Half-Malaysian Korean actor Tang Jun-sang leads new K-drama ‘Move To Heaven’

Tang Jun-sang has two new series this year, including 'Move To Heaven'. Photos: Handout

Tang Jun-sang garnered the attention of global K-drama fans when he starred in last year’s hit series Crash Landing On You.

It was back then too that we discovered Tang’s father is Malaysian.

The actor had told a Korean media, his father is Malaysian Chinese and his mother is Korean born in a multi-cultural family.

This year, the 17-year-old headlines 10-episode Netflix series Move To Heaven, alongside popular actor Lee Je-hoon (currently starring in Taxi Driver).

Set to premiere on May 14, Move To Heaven is a heartwarming drama that focuses on Geu-ru (Tang) – a young man with Asperger’s syndrome – and ex-convict Sang-gu (Lee) who ends up as Geu-ru’s guardian.

These two must find a way to co-exist as family and in their work as “trauma cleaners”, which refers to people who clear out the last possessions of a person who had died alone.

During a virtual press conference held in South Korea that StarLifestyle was invited to, Tang revealed that he discussed with director Kim Sung-ho and writer Yoon Ji-ryun on how to approach this complex character.

Tang explained: “Geu-ru has difficulties in showing emotions. He experiences different emotions, but he’s unable to express them.”

To get a better understanding on how to portray Geu-ru, Tang also watched K-drama Good Doctor which saw actor Joo Won playing a doctor with autism.

While Tang simplified his acting method to play Geu-ru to the press, director Kim and actor Lee took the chance to elaborate why they think Tang is a brilliant actor.

Referring to a five-minute scene in the series where Geu-ru names all the many living aquatic animals in a public aquarium, director Kim said: “He made no mistake and we filmed that scene in just one take. He is a genius actor.”

Lee concurred: “The lines were long and difficult. If it was me, I don’t think I could have done it. When I saw Jun-sang doing it, I was in awe.”

Lee continued of his earlier impression of Tang: “I was really looking forward to working with him because I saw his other work and thought he’s a very good actor although he’s so young.

“I knew we would make a good team and he would be a good acting partner. And that really was the case, ” said Lee, 36.

Lee Je-hoon (centre) in a scene with Tang Jun-sang (left) in 'Move To Heaven'.Lee Je-hoon (centre) in a scene with Tang Jun-sang (left) in 'Move To Heaven'.

Tang said that he felt honoured and happy to be cast in a leading role of a series, even though it’s not an easy character to play.

“I did feel a little bit of pressure, ” mentioned Tang.

“But when we were filming, I learned a lot from Lee Je-hoon and I had conversations with (co-star) Hong Seung-hee, so I could let go of that pressure.

Tang said: “I learned a lot from shooting Move To Heaven, and felt there was a personal growth.”

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