If you haven’t watched MAN x MAN, it’s time to tap on your Netflix app and start watching. The show, which is currently airing in South Korea as well, is only four episodes in, but it’s already taken us on a rollercoaster ride of suspense, laughter and sadness.
The drama revolves around the story of a Hallyu star, Yeo Woon Gwang (played by Park Sung Woong), his bodyguard who is actually a secret agent (played by Park Hae Jin) and Woon Gwang’s manager (played by Kim Min Jung).
If you’re expecting your typical love triangle kind of plot, you might be disappointed because Hae Jin said, “I would say you’ll see more bromance [than romance].” He added, “Even with Kim Min Jung, our chemistry is more like a quarrelling-with-each-other kind of relationship, not a typical love-each-other relationship, and I believe that the audience will find it more fun and interesting.”
The bromance Hae Jin talks about is, of course, between him and Sung Woong. The two share such impeccable chemistry on-screen that you might think it’s not their first time working together. And you’re not entirely wrong – both of them acted in East of Eden a decade ago. However, unlike their current characters, they hardly interacted in their previous roles.
Hae Jin said, “We did work together 10 years ago in East of Eden but there was not a single shot where we were in the same frame.” He added, “It felt very fresh that I got a chance to work with him after all those years, and we definitely became closer to each other while working on this series.”
Sung Woong agreed, “I worked with Hae Jin in East of Eden 10 years ago. It’s been a long time since we reunited but we were able to create bromance chemistry right away. I was impressed by his masculine eyes while shooting the action scenes, and I found out he became much cooler and manlier while I haven’t seen him.”
Sung Woong was not the only one singing praises about his co-star. Hae Jin returned the favour when he described the veteran actor as “a cool guy”. He said, “He’s just a cool [mature] man. I want to learn that side of him. You’re so cool, Sung Woong!”
While the chemistry may have come naturally between the two actors, it seems a lot of hard work was involved too. Sung Woong, who has taken on more serious roles in his 20-year career, said he had many meetings with the director and screenwriter to fine-tune details, and even tried improvisations on set. He said, “There are a lot of improvised motions, gestures and tones of voice, as well as improvised lines. My favourite moment was whenever the director laughed so hard and couldn’t even say ‘Cut’, then I did it instead and said ‘Cut’ very boldly.”
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MAN x MAN is now available on Netflix. New episodes are available every Friday and Saturday.