Who would accept a kind of role that everyone would despise—a cheating, philandering but vulnerable and thoughtless husband? Not a lot, it would seem.
Not even an esteemed actor like Park Hae-joon, who admitted in an interview with GQ Korea last year that he had much reservations about saying yes to the offer of starring in The World of a Married Couple as the unfaithful spouse Lee Tae-oh.
It was not because of the role itself, he said, but of effectively portraying such a complex and challenging character. In what was to become his grandest role to date, Hae-joon thought he was not ready to take on the intensity of the role given the short period of preparations, as what K-Drama productions demand. He said he even questioned himself if he was worthy of taking it.
Hae-joon, who started his career as a stage thespian, has been better known as a film actor, having consistently appeared in at least one movie a year since 2012, with the 2015 film “Fourth Place” as his claim to fame with his first lead role.
He would also appear in several K-Dramas on TV, mostly in noted supporting roles for the series Doctor Stranger (2014), Misaeng: Incomplete Life (2014), Wanted (2016), and his most recent, Arthdal Chronicles (2019).
Then the opportunity came for the biggest role of his career on The World of a Married Couple, and he first thought of stepping back, until he had a conversation with his good friend and film director Byung Young-joo, who helmed his first movie in 2012, Helpless, and was considering to again cast him in an upcoming project.
In the GQ Korea interview, Hae-joon said that Young-joo told him it would be “foolish” not to accept the role in The World of a Married Couple, especially when he will star alongside veteran acting luminary Kim Hee-ae. Hae-joon quoted the director as saying that he shouldn’t think twice about taking the offer: “Just do it and do it to the best of your ability.”
After talking to the director, Hae-joon finally had the guts to face and give justice to his biggest acting break in his career.
Viewers had been impressed, including Filipino K-Drama fanatics who had the first look on The World of a Married Couple on streaming platforms over the past few months, noticing that Hae-joon fit perfectly to the character and performed really well.
With its gripping story, outstanding acting performances, and well-crafted production, The World of a Married Couple turned out to attain the highest viewership ratings in Korean cable TV history, with Hae-joon himself nominated for Best Supporting Actor in the recent 56th Baeksang Arts Awards.
Don’t miss Hae-joon in The World of a Married Couple in its Tagalog-dubbed Philippine premiere on June 15, Monday after FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano on Kapamilya Channel.