Watch: Kim Soo-hyun and cast talk about new Netflix K-drama It's Okay To Not Be Okay

It's been two years since K-drama fans saw his handsome face, but come June 20, they can soak in Kim Soo-hyun's magnetic charisma through his new drama It's Okay To Not Be Okay, which also stars actress Seo Yea-ji.

The two Korean stars met reporters in the Asia Pacific region this afternoon (June 10) through a virtual press conference to talk more about the series. So if you're planning to catch the drama on Netflix, here are seven things you should know about the show as well as its two stars.

1. Their 'flawed' characters

Kim Soo-hyun describes his character Moon Gang-tae as someone who tends to be stronger when he is with others and weaker when he is left to himself. The man is a sympathetic and patient caregiver who works in a psychiatric ward. Seo Yea-ji plays Gang-tae's love interest Ko Mun-yeong. On the contrary, she is an anti-social popular children's book author with a personality disorder, who lacks the ability to feel compassion and empathy for others.

An unusual romance develops between these two unlikely people who end up healing each other's emotional and psychological wounds.

Yea-ji, 30, added that when viewers watch her character, they will be able to feel like they're hurt along with her, and also being healed with her. "I believe you'll be able to look back at your own hardships, your past, your actions, things you've said, and even your future, and you'll have the opportunity to think about empathy for other people," she said.

PHOTO: Netflix

2. His transitional point in life

Gang-tae is also the main caregiver to his brother Sang-tae, who is eight years older and on the autism spectrum. Soo-hyun, 32, shared more about his character's relationship with his on-screen brother, and how Mun-yeong's appearance changed him.

"When Gang-tae is with Sang-tae, Gang-tae becomes the older brother and he has to become an adult. He has to swallow his pride and give in. However, when he meets Mun-yeong, he begins to let his guard down. He can complain about things and he becomes a child. Meeting her is like a transitional point in his life."

3. Working with each other

Soo-hyun admitted there was awkwardness when he met Yea-ji for the first time at the beginning of production. However, their chemistry grew after spending more time together. He said at the press conference: "She is very comfortable as a person, but when she's acting as Mun-yeong, she is extremely focused. I get energy and stimulation; I'm learning thanks to her."

Yea-ji added that he "has been very considerate to [her]" since the very first day, and that Soo-hyun "is probably the best partner [she has] had".

PHOTO: Netflix

4. The first time they read the script

Soo-hyun confessed he felt his heart ache the first time he read the script. The show offers a variety of characters with different stories and love, and he believes that "there is something in it for everybody" to relate to and enjoy.

Yea-jin said she felt pity for Mun-yeong, who is unable to empathise with others, making her extremely selfish and arrogant. The character's personality flaws hurt not only others but also herself. The script also left her intrigued as she has never seen such a character in any Korean dramas before.

5. Nervous coming back to acting

This is Soo-hyun's first full project since completing his military service last July, and his first starring role in a drama since 2015's Producer. He said in the press conference that he was, and still is, extremely nervous. "While serving my military service, I had this thirst to be on screen again and to act." He added he got stronger physically after his military service, and he's become more experienced and created more "space" in his attitude shown through acting.

6. Channelling her inner witch

To portray her character, Yea-ji told reporters that she has to channel the image of a witch. "My low voice and my witch-like aura really helped me to channel my inner Mun-yeong. By playing this character, I went through experiences that healed some things inside me, and I was able to learn some new things about myself through the eyes of others."

She also added in the press conference: "Our drama narrates difficulties endured by people and one of my favourite quote is 'Overcome it. If you don't overcome it, then you're nothing but a young child whose soul can't grow.' I hope that viewers can feel hope and courage to overcome everything through watching our drama."

7. Not a fashionista

Yea-ji revealed that Mun-yeong has a unique personality of her own, and the actress expresses her characteristics in an external way through her hair, make-up, and costume. Some of the things that Mun-yeong wears might come across as a little odd, and some might find it hard to understand why she would wear things like that. Yea-ji explained: "We tried not to focus on her being fashionable, but to show her as someone who expresses herself through what she wears. What she wears isn't something to show off, but something she puts on to defend herself."

It's Okay To Not Be Okay will premiere Saturday June 20 at 9.30pm on Netflix, and new episodes will be released every Saturday and Sunday.

ALSO READ: Kim Soo-hyun and Park Bo-gum coming up soon on Netflix

joanwong@asiaone.com

kwokkarpeng@asiaone.com