Actor Ahn Hyo-seop shared that he wanted to deliver a heart-wrenching, dedicated romance with his latest role as Nam Si-heon, a man caught up in an unfortunate fate in the Netflix series "A Time Called You."
"I've always liked time-travel genre works since I was young. But moreover, I took the role because I wanted to express the profound love that Si-heon has," the actor told The Korea Times, during a recent interview at a cafe in the Jongno District.
Based on the 2019 Taiwanese hit romance series "Someday or One Day," the fantasy romance series follows a grieving woman, Han Jun-hee (Jeon Yeo-been), who recently lost her boyfriend, Koo Yeon-joon (Ahn), in a plane crash. One day, she magically slips back in time to 1998 and wakes up in the body of a high schooler lookalike, Kwon Min-ju.
She meets classmates, Nam Si-heon (Ahn Hyo-seop), who has a striking resemblance to her late love, and kindhearted Jung In-gyu (Kang Hoon). While caught in a love triangle with Nam and Jung, Han grapples to write a new fate for all of them to avoid any deaths.
The 12-part series, which was released on Sept. 8, is led by director Kim Jin-won, who helmed the 2012 melodrama series, "The Innocent Man," and is scripted by Choi Hyo-bi, who wrote the 2016 thriller series "Babysitter."
Ahn plays double roles as Nam and Koo, who chooses to live a devastating life to protect his lover, Han.
The actor shared that he was curious about how such a portrayal of sacrificing for love would look on him.
"I want to believe in Si-hyeon's unyielding, deep love. I wondered ‘How would it come out if I expressed that kind of love?' It started as a curiosity. And now (I've completed it), I hope the viewers can observe the feeling I felt with the series," he said.
"When I think of 'A Time Called You,' I fall into a sense of nostalgia. I want to believe in love, and I think the series will resonate more with those who do believe in it. There is comfort within the series. And I hope that, even for a brief moment, people can experience that pure love."
Although the actor plays two characters, Ahn had to segment the character of Koo into different ages from his teens to his 40s. He said building layers as the character gets older was an especially difficult process.
"The first thing I focused on was the appearances. I understand that viewers would also be very confused … So we tried to pay a lot of attention to subtle details and tried our best in our own way," he said, adding he discussed with the director setting distinctive styles for each age.
"But frankly, what was more important than appearance was the emotional depth. This work required imagination. I had to create the character imagining his life at each age. Above all, I believe the ‘look in one's eyes' is the one thing that doesn't change over time … So I tried my best to imagine, immerse myself, and understand his situation. I hoped that the depth of my gaze would appear different at each stage of change."