South Korean actor June Hae-in, star of the Netflix series “Something in the Rain” talks about how landing the role has changed his life
Already a hot favourite thanks to his role in the Netflix series “Something in the Rain”, South Korean actor Jung Hae-in was in Thailand last Saturday for a sold-out fan meeting at the 800-seat Ultra Arena at Show DC. Not one to waste an opportunity, Netflix quickly organised an interview for him with the press on Sunday morning at the Grand Centre Point Hotel on Soi Thonglor.
The boyish 31-year-old, who is rising fast on the ladder of K drama, has won fans with his sweet smile. He’s modest about it too, shedding a tear when fans at the meet and greet showed him a video clip of how they followed his work while waiting for him to come to Bangkok.
“It was very moving. I received great love from the Thai fans. I really want to come back again with another great project to be able to return all the love that I’ve received. Thais have such beautiful smiles,” says the actor, adding that he came to Thailand with his parents when he was very young but couldn’t remember much about it and on this occasion, he’s been too busy to visit the country properly.
Jung began his career when he was 26, which is late for an actor. Although he only had minor roles at first, he quickly gained recognition for his work in such dramas as “Blood”, “Goblin” and especially 2017’s “While You Were Sleeping”, in which he stole the limelight from the protagonists Lee Jongsok and Bae Suzy. His first lead role came in “Something in the Rain’ in which he co-stars with Korean superstar Son Yaejin. Jung plays Seo Joon-hee, a game designer in his early 30s who has just come back from working in the US. He falls in love with his elder sister’s best friend Yoon Jinah (Son Yaej-in) but the age gap as well as his occupation become an obstacle to winning acceptance from both their families.
The series was first aired on the JTBC TV channel in Korea before Netflix brought it to an international audience. Korean dramas rarely feature romances between a young man and an older woman but the chemistry between the couple quickly turned the series into a major hit.
Son is older than Jung in real life and has more experience in TV dramas. The actor admits he was so nervous when they first met, he couldn’t make eye contact with her. That changed in front of the cameras and the two found a chemistry that had the fans going wild.
“From my experience, the most important thing in a drama is trust. It’s hard to find at first but once there is complete trust, your reactions, your movements and the way you speak come naturally,” explains the actor.
“I think the series has done well outside Korea because it’s about love and everyone can relate to that. I also believe that the soundtrack had a lot to do with it as well,” he says.
Jettisoned into the spotlight, Jung has now become a much sought-after model and a presenter for many products. He earned the Most Popular Actor prize at the recent Baek-Sang Arts Awards and set off on a fan meeting tour that started in Taipei and will also take him to Hong Kong and Manila.
The actor admits that the 16-episode series has been very positive for his career. “As the main character, I quickly learned how to approach the role and carry it through the entire drama. The experience will definitely stand me in good stead,” he says, adding that while they are some similarities between the man he plays and the man he is in real life, there are also many differences.
“Seo is very mature and very serious, traits which I also share. But I’m not as funny and witty as he is, probably because he’s studied abroad and is freer.”
The success of “Something” has changed his life. “A lot of people recognise me and are cheering me, which is great, but there are also a lot of expectations for my next drama or for my next project. That gives me a sense of responsibility about being able to carry the weight of a leading role,” he adds.
“I want to be recognised as someone who delivers joy and happiness to the audience, so they can escape from the burdens of their daily life while they’re watching. That’s what being an actor is all about.”