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Interview with Grid’s Casts, Lee Si-young and Kim Sung-kyun

“Grid” is a Disney+ Hotstar original mystery-tracking thriller drama that follows the story between a police officer and a detective who uncover the truth about the mysterious existence that saved mankind in a crisis.

Lee Si-Young plays the mysterious Ghost who saved humankind and then disappeared without trace. She reappears 24 years later, just to aid in a serial killer’s escape.

Kim Sung-Kyun plays Kim Ma-Nok, the serial killer who is curious about the reasons the Ghost reappeared just to help him escape.

Check out our interview with Lee Si-young and Kim Sung-kyun below:

1. How did you fell when you read the script? Did you know the whole story before you started shooting or were you kept guessing about the ending?

Kim Sung-kyun: I gotta tell you, the world that has been built for this series was just amazing and it was very interesting to watch. Everything that what was imagined, was very exciting. I was constantly curious about what’s going to happen while I was working on this. There was always big discussion and debate over what this means, especially because there’s always room for different takes and interpretation.

It was so interesting because that gave a lot of room for our director on how he could direct the actors. Even the actors themselves have a lot of different approaches in terms of how to bring the character to life. So that was a very interesting process.

Lee Si-young: I’m a big fan of this writer’s previous works, and when I first found out about this project, I was looking forward to seeing the Sci-Fi series written by Soo-Yeon. When I read it, it was just a perfect script to say the least, and I was very much moved by it.

In every scene, I could definitely imagine everything right in front of my eyes and I would say, you know, how amazing it would be if each scene that’s written on the script is realised on screen.

I was so moved, and I was so thankful that I’m part of this project. And as he said, the world that was built is larger than you or I could ever imagine. The series is 10 episodes, but it has so much more behind what’s seen on screen. There’s so much background information, background stories, and a lot of room for different takes and interpretations, which we found out through our discussion with the writer herself. And with so much more that’s behind it, it’s large enough to go for 50-100 episodes I would say.

We had that golden chance to find out more about the background story and that was one of the reasons why I felt that I was riding this roller coaster that took turns unexpectedly around every corner.

2. Lee Si-young, you play the role of The Ghost and it’s supposed to be this mysterious being, so how did you prepare yourself for the character as realistically as possible?

Lee Si-young: Well, it was important for me to understand The Ghost that was written by the writer.  Her intention and her description.

I was able to have deep discussion with the writer. It helped me understand the character thanks to all the explanation and discussion with her. But there was one thing I was struggling with about The Ghost. Because The Ghost is not just about mystery, there’s something bright about this character too. And whenever this character encounters something that she likes, she brightens up so quickly – I struggled to portray that side of her. I overcame all of this all thanks to the help of the writer and director because I kept on discussing with the writer before shooting, after shooting, during the shooting – so I was able to do that all thanks to the help of the writer and the great director

 3. Kim Sung-kyun: you play the role of a murderer, how did you prepare yourself to play that role?

Kim Sung-kyun: The murderer that I play, his name is Ma Nok and to me he was just a wild animal. My approach to the character was like this is – you know how animals in the wild, they completely depend upon their instincts to survive in the wilderness. And you wouldn’t call a wild lion eating a rabbit to survive, ‘evil’ right? Because it’s just nature out in the wild.

But here, just because Ma Nok is a human being, now he is tagged as an evil person. He is just a person without a home, with no friends, he just roams the streets and he’s the lone wolf who has learned how to survive by completely depending upon his survival instincts. And sometimes, you know how an animal would defend itself because of the fear that it feels whenever he encounters something that he doesn’t understand? That was the image that I had in my mind when I was playing this role.

4. What was the most unforgettable experience during the filming process?

Lee Si-Young: I would say my first shoot was the most memorable experience of this series because it was the closing scene of episode one. It was the first encounter between The Ghost and A-Joong’s character. There are not many encounters between these characters, and this was definitely the most important one.

Since it was my first shoot and the scene was so crucial to the narrative, we spent all night filming. Everybody worked so hard on this. The camera that they used for this scene is very special, I’ve never seen that camera before, so I have this fond and quite striking memory of that first shoot.

Kim Sung-kyun: Well, Si-young is sitting right next to me but I gotta tell you, I remember how she, or you know, the character Ghost was looking at me. The way she looked at me was so memorable because it was quite confusing. And of course, as a murderer, I commit a crime and then just all of a sudden, someone that I don’t know appears out of the blue and helps me.

But then, the way she looks at me is not friendly at all. It’s clear that she hates me, she doesn’t like me at all. But there’s something more and there’s something mysterious about how she looks at me. And I think this boosts the whole mysterious and enigmatic nature of the scene too.

5. Lee Si-young the production staff actually described that when you were on set, you were so immersed in your character that it was actually a little frightening. Can you share with how you got so immersed in the character of the Ghost?

Lee Si-Young: I have to be honest with you, I was very nervous about taking on this role. It’s not a big role per say, but it carries a lot of weight and it holds the key to the mystery. It was a perfect script so I felt even more pressured by it. That is why I relied on the director’s direction and consulted with him a lot. I usually don’t watch the monitor right after I shoot but this time was different. I was very much involved in the monitoring process and sometimes I say, “I’m very sorry but I want to do it again. Let’s retake.” I had this deep desire to bring about the best in me. I wanted to do it so well. The role was really made for me and I wanted to do it justice, so it was a nerve-wracking process.

6. Kim Sung-kyun, we love your comedic roles in “The Reply” series and the “Fiery Priest”. Do you prefer playing such comedic roles or a very dark and serious one like The Grid?

Kim Sung-kyun: I’m just really thankful that I’m given the opportunity to work in comedy and also in a serious genre, mystery-thriller genre like this as a villain. It’s just amazing that I’m given the opportunity to be so versatile in that sense. It’s a lot of fun to go back and forth between comedy and the other genres, so I won’t actually say I’m going to stick with comedy or stick with this genre only.

I’m very thankful for this opportunity and I always give my all when the chance is given to me.

I don’t know if you are familiar with Korean public bathing culture – when you go there, there’s a cold bath and hot bath, and it’s a lot of fun when you go jump between the cold bath and then right after the cold water, you go into the hot water and you go back and forth like that – it’s a lot of fun. I would describe what I’m feeling right now as that.

You should try it because it’s good for your blood circulation and you can relieve your stress. And acting is like that, it’s a lot of fun.

7. Lee Si-young, you have participated in several action dramas, including Grid, do you enjoy it, or would you like to star in other types of drama?

Lee Si-Young: Action scenes are always fun. It’s more fun every time I try it and I find myself being able to do more things whenever I try it. I filmed some of my action moves in The Grid too and am just thankful that I’m given the opportunity to be a part of the action dramas that I love so much.

I’m also a fan of comedy and sitcoms so it’d be great if I can also star in one of those light-hearted, delightful and funny comedies or sitcoms.

8. Kim Sung-kyun, in the first episode you scaled a building – could you tell us how you felt behind the scenes? Were you afraid?

Kim Sung-kyun: Well, Si-young said she enjoys action scenes so much but that’s not the case for me. The more I try it, the more difficult it becomes for me to pull it off. The scene that you were referring to is a wire action scene. Since I am afraid of heights, it was even more challenging.

I did my best to pull it off, but it was still very difficult and that got me thinking about how I should care for my body and train myself to be able to do those scenes. I have great respect for Si-young and other actors who are always keen on their body performance and always manage themselves so well to be able to pull off those action scenes.

9. What should the audience look forward to in this series? Is there anything you would like to say to fans?

Lee Si-Young: Yes, the story is not so simple so I would say twist and turns would be two words to describe The Grid because what you see is not everything. There is so much that’s hidden behind what you can see on the big screen, and you’d definitely be able to empathise with my character because she had a very tough life.

For the fans, I would say if you’re a fan of a genre with a big universe, then Grid will be a good choice for you, and you will not regret it.

Kim Sung-kyun: I would describe the Grid as a closed treasure trove. It will keep you curious about what’s inside. What you’ll find will be amazing so it’s a treasure trove for everybody.

And for the fans, I would say let us meet each other in the world of Grid and let’s go on an exciting roller coaster ride together.

That’s the end of the interview session. Don’t forget to stream Grid on Disney+ Hotstar.

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