Jun Ji-Hyun admitted to feeling pressure over joining the hit Netflix series Kingdom late in its run. This motivated the South Korean actress to do better in her new role.
Jun Ji-Hyun is an award-winning actress, known for starring in the film My Sassy Girl and the series Legend of the Blue Sea. Although much about her remains a mystery, Jihyun’s character, Ashin, got introduced in the series. This happened through a brief appearance in the second season finale.
In a press conference on Tuesday for the special episode Kingdom: Ashin of the North, Jihyun said,
“Being able to participate at a later point in time for a series that I love so much, I have to say that there was quite a significant level of pressure for me. I deliberately tried to feel that positive pressure so that I could do better. I didn’t want to make it look like I was just kind of joining and enjoying the ride.”
The special episode will explore the backstory of Ashin who comes from the northern regions of South Korea’s Joseon dynasty. It will also feature the origin of the resurrection plant that triggered the zombie outbreak in the first two seasons. This is set to drop on Friday, July 23.
The writer of the series, Kim Eun-hee, said that the character of Ashin was developed during the early stages of the second season. While doing research on north Joseon, Eunhee came across a marginalized group living in the area during the period. In the same conference with Jihyun, the writer said,
“I decided to take an interest in that aspect (the marginalized people) and throughout that process, this character Ashin was crystallized.”
Eunhee also said something about some Kingdom fans who are looking forward to a lot of action scenes. She said that in the special episode, they “might slightly think it’s not really what they expected.”
Meanwhile, Director Kim Seong-hun said the show’s international popularity also pushed the production staff to put more effort into the series. He said,
“Now, because we know how many people are waiting for the series globally, I think more effort was put into meticulous investigation of historical correctness and also each of the props.”
In preparing for the role, Jihyun said she focused on interpreting Ashin’s “han.” It is a unique Korean concept of emotion similar to anger.
The actress said,
“I tried to focus mostly on how to interpret the personal anguish and hurt… how to interpret that emotion into wanting to avenge for the whole land of Joseon.”
The Legend of the Blue Sea actress also shared that she was never afraid to be around the actors playing the undead. In fact, she was even excited to meet them when she began shooting for the period horror.
“I begged them for pictures as well so I was able to take pictures with the zombie actors and really brag about it to my friends and family.”
Actor Park Byung-Eun joins Jun for the special episode, reprising his role as Min Chi-rok. This character headed the Royal Commandery and fought against the zombies in the second season. Actress Park Si-ah, meanwhile, plays a young Ashin.
Kingdom which follows a zombie outbreak amid a politically turbulent Joseon kingdom. It first premiered on Netflix back in January 2019.
Rapha is a person born between the generations of Millenial and Gen Z. He was produced by Cavite State University (Main Campus) with a bachelor's degree in Political Science. The lad has a fresh take on things, but can still stay true to his roots. He writes anything in Pop Culture as long as it suits his taste (if it doesn't, it's for work). He loves to wander around the cosmos and comes back with a story to publish.