Actors Min-ho, Chae Soo-bin want family and friends to skip their Fabulous steamy scenes
LOS ANGELES – Teased in trailers that left fans aflutter earlier in 2022, the steamy scenes between South Korean boy band heart-throb Choi Min-ho and his co-star Chae Soo-bin have made The Fabulous one of the most anticipated K-dramas of the year.
And the two stars, who were painfully shy around each other at first, admit it was awkward shooting those scenes, and say they hope friends and family fast-forward through those parts.
The Fabulous finally debuted on Netflix on Dec 23, after its original Nov 4 release date was postponed due to South Korea’s national mourning period following the deadly crush during Halloween festivities in Itaewon, Seoul.
The comedy-drama follows four young friends as they navigate South Korea’s glamorous but cut-throat fashion industry.
Choi – known simply as Minho to fans of his K-pop group Shinee – plays a fashion photographer and Chae, the marketing executive for a luxury brand.
The characters used to date but are now supposedly just friends, except that unresolved feelings and sexual tension keep getting in the way.
This was the first time the two actors had worked together and, speaking to The Straits Times and other media at an online press conference, Choi says Chae made it easy.
“She’s such a nice person,” says the 31-year-old through an interpreter. His last major acting role was in the war movie The Battle Of Jangsari (2019). “We had a lot of shoots in a very cold winter, but she never complained.”
He half-jokingly adds: “And we play exes, but there are some steamy scenes. So maybe our best friends should not watch the show.”
Chae says shooting those moments was awkward.
“It wasn’t easy,” says the 28-year-old, who starred in award-winning series such as the romantic comedy House Of Bluebird (2015) and historical drama Love In The Moonlight (2016).
“When I read the script, I was quite concerned about those scenes all the way up till the actual shoot. But I feel the same as Min-ho. I hope everyone watches our show, but not my family and very close friends. Maybe they can just skip those parts.”
The series is about platonic bonds as well.
Rounding out the group of friends is an up-and-coming fashion designer (Lee Sang-woon) and a supermodel (Park Hee-jung).
Choi says the four represent youthful hope, passion and the sort of unshakeable loyalty that can be summed up by the phrase “ride or die”.
“We always say this when we toast with drinks whenever we’re having a tough time,” he says. The group often meets for drinks and supper to support one another through career and personal travails.
Chae adds that this is something many people can relate to. “I could really put myself in (my character) Ji-eun’s shoes because when I get tired and feel defeated in life, I gather with my own friends and it’s therapeutic for me,” she says.
Choi, however, found it harder to connect with his on-screen alter ego.
“He is actually quite far from me because he has everything except passion. He’s not really eager, he doesn’t have a lifelong goal,” says the star, who recently made his solo music debut with the EP Chase.
“But he has a lot of thoughts inside him, and as he meets Ji-eun, he witnesses some personal growth.”
It took a while for the quartet to bond though.
Says Choi: “We are all very shy people.
“We were together for 10 minutes and didn’t say a word because we’re all so introverted. It was a very cold winter, but I would sweat because I felt very nervous with this new crowd of people.”
But The Fabulous’ director Kim Jung-hyun – who helmed the hit fantasy drama A Korean Odyssey (2017) – helped break the ice, and the four became good friends off camera too.
Choi recalls: “He said, ‘You’re supposed to be friends, so you guys should use the casual form of conversation in Korean.’
“Then we became pretty close and talked a lot. And then director Kim said we shouldn’t talk so much.”
The Fabulous is available on Netflix.
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