It is no secret that South Korean films, dramas and music have been transcending boundaries and creating a wave all over the world. However, what is intriguing people recently is the secret behind its massive success and popularity. And filmmaker Kim Jee-won who is all set to release his sci-fi, mystery series Dr Brain might have an answer to it. Dr Brain starring Lee Sun-Kyun of Parasite fame is the first Korean series to be launched on the platform Apple TV+. Ahead of its global premiere on 4th November, the actors and the director talked about the growing popularity of Korean culture overseas, interacting with their global fans and more in a virtual press conference.
Kim Jee-woon who has already set the expectation high with films like A Tale of Two Sisters and I Saw The Devil, humbly answered a question about the secret of Korean pop culture garnering worldwide popularity by saying, “I’m not sure if I’m really the person to pinpoint that secret, but we do use the phrase ‘dynamic Korea’ a lot. I believe there is that dynamic enthusiasm to Korean culture, along with the high qualities and capabilities we have.”
He further explained, “Korean content makers know what can really go global and their talents and capabilities are on par with the global standard. So, the reason for the success is the dynamic nature of Korean content coupled with our creative ideas. We can even witness this in Dr Brain. For instance, it comprises of six episodes, but all the episodes are very closely intertwined, and this rhythm is maintained throughout.”
Based on a Korean webtoon of the same name, Dr Brain revolves around a scientist, Sewon, who suffers a horrific personal tragedy when his family falls victim to a mysterious accident. Desperate to uncover what happened, he goes to extraordinary lengths to solve the tragic mystery by conducting “brain syncs” with the dead, to access their memories for clues.
After giving a memorable performance in the award-winning film Parasite, actor Lee Sun Kyun will be playing the lead in this series. Talking of the intriguing plot and how he got into the skin of his character, he said, “The phrase brain sync in itself sounds very unfamiliar and strange. So I focused on expressing my reaction after brain sync happened. Because brain sync ismore than simply obtaining memory. Even the emotions and the characteristics or habits of the other person is transferred to me which could be a side effect. So the director (Kim) and I shared a lot of conversations on this and we concluded that when people ask what is brain syncing the closest metaphor that we can find was the airdrop function in Apple devices.”
The rest of the cast members comprising of Lee You-young, Park Hee-soon, Seo Ji-Hye and Lee Jae-won were also elated at the prospect of connecting to their global audience through the press conference and OTT platforms, that have shortened the distance between the content and the viewers.
Actress Seo Ji-Hye, who can be seen in the popular K-drama Crash Landing on You, said, “Since Korean content is receiving a lot of love and support all over the world, it is a great honour for us personally. And I do feel a great sense of responsibility because every time I see these contents being loved by all of the global audience, I can remind myself that I really have to deliver a good performance as an actor.”
Talking of impact OTT platforms have on Korean content, Park Hee-soon, who was recently seen in the series My Name, said, “Whereas previous dramas or films first premiered in Korea and got introduced overseas only after it received a positive response, through OTT platforms, these contents can simultaneously drop in every country around the world. That’s a good strength these platforms have and I hope that taking this opportunity, we get to showcase more Korean content and great K-dramas to the global audiences and hope to meet them through these channels going forward.”
“I believe that Korean dramas have now become a trustworthy brand, and I’m very happy and honoured to meet the global audiences simultaneously. Moreover, director Kim is a master of all genres, but when it comes to crime thrillers and suspense, in particular, he tends to go beyond our expectations. It’s going to be a very gripping and enticing narrative,” concluded Lee Jae-won.