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INTERVIEWJung Il-woo satisfied with his versatile character in 'Good Job'

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Actor Jung Il-woo played the lead in ENA's comedy detective series,
Actor Jung Il-woo played the lead in ENA's comedy detective series, "Good Job," which ended last Thursday. Courtesy of 9ato Entertainment

Actor played role of detective-cum-CEO in comedy series

By Lee Gyu-lee

For actor Jung Il-woo, his recent role as a detective-cum-CEO in ENA's comedy detective series, "Good Job," was an opportunity to explore his creative freedom.

"I feel like I did everything I've wanted to do with this series," the actor told The Korea Times in a recent interview at a cafe in central Seoul. "'Good Job' had such a unique concept and gave me a chance to play the character that I wanted. The series has wrapped up on a good note, so I'm personally satisfied."

The 12-part series, which ended last Thursday, revolves around the owner of a large conglomerate, Eun Seon-woo (Jung), who has both good looks and brains. He lives a double life, secretly running a private detective office.

One day, he comes across poor but high-spirited Don Se-ra (Kwon Yu-ri), who possesses incredible vision. The two join forces to solve cases, including the mysterious death of Seon-woo's mother, who passed away when he was young.

Jung said that he tried to separate the characters' two different lives: as a successful, wealthy CEO and as a versatile undercover detective.

"I tried to have different portrayals as the detective and as the CEO, setting a different tone in speech and in the clothing style between the two," he said.

A scene from the series,
A scene from the series, "Good Job' / Courtesy of ENA

The actor added that he had come up with a lot of ideas for his detective character, such as styling or special makeup for his disguise, and even going shopping for the props himself.

"I had quite a scene where I had to wear special makeup (to go undercover). And as the episodes went on, I put in a lot of thought. For a disguise as an elderly man, I suggested using the reference of Tom Cruise from 'Mission Impossible,' and tried a Korean American look for the scene at the casino," he said, adding that he felt confident in comedy since hosting an episode of "SNL Korea."

"I feel like I've gained confidence after doing 'SNL Korea.' I've learned to let myself cut loose. So when I did this series, it wasn't hard for me to take on scenes that might feel overwhelming," he said.

Jung expressed that he had such great chemistry with the director and co-stars, including Kwon, whom he has reunited with since last year's period romance series, "Bossam: Steal the Fate."

Jung Il-woo, second from right, and actress Kwon Yu-ri, right, in ENA series
Jung Il-woo, second from right, and actress Kwon Yu-ri, right, in ENA series "Good Job." They earlier co-starred in the romance series, 'Bossam: Steal the Fate,' last year. Courtesy of ENA

"We would discuss and change the lines or scenes together on set with the director, like playing with improv," he said. "For every episode, the actors would chip in their ideas and have fun with it. It felt like we were working on a student project again. The director welcomed our opinions so it was interesting that we developed it together."

Despite the good chemistry with Kwon, he shared that he was worried at first as they have recently worked together for a different series.

"We hit it off well and had great chemistry. But I was also worried when I heard that we would be working together again because the audiences loved our characters from 'Bossam' but there's a difference between the period drama and this series. So I wasn't sure if we could meet their expectations again," he said, adding that he soon felt confident once the filming started.

"We would meet together frequently to read our lines and share ideas together. We've grown closer and all the actors generally had such great chemistry with each other."

Lee Gyu-lee

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