Personalities

Interview: The cast of Netflix’s The King: Eternal Monarch unfold fantasies

Over the video call, we talked to Lee Min-ho, Kim Go-eun and the cast as they shared their thoughts on parallel universes, their characters and collaboration with writer Kim Eun-suk.
Reading time 7 minutes

Netflix presents The King: Eternal Monarch written by Kim Eun-suk  (who also authored the 2016 fantasy romance Goblin) starring Kim Go-eun, Lee Min-ho, Jung Eun-chae, Woo Do-hwan, Kim Kyung-nam and more.

This new chronicle is set in parallel universes where the characters have their alter-personas in a different space-time. It tells a tale about identity and asking one question: "Will you give up on the person you are becoming and trade that life with another ‘you’?"

“Kim Eun-suk writer has created enchanting parallel universes for The King,” said Kim Go-eun when asked her thoughts on the script. “The storytelling is detailed and intriguing, the characters are brought to life with every heartbeat.” 

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Lee Gon (Lee Min-ho) and Jung Tae-eul (Kim Go-eun)

It was just an ordinary day on duty when inspector Jung Tae-eul and Lee Gon, the king of Kingdom of Corea, found each other in front of Gwanghwamun – from that moment on, their past and future intertwined. Together with their close ones, they are whisked into unexpected turns in life, and a future full of decisions awaits.

“To me, it is more of a heart-warming fairytale. Every character is unique in their own way, and with that, brings out the captivating chemistry between them,” said Lee Min-ho during the press conference of The King: Eternal Monarch.

 

Scroll down to read the full interview with the cast of The King: Eternal Monarch:

 

Tell us more about the parallel universes and your role in The King: Eternal Monarch.

Lee Min-ho: The King is a story set in parallel universes, the characters play the part to reflect the contrast between different time and space. I put in a lot of effort to understand Lee Gon -what he's been through and where he comes from -I hope that our audience can feel the same.

 

Kim Go-eun: There is a great difference between Tae-eul and Luna. To bring them to life, I spent a lot of time picturing the way they talk, the energy they give off and even the way they dress. This is the first time for me to play a dual role ever since my debut, I had a lot of fun although it came with a certain level of stress. However, at the end of the day, I really enjoyed the conversations in my head between Tae-eul and Luna. 

We saw lovely chemistry between Lee Gon and Tae-eul that comes from the duality of their personalities.

Lee Min-ho: It is! Lee Gon has a science background whilst Tae-eul is a typical liberal arts major. I actually studied a lot about math and physics in order to portray this character (laughs). Lee Gon is a very grounded person, he gives definite answers and takes time to seek the truth because he really cares. It can sometimes be quite frustrating for the people around him, but he had meant every word he said.

 

Kim Go-eun: Tae-eul is literally the opposite of Lee Gon and there’s no way she is a science major (laughs). I don’t know how to put it into words but I can really relate to Tae-eul, like I know how she will feel and react. She is not a mindful type of person compared to Lee Gon; she listens to her intuition and brings it into action.

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Jung Tae-eul (Kim Go-eun)

“I’m someone who still doesn’t believe that the earth is round.” -is this telling us something about Tae-eul?

Kim Go-eun: Rather than saying Tae-eul has a different idea on the shape of the earth, it is more about she is someone who doesn’t put a lot of value on ‘abstract belief’, in other words, something that people trust and believe even though they cannot see it before their eyes.

We all know that the earth is round, however, none of us has ever seen it for ourselves. To Tae-eul, there’s no need to think about it until she can actually see it with her own eyes.

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Kang Shin-jae (Kim Kyung-nam) and Jung Tae-eul (Kim Go-eun)
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Jo Young (Woo Do-Hwan) and Lee Gon (Lee Min-ho)

Do you believe in the existence of a parallel universe? 

Woo Do-hwan: It sounds quite terrifying to me, I don’t think there will only be good news from that space-time. If there's a parallel universe, I will pretend it doesn’t exist and live on with my life, (pauses) but if anyone wants to bring me along, I don't mind going and maybe looking for the other 'me' there. But again, it intimidates me with overwhelming emotions, thinking that there's another person who looks exactly the same as me living a better or worse life than me.

 

Jung Eun-chae: I don’t really believe in the existence of a parallel universe, but I did imagine it. I wondered how would it be like to have another world different from the one I am living in.

 

Kim Kyung-nam: I don't think there's a parallel universe, but I did imagine a lot during the filming of The King. It is actually quite fun to have another 'me' from a different universe, I can hang out with this person, and if everything goes well, maybe we can switch for a few days living each other’s life. 

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Gu Seo-ryeong (Jung Eun-chae)
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Lee Gon (Lee Min-ho)

It has been more than ten years since you played your first role, do you have any thoughts on the rise of Korean TV and film production over the past decade?

Lee Min-ho: Much like I didn’t have any idea that I will still be an actor after ten years since my debut, I think that’s also the same for the fact that we don’t really know where was the turning point of Korean content.

It is now a cultural icon and just being able to take part in this industry as well as working with all the amazing talents, is a wonderful experience for me. And now because of working with Netflix, we are able to reach out to a wider audience, I really can’t wait to show our works to people from different parts of the world.

Watch The King: Eternal Monarch on netflix.com.

 

 

Photo courtesy of Netflix and SBS

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