Chapter 60: Torrent (5)
After the uproar of ‘Profiler Hanryang’ on Monday, perhaps because the world was so noisy, time flew by. Naturally, the popularity of ‘Profiler Hanryang’ persisted. In fact, it only grew more immense.
The media was abuzz, as was public opinion.
Even though there were still a few days left until the third episode was aired, the astounding 23% viewership had indeed created explosive headlines. A series of discussions and debates ensued. On SNS, the word ‘Hanryang’ frequently appeared, and most popular posts on various blogs and online cafes revolved around Hanryang.
YouTube was flooded with content.
-!Deep Dive Analysis of ‘Profiler Hanryang’ Episode 1! Did you catch this hint??!!｜DramaManTV
Numerous YouTubers, offering drama reviews and analyses, covered ‘Profiler Hanryang’.
Such was the nature of trends.
Once a super-popular drama made a splash, everything else gradually got consumed by its tide. Be it fashion or broadcasting, the essence remained the same—only the content varied. The public always craved fresh stimuli.
This time, the stimulus was ‘Profiler Hanryang’.
And so, it was only natural that the popularity of the character Park Dae-ri skyrocketed. Recently, audiences had become quite discerning. A pretty face alone wouldn’t suffice; acting skills, atmosphere, and storyline were equally crucial. If one also had good looks, it was the icing on the cake.
Kang Woojin possessed all these qualities.
While not every single one of his attributes might have been top-tier, he did meet all the criteria.
-Watching the drama on broadcast and on YouTube… Park Dae-ri’s acting is really immersive…..
When it came to acting, the newcomer Kang Woojin, who portrayed Park Dae-ri, was truly exceptional. His skills garnered acclaim even from the most critical audiences.
-To be honest, lol, I don’t really like Park Eun-mi’s dramas, but Park Dae-ri is a masterstroke lol
The ones enjoying this situation were surprisingly not Kang Woojin, but the people around him who knew him well. For example, Kim Dae-young, who was about to start work at the company where he worked.
“Look at this guy? What? Kang Woojin’s acting looks awkward? Are you nuts? How dare you post such a negative comment? Take this downvote!”
Kim Dae-young’s daily routine began with searching for ‘Kang Woojin’. Of course, all three of his close friends did the same.
“Again, these tabloids. Spreading unfounded rumors. What? Kang Woojin is a Korean-Japanese? Nonsense. He’s a pure native Korean, you know. Go Korea.”
The trio enjoyed it more than Kang Woojin. Then Kim Dae-young accessed the homepage of Woojin’s agency, bw Entertainment. He was wondering if there were any new updates. It was quicker than getting a response from Woojin.
Kim Dae-young found something.
“…Job recruitment notice?”
It was a notice from bw Entertainment looking to hire new employees.
Meanwhile, someone else was having a similar day: Kang Woojin’s younger sister, Kang Hyun-ah.
“Wow! There’s so much about him online!”
The first thing she did in the morning was go online, and naturally, she was searching for her brother.
“He even started using SNS, he never did that before?”
It made sense. Just a few days ago, there was no news about her brother, and now the internet was flooded with it. Many people were mentioning Kang Woojin on YouTube, community forums, and more. Kang Hyun-ah felt a mix of emotions.
It was thrilling yet somewhat surreal.
“Ew! What is this picture? Don’t look so serious!”
Incidentally, Kang Hyun-ah’s friends had also become fans of Kang Woojin, especially after watching ‘Profiler Hanryang’. So, whenever Hyun-ah and her friends met up, they started with talking about Woojin.
“Hyun-ah! Woojin Oppa updated his SNS!”
“I know, I saw it. Ew, it’s so cringy.”
“Why? He looks great, right? But is Woojin Oppa not taking on any new projects? There’s no news on the official website or SNS.”
“I don’t know either. He’s not responding to my messages.”
At that moment, one of her friends clapped her hands excitedly.
“Oh right! Fan club! There’s no official fan club for Woojin oppa yet, right? Should we create one? Hyun-ah should be the representative.”
Kang Hyun-ah spaced out for a moment, then for some reason, she touched her chin.
“That sounds okay?”
From this point on, little by little from various places on the internet.
-What? LOL. I was really surprised! Kang Woojin acting? He wasn’t into acting when we were in high school LOL.
Friends who had been forgotten by Kang Woojin began to appear.
Two days later, on the 20th, Wednesday.
Around lunchtime, Kang Woojin could be found at a high-end traditional Korean restaurant near Sinsa Station, and quite a few people sat across a long table with glasses set. Wearing a black fleece, Kang Woojin was with Choi Sung Geon, and opposite them,
“Thank you for making time, Woojin. You must be so busy.”
The group opposite Woojin included four people, one of whom was a plump woman. She was a director named Kim Do-hee. Her hair was rough and she had a tough look. Probably in her mid-40s? And the other three were from the production company making the movie ‘Drug Dealer’.
In other words, this meeting was about the movie ‘Drug Dealer’.
“Hello, Director. Nice to meet you.”
Kim Do-hee, the director across the table, was slightly surprised at Woojin’s particularly emotionless greeting today.
“No, I saw Woojin a lot at the ‘Short Film Festival’. Of course, I was the only one looking. But you’re much calmer than I thought?”
“I tend to be like that.”
“Your voice is quite deep. I thought you were a bit monotonous at the film festival, but you feel even quieter than that.”
At this, Choi Sung-gun equipped a business smile.
“Our Woojin is usually quite calm. But when he acts, he transforms completely.”
“I know, CEO Choi. I watched ‘Exorcism’. It’s more surprising to meet Woojin in person. Kim Ryu-jin was rather sloppy and slightly impudent, and the recent Park Dae-ri was literally a psychopath and sociopath. But the real character, Kang Woojin, is pure seriousness. It’s rare to see an actor with such range.”
“Haha, right? He even looks good in any color. Same goes for his acting.”
Director Kim Do-hee nodded slowly, staring intently at Kang Woojin’s face.
‘Looking closer, he seems deep and intense. That must be his natural charm.’
With an indifferent face, Kang Woojin smirked inwardly.
‘Why is she staring? It’s not a staring contest…’
Seeing Woojin like this, the convinced Director Kim Do-hee let out a small sigh.
“Hoo- Seeing you in person, the synchronization seems even better. So, I’m even greedier for you, Woojin.”
The one who asked was Kang Woojin.
“What kind of synchronization are you referring to?”
“······Let me be frank about the situation with our movie ‘Drug Dealer’. As you probably know, we are in the middle of filming. Naturally, all the roles have been cast and there were no big problems until recently. However, Oh Jun-woo recently.”
“Had a car accident?”
At this point, Choi Sung-gun answered on behalf.
“I think I read the article. Oh Jun-woo’s car accident.”
Director Kim Do-hee, nodding her head, said,
“That’s right. He fractured his right arm due to that accident. It’s driving me crazy thinking about it.”
“So, due to Oh Jun-woo’s accident, he had no choice but to drop out. Jun-woo was supposed to do that cameo role.”
“It may be called a cameo, but it’s a very important role. Honestly, both the production company and I were in shock. Then, I happened to go to the ‘Mise-en-Scene Film Festival’ and saw Woojin. More precisely, I saw Woojin fluently speaking Japanese. It was an epiphany.”
Hearing his name, Kang Woojin replied in a low voice.
“Yes, there was quite a bit of dialogue in Japanese for that cameo role.”
Director Kim Do-hee smiled bitterly.
“Did you read the script? Thank you. The cameo role is supposed to be someone with connections in both Korea and Japan, and needs to be fluent in both Korean and Japanese.”
Upon hearing this, Kang Woojin began to understand the situation.
“I get the situation.”
“Oh, but it’s not just your Japanese that impressed us. Your acting was incredible – no, it was the best. The acting difficulty for this cameo role is pretty high, requiring the portrayal of a drug addiction and the charisma of a boss. If you look into the detailed settings, there’s a lot to practice.”
“But honestly, the more I propose this, the more it seems impossible. In addition to the high difficulty of the Japanese language, the role also has a kind of makeshift feel. And we’re running out of time.”
“When do you plan to shoot the cameo scenes?”
“…If we push it to the last cut, it will take more than a month, but there are quite a few characters involved, so we need to start shooting within 3 weeks.”
As soon as he heard the answer, Choi Sung-gun slightly shook his head, as if it was impossible.
“Three weeks? That might be tough. Especially being thrown onto the set all of a sudden.”
Director Kim Do-hee’s bitter smile deepened, as if she didn’t even believe it herself.
“Exactly. So, we tried to cut out the Japanese parts or other settings, but that would kill the energy of the cameo. It’s unavoidable. Moreover, Woojin is rapidly rising in popularity.”
Soon, the production manager sitting next to her let out a long sigh.
“Director, I think you should cut out that role.”
“Yes, I think so too. We need to halt filming and revise the script first.”
At that moment, Kang Woojin’s stern voice echoed.
“I think I can do it.”
All eyes widened, except for Woojin’s. But for Woojin, it was like:
‘3 weeks? That’s long. Give me 3 days and it’s totally doable.’
Three weeks was more than enough. If asked, he could even start today, because he had the void space. And a makeshift role? Did it matter? Most actors might be apprehensive, but Kang Woojin, who had seen worse in the design industry, didn’t care at all.
‘So what if it’s makeshift? When I act, it’s mine.’
Cut out all the complicated and annoying considerations? Woojin thought not taking this ‘drug-dealer’ role would be foolish. A B+ grade role and the Japanese lines were easy tasks. The short filming period for the cameo was not a big deal either.
‘A or S grades aren’t always available. So, this is it.’
The B+ grade might even increase. In short, Kang Woojin said,
“I will take the cameo role, director.”
He had decided to take the role of the ‘Drug Dealer’. Upon this, director Kim Do-hee and the production staff were shocked. However, Choi Sung-gun, who was accustomed to Woojin’s eccentric behavior, thought,
‘Woojin must have caught a whiff of something from this ‘Drug Dealer’ role. That crazy instinct of his has kicked in again.’
He smiled mischievously and asked Director Kim Do-hee directly,
“Director, how much are you thinking of paying Woojin for this role? Of course, considering he’s joining under such dire circumstances?”
The negotiation for the pay had begun.
The next morning, at bw Entertainment.
On the 21st, the day before the YouTube ‘Sports Day’ entertainment shooting related to the promotion schedule for ‘Profiler Hanryang’, when all the employees were busy working, team Choi Sung-gun and Kang Woojin entered the office. Following that, Jang Su-hwan and Han Ye-jung approached the PR team members, and Choi Sung-gun, who looked tired, said,
“Ah, I’m so exhausted.”
And headed straight for the CEO’s office. Woojin was nowhere in sight, perhaps having gone to the restroom. As Choi Sung-gun opened the door to the CEO’s office,
The Operations team leader rushed to Choi Sung-gun.
“We have several issues, and although I’ve submitted the report, I’ll inform you of the urgent matters now. Starting with hiring new employees.”
“Uh huh, go on.”
“Quite a number of applicants have applied. When should we schedule the interviews?”
“Hmm, if possible, I’d like to participate too. How about we close the job posting next week and then sort out the interviews. I’ll let you know the exact schedule after checking with Woojin’s calendar.”
“Yes, yes. And we’ve received a request to renew Hye-yeon’s clothing brand modeling contract.”
“She said she’d be fine with extending it, but let’s keep the same terms and ask for a higher signing bonus.”
The team leader replied briskly and pointed to a stack of papers on the office desk.
“These are related to Woojin. We received more scripts yesterday. There are web dramas, and the genres are fantastic.”
“Well, I suppose.”
Suddenly, the Operations team leader lifted two of the scripts from the pile with a meaningful expression.
“These two are quite big.”
“Big? What are they? Let’s see, who’s the writer?”
“One of them is a script by writer Lee Wol-seon.”
Stunned, Choi Sung-gun, who was about to open the stack of papers, widened his eyes.
“Lee Wol-seon? She sent a script?”
“Yes, yes. The broadcaster is KBC. You know, CP Seo there?”
“CP Seo? Oh, the guy who looks like a raccoon.”
“That’s right. CP Seo called, and he was ecstatic from the start. He said they managed to get Lee Wol-seon.”
“·····Lee Wol-seon has taken a liking to Woojin – this is huge news. If we transition from Park Eun-mi to Lee Wol-seon, what kind of impact would that have?”
“The media would go crazy. Especially since Woojin is currently rising rapidly in popularity as Park Dae-ri.”
Choi Sung-gun’s smile deepened, and he stroked his chin.
‘Well, it makes sense that the jealous Lee Wol-seon would be interested in Woojin. She’s probably conscious of Park Eun-mi. But it’s surprising. Lee Wol-seon is famous for not using newbies unless absolutely necessary.’
Whatever the case, it was good news. Or rather, a cause for celebration. Thus, after setting aside Lee Wol-seon’s script, Choi Sung-gun pointed to another stack of papers.
“Ah, the remaining script is weaker than Lee Wol-seon’s. It’s from Park Eun-mi’s assistant writer.”
“Oh, that’s a bit tricky.”
“It is, isn’t it? Since they’re related, outright ignoring it feels wrong. Moreover, it’s a short series drama.”
“Eh, a short series drama? Tsk. If it’s a short series drama from an assistant writer, it’s a definite no for the current Woojin. But with Park Eun-mi involved, it becomes a bit tricky.”
“But the good thing is, this script came from the Netflix creative team.”
“Netflix? Why did the conversation suddenly jump there?”
“It won a competition.”
“Huh – really? Ah, I think I heard something about it. Netflix is doing a short series drama project, right?”
“Yes, that’s correct.”
Choi Sung-gun, who was retying his hair, let out a small sigh.
“Hmm, still, a short series drama is a bit…… Looking at Woojin’s schedule, we either have to reject both or go with one… but they both seem to be of the same genre? Rom-com. Why do they have to be of the same genre?”
“In my opinion, the one by Lee Wol-seon is clearly superior, both in terms of the drama and Woojin’s future.”
Kang Woojin, who had been to the restroom, entered the office. He was wearing a cap and a zip-up hoodie. As soon as Woojin entered, the team leader exited the office, and Choi Sung-gun handed two scripts to Woojin, who was sitting in front of the desk.
“Woojin, this might be sudden, but I need you to check these. We received additional rom-com scripts.”
“Yes, these two?”
“Yes. For now, ‘Drug Dealer’ is confirmed, so just take a look at these two.”
With an indifferent expression, Woojin immediately opened Lee Wol-seon’s script. At the same time, Choi Sung-gun spilled all the information he had heard from the Operations team leader. The descriptions and situations of the two writers. Kang Woojin did pause slightly while listening, but he seemed to be focusing on listening.
Choi Sung-gun continued.
“Hmm – there are some overlapping interests. They’re both rom-coms too. Anyone can see that we should go with Lee Wol-seon, but it’s a bit hard to ignore Park Eun-mi. There’s a bit of a dilemma, but still.”
“No, it’s not that difficult.”
Kang Woojin casually pointed to one of the two scripts with his index finger and spoke in a calm voice.
“I’ll do this one.”
It was the short series drama script by Park Eun-mi’s assistant writer.
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