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INTERVIEW'One Day Off' star Lee Na-young, director on creating subtle, feel-good series

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Actress Lee Na-young plays the character of Park Ha-kyung in the Wavve's new original series,
Actress Lee Na-young plays the character of Park Ha-kyung in the Wavve's new original series, "One Day Off." Courtesy of Wavve and The LAMP

By Lee Gyu-lee

In Wavve's new original series, "One Day Off," a high school teacher, Park Ha-kyung (Lee Na-young), goes on a simple, one-day journey to different cities in Korea every week to escape her ordinary, repetitive life. There's nothing special about her trips. She just wanders around with no specific itinerary.

Director Lee Jong-pill / Courtesy of Wavve and The LAMP
Director Lee Jong-pill / Courtesy of Wavve and The LAMP
Yet, the eight-part series takes viewers through the low-key, feel-good journey with each of the 20-minute episodes, offering relatable, comforting moments as they follow the trips and Park's encounters with different people along the way.

The series' lead actor, Lee Na-young, and director Lee Jong-pill, said "One Day Off" is an easy-to-watch series with a story that is all about emptying everything.

"'Feeling relatable' itself sounds like a homework. I just hope (the viewers) could watch it like they're spacing out and enjoy it without any pressure. Everyone will have a different takeaway (from the series). But if I do have a wish, I hope people enjoy it and have lingering feeling afterward," Lee Na-young said during an interview with The Korea Times, Friday, held in Jongno District, Seoul.

The director added that he wanted to leave some room for the viewers to fill in the void themselves as they followed along Park's journey.

"I considered this project as the work of emptying everything. Other works, like Hollywood movies, are always filled with something. But with this series, there are some blank spaces. And I felt when the viewers immerse themselves (into Park's perspective), they would fill up that missing part," he said. "When you actually travel alone, it's full of blank spaces. And I thought that, itself, is also valuable so I tried not to build up extras."

A scene from the series,
A scene from the series, "One Day Off." Courtesy of Wavve and The LAMP

Park comes across different people during her trips from her favorite comic book author when she was a kid to a child on a journey looking for a specific type of bread her deceased mother used to enjoy. The actress shared that she tried to apply herself fully to the moment, as she worked with different actors for each episode.

"At first when I saw the script, I thought I would just need to ace 'spacing out.' But as I started having meetings over the script, I realized I was in trouble.' I got nervous to share lines with all the actors," she said, adding that she managed to come to enjoy it.

"This felt like going to the set to meet these people and have conversations … There are no specific emotions that I need to prepare to express. But rather than bringing this emotion (to the set), there was fun in putting myself in the moment and creating the scene together (with counter actors)."

She said that she would get emotional a lot throughout the filming. "I don't know why I kept tearing up. But after watching the final work, I realized why. (The script) didn't set Park Ha-kyoung as a specific character. So it was more relatable. There were no boundaries and rules (to the character) … so I was very true to my feelings and would get emotional a lot."

Lee Gyu-lee


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