[Interview] Jung Yu-mi and Nam Joo-hyuk talked about The School Nurse Files

The School Nurse Files tells a story about Ahn Eun-young who 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?

 

“I wanted to see what I could do in this bizarre world of jellies”

Ahn Eun-young

A high school nurse with an ordinary name and an ordinary job. Her hair is cut in a tidy bob; she wears a bored look on her face; and her mouth is set in a prim line. She seems ordinary in every way — name, job and appearance. But she has extraordinary powers that allow her to see ‘jellies’ that are invisible to everyone else. These jellies are the residue of desires people carry around with them, and Eun-young fights them with colorful plastic bullets and a rainbow-colored toy knife. Please excuse her if you spot her moving around in awkward, wonky ways. She’s fighting jellies at that very
moment, and fighting her destiny as well!

Jung Yu-mi

A seasoned actress of incomparable charm

The lovely Jung Yu-mi — star of the movies K im Ji-Young: Born 1982 and T rain to Busan, and the series L ive and D iscovery of Love — showcases her skills in a new world of whimsical fantasy. She is an actress known for her delicate yet spunky charm and compelling acting skills, which are what make her so relatable in her films and series. Ahn Eun-young is at times fed up with her own powers. She’ll never be thanked for it, she never wanted it in the first place, and it leads her to often be mistaken for a weirdo. Despite all this, she finds herself having to use them yet again.

Jung Yu-mi seems to be extra affectionate when it comes to Eun-young. “She’s quirky but tough. She appears brusque but in fact is very loving. She lets viewers know she doesn’t enjoy what she does, but she drudges on, fighting the jellies. She is gruff on the outside but soft on the inside, which makes her really fascinating.” As director Lee Kyoung-mi stated, Jung Yu-mi is “the exact embodiment of Ahn Eun-young.” The author of the original novel, Chung Se-rang, and its readers reportedly had their hearts set on Jung Yu-mi for the lead role. Now that Jung has been chosen to bring Eun-young to life, we can once again look forward to her unmatched acting and limitless character adaptability.

Interview with Jung Yu-mi

Q : Is there a reason you chose T he School Nurse Files ?

The synopsis was fascinating. The story was really new and exciting to me, and I started wondering how I’d reflect that in my acting. Also, I liked how different episodes merged into one big storyline.

Q : When you first read the script, what were your initial impressions about the work and the character of Ahn Eun-young?

When I first encountered the character, I thought, ‘Oh, she’s so quirky and eccentric.’ But after I read more, I started to feel sorry for her, and once I began playing her, I found myself comforted by her. Usually, I pick characters who console audiences, but for some reason, with this character, I found myself being comforted by her. The whole time I was acting I hoped viewers would feel the consolation she offers.

Q : Can you describe the character of Ahn Eun-young for us?

Eun-young is a school nurse at a high school. She has special powers that allow her to see things others can’t. She’s quirky but tough. She appears brusque but in fact is very loving. She lets viewers know she doesn’t enjoy what she does, but she drudges on fighting the jellies. She is gruff on the outside but soft on the inside, which makes her really fascinating.

Q : How was working with director Lee Kyoung-mi?

I’ve always wanted a chance to work with her. I relied on her so much throughout the shoot for T he School Nurse Files , and all her directions were great. I was so happy to experience the synergy that came from working with director Lee on this show.

Q : How do you feel about T he School Nurse Files being simultaneously released to 190 countries around the world?

There are so many fantastic shows nowadays, and I’m thinking we are going to join them. I’m so curious to see how audiences will react to the show. I believe people are all quite similar at heart, so I’m sure audiences all around the world will find that they can relate to the series. But I’m also looking forward to giving them something new and uniquely Korean.

 

“I wonder what it’s like to be a teacher”

Hong In-pyo

Grandson of the school founder and a Chinese Characters teacher who is surrounded by a special energy. He is a meticulously dressed man who has pure and beautiful energy. But one day he opens up something nobody has touched in a very long time, causing jellies to flood the school and forcing Eun-young to fight them. Sometimes, In-pyo holds hands with
Eun-young, but do not take this the wrong way. He is simply playing the role of charger, replenishing Eun-young powers through his own special energy.

Nam Joo-hyuk

From young icon to established actor

Nam Joo-hyuk — star of T he Great Battle and the TV series T he Light in Your Eyes and Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo — tackles performances that range from teenage heartthrob to deeply moving and sophisticated adult roles. Now, he is taking on Chinese Characters teacher Hong In-pyo, who is able to charge Ahn Eun-young’s magical abilities by holding her hand. In-pyo may appear inattentive or distracted, but he is actually a benevolent, inquisitive soul. Unfortunately, he is also the one who accidentally breaks a mysterious seal in the school basement and releases the jellies.

Speaking on In-pyo, Nam says, “He’s a kind of healer for Eun-young. He may appear aloof, but he is curious about everything.” Director Lee Kyoung-mi, who had seen Nam in T he Great Battle , which won the actor the 39th Blue Dragon Award, the 39th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards, among others, commented that “viewers will be quite surprised by how much charm Nam Joo-hyuk brings to the character of In-pyo.” Jung Yu-mi adds, “He’s an actor I’ve always wanted to meet. He was so trustworthy throughout the entire shoot, and he is such a quick thinker that it pushed me to do better on set.” Just how will Nam transform for his newest character, Hong In-pyo?

Interview with Nam Joo-hyuk

Q : Is there a reason you chose T he School Nurse Files?

It was such a new concept, and the jelly monsters really piqued my interest. The character
of Hong In-pyo came across as very engaging. And all the problems I got to solve with Ahn
Eun-young the school nurse greatly appealed to me.

Q : Can you describe the character of Hong In-pyo for me?

Hong In-pyo teaches Chinese Characters at a school his grandfather left to him after he
passed away. He is surrounded by an immense, protective force. So, when Eun-young is
solving the school’s problems he’s always right there beside her, charging her with his energy. He’s a kind of healer for Eun-young. He may appear aloof, but he is curious about
everything. Because he’s never had people around him before, he becomes really talkative
whenever he crosses paths with Eun-young. That was really intriguing for me.

Q : What are the transformations In-pyo goes through after meeting Eun-young?

In-pyo is an ordinary guy who meets someone extraordinary then realizes he himself is
extraordinary. In the course of solving cases with Eun-young, he learns new things about
himself and matures. I start the character from an ordinary person’s point of view, then I
show the audience more diverse aspects.

Q : How was working with the director, Lee Kyoung-mi?

I have always wanted to work with her, so when she asked me to join the show, I accepted
right away. On set, she is always on her feet. I don’t think I ever saw her sit down. She is
such a cool person.

Q : How do you feel about T he School Nurse Files being simultaneously released in 190 countries around the world?

I am really looking forward to it. I’m so excited, but it makes me nervous as well. It makes
me so tense to think it will be streaming worldwide!

 

Title : The School Nurse Files
Original Novel : The School Nurse Files by Chung Se-rang
Director : Lee Kyoung-mi
Screenplay : Chung Se-rang, Lee Kyoung-mi
Cast : Jung Yu-mi, Nam Joo-Hyuk, Moon So-ri (special appearance)
Producer : Park Seong-hye (Keyeast)
Created by : Kim Hyun-jung (Yeonghwasa Binnaneun Jeguk), Shin Yeon-ju
Distributed by : Netflix
Release Date : September 25, 2020

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