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Cast of ‘A Bloody Lucky Day’ Talk Heart-Pounding Journey in Crafting this Korean Thriller Masterpiece | EUR Exclusive

*We caught up with the stars of the Paramount+ Korean thriller series “A Bloody Lucky Day” to discuss this gripping and intense ride through the gritty underbelly of crime.

The series debuted on the streaming platform on February 1st, starring Lee Sung-min (Reborn Rich) as Oh Taek, Yoo Yeon-seok (Narco-Saints) as Geum Hyuk-soo and Lee Jung-eun (Parasite) as Hwang Soon-gyu.

In “A Bloody Lucky Day,” Oh Taek is a down-on-his-luck taxi driver having an uncharacteristic streak of good fortune when he agrees to drive a mysterious man named Geum Hyuk-soo to a faraway city in exchange for an exorbitant fare. But when the passenger reveals himself to be a serial killer, confessing to grisly crimes in his past and murdering others on the highway, the taxi driver must play mind games to ensure his lucky streak doesn’t come to a deadly end. 

“A Bloody Lucky Day” is based on the Naver Webtoon “A Day of Bad Luck” by Aporia. The ten-episode series is directed by Pil Gam-seong (Hostage: Missing Celebrity) and written by Kim Min-sung and Song Han-na.

I think A Bloody Lucky Day is different from the existing Korean thriller genre in that it is a thriller that takes place in a limited space and in a limited time, and that it combines a thriller and a ‘road movie’ format,” Pil Gam-seong told us exclusively by email.

A BLOODY LUCKY DAY
A Bloody Lucky Day streaming on Paramount+ 2024.

“I’m very curious to see how international audiences will react to it. I think the story of a taxi driver having a lucky day and taking a long trip with a serial killer is a story that anyone would find interesting. I also think the themes of fate and choice, the unpredictable storyline, the character changes and strong twists, and the revenge are something that all viewers, not just fans of the thriller genre, can enjoy and relate to,” the director added. 

In A Bloody Lucky Day, Geum Hyuk-soo asks Oh Taek, who has lived all his life as the good guy but has never been lucky: “Why should we live by morals and ethics in a world where one doesn’t face consequences for wrongdoing?” Where an ordinary taxi driver meets a crazed serial killer and experiences hardship as he’s drawn into the depths of darkness, A Bloody Lucky Day takes viewers on a journey to find the answer to the above question, said writers Kim Min-sung and Song Han-na.

“Who will the world side with: A serial killer who claims that the world is inherently unjust, so only the strong survives V.S. a humane taxi driver who insists humans must live by moral principles?  If you watch  ‘A  Bloody  Lucky  Day’  until the end,  I’m sure you will feel the message in the drama,” Kim and Song added. 

Peep what the stars had to say about the new series in our exclusive Q&A below.

Can you share insights into your character’s background and personality in A Bloody Lucky Day? How did you prepare for and approach this role?

Lee Jung-eun: Hwang Soon-gyu is a woman whose life was turned upside down by the death of her child. She was a vibrant mother who raised her children alone by running a flower shop for her son’s future, and one day, her son committed suicide, leaving her without a goal and full of loss. This was Hwang Soon-gyu’s image that the director and I were thinking of at our first meeting. The moment she realized that her son’s death was not a suicide but a murder, she had a different goal. The only thing that sparks her emotions is catching the killer. She had to find the culprit, one by one, alone. Going in and out of the police station and begging for help didn’t make things any better, so I focused on this aspect and approached Hwang Soon-gyu. 

Yoo Yeon-Seok: – In the webtoon, Hyuk-soo can’t feel pain or emotion, and he has a bizarre appearance with a permed haircut and a frog-like face. I approached the character by wearing a wig and freckle makeup and looking up documentaries about psychopaths and people who can’t feel pain. Also, Hyuk-soo confesses to his murders with a childlike innocence, which I thought was more frightening. So, rather than creating an eerie look or atmosphere, I tried to act like it was nothing.

Lee Sung-min: In desperate need of money, Oh Taek picks up a taxi customer who promises to give him the money he needs and sets off into the night, either by coincidence or by having a good dream, but the customer turns out to be a serial killer, which leads to a series of horrific events and accidents. One of the reasons I chose the character of Oh Taek in A Bloody Lucky Day was that he is an extremely ordinary person, unlike the characters I’ve played in my previous works. I wanted us to see ourselves in him, a relaxed, mild-mannered, unassuming, and moderately selfish taxi driver.

A BLOODY LUCKY DAY
L-R Yoo Yeon-seok as Geum Hyuk-soo and Lee Sung-min as Oh Taekin A Bloody Lucky Day episode 1, season 1 streaming on Paramount+ 2024. Photo Credit: Kim Jinyoung/Park Jonghee/Paramount+

A Bloody Lucky Day explores complex themes and emotions. What aspects of the storyline resonated with you, and how did you bring authenticity to your performance?

Lee Jung-eun: I was impressed that Hwang Soon-gyu died. I was looking forward to seeing how Oh Taek would assimilate, awaken, and go after the killer. This aspect felt realistic and left a memorable impact.

Yoo Yeon-Seok: The story itself was interesting while watching the webtoon and the script, and the character of Hyuk-soo was quite unique and bizarre. As an actor, he’s definitely a coveted character, and the fact that Lee Sung-min and Lee Jung-eun are also in the cast made me want to join this title more. Usually, I’m completely in sync with my roles, but since Hyuk-soo is a man who kills indiscriminately regardless of motivation, I tried to keep my distance this time. Also, Hyuk-soo is a character who doesn’t have much empathy, so I tried to approach him in a way that he wouldn’t react to Lee Sung-min’s performance.

Lee Sung-min: I was intrigued by the depiction of the acter gradually descending into an ant-hole from which there is no escape, and the tension that I could present to the viewer in a very long breath, and most of all, the character’s transformation in the second half was fascinating.

When I was playing Oh Taek, I knew that I had to make sure that the extreme situations, choices, emotional changes, and psychology that the character goes through during the show would be relatable to the audience and not feel out of place. I tried to balance and express the stress and fear that builds up in the character and the changes in his mind and emotions.

The Korean thriller genre often involves unexpected twists and turns. Without giving away spoilers, how did the storyline impact your understanding of your character, and how did you adapt to the evolving narrative?

Lee Sung-min: The character of Oh Taek in the movie is very different from my personality in real life. I think it’s almost completely different (which is why I chose to play this character in the show), so when I was playing him, I had to question a lot of things. I saw that there could be a gap between Oh Taek’s choices, and my own common senses, as well as that of the viewer. However, the storyline remained steadfast in this regard, leaving me with the task of bridging the gap through my performance. I endeavored to make deliberate choices in collaboration with the director, aiming to ensure that viewers would seamlessly connect with the narrative. Such instances were prevalent throughout the Drama. 

For example, there’s a scene where Oh Taek meets a human trafficker to negotiate and make a deal in order to smuggle. During this scene, the storyline was intricate, and Oh Taek was portrayed as a character quite different from his usual self. I struggled to find the right path for the performance, and it was a situation where I could easily make mistakes. It was a very sensitive and risky scene. So early on, the director and I worked together to find the acting line, and I think it turned out to be a good scene that went beyond the storyline.

A BLOODY LUCKY DAY
Yoo Yeon-seok as Geum Hyuk-soo in A Bloody Lucky Day – Photo Credit: Kim Jinyoung/Park Jonghee/Paramount+.

Working on a thriller series can be physically and emotionally demanding. How did you balance the intense scenes and the lighter moments on set? 

Lee Jung-eun: Since Hwang Soon-gyu was pushed to the edge of injustice, I tried to assimilate by watching a lot of documentaries of people who couldn’t resolve their unfair situations. The calmer scenes were mostly of me chasing after the victim by myself, so I received by talking with the director. Filming intense scenes wasn’t particularly challenging for me. I could easily immerse myself in the moment and then step back to restore balance. This was facilitated by the friendly atmosphere among the cast, even though it might appear contradictory.

Yoo Yeon-Seok:  There were some days when it was difficult to go to the set because the story is mostly shot at night and there are a lot of intense scenes. I also talked to Lee Sung-min about the difficulty of filming the show. I tried not to get too emotionally invested in the characters because there were many parts of the story where I didn’t understand the situation or the characters’ behavior.

Lee Sung-min: There were hardly any moments to find balance. The only peaceful moment was at the beginning when the family goes on a trip. The character, Oh Taek, was someone whose everyday life was inevitably intense. Such moments of tranquility were almost non-existent for a character like him. What I was trying to focus on was balancing Oh Taek’s stress over time. I was always keeping in mind the pain he was going through and the climax that was coming later in the show, so I had to adjust the intensity of the expression. It wasn’t so much a matter of balancing the calm moments with the intense moments, but rather a matter of balancing the intensity with the fierce moments. 

I usually take this kind of preparation for granted when I’;m acting, but in this case, Oh Taek’s pain was so complex and deep that it was even harder to reconcile. On a side note, there’s a scene in the middle of the show where he runs away from the serial killer, calls the police, and falls into the water, and I remember having a lot of fun filming that scene. It was pretty much the only moment I had fun.

A BLOODY LUCKY DAY
Lee Sung-min as Oh Taek in A Bloody Lucky Day – Photo Credit: Kim Jinyoung/Park Jonghee/Paramount+.

How do you handle the pressure of keeping the audience on the edge of their seats? Were there any specific techniques or approaches you used to enhance the suspenseful atmosphere of the show?

Lee Jung-eun: It seems to be a profession that requires not just know-how but absolute concentration on the situation. While technical skills are undoubtedly essential, I focused on never forgetting the context of Hwang Sun-kyu’s situation.

Yoo Yeon-Seok: Since we were shooting in a virtual production studio, we were able to utilize a variety of shooting techniques, and we tried to vary our movements and eye contact. And it was mentally challenging to be in a taxi, a confined space, for long periods of time. Also, thankfully, the reactions of the other actors made Hyuk-soo’s viciousness stand out.

Lee Sung-min: I don’t have any techniques, because I don’t act based on them, but I always try to keep things in mind when I’m working, things that I shouldn’ miss, things that I should focus on. In this case, I wanted to make sure that Oh Taek’s ordinary life is similar to ours, so I prepared my acting with the idea that I should be able to draw the viewer in and focus on the drama, so that they can immerse themselves in the situation as if they were Oh Taek.

“A Bloody Lucky Day” is now streaming on Paramount+.

READ MORE: Vivica A. Fox on Finally Playing A Mother Again in Peacock’s ‘Bosco’ | WATCH

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