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Saturday, July 20, 2024

‘Bloodhounds’ actors turn crisis into opportunity

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Actors Woo Do-hwan, left, as Geon-woo, and Lee Sang-yi as Woo-jin, in the Netflix series ″Bloodhounds″ [NETFLIX]
Actors Woo Do-hwan, left, as Geon-woo, and Lee Sang-yi as Woo-jin, in the Netflix series ″Bloodhounds″ [NETFLIX]

Actors tend to expect the unexpected, as anything can happen while filming a movie or a series over a long period. Although actors Woo Do-hwan and Lee Sang-yi did not expect anything to happen as they took on the lead roles in the Netflix series “Bloodhounds”, it did. Their colleague Kim Sae-ron, who had a significant role in the series, had to exit after being charged with drunk driving.

“We were stunned, and we also had to make a lot of changes to the final version,” said Woo during a group interview with local reporters on June 14. “We had already filmed six episodes at the time, and it was impossible to film the whole thing all over again. We ended up drastically changing the script for episodes seven and eight, and tried to edit out a lot of Kim’s scenes.”

Main poster for ″Bloodhounds″ [NETFLIX]
Main poster for ″Bloodhounds″ [NETFLIX]

Even with these difficulties, “Bloodhounds” shot up Netflix charts upon its release on June 9, peaking at number two on the Netflix Top 10 Chart and recording 27.97 million streaming hours in just three days. It has since topped the Netflix chart at number one. Woo, who plays one of the two main characters, Geon-woo, and Lee, who plays Woo-jin, are still in awe of how well the series is performing.

“I am very appreciative and grateful for the success that we have had so far,” said Lee during a group interview with local reporters on June 15. “I keep checking the rankings on my phone and reminding myself that this is real.”

Actor Lee Sang-yi [NETFLIX]
Actor Lee Sang-yi [NETFLIX]

The difficulties that came with Kim’s exit allowed Lee to invest more effort into preparing for the finale, according to Lee. Woo and Lee play boxers who take on a criminal ring of moneylenders that is poaching off ordinary people facing financial difficulties during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“After what happened, we took a month off from filming to rejuvenate,” said Lee. “During that time I worked out more frequently to attain a real boxer’s physique. So you could say that I took the crisis and turned it around into an opportunity.”

Woo also made an effort to attain a buff body that viewers would believe was a boxer’s.

Actor Woo Do-hwan [NETFLIX]
Actor Woo Do-hwan [NETFLIX]

“It was very difficult to always be on a diet and always have to work out,” said Woo. “I would pack lunches for myself so I could stick to my diet and control my calorie intake. In my spare time, I would always be working out, and it was a continuous process of toning my body and bulking up.”

Woo and Lee both revealed what it was like working with each other, and how their bromance chemistry translated both on and off the screen.

“This was our first time working with each other on a drama or film, but I had heard a lot about Woo via mutual friends and acquaintances,” said Lee. “I heard from other actors who I knew that also knew Woo that he was very diligent and took his roles seriously. I found that to be true when I met him for the read-through during pre-production, and we built up a kind of camaraderie during filming.”

“I immediately felt that Lee was a good person when I met him,” said Woo. “He said that this was his first time filming anything in the action genre and that showed because he would be so well-mannered that he wasn’t able to hit someone convincingly at first. Our bromance chemistry was really good on and off set and I feel like I have made a very good friend.”

Actors Woo Do-hwan, left, as Geon-woo, and Lee Sang-yi as Woo-jin, in the Netflix series ″Bloodhounds″ [NETFLIX]
Actors Woo Do-hwan, left, as Geon-woo, and Lee Sang-yi as Woo-jin, in the Netflix series ″Bloodhounds″ [NETFLIX]

As “Bloodhounds” deals with the hardships of ordinary people during the Covid-19 pandemic, the antagonist and the background setting would need an upgrade if a second session is made, said Woo and Lee.

“I think because ‘Bloodhounds’ is set during the pandemic more people – including global audiences – could relate to it better,” said Lee. “If we decide on a second season, someone or something more deadly and impactful would need to be devised.”

What that someone or something would be is still a mystery as the second season of “Bloodhounds” is still under discussion, but for Woo and Lee, “Bloodhounds’” current success is more than enough.

BY JEONG-WON LIM [lim.jeongwon@joongang.co.kr]