Woo Do-hwan on tackling two different roles in ‘The King: Eternal Monarch’


Woo Do-hwan as Jo Eun-seob (left) and Jo Young in the series 'The King: Eternal Monarch'.

When watching The King: Eternal Monarch, do pay special attention to actor Woo Do-hwan as he plays two roles in this fantasy K-drama, headlined by Lee Min-ho and Kim Go-eun.

According to Woo, 27, he put a lot of effort to ensure the two characters remain as far apart as possible.

During a video conference call with Malaysian journalists from Seoul, Woo said: “Even though the two characters have the same face, I wanted to make sure that their behaviour, the way they speak and their facial expressions are all completely different.”

The 16-episode The King: Eternal Monarch is set in two parallel universes, one is a place called Kingdom of Corea that's ruled by King Lee Gon (Lee) and the other is present day Korea, where police detective Jong Tae-eul (Kim) is.

One day, the door between these two worlds is opened allowing individuals from one world to come to the other.

We meet one character played Woo in the series' first episode - Jo Young, the royal bodyguard to Lee Gon who takes his job very seriously.

For Jo Young, Woo Do-hwan portrays him as a serious person. For Jo Young, Woo Do-hwan portrays him as a serious person.Woo shared: "Jo Young is like a a shadow of the emperor, he would follow him anywhere. He takes the well being of the emperor as his top priority.

"He comes from a family whose members are all military officials, so he has been trained in the martial arts from an early age. In that sense, he is a very masculine character and sometimes too reticent.

"And this creates some of the fun elements in the series. So I actually found all of those aspects (of this character) quite charming."

In the second episode, we meet Jo Eun-seob in the parallel world.

Jo Eun-seob is a public service worker at a police station. Unlike Jo Young, Eun-seob is never serious and he's always positive, ” described Woo of his other role.

“I made sure the posture, the speech pattern and the facial expression of Jo Young do not clash with Jo Eun-seob's. That was my mission while filming.

“For example, the way they smile needed to be different; I paid attention to minute details like that so that the characters are not similar.”

Of course, visually, the characters’ hairstyles and outfits play a part in keeping in line with Woo’s vision.

The main cast of The King: Eternal Monarch at the press conference in Seoul. (From left) Woo Do-hwan, Jung Eun-chae, Lee Min-ho, Kim Go-eun and Kim Kyung-nam. Photo: NetflixThe main cast of The King: Eternal Monarch at the press conference in Seoul. (From left) Woo Do-hwan, Jung Eun-chae, Lee Min-ho, Kim Go-eun and Kim Kyung-nam. Photo: Netflix

The actor recently seen in the film The Divine Fury and the series My Country: The New Age, said he is “happy and honoured” to be part of The King: Eternal Monarch.

The project marks the first time Woo is working with established screenwriter Kim Eun-suk (Goblin, Descendants Of The Sun)

In the series production notes, the actor mentioned: “With both Lee Min-ho and Kim Go-eun taking such good care of me on the set, filming has been really enjoyable.

“We all hope The King: Eternal Monarch is a rewarding show to watch for everyone. We are putting so much into it to make that happen.”

So, out of all the characters he has played, which one role is closest to Woo in real life?

The actor said: “Since they are characters I’ve played, they all have some parts of me in them. But as I play these different roles, I sometimes get confused as to who I really am.

“So I cannot really tell you which role I find is closest to me.”

New episodes of The King: Eternal Monarch are available every Friday and Saturday on Netflix at 10.30pm.

Photo: NetflixPhoto: Netflix

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