Black Knight star Song Seung-heon loves taking wefies on set, Latest TV News - The New Paper

Black Knight star Song Seung-heon loves taking wefies on set

In the year 2071, air pollution has killed off most of the human population, and oxygen masks are now required in order to survive.

South Korea has become a desert and a brutal dystopia with a strict class system – those deemed important enough are stamped with a QR code that allows them to receive necessities while those without, termed refugees, are left to fend for themselves.

Deliverymen, who deliver oxygen to people and fend off bandits snatching supplies, have become crucial to the world.

That is the story of the new K-drama Black Knight, which premieres on Netflix on Friday and stars South Korean actor Kim Woo-bin (Our Blues, 2022) as the legendary deliveryman known only as 5-8.

At night, however, he transforms into a “black knight” – a protector of the refugees – who is working to take down Cheonmyeong Group, the corporation that controls the oxygen supply of the world.

While the show may be fictional, the issue of pollution, mask-wearing and climate change is not. And the cast say Black Knight has heightened their awareness of such issues.

“Until recently, we were all wearing masks, so this felt like a probable future to me,” Kim, 33, says at a press event on Wednesday with regional media.

Co-star Song Seung-heon, 46, adds: “During filming, I thought about how we really do take fresh air for granted when it’s so scarce and such a critical resource in this series. We really can’t take it for granted.

“We know that there is climate change, we know that ice is melting, but we don’t treat it as such a big deal and we stay very complacent. But a lot of experts tell us this could be very destructive. Black Knight is my way of raising awareness of environmental changes and I hope it does the same for other people too.”

Kim, Song, actor Kang You-seok and actress Esom share four things about Black Knight.

1. Dry, decrepit world

Freckles were added to the actors’ faces in Black Knight to show the harsh environment they live in. Kim Woo-bin is featured here as deliveryman 5-8. PHOTO: NETFLIX


One of the highlights of Black Knight, says 33-year-old Esom (Taxi Driver, 2021), who plays military officer Seol-ah, is the immersive world it creates.

She adds: “We really tried to get across the dry, decrepit vibe of this dystopian world. The palette is kept very dark; all of us have freckles on our faces from the weather and have QR codes on our arms.”

And while the year is 2071 and the world is nearly unrecognisable in the series, Song says there will still be some references to the current world.

“You’ll see the (Seoul landmark) Namsan Tower and other buildings in Seoul that are so familiar, but in a completely different setting. I think a lot of people will find that very refreshing.”

2. Wefie-loving villain

Actor Song Seung-heon, who plays a villain in Black Knight, loves to take photographs with the cast on set. PHOTO: NETFLIX


Song, best known for romantic hero roles in early Hallyu (Korean wave) dramas like Autumn In My Heart (2000) and Summer Scent (2003), is taking on a rare villain role here as the heir of Cheonmyeong Group, who wants to rule the world with oxygen.

While he may be the big bad guy on screen, the cast and series writer-director Cho Ui-seok – who is long-time friends with Song after working on the comedy film Make It Big (2002) over 20 years ago – say he is a big joker who loves to take photographs with the cast on set.

But Song just wants to be prepared when it comes to his wefies.

“Sometimes, when I’m done with a project, I want to post the photos on Instagram, so I don’t feel good if I don’t have the pictures ready,” he explains.

3. Model leads reconnect

The leads of Black Knight – Esom (left) and Kim Woo-bin (right) – both worked together on the mystery thriller White Christmas (2011) as rookie actors. PHOTO: NETFLIX


Black Knight marks a reunion for Kim and Esom, who worked together on the mystery thriller White Christmas (2011) as rookie models-turned-actors more than a decade ago. And they had fun reminiscing about their past.

Kim says: “We talked about the old days and were like, ‘Wow, we survived in this industry, huh?’ We used to get scolded by directors for our performances, and now we’ve both grown and become these solid actors, I guess.”

4. Action titan

Actor Kang You-seok trained every day for three months for his action scenes in K-drama Black Knight. PHOTO: NETFLIX


Also joining the cast is Kang (Payback: Money And Power, 2023), who went through fiercely contested rounds of auditions to nab the role of Sa-wol, a refugee boy taken in by Seol-ah who aspires to be a deliveryman like 5-8.

Many of his scenes are action-driven as Sa-wol trains to be a fighter as strong as 5-8. In fact, he was told by Cho that he needed to transform himself into an “action titan”.

“I felt a lot of pressure and I knew it would be a bumpy road ahead,” the 28-year-old says. “So every day for three months, I went to work with the stunt team and went for lessons in action scenes. It really wasn’t easy.”

Black Knight premieres on Friday on Netflix.