Park In-Hwan, Na Moon-Hee, Song Kang & Hong Seung Hee Share Heartwarming Experience from 'Navillera'

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

A stellar cast of seasoned acting greats and fresh rising stars has been assembled for Netflix upcoming webtoon based drama, 'Navillera' which is set to release on 22 March. Directed by Han Dong-hwa, the 12-episode drama talks about Deok-Chul, a retired postman who seeks to fulfil his lifelong dream of becoming a ballet dancer at the age of 70 and Chae-rok, a young man who has a unique talent for ballet but realizes his talent fairly late compared to his peers. Chae-rok’s life unexpectedly changes as he becomes a ballet mentor to the 70-year-old grandpa.

Earlier today, director Han Dong-hwa and the main cast Park In-Hwan, Na Moon-Hee, Song Kang and Hong Seung Hee caught up with the press and talked about the highly acclaimed webtoon drama, 'Navillera'. 

Q: Tell us more about the drama.

Director Han Dong-hwa: Navillera is a drama about people who go through difficulties in their lives while in search of their dreams. Shim Deok-chul, who has taken care of his family his whole life, meets ballerino Lee Chae-rok who is lost and has a lot of pain in his life. They have an intriguing bromance and great chemistry.

Q: Tell us about your characters in Navillera.

Park In-Hwan: I play the role of a man who dares to follow his dream at the age of 70. I saw the original webtoon and it was extremely entertaining and very inspiring. 

Song Kang: I think my character, Chae-rok, has a pure and warm heart but people may misunderstand him because of his reserved personality. In that sense we share some similarities because I also feel like I’m like that. Meeting Deok-chul really brings out Chae-rok’s big heart and amplifies it. 

Na Moon-Hee: When I first read the webtoon, I didn’t think the wife had a large role. However, after deciding to take on this role, I saw that Deok-chul is able to chase after his dreams because his wife is by his side. Hae-nam is very considerate of her husband and children. As I’m in the later years of my life, I think you have to rely on your partner a lot.

Hong Seung-hee: My character, Eun-ho, follows the strictly constructed plans of her father. 

Q: How do you feel when you first heard of getting the role?
Park In-Hwan: Mini-series are usually focused on a young character or a young man. So at my age, I usually play supporting characters like someone’s father or grandfather. This time I portray the protagonist. It’s almost my first time taking on such a big role in a series. It’s an honor and a source of great happiness for me. I would like to give actors around my age courage and hope that they can do it too.

Q: How was the learning process for ballet? Was it difficult?
Song Kang: Before shooting, I learned ballet for 5-6 months. The moves were very technical and tricky, so I focused on my body’s movements and emotional expressions. It was my first time doing ballet, and I enjoyed the process of my body transforming.

Park In-Hwan: It was much more difficult than I had expected. It required a lot of effort. Before we began shooting, we met twice a week for lessons. It was especially difficult for me because I’m less flexible, and flexibility and graceful movements are important for ballet. Our goal wasn’t to become a professional ballerino but rather to show that you can take on any challenge. It’s very difficult to become a professional at this age. The leotard is very uncomfortable and tight, but you have to wear it for ballet. With each passing day, you get used to it. 

Q: We knew that your father was a gymnast, so did he give any advices to you? 
Song Kang: Rather than giving me advice, he gave me a lot of support and told me to do my best. Since it was my first time, I was really worried about whether I could pull it off, but I think I did well so I would like to give myself a pat on the back.

Q: Do you think you have similar trait with the character, Eun-ho?
Hong Seung-hee: The trait that I related the most to my character was her going through a phase of not really knowing what she wants. I tried really hard to find what I really wanted. Eun-ho, in the webtoon, is a cold person with a warm heart. In the series, she seems less mature and more youthful. Both versions of Eun-ho are good drivers, but I am not.

Q: What would you say about your chemistry with actress Na Moon-Hee? 
Park In-Hwan: We don’t even talk about chemistry when we work together because we have worked together so many times. We don’t even need to say something to each other. We just look at each other and we just know.

Na Moon-Hee: Park In-Hwan was actually boasting on set about being four years younger than me. About Song Kang, he has an old soul. While doing some scenes with him, I felt he is a pure and rare actor. He’s a rare and unique gem in this field. I really hope he never changes.

Q: Is there any communication issues due to generation gap while filming?
Hong Seung-hee: I wasn’t worried and I wasn’t aware of such issues because we had so much fun filming on set.

Song Kang: Although Seung-hee is younger than me, I learned a lot from her. We had great chemistry.

Q: How was it working with the young actors on set?
Park In-Hwan: Song Kang and I filmed together the most from the beginning. In the beginning, I noticed some things that he could do better in, and I noticed he immediately absorbs things and works to make improvements. I know that some younger actors don’t like hearing advice, so I usually don’t say anything to young actors I work with but Song Kang is different. He immediately absorbs it. He’s a different level of an actor compared between his first and last scenes. He really grew as an actor.

Na Moon-Hee: Young people today are extremely talented, and I only had a lot to learn from them.

Q: How many marks would you give to your on-screen chemistry with one another?
Song Kang: I would give our chemistry 100 out of 100. As I mentioned earlier, I was very worried at first but Park In-Hwan really guided me and I just had to depend on him.

Park In-Hwan: I have to give 100 points since he did. He’s very kind and warm-hearted. My first impression of him was a young and innocent boy. I could see him change and grow as an actor. As I said earlier, he absorbs everything and makes it his own so I think he will grow to become a great actor.

Navillera is set to premiere on Netflix on 22 March, so be sure to watch it! 

Photo credit: Netflix

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