It’s been a good year for K dramas—from bittersweet romances and rom-coms to taut thrillers and fantastical period sagas and comedies, the world of entertainment has seen a South Korean take over with K Pop and K Dramas dominating the charts.
One of the most sought after names and faces in the industry is K Pop idol and actor Cha Eun-woo. The 25-year-old singer and songwriter for K Pop boy band ASTRO also has to his credits soft romantic dramas like True Beauty and Rookie Historian Goo Hae-ryung, as well as shows like My ID Is Gangnam Beauty that posed a new challenge for the star.
And now, we get to see the actor play the exorcist priest Yohan in the much-awaited fantasy thriller Island. An adaptation of a Korean manhwa (comic) written by Youn In-wan and later adapted into a webtoon, Island is directed by Bae Jong and is the story of three powerful humans who are evil’s worst nightmare and take on the fight against demons to protect the ‘Island’.
For Cha Eun-woo playing Priest Yohan was an unmissable opportunity and the actor confessed to attending action workshops, learning Latin and Italian, and even spending time with a catholic priest so as to delve deeper into his character.
In an exclusive interview Eun-woo said, “Priest Yohan is a very unique character, not like the typical priests you have seen in previous shows. He is very different from the priest [Kim] Nam-gil portrayed in The Fiery Priest. I tried to bring out the essence of Yohan as I understood him, since it’s not a very common occupation for actors to portray on screens. I hope fans and the global audience will enjoy my version of the priest whom I built through several conversations with the rest of the ‘Island team’.”
The actor also revealed that, during a scene, Kim Nam-gil’s simple advice to him was to just breathe and it helped him perform better. “It was really simple but very impactful and encouraging. There’s definitely fantastic chemistry to look forward to amongst us all,” said Eun-woo.
2022 has been nothing short of spectacular for Eun-woo on the professional front. From his group ASTRO’s impressive comeback with their third full-length album Drive to the Starry Road in May 2022 to launching his personal youtube channel and being the star attraction at global events, he is one of the most followed South Korean star’s with over 31.7 million followers on Instagram surpassing previous record-holder Lee Min-ho who is at 31.5 million.
Nicknamed the ‘visual king’ for his handsome looks and uber cool style statements, Eun-woo cut a stunning picture at the recently-held Dior Men’s Fall 2023 collection in Cairo. Dressed in grey velvet trousers, a white and purple untucked button-down shirt and a turquoise green wool ombré sweater perfectly accessorized with a matching Saddle crossbody bag, a gold chain handle and monogrammed Dior sneakers completed his ensemble.
The singer/actor has been offered the lead role in the upcoming film K-Pop: Lost In America! The story of a K-pop boy group that gets lost in Texas, with the members struggling to get to New York for their global debut, the film also stars Rebel Wilson and Charles Melton as part of the cast.
“I am grateful that South Korean content and artists have been received well by fans across the world. Like everyone else I too shall strive in giving better quality and well made pieces of work,” he answered humbly when asked about his rising popularity quotient.
Island also stars Nam-gil as Pan, a half human and half monster, who is one of the guardians of the island. “I actually rejected the offer twice,” said Nam-gil, explaining he was worried about disappointing fans of the manhwa, which he too has been a fan of.
Sung Joon known for his turn in romances such as High Society and Madame Antoine: The Love Therapist, plays Goog Tan, Pan’s adversary. However, being on the show brought many challenges—from bleaching his hair seven times a week to maintain his silver hair for several months to doing live action against a green screen, Sung Joon revealed he was not very confident initially. “This character is really different from the characters I have played in the past, but I am indebted to Nam-gil for being supportive and it translates well on screen,” he revealed.
The only girl in the gang of saviors is Lee Da-hee, known for dramas like Search: WWW and The Beauty Inside. In Island, she plays Mi Ho, an heiress banished to the island who is constantly chased by ghosts. “I was really desperate and wanted to take on the challenge of portraying this character,” says Da-hee. Her male co-stars, however, revealed that they were relieved that Da-hee was not wearing heels in her scenes with them since she is as tall as them.
Though her character Mi Ho’s often repeated dialogue in the show is,”Why are they chasing me?” when asked what’s the one thing she would never chase, Da-hee laughed, “I guess money, but the thing is we all want money but they say it’s bad to chase money, so I keep telling myself I have enough, so I should not chase it.”
Island premiers on 30th December on Amazon Prime India.