korean drama | Team Heartbeat — led by Ok-Taecyon — on their fantasy-romance vampire drama
In the new Korean drama “Heartbeat” on Prime Video, the charming Ok Taec-yeon, known for his roles in popular shows like “Vincenzo”, portrays Seon Woo Hyul, a vampire who aspires to become human but instead becomes half-human when he awakens a day before completing his 100 years of slumber. Seon Woo Hyul starts living with the cold-hearted Joo In-hae (played by Won Ji-an), and their love for each other brings warmth into their lives. “Heartbeat” combines various genres, with fantasy and romance being the primary ones.
In an interview conducted over a video call, t2 spoke with Ok Taec-yeon, Won Ji-an, and their co-stars Park Kang-hyun and Yoon So-hee about their experience working on “Heartbeat”.
What was the main attraction of “Heartbeat” for each of you?
Yoon So-hee: I always wanted to work on a fantasy drama. It would have been great if I could have played a vampire in “Heartbeat”, but I’m satisfied with my character Yoon Hae-seon, who is wealthier and more powerful than a vampire (laughs). Park Kang-hyun: I love my character Shin Do-sik because he appears to be willing to do anything for the person he loves, but he has a twist to his personality which intrigued me. Won Ji-an: I was drawn to the light and easy nature of this drama series. I knew it would be a fun project to work on. Additionally, the theme of love makes it relatable to many viewers. The fantastical aspect of the story, the romance between a vampire and a human, adds another layer of entertainment, and I hope the audience enjoys it. Ok Taec-yeon: When I first read the script, I was captivated by it up to Episode 4. I was excited about the different aspects of my character Seon Woo-hyul. However, I was taken aback when I reached the ending of Episode 4 and realized that the characters Yoon Hae-seon and In-hae were played by different actors. It was a pleasant surprise, and I knew I had to do this drama series. So, in short, the script was the main reason for my interest.
“Heartbeat” combines vampire elements with love, fantasy, and more. Was that also a major factor in your attraction to the show?
Ok Taec-yeon: Yes, definitely! The combination of different genres allowed us to explore various emotions and scenes. We could have serious moments, scary moments, and lovely moments. The multi-faceted nature of the series was very appealing. I also believed that we could have a lot of fun with the story and the direction. In summary, it’s the complete package. Won Ji-an: As I filmed the series, I discovered that each character has unique charms and appeals. It’s the diversity and complexity of the characters that enable us to blend these genres seamlessly. Park Kang-hyun: The mixture of genres is certainly a great attraction of this show. Additionally, the drama addresses contemporary social issues in a way that is not too heavy. Themes like wealth inequality and unemployment are incorporated into the story, especially through my character as a real-estate developer. This combination of genres and social commentary makes our drama even more entertaining.
Ok Taec-yeon, even though your character is a half-vampire, did you find any relatable aspects in him?
Ok Taec-yeon: My character is willing to sacrifice everything for the one he loves. When I saw him giving up something he truly desires, I thought he was a great character. The audience may ask themselves if they would be able to make such sacrifices, not necessarily for love but for something they truly want in life. This self-reflection adds to the entertainment value of watching the show. I personally resonated with that aspect the most.
In Heartbeatthe new Korean drama on Prime Video, heartthrob Ok Taec-yeon, who has memorable credits including the popular Vincenzo to his name, plays Seon Woo Hyul, a vampire who wants to become a human but ends up becoming half-human when he wakes up a day before completing his 100 years of sleep. Seon Woo Hyul starts to live together with the coldhearted Joo In-hae (played by Won Ji-an). The two fall in love, bringing warmth into each other’s lives. Heartbeat melds a host of genres, with fantasy and romance being the primary ones.
Over a video call, t2 chatted with Ok Taec-yeon and Won Ji-an and their co-stars Park Kang-hyun and Yoon So-hee on the Heartbeat experience.
For each of you, what was the primary hook for Heartbeat?
Yoon So-hee: I always wanted to work in a fantasy drama. I would have loved it if I was also a vampire (in Heartbeat), but I play a character (Yoon Hae-seon) who has more money and more power than a vampire, so I was very happy (laughs).Park Kang-hyun: I loved my character (Shin Do-sik) because, on the surface, he is willing to do anything and everything for the person he loves. But he does have a twist to his personality. I was drawn to the complexity and diversity of my character.Won Ji-an: I was drawn to the fact that this is a drama series which is very light and an easy watch. Also, I thought I would be able to have a lot of fun shooting it. And because this is a series which deals with love, it will be relatable to a lot of people. Also, the fantastical element of the story, the love story between a vampire and a human being, also brings another level of entertainment and I hope that viewers enjoy it.Ok Taec-yeon: When I first got the script, I got it up to Episode 4 and I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of it. While I was drawn to the fact that there are so many sides that I could show through the character of Seon Woo-hyul, I was hit at the back of my head when I read the ending of Episode 4. Because till then I had thought that the characters of Yoon Hae-seon and In-hae would be played by the same actor. But I found out that they were two different people! I was in shock and I said: ‘I have to do this drama series!’ So simply put, it was the script which was the biggest reason.
Heartbeat meshes the genres of vampire, love, fantasy and much more. Was that also one of the major reasons which interested you in the show?
Ok Taec-yeon: Yes definitely! And because it is a mixture of different genres, we were able to do so much with it. We could have serious scenes, scary scenes and also lovely expressions. The element of it not being a single-faceted series, but one with different facets was very appealing. And I also thought that we could have a lot of fun with the story and the directing aspect of it as well. In a nutshell, I would say it’s the whole package.Won Ji-an: The more I filmed the series, the more I felt that each character has so many different charms and appeals to them. I think it’s the diversity and complexity that each character holds that enables us to express this mixture of genres.Park Kang-hyun: That aspect of this show having a mixture of genres is definitely a great appeal. But I think another one also is about how the drama deals with certain contemporary social issues in a way that is not too heavy. Issues like how only the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, issues of unemployment…. Also, my character plays a real-estate developer, and those issues, as well, are melted into the story. I think it’s the marriage of genres as well as the way the show deals with contemporary issues that make our drama much more entertaining.
Ok Taec-yeon, despite the fact that you play a half-vampire, is there anything in your character that resonated with you?
Ok Taec-yeon: My character gives his life for the one that he loves. And when I saw him give up something that he truly desires, I thought that he was a great character. When the audience watches his story, they may ask themselves: ‘Will I be able to do that?’ It may not be love, but something that you want that much in life. Questioning yourself and thinking about that will make this watching experience more entertaining. I related to that aspect the most.