IU: “Dong Hoon’s first smile made me want to cry.”




We have a scoop! We managed to get hold of yet another Japanese interview, published today in Korean TV Drama (韓国TVドラマ) magazine. It’s really long!

Updated 7/8/2018 16:00 GMT +8

Part 1 is up! This is only about one quarter of the interview…looks like this really will take some time – @justamom

일>한 번역을 할 수 있는 분이 있으면, 여기에 연락 주세요!

Part 1

From the director who brought us masterpieces like Misaeng (tvN, 2014) and Signal (tvN, 2016), a human story that warmly depicts the emotional connection between one human and another, a human story that defied all initial expectations, “My Ahjussi” (tvN 2018). At the centre of the story with numerous famous scenes and lines which shook viewers’ hearts, Lee Seon Kyun and IU. They play a middle-aged man who is weary of life and a solitary heroine. During the interview they described the lingering effect the drama has had on them and how “I still can’t pull myself away from the drama’s reverberations”, revealing the inside story of this drama that will remain in your heart.

It’s your first time acting together. What were your thoughts when you heard about the casting?

LSK: They decided on me first, and when I heard she had been cast as Ji An I was glad as it was a perfect fit. There were many people around me who were even happier (laughs). I’m a fan of IU the singer but I thought this was a project that would make her just as well loved as an actress.

IU: Sunbae’s appearance was decided much earlier, so the first time I received the script he came to mind and I imagined him in the role as I read it. As I started to hear even his voice, I thought that he was truly a perfect fit for the role. To me he’s a much more senior Sunbae and I thought I would wilt on set next to him, but we got along very well from our first meeting so it went really smoothly.

We heard that Lee Seon Kyun was a fan of PD Kim’s from a long time back.

LSK: I was really interested in how he films and even went to check out the set of Misaeng, as I’m close to Sung Min-Hyung (Lee Sung Min who played Oh Sang Shik in Misaeng). Since then, I definitely wanted to work with him.

What was your impression of each other on set?

IU: There are parts of Sunbae that are both like and unlike Dong Hoon. So he always tried to view his role obejectively and kept asking, “Why did he do it this way? But if it were me…” in order to understand his character.

LSK: (in a small voice) The truth is, I couldn’t grasp my character very well at the start, hahaha. The director said to act what was in the script, but that was extremely frustrating. Whether it was my expressions or delivering my lines, it required me to do nothing which was confusing.

From the viewer’s point of view Dong Hoon did feel a little frustrating.

LSK:  I who was playing Dong Hoon was the most frustrated. (wry smile)

And your impression of IU?

LSK: We started out filming all the office scenes up to Episode 8, but just like Ji An you mostly kept to yourself right?

IU: Even though there were many people around me who told me after the drama “so you’ve always been like Ji An,” the truth is there were many more who said she was not like me. That’s why when PD Kim called me at first I told him “this is emotionally difficult. I need some time”. Ji An is 21, the same age I was when I sang Red Shoes. She’s still a child but it was heartbreaking to think how tough it must have been for her to live in such a hardened and guarded manner. I was the youngest on set and at first I thought I have to show my bright side in front of all the other Sunbaes, but that would be the complete opposite of my character. So I thought “well it’s too bad if they misread me, I’ll explain it properly later,” and tried as much to become Ji An on set.

Continued in [Part 2] and [Part 3]

Fun Quiz

“Dong Hoon’s smile in the ending scene was really memorable. There is a particular angle when his smile is reflected, right here on Sunbae’s face (points while speaking) where his laugh lines emerge.

The fact is, it was something he had never shown to Ji An before. Back then while we were shooting and even now, thinking back, it sort of makes me want to cry.”

Just for fun, here’s a quiz—which smile do you think IU was referring to?? You can cast your votes in the comments below:

Do you think it was (A),


Or (B) aka the infamous Mark Darcy smile,


Or (C) when their eyes first met again (newly added!)?

Other interviews of Lee Seon Kyun & IU:

Lee Seon Kyun: She’s my Lee Ji An

Japanese Release: Official M-NET Interview


16 thoughts on “IU: “Dong Hoon’s first smile made me want to cry.””

  1. (A), of course! That grin’s the best part of the entire episode!

    “There is a particular angle when his smile is reflected, right here on Sunbae’s face (points while speaking) where his laugh lines emerge.”

    This is so cute I died. X_X

    Liked by 3 people

  2. “The fact is, it was something he had never shown to Ji An before. Back then while we were shooting and even now, thinking back, it sort of makes me want to cry.”

    Omg! IU’s quote is making me want to cry now. I miss them so much.

    I pick option A!

    Thank you so much for translating.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I want to say A because that’s the first one she saw lol. But B might be my favourite one. I just like the way he smiled after JiAn’s offer. And that pose. I thought the first one was already too much of a gift, I didn’t think theyd go this far. I mean what is that supposed to mean lol

    Liked by 4 people

  4. The way she talked about the laugh lines merging made me think number 1. As for me personally, I can’t decide which one I prefer. They are both beautiful.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I think it was the smile right after he got off his seat, turned around and saw her for the first time in years. I was also drawn by his facial lines when he smiled.

    In term of preference, I like smile (B). That is so Mark Darcy’s smile. I called it an “in love” smile with that tiny glint of hope and shyness.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. I love all of his smiles, ottoke…
    About the smile in the quote, it could be option [A] or that smile when he first saw her at the cafe…
    Either way, those are very special smiles, and the emotions they conveyed brought tears to my eyes…

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Being a Jian fan, I think LJE is referring to (c) the intense gaze through the mirror that she always gives to Dong Hoon only. One of my favorite scenes because LJE was just plain beautiful. Gosh all these open Japanese interviews they have been giving are just plain cute and my fangirl heart cannot take it. Thank you for the info about the magazine, I will likely order it if ebay is selling. BTW, congratulations this blog looks great!

    Liked by 4 people

  8. How beautiful! I’m so glad we are getting these thoughts from LSK and LJE, belated though they may be. Too bad they couldn’t be this open while the drama was airing.

    I think she was referring to Dong Hoon’s first smile when he stood up from his seat and saw her looking at him. Ji An’s eyes filled with tears then, although I’m quite annoyed that they didn’t show that angle of the scene. That would have made it clearer how deeply she still felt for him.

    I’m looking forward to future treasures from other interviews. I’m sure there will be more. And I hope this drama becomes very popular in other countries too.

    Thanks to those who translated. 😊

    Liked by 5 people

  9. I love his B smile, very Mark Darcy ❤ But I have to agree, I think she was referring to C… btw, this gif of LJE with her eyes filled with tears made my eyes fill with tears! So unfair xD

    Liked by 3 people

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