Press conference for K-drama ‘The School Nurse Files’

Ahn Eun-young is a high school nurse. She may have an ordinary job and an unremarkable name but she lives in a strange, yet beautiful world, because she is gifted with a special ability — she can see a hidden world of colorful creatures called jellies. Everything that surrounds us creates jellies. They are created by the remnants of human desire. Jellies are unique in shape and personality. People who are haunted by contaminated jellies will have bad luck and misfortune.

Eun-young can see jellies and she defeats all kinds of them in battle. She hates herself for having this innate ability as her destiny. But this doesn’t stop her from using her shiny rainbow toy knife and gun to defeat contaminated jellies whenever they appear. But to everyone else, she just looks like a weirdo, flailing her arms and legs about at an invisible enemy.

One day Chinese Characters teacher In-pyo breaks the seal of the school basement, which had been locked for a long time. His curiosity unleashes hundreds of jellies at once, putting the school and students in grave danger. Even though Eun-young tries with all her might to protect the school from the jellies, this is beyond what she can handle.

Eun-young discovers she can recharge her powers through In-pyo’s special abilities. Eun-young then teams up with him — her personal power bank — to defeat the jellies. Ahn Eun-young continuously fights off jellies while receiving energy from In-pyo. Can she successfully defeat all of the jellies and restore peace at the school?

Q&A with the Casts, the Director & the Writer

From left : Nam Joo-hyuk, Writer Chung, Director Lee, Jung Yu-mi

Host : First, why don’t you say hello to the press joining us today.

Jung Yu-mi : Hello everyone. I am Jung Yu-mi, playing Ahn Eun-young in The School Nurse Files.

Nam Joo-hyuk : Hi everyone. I am Nam Joo-hyuk, playing the Chinese character teacher, Hong In-pyo in The School Nurse Files.

Director Lee : Hello everyone. I directed The School Nurse Files, I’m director Lee Kyoung-mi.

Writer Chung :  Hello everyone. I am Chung Se-rang, who wrote the original novel and participated in this screenplay.

Host : So, I’m curious to know this is indeed extremely new and fresh, and I think this is all because of The School Nurse Files. Director Lee, can you tell us a little bit about the series?

Director Lee : Yes, so this is a story about an ordinary name the school nurse, Ahn Eun-young. The school nurse has a unique ability that other people do not have. She is able to see these floating jelly and also have the power to defeat them. The school nurse Ahn Eun-young starts working in a new a school and she find a mysterious story behind the school, and along with teacher Hong In-pyo, she set about an adventure to find the truth behind the story.

Host : Now, the unique ability that Eun-young has, being able to see and fight away these jellies. What are these jellies?

Jung Yu-mi : So, what I first thought of being, the slime that is left behind when a snail travels. So, I felt like or I imagined that there must something that is left over from all living things. And I thought how it would be like in a world to live in such a world. That’s how all began.

Host : I see. That’s where this amazing story was created.  Now, it’s time to hear your version of your own character. Yu-mi, can you introduce your character to us?

Jung Yu-mi : Yes Ahn Eun-young, she has an ordinary name but she has an extraordinary ability to see these jellies and these things that other people cannot see. She is a school nurse and she starts working in a new school and she feels something mysterious there. So she carries a BB gun and a plastic sword with which she can defeat these jellies.  She is in constant battle with the jellies and also because she was born into a destiny of having to see things that other people cannot see, she has to fight them.

Host : How is character Hong In-pyo like?

Nam Joo-hyuk : My onscreen (character) is great! So, he is the grandson of the founder of the school and he actually has a unique aura that surrounds him. He is a Chinese character teacher and with that special protective aura, he could charge Ahn Eun-young’s power and he will be facing an amazing and incredible events that happened at the school. Hong In-pyo does something that unleashes a huge amount of jellies at the school. In partnership with Ahn Eun-young, he’s like a helper to Ahn Eun-young in fighting these events at school.

Host : Many, many fans around the world have really looked forward to the chemistry between the two of you. Not just the fans, but also the press of course! We all know Writer Chung Se-rang even way before these actors were cast, you have openly said on a podcast that you want Jung Yu-mi playing the role Ahn Eun-young. Is that true?

Writer Chung : Yes, definitely! She was just.. I meant it almost does the role was made for her, so I couldn’t get out of her off my head.

Host : How was it hearing they were cast?

Writer Chung : It was unreal! It was just a perfect duo, I couldn’t believe it. And even I saw it, I couldn’t believe it. Even seen them on screen today, I still couldn’t believe it.

Host : Yu-mi and Joo-hyuk, I’m sure you felt that the script is something that you’ve never seen before. How does it feel?

Jung Yu-mi : So, when I first approached the story itself, it indeed seems in a way very strange. But I love the way that it is so bubbly and quirky. And there were many subjects being dubbed within the story and I think I felt a lot of warmth in the story. When I was told that it would be made into live action, I really want to see how it was. I was very honored and thankful that they offered me the role. I want to make sure that the story was created in a way which touch the hearts of the audiences as much as the novel did to readers.

Nam Joo-hyuk : I think the subject matter itself for extremely new and fresh. Also, when I look at the character Hong In-pyo, I felt that I want to take on that challenge of really bringing back an interesting character to life. I also want to take the opportunity of working with Director Lee and I was really curious as to what kind of amazing story would be brought up to screen through these creators.

Host : Extremely difficult to bring the story to the screen. How was the process Director Lee?

Director Lee : Then reason when I decided to take on this project, I felt quite a burden because I was very well aware of the huge fanbase of the original novel  and I did not want to disappoint. I did not want to hear the readers says that these are not living up to their expectation, so I felt very much burden on my shoulders. But despite that heavy burden, I think it also helps me really enjoy the process because this the world that Writer Chung created is unlimited and boundless. I think the past, I only work with my own stories, but the series has helped me to realize a world that was created by another writer. So I was able to hop on and board another creator’s imagination and creativity and bring that to express and analyze that imagination. That process was new and extremely enjoyable.

Director Lee : When we’re creating the novel in the series, I thought about what should be prioritized and the jellies are what I decided to focus on. We tried to bring that aspect into the screen as much as possible.

Host : This story started as a short story and then it became a novel, and now it’s turning into the Netflix original series. I would like to ask how Writer Chung feels?

Writer Chung : So I’m a creator and the creator is a job who need to speak to the people at the present time. Now, I can talk to everyone around the world. This is such a unique and special experience and opportunity for me.

Host : It’s going to be sent out to the people around the world in over 190 countries, how do you feel?

Writer Chung :  This story about the kindness. So, please treat like your friend.

Host : Probably the fans are also curious about how the jellies came to life. You must have a lot of thought on how to bring it to life?

Director Lee : In the novel, they are called jellies. When I was bringing them onto the screen, I had a lot of thought about hot to make them convincing. And while looking into the jellies, I could understand that they have in fact, part of our culture from long time ago. So, I look at many novels and movies that tight with jellies and we had a lot of type of jelly creatures there and you are also quite familiar with many jelly type creatures from different culture content. So, I thought that I’m joining the genealogy of all the jelly type monsters. And I want to turn fact, make them more fun for the audiences. So, I actually added on some characters to the jellies.

Director Lee : I learnt this from research that there is SCP Foundation there in the world. I don’t even know if this is real or not, but this SCP Foundation is about the wild creatures that are in fact threatening the human life. There is private organization as far as I know, and they have in fact categorized different monsters or the creatures in the wildlife and they had in fact created a huge database on them. So, I got some hands from it.

Director Lee : Oh, these are the characters that human kind being in fact imagined, so, I checked the level of where it can be, and then I added on some more characteristics that will make them feel closer to the viewers. I added some aspects from the nature documentaries and the animal documentaries that we can easily see and I actually got some aspects of the beautiful creatures and some interesting creatures that I could see from those documentaries. These creatures are in fact in real life, but then, they are not exactly seen to the regular people in everyday life. In fact, they brought all the elements in and I made some adjustments to create something that are quite familiar, but yet very young familiar to the viewers.

Host : Yu-mi, we know that you said that you really want to do action in a film, and that has become The School Nurse Files. It was very offbeat and something quite extraordinary. What kind of preparation did you go through?

Jung Yu-mi : Well, to be frank, it was not what I was expected, not what I was dreaming when I was a child. I was thinking of different movies like Crouching Tiger or these movies that you see as a child growing up, make you want to do action on film. I met the character Eun-young, and it was completely a new kind of action that I got to experience. She taught me that this could also be an action, and I think that it’s just my destiny to start my active role with Ahn Eun-young and I decided to accept it.

Jung Yu-mi : It’s not something I could imagine easily, even though it was written in the script and we have the novel to read. When I was actually doing it, it was a little different from what I had dreamt of but once I got more comfortable and I got into the role, it could have seemed like it was a little awkward to other people, but for me, it just felt very meaningful and natural. That was amazing and it was a great opportunity and I am very happy to be able to start my first action with Ahn Eun-young.

Host : If Ahn Eun-young has a rainbow sword and a BB gun, Hong In-pyo, of course you have an amazing protective aura. So Joo-hyuk, many fans are asking where can we get a charger like Joo-hyuk? Where do we get it? Many fans reaching out saying please hold my hand, so we can recharge as well.. How does it feel to play such a special character?

Nam Joo-hyuk : I think, using my special ability, using your own special abilities and being able to help others, that’s really the feeling. On the normal day, the character spent his day like any other person, but when he gets to step up and be able to help someone, I think that’s when I feel the most satisfying  playing this character.

Host : Many people said they want a recharger just like you in every household. Everyone spend difficult days, especially these days in time like this. Can you please help recharge the press that is joining here today?

Nam Joo-hyuk : /stretch his hands and give hugs/ 

Host : Yu-mi, when you first heard that the readers of the novel want you to play the role of Ahn Eun-young, how did it feel?

Jung Yu-mi : I thought really amazing, I was very happy. As the novel is created in the drama series, the fact that I was cast as the main role and was able to bring her a life, I was very grateful for the experiences.

Host : You said that the character comforted you in a way. Can you explain and why was Ahn Eun-young comforted you?

Jung Yu-mi : As I was shooting the series and bringing the character Ahn Eun-young into life, there were many things that I enjoyed. On the physical side, there were many challenges for me personally. When I tried to stand in her shoes, and try to understand her, I felt empathy for her because she had to see all these things that are unseen to other people and I don’t think all of that was happy for her. I felt her loneliness. Despite all that, Ahn Eun-young accept her destiny and takes bold and bubbly steps to meet her destiny. Of course, what I had experienced and my personal life is very different from what she had experienced, I think its just help me in my life when I was faces with challenges I thought of Eun-young and how she fought through her destiny. I felt like she was a friend that I had in my life that comforted me.

Host : For Eun-young, In-pyo is a special person. How was the chemistry between you two on set and how did you feel on working with each other. Tell us a bit about your experiences.

Jung Yu-mi : Chemistry was amazing right?

Nam Joo-hyuk : Yes, we had amazing chemistry. Even when we were on hold, or  we were waiting to go into the scenes, we had many many conversations. So, when we started the shoot, we felt extremely comfortable with each other and I really think the chemistry is very special. The chemistry between Ahn Eun-young and Hong In-pyo, I personally think we brought that onto the screen.

Host : So, you got to know a lot about each other through these many conversations. How did you feel about each other? What kind of actor do you think the other person is?

Jung Yu-mi : I didn’t think that I would be able to work with Joo-hyuk on a series. I was very happy to have him as my partner. While working together, what I learnt from him was that he is very quick about his wits. Every time he was very quick in this creative aspect, that brings me to be very quick with my reaction. As an actor, that kind of chemistry really brought our characters together and we created a lot of synergy.

Host : How was it Joo-hyuk?

Nam Joo-hyuk : I thought was the other way around. Because I was able to create a lot more synergy because of her. All I did was, followed her lead and at the end of following her lead, I think we were able to create amazing synergy. You know, it’s almost like as she carried me on her back.

Host : Joo-hyuk, you are the human power bank and the human form of super charger. This is quite intriguing. You are not fighting yourself, but then you are giving energy to the fighter. As an actor who is being loved so much, must be a really unique experience. Please tell us about how you feel about taking this role.

Nam Joo-hyuk : My energy is recognized by someone else and then, that energy can be transferred to the other person so that it will help that person. I think this is really a powerful experience. I meant, I can help the other person and the other person can in fact get another step out thanks to me. That is really a special experience. So, this character Hong In-pyo didn’t know really much about himself, but then after he realizes that he  actually can be the power of the other person, he is in fact developing into the other kind of person. This is a special kind of development of a character and I think it is really unique and special thing that you can be a power for someone else.

Host : Could you share with us, who or what in your real life would be the power bank of yours? What gives you the energy?

Jung Yu-mi : Maybe healthy food? That is very important! And people that I loved very much! So, these are the things and people that would recharge me.

Nam Joo-hyuk : People that I loved, of course! And healthy food.. and delicious food.. and relaxing.. doing nothing!

Host : Before we wrap up, can you say a few words to the press who joining us today.

Jung Yu-mi : After a year we finished shooting, finally we got to release The School Nurse Files on September 25th! I am so excited! And after you watched the series of Ahn Eun-young, I really hope that you will be comforted by Eun-young and In-pyo and I hope they will become your friends.

Nam Joo-hyuk : Six episodes with diverse stories and the will give you a different type of fun! So, just wait a kittle bit, and then you will be able to watch The School Nurse Files on September 25th. Thank you.

Director Lee : To be able to have audiences from all over the world to see something we created, I feel like I cannot be any luckier. I feel extremely grateful and we will give you The School Nurse Files tomorrow (September 25th). We hope you look forward to see it. Thank you.

Writer Chung : The story is a story that can act for people who are lonely. So I hope you can treat it as delicate living things. We’ll see you tomorrow (September 25th). Thank you.

👩🏻‍⚕️ Catch The School Nurse Files on Netflix September 25!🐋🐙

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