Everything to watch in Netflix’s Korean revenge drama ‘My Name’

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Shortly after the phenomenal success of Squid Game, Netflix is unleashing another K-drama that’s out to give you some thrills and chills.

This new series is My Name, a gritty thriller about a revenge-driven woman named Yoon Ji-woo, who throws away her identity and joins a crime ring to find the policeman who killed her father.

It stars Hallyu sweetheart Han So-hee as Ji-woo, along with actors Park Hee-soon and Ahn Bo-hyun, among others. It is written by Kim Ba-da and directed by Kim Jin-min, who has previously teamed up with Netflix for the crime series Extracurricular that premiered last year. 

My Name’s exciting storyline sure is one to watch for when it premieres on October 15. During the show’s virtual press con on October 5, though, the cast revealed to Speed and other members of the press that the series offers much more than that.

Check out all the reasons why you should start binge-watching My Name when it drops this Friday on Netflix.

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Different side of Han So-hee

My Name lead star Han So-hee has been loved by fans for her angelic face and charming aura. She captivated them, even more, when she portrayed the mistress Yeo Da-kyung in The World of the Married and arts major Yoo Na-bi in Nevertheless. My Name will then show a drastically different side of the actress, which fans have never seen before.

So-hee revealed portraying the character of Ji-Woo was challenging, given that she would also have to let her actions—punches, high-kicks, and whatnots—do much of the talking. Still, that did not stop her from doing her best in showing Ji-woo’s never-say-die attitude.

“In expressing my character, of course there’s a lot that goes into it, like the character’s appearance, the lines, and something that you do with your body that tells the story through it,” So-hee said during the press con. “As Director Kim said, the sole mission of my character is revenge. And her determination was something I could feel off the pages of the script.”

“I feel for her [and] at the same time, I admire the determination and the strength that she carries,” So-hee added.

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Women empowerment

With the likes of the hit Korean series Vincenzo, it’s not hard to tell that South Korean action dramas (or shows around the globe in general) tend to center their crime-filled plot on male characters. My Name proves to be an exciting show, with a woman doing what some think only men could.

“Dark noir is very macho and a mens’ world,” said Park Hee-soon. “When I read the script for My Name, I thought it was very original because the main character is female,” he continued. “All of those complex emotions that come from unfolding her story, as well as the dynamic characters we see, I could feel the passion and heat in that story.”

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Emotional and realistic action

It was revealed during the press con that as My Name’s lead star, So-hee had to start training for her action scenes one month ahead of the entire cast. The actress and the rest of the group had to undergo intense training—with So-hee even gaining as much as 10 kilograms of muscle—in order to make the scenes more true-to-life.

“Our action doesn’t rely much on wires or computer graphics. It was very emotionally charged, so I would call it emotional and real action,” said Hee-soon.

“I really wanted the action to be realistic and I emphasized this to the martial arts director,” Director Kim added. “Because there is a lot of action, there needs to be some variety. All of the actors here besides Kim Sang-ho had action scenes with So-hee, and I didn’t want viewers to feel like they were seeing something for the second or third time. What I wanted to highlight was that it should be a realistic action since she’s an undercover [agent].”

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Distinguished actors

Apart from So-hee, My Name features a roster of award-winning talents, including Hee-soon, who was named Best Actor by various award-giving bodies in the past. He is once again showcasing his acting prowess as the hotel CEO-slash-drug cartel boss named Choo Moo-jin in My Name.

Hee-soon explains, “Moo-jin is the head of the Dongcheon cartel and he’s also the CEO of a hotel. When he meets his friend’s daughter who wants to avenge her father’s death, he accepts her and lets her join his cartel. When he trusts someone, he trusts them completely. However, he has a chilling charisma in that he will not give anyone a second chance.”

Hee-soon added that one of Moo-jin’s key attributes is his “chilling charisma.” And he was able to pull it off with a simple strategy — “doing nothing.”

The actor elaborated, “The position of the boss of the organization, there’s a lot of weight that comes with [it]. So instead of doing other gimmicks to express that character, I tried to just convey that weight in the position of the character — I trusted all our glam team for all of the makeup, the outer appearances. I have complete trust in them so when I walk out of the room, I know I’m already that boss.”

Joining the promising cast is another award-winning actor—Kim Sang-ho—who plays Cha Gi-ho, the archenemy of Hee-soon’s Moo-jin.

“Gi-ho is the team leader of the drug investigation unit,” said Sang-ho. “Catching the head of a drug cartel is different from dealing with other criminals. You have to be really strategic, you have to pull in some fake moves, and you have to have a good ace like (Ahn) Bo-hyun. In the series, I’m the mastermind behind strategies. So I actually had a lot of brain action going on.”

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So-hee and Bo-hyun team-up

While Director Kim did not mention if My Name dabbles in romance, the fact that it cast K-drama fan favorites So-hee and Bo-hyun as partners-in-crime hints that something good is coming—kilig-inducing or not.

Bo-hyun will star alongside So-hee as police detective Jeon Pil-do, who becomes Ji-woo’s partner when she joins the drug detective unit.

The actor explains, “Jeon Pil-do is an ace detective in the drug investigation team. He’s dissatisfied with Yoon Ji-woo because she ruined the investigation that he had been painstakingly pursuing for a long time. However, he soon partners up with her and conducts investigations with his own convictions and principles.”

When asked about his experience working with So-hee, Bo-hyun fessed up being impressed by her passion for work.

“I met Han So-hee for the first time at action school instead of at the script reading,” Bo-hyun recounted. “I saw her training really hard and breaking a sweat. I was so impressed by that because she was so passionate.”

So-hee likewise commended her partner for his support on-set: “I saw his previous dramas and I really enjoyed them. I was partly afraid of him due to his scary character in the past. He helped me focus a lot and he gave me and (Chang) Ryul a lot of advice.”

Catch a glimpse of My Name’s breathtaking action in the trailer below.

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