Just a couple of months ago, we were excited about Alchemy of Souls: Light and Shadow, the second season of the hit K-drama, speculating what would happen from the stills and trailers.
Back then, viewers were up-in-arms about the replacement of the lead actress from Jung So-min in season one to Go Youn-jung in season two, due to So-min's scheduling conflicts.
While fans were either on Team So-min or Team Youn-jung, lead actor Lee Jae-wook, who plays Jang Wook, has a very different take on who he should win the Best Couple award with.
In a recent interview with South Korean publication Xportsnews, he said: "I can only name one person: Me and the crown prince."
Go Won, the crown prince of the fictional kingdom of Dae-ho, is played by Shin Seung-ho, and the character shares a complicated relationship with Jang Wook where he finds the latter "irritating while he cares about him at the same time," according to the production team.
Jae-wook, 24, recounted his experience filming with Seung-ho, 27: "The scenes I had with him were all wordplay from start to finish. Improvisation is a skill to match your character and situation without straying from the story, and Seung-ho is an actor who's incredibly good at that.
"You can just think of all the fun scenes where we feed off each other as improvisations."
That's not to say that Jae-wook didn't have positive things to say about both female leads either.
"For starters, So-min sunbaenim (senior) has experienced many projects so you can clearly see her skilfulness on set," he said.
When it came to Youn-jung, 26, he said: "Yoon-jung noona (older sister) is an incredibly bright person, her positive energy is overwhelming. It's not easy to film without losing your smile but she made me think, 'The entire set atmosphere can change just because of one person.'
"I want to pick that as noona's forte. It must have been incredibly difficult while working on part two but she never once lost her smile."
'I think I was suddenly scared'
Jae-wook revealed that he initially rejected the offer for Alchemy of Souls because he deemed it too difficult and "wondered whether I'd be able to pull this project off well".
He added: "Since Jang Wook is such a multifaceted character, I think I was suddenly scared. Nevertheless, I took on the challenge because I thought, 'When will I be able to find a piece of work like this?'
Despite that, he said: "From an actor's perspective, I'm incredibly satisfied with the results."
While Jang Wook was initially cheerful in season one, the tragedy at the end of the season led to a very different person in the second season.
He said: "I thought that the gap between the Jang Wook in parts one and two was huge, and when I did a reading with the writers, they also expressed their hopes that I'd think of and portray him as two different characters.
"In order to showcase entirely different characters, I removed Jang Wook's tone of voice and tried to speak concisely and stiffly in my daily life too."
Despite overcoming his initial hesitation about Jang Wook, did Jae-wook ever think of playing another role in Alchemy of Souls?
He said: "I think the crown prince is a character I can't play, but I think I coveted Yoo In-soo's character Park Dang-gu because I'm actually really greedy for comedy. I felt that In-soo was attractive because he played the character so well."
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