyo” (2012).
“Somebody” is Jung’s first attempt at a drama series and his first project with Netflix. According to Jung, his chance to work with Netflix was a gateway for him to work with fresh faces such as Kang, Kim Yong-ji and Kim Su-yeon. The latter two portray friends of Kim Seom who become intertwined with Yoon-oh.
“It’s very a tempting offer, to continue to find adequate actors who fit perfectly with their roles,” Jung said. “So it’s very hard to stop.
“I have Netflix to thank for that,” Jung said. “It’s not everyday that I get to have time to get to know the actors and cast them accordingly, especially for films. In a series, I had the chance to do that and that’s how I could work with shining rookies.”
The series, although fictitious, draws on real cyber crimes, as Yoon-oh finds his victims through a dating app.
“I believe that romantic stories completely changed after the cellphone was invented,” Jung said. “Because the process of how a person meets another person continues to change. Now, I believe that more original and new stories will continue to be created as people naturally form relationships with each other through social media or apps.”
"Somebody" will be released worldwide on Netflix this Friday.
BY LEE JAE-LIM [email@example.com]