By Kim Ji-soo
The entertainment program "Grandpas Over Flowers" was almost an unlikely combination for success. Running on cable television tvN, the show with its four veteran Korean actors — Lee Sun-jae, Shin Gu, Baek Il-sup and Park Geun-hyung — and their actor porter Lee Suh-jin has achieved popularity.
Naturally, the cable channel, tvN, has decided to create a spin-off program called "Flower Grandpa Investigators." The new drama brings over Lee Sun-jae from the travel variety show.
"Because there are rarely dramas and shows that put the central focus on senior actors, the new program is giving me great energy, so I will do my best to do better than the younger actors here," said Lee Sun-jae at a press conference at the Press Center in Seoul.
He stars along with actors Byun Hee-bong, Jang Gwang and K-pop group Super Junior's member Kim Hee-chul. The four will play 20-something police officers who, through a mistake, are transformed into 70-something officers with Kim Hee-chul's character being the only exception. The K-pop star will play the 29-year-old Park Jeong-woo, an elite police officer and the only son of the National Police chief.
The K-pop star stands out not only for his age but also because the other three — Lee, Byun and Jang — are accomplished veteran actors. Byun has starred in director Bong Joon-ho's film "Monster" and Jang in the film "Dogani" or ("The Crucible.")
Asked how he is dealing with working with such senior actors, Kim said, "My mindset with the drama is that good acting is a standard criteria and that I should show my utmost devotion to teamwork such as keeping hours." Kim said so far he has been early to the production, but only to end up seeing the veteran actors already there on the set.
Lee said that he is still watching Kim's work but, "I have noticed that Kim is very active to chip into the teamwork that a drama production is. He doesn't just drop out of his car for his scene and leaves immediately afterwards," Lee said.
The new drama will air Fridays starting May 9 at 9:50 p.m. on tvN.