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Hyun Bin isn’t afraid of the Friend comparisons

I haven’t had a chance to see the newly aired drama Friend, Our Legend [친구, 우리들의 전설], but perhaps you have. It premiered this past weekend on MBC, and has been the source of a lot of curiosity, given its cast (Hyun Bin, Kim Min-joon), director (Kwak Kyung-taek of the film), and high-profile source material (the movie Friend) which starred one of Korea’s most famous and well-liked movie actors, Jang Dong-gun. Naturally people have been prepared to draw comparisons between the two versions (and two lead actors in the main role of Dong-soo).

On the drama’s upside, the entire series has been produced in its entirety, meaning that the actors are now done filming and the production won’t be in a race to beat the clock to get the episodes on air. Furthermore, having the same director behind both projects pre-empts some of the comments that the drama is merely aping the style of its film predecessor.

Here’s an interview with Hyun Bin from last week, published just a few days before the drama’s premiere.

Did you feel any pressure choosing this role?

When I first chose this role, I guessed that I would be compared to Jang Dong-gun sunbae. Although there were people who worried about it, I took on the challenge and as we filmed, I have never once regretted it. We began filming in January and things got better as we went along, and by now I’m not afraid [of people’s reactions]. I’m not worried, either. Watching this drama, people who saw the film Friend will think back to the first one.

Was it difficult acting with the Saturi accent?

When we first went down to Busan in January, director Kwak Kyung-taek gave me all twenty scripts and two cassette tapes. The director had recorded all my dialogue himself, and I listened to it over and over, and asked questions on set, too. Even now, I can’t speak like a Busan person. I have to show that I tried hard. I’m faster at picking up on the pronunciation now, so you can say I improved in my ability to follow along. It’s good enough that people won’t misunderstand what I’m saying, so I’m not worried that it will make viewers in general lose focus on the drama. They may find it awkward at first, but it improves soon afterward.

Is there any advice that Jang Dong-gun gave you?

He told me, “Give everything to director Kwak.” He came to the Busan shooting location not long ago, and he didn’t say much, only, “It brings me back to the old days.” Watching me film, he was pleased. We talked over the phone, too, but he didn’t tell me anything particular. He trusts me and just asks, “Is filming going well?”

How will your acting differ from the Dong-soo that Jang Dong-gun acted?

I’m very aware that the Dong-soo character acted by Jang Dong-gun left a deep impression on many people. I wanted to act the character differently than in the movie. At first, I thought seeing the film would make me model my acting after it so I didn’t watch it, but after reading the script I thought I should carry over some of the actions and looks from Jang Dong-gun’s acting, and changed my mind. After that point, I saw the film at least twenty or thirty times. I put it on repeat four or five times a day. At some parts, you may see bits of the film Dong-soo character.

The dramatic storyline with Jin-sook (actress Wang Ji-hye) didn’t happen in the movie, and is only given a central role in the drama series. I also wanted to show a lot of expression in my eyes. In the drama, Dong-soo boxes, I’ve been training with someone in Busan since January, and found that the looks in athletes’ or martial artists’ eyes are different. I worked hard to bring out a fierce look in my eyes.

How did you find doing the action scenes?

It was tough on my body, but fun. I had some injuries, and now have a permanent scar on my leg. In the early part, there was a scene I shot while on a boat, and I fell wrong from an oil container and hurt my right leg on the shin area.

How do you feel about your short haircut?

This is the first time I’m wearing my hair this short since middle school and when I first started shooting Nonstop 4. I couldn’t imagine how I’d look with short hair, so I was nervous at first. Now that I cut it off, what do you think, does it look okay? [Laughs]

What’s the main point when watching?

In the film, the friends go right from their school days into adulthood, but in the drama, things progress in between that time, like the prominent story with Jin-sook. One of the appeals of Friend, Our Legend will be watching for some of the same lines and the same locations but with different actors.

Via Mk.co.kr

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I love Hyun Bin! :) I haven't seen the movie version so I can't compare, but hope the drama will be good!

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I don't know what will happen if Friend, Our Legend (친구, 우리들의 전설) turns out to be really, really good. I mean, I hope it will be great, and Binnie is, well, Binnie, and I wish him the best. I just don't have the time right now!

I just don't have the hours in the day, days in the week, to deal with yet another good drama. LOL.

Not enough time! Somebody just stop the world from rotating and then give me about 2 months to catch up on work, dramas, life. Then press 'play' again and I'll be good to go!

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If its a good drama I'll probably watch it once it finishes airing, tbh tho I've seen the original movie so I don't feel a paticular need to want to watch this.

And so true Samsooki, someone stop the world, I could have a life and watch all the dramas I want.

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Has anyone seen this yet? What's the general opinion so far?
(Definitely on my 'to watch' list!)

To have 20 scripts all written in advance, with the director recording dialogue for Hyun Bin to try and perfect the Saturi accent seems to (hopefully) indicate a dedication to quality. It is actually refreshing NOT to read about cast/crew filming crazy hours minutes before broadcast time.

(I had a giggle that the director gave Hyun Bin two 'cassette tapes' - tapes in this age of digital/Mp3s! :p hehe)

Really like Hyun Bin's attitude to the role. He knew the role would raise comparisons to Jang Dong-gun yet still took it. Also he noted his accent may not be spot on. Nice to see an actor who acknowledges their limitations, yet still give it a shot. Good work Binnie! Sad to hear he got injured though.

Re: Short haircut
"...Now that I cut it off, what do you think, does it look okay? [Laughs]"

Too cute of him to ask if he looked ok! Honestly Binnie would look good whatever his hairstyle! This interview makes me love Hyun Bin even more. Seriously great to watch how he has grown over the years since his MNIKSS role. My love for Binnie seems to grow with each new performance.

Of course since this is Binnie topic....
Samsooki - have you checked out your Binnie yet? Or are you waiting for the whole series for a 'Binnie-fest?' Does short Binnie hair now mean short Samsooki hair too?

......Oh my just read your comment Samsooki - you have no time for Binnie at the moment!!
Really?! @[email protected] (*faint from shock*!)

I mean the last week has been a major mind spazz for me being sick as a dog/offline and all - but Samsooki has no time for Binnie!!!! What is happening in this world!!!! I am now very frightened at what has happened in the cosmo this last week. MJ died and now Samsooki has no time for Binnie at the moment. Woah!
Am I in an alternate universe?
BTW Samsooki if you invent that pause button for life/work/kdrama can you please share it with me? I so need one of those! Thanks in advance! :)

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@4 bspanda -

"(I had a giggle that the director gave Hyun Bin two ‘cassette tapes’ - tapes in this age of digital/Mp3s! :p hehe)"

I checked the source news, and sure enough:

"카세트테이프 2개를 주시더라"

Cassette tape two of em he gave. (Yoda speak is Korean)

Hehe, where did he find a cassette tape player? And, even in interview, he is sorta lapsing into satoori as well. Reminiscent of his speech pattern in Snow Queen as well. I can hear my Binnie's voice there too....

Of course since this is Binnie topic….
Samsooki - have you checked out your Binnie yet? Or are you waiting for the whole series for a ‘Binnie-fest?’ Does short Binnie hair now mean short Samsooki hair too?

……Oh my just read your comment Samsooki - you have no time for Binnie at the moment!!
Really?! @[email protected] (*faint from shock*!)

I mean the last week has been a major mind spazz for me being sick as a dog/offline and all - but Samsooki has no time for Binnie!!!! What is happening in this world!!!! I am now very frightened at what has happened in the cosmo this last week. MJ died and now Samsooki has no time for Binnie at the moment. Woah!
Am I in an alternate universe? BTW Samsooki if you invent that pause button for life/work/kdrama can you please share it with me? I so need one of those! Thanks in advance"

I didn't say I wouldn't check it out!!!!

Of course I will watch it!!!! I just want to let it get some episodes done so that I am not waiting so much. My Binnie is still my Binnie!

What I SAID was, I hope it isn't too great because then I'll be posting 24/7, doing spot translations, working on a second recap project,.... my life will be toast. Of course I will still watch it, but if it turns out to be awesome, then I don't know when i will sleep next.

Seriously, as it is, right now, as soon as I go home, I eat dinner with the wife and then I am off to write recaps for City Hall. I got spot translations for other dramas, I got City Hall translations, screen caps, drafting recaps, answering emails, omg... nuts.

(btw, City Hall is just about as good as it gets, the last 14 episodes or so, seriously. You should check out the Soompi CH thread and listen to the mania developing. LOL.)

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I haven't watched the drama, but have to say Hyun Bin looks good from the pictures I've seen so far. I'm glad he got to act out a different kind of role, and I hope the drama does well.

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Let me get the record st, binnie is mine. His Han Dong-Su is mine. His Kang-Kook is also mine!! I've been faking nice and 'share'... but NOPE!!! Now that binnie has turned dark, I'll let my b8tchiness run wild...

Sigh, I'm so itching to watch CH (since I've suffered thro the worst first eps...) but I have to lose sleep over if I start... so that has to wait till fall.. (please don't tempt me anymore fellow City Hallers!)

I've watched it. Even if you hate all these guys, it's just tight and intense and superbly directed (it must be the best directed ep 1, 2 of 09), well executed and written.. That said though, this is not an easy watch. It's rated 19+, it was reeked with annoying censoring blurring/mosaic. I'll keep my mouth shut till more ppl have watched it, or I'll just rave on and on and get myself fired for good (which is quite a pleasing prospect to be honest...)

I have a mad crush on PD Kwak. btn him and binnie, I may even choose PD Kwak.

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Well, I checked it out and boy it looked good! From what I could tell, watching it raw anyway ^^ I was impressed and if it keeps the same quality all the way, I'm pretty sure it'll do well. HOWEVER, the blurry spots splashed onto the screen drove me nuts in episode1! Blurry spot over knife, big blurry spot over cigarrette and so on and so! GRRRRRRR! I sure hope they'll stop! Totally ruining the mood in the drama and it was so distracting... That's my biggest issue with the drama. It IS supposed to have violence in it, so what's the point of doing those stupid blurring covers? They alredy rated it 19+, but now it seems they're rating it 15+ and doing re-runs in daytime? I don't care! Just spare me those amateurish blurs!!! *throws up hands in utter frustration*

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@Samsooki

Perhaps the cassette tape is in keeping with the era the series is set? I would guess that finding a cassette player would be like going antique shopping these days. (OMG still can't believe cassette players seem so dated now....still remember, and have, my first duel deck cassette/CD player. Seems like yesterday that this was new technology!)

Well I KNEW you would watch this series!! C'mon this is your beloved Binnie! - it was more the shock that you said you had no time AT THE MOMENT for Binnie! I mean Samsooki has no time for Binnie?? What the? hahaha That was what shocked me! hehe Gee this City Hall series must be one hell of a great series for it to distract you from Binnie!

Hmm I will go check out the CH soompi thread. This CH mania seems pretty intense amongst dramabeans readers :)

@7 mookie
Sorry but I think Samsooki had claimed Binnie as his way wwaaayy back. It could get ugly if an outbreak of 'Binnie is Mine!' broke out between Samsooki and you :)

(Hopefully Binnie's new series will make Samsooki develop complete amnesia on his delusions about MY Kang Ji Kwan!)

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Comment “Binnie is mine” cracks up me… I couldn’t stop laughing reading comments by others. This is fun, for some reason I personally don’t use “Binnie” (Samsookie’s term of internment) in my comments. I’m not comfortable using and also don’t apply “mine” coz people won’t let you off…and unending bla bla will eat your time. I’m not saying this in a negative way coz as a fan we sure share a lot in common. We sure love HB.

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@Samsooki

Or anyone out there, sorry I'm not very good with this yet, but where can I find the recap to City Hall? I love City Hall and would really like to read up on the recap. I was not able to find it under recap or tag index. Thank You in advance.

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As soon as I accessed this site and so this article, I did not even read it yet but went straight to comments to check if Samsooki is # 1. Unfortunately, he was not fast enough, anyways, #2 is still good enough. He he he he.

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Oops, double post.

So, yes, the blurring and mosaics were TOTALLY ANNOYING.

PD Kwak has done really well, cinematically, with the drama thus far.
As for the character development...it's too early to judge...

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too bad. view rating for the first 2 episodes aired last weekend are disappoointing :p

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@11 onemorepls -

"Or anyone out there, sorry I’m not very good with this yet, but where can I find the recap to City Hall? I love City Hall and would really like to read up on the recap. I was not able to find it under recap or tag index. Thank You in advance."

This is off topic for this thread, but I'll answer it here because I'm away Fri/Sat/Sun, and will have only my blackberry to check the internet.

My understanding is that JB, in her overflowing radiant beauty and near-infinite wisdom, has not made any firm decisions with respect to City Hall guest-recaps. As most are aware, Javabeans is in the process of moving and settling down into new place, and that takes precedence over her blog. And since is her website, she alone will decide if and when and who and how, and when she makes her decision, we will probably all know together.

Still, we are working diligently working our on recap project, even though we don't yet know where our project will be presented. Progress Update - my recap team, made up of Soompi CH'ers - 0timelost, cleown and mead33, we are all working daily and very hard to produce City Hall recaps that have original screen captures, spot translations, summaries, commentary and analysis. We started 6 days ago and we have completed or have nearly completed (editing and re-editing takes forever, omg) the first 7 episodes. We complete about 1 recap per day, and we should be near completion for all 20 episodes in about 2 weeks. Our progress and the quality of our work (I think) is pretty remarkable, considering the time zone differences in being scattered all across the world and having nothing in common except our crazy addiction to k-dramas and in particular, to City Hall.

Hopefully, whether it will be on dramabeans or somewhere else, we will be able to present our project to everyone very soon. In the future, however, please check on Soompi's City Hall thread for updates to our recap project, rather than asking on dramabeans (unless it's an open thread friday, LOL). Soompi's Alodia should have updates the very first page of the thread. You can find the City Hall thread on the Soompi.com forums and searching for City Hall.

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Two of my favorite actors are in this: Hyun Bin & Seo Do Young(Spring Waltz) so I will definitely watch this show.

About the censoring thing - what the frack!?! The show was sold to the network as a retelling of the original and since they probably have seen the original movie - why, why, why have censoring over key things about the show?

Oh man - this dampens my enthusiasm for the show and for Iris coming out later this fall:-(

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Oh - as for claims. As long as you keep your hands off of Yoo Jae Suk, we're all good. I know he's not an actor in the drama sense, except for the guest spot on Queen of Housewives, but I'd like to make sure I place my claim before there's any confusion.

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@12 budsdiana -

LOL.

Hyun Bin certainly has a certain charm to him, and a personality that sort of matches my own. A boyish quality, with a killer smirk.

As for Friend, Our Legend (친구, 우리들의 전설), I have mixed feelings about it, even with Binnie in it. Friend is going to be a lot different than the kinds of k-dramas that I am used to watching, which really are the same kind of love story against various backdrops and settings. Contrast that against the dark and gritty Friend, which will not have that kind of story at all.

1. My understanding is that this series is a pretty hard core drama about friendship, sacrifice, and family among gangster life in Korea.

2. The intense subject matter is something that may not exactly fit with what people expect out of korean dramas. The two main leads are gangsters. This means that they do bad things - like hurt people. Sometimes, they will do bad things to bad people (who may or may not "deserve it"), but sometimes they will do bad things to good people.

It can make for uncomfortable watching.

3. We can compare this against a stereotypical k-drama male lead, which might look like one of the following:

- "I've just come back from getting my Harvard MBA and I have a love triangle waiting for me between a rich girl my parents like and a poor girl that I like. Even though I've supposedly spent years in America, I can't speak English at all."

- "I am the son of the wealthy owner of a hotel / restaurant / hospital / fashion company and I have to overcome a conspiracy by jealous relatives and/or fake friends that will bring down my family's company and I still have to win the heart of the poor girl that I like but my parent(s) don't like.

- "I am a spunky orphan, but it turns out that I was switched at birth or was adopted or was abandoned, and soon I will be a small fish in a big pond and will have to use my good looks and street-smarts to outwit all the jealous alpha males who want to ruin me, and I still have to get the good girl.

***

If there is a series that might be the 180 degree polar opposite of, say, Triple, then Binnie's Friend might be that drama.

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BINNIE IS MINEEEEEEEE

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Agree with hjkomo, who said PD Kwak has done really well, cinematically, with the drama thus far. As for the character development…it’s too early to judge…

It's WAY too early to judge the character development, but I do like the look, sound, and feel of the production so far. Loved JDG's portrayal of Dong Soo in the film. When does he do his cameo in the drama? In the drama, I'm liking KMJ as Joon Suk.. ;)

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the drama came out already... darn it, I didn't know that... I must go DL it so I can watch it... I have the movie and I love it... can't wait to see the drama.

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“I’ve just come back from getting my Harvard MBA and I have a love triangle waiting for me between a rich girl my parents like and a poor girl that I like. Even though I’ve supposedly spent years in America, I can’t speak English at all.”

LOL!!! that's Funny, funny, but true samsooki!!

Ill check this out just because Seo do young and Hyun bin are in it....

I just hope there wont be too much drama...crying with such angst (then repeating this kind of scene many times...urg!), or girl being yelled and pulled around (then repeating this kind of scene a few more times), or girl being ambivalent throughout.... urg!

anyhow, ill check the first ep now...

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Sorry this is off topic..
but MOOKIE!!!!!!!!!! you just said "fellow City Hallers"????
I was sad when you said you didn't like it.... but i respected that... but since you're a fellow "samsoonie looney" i would really be glad if, at least, you watch City Hall. Whether you will like it or not. But now you just said "fellow City Hallers"... you made me smile~

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Just watched ep.1. This is not the type of drama I usually like to watch but decided to because of Hyun Bin. I read that HB had to adopt the Busan dialect/accent and because of this his voice sounds totally different than what I'm used to from other dramas. HB's character is very intense so some people may not like this type of drama because of the violence. His acting so far is great, I barely realize that it's HB. .The drama has the feel of a film rather than a drama. It seems like the director spared no expense by using a lot extras to setup the scenes, several rain scenes (so far) and going to different locations. The style of the drama reminds me of East of Eden.

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^ *hugs* Alodia,

(haha very OT...sorry)

I've dled all eps of CH, so I'm seriously seriously itching to watch it, but...honestly no time. I did watch up to ep 4 for the love of Suna and I do agree the ending of 4 is very promising, but yes,,,,ep1-3 really bored me and there were stuff there that was poorly written. I can already see the awesome chemistry though.

I don't like the writer... On Air vexed me to no end. So I was all ready to give up on CH since I had my Suna dose already. Frankly I'm still a bit skeptical on whether I'll like it (just my odd drama taste) and if the raving is just on how awesome Suna and CSW, it won't be tempting. But it's fr all the praises for the writing and lines that I'm VERY curious about. So yup, definitely my Fall lineup...haha don't be bugged when I yelped on and on by myself over in CH thread then IF l fall under its spell. ;)

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*sigh* and I get super bugged when I read ppl think the style is like EoE. ARGHHHHH (nth against ur opinion Sengo! ;) I do agree with everything u said except your last line concerning EoE)

They may share some very VERY broad strokes in the plot with bros at odd, all have the hots for one girl... but it was dealt with a realistically gritty style, bloody fights were not sugarcoated, it's not that stylized/exploitative, just very raw, not usu seen in Kdrama, when EoE is fr the super classic mould (ie cliched and overdone, slowmo posed fight sequences...) . Their style can not be more different. PD Kwak is not interested in dragging every single drop of emotion out of one single dramatic arc when u'll end up feeling lethargic and numb (ie EoE) I'm not saying Chingu's plot has no cliches in it, but it was not used as time fillers/plot devices.

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@ bspanda,

u know, if Samsooki is smart enough to settle, I've left him binnie's Samshiki and his TW/DG fr SQ. I'm just getting one more binnie character in Dong-Su, he hasnt seen it yet, so I'm being as fair as I possibly can.

Moreover, I have nails, and my appt with my hair stylist is right after the long wkend...ie I'm sooo not obsessed with my hair right now, a fight btn me and Samsooki, bring it on!

@jdb haha yeah we don't feel odd calling HB binnie, we also call WB binnie as well coz their real names have no 'bin's in them anyways, so it's guilt- free to be this intimate with him, feel free!

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I saw the first 2 episodes as a matter of fact just last night on soju, it was uploaded i believe just yesterday as well and so far it's good. Hyun bin ssi, you look good in any hairstyle for sure so that part is i don't suppose landing you in any problems at all! However, i didn't quite appreciate my other fave actor's hairstyle in here, So Do young ssi he looks like one of those Beatles and I think he would look good in other style aside from this one, I didn't recognize Kim Min Jyun either, with his curly hair in this drama. I guess enough of hairstyles but I did see JDG's Friends version & it was really good so undoubtedly this drama series would be too! I'm looking f/ward to seeing the whole series once it's uploaded completely! I'm almost certain viewers who've seen the film would always have the hang of the first version but this one is a drama & it remains to be seen! Good Luck to you guys in this drama!

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WHOA.

This one is REALLY dark and twisty. I just watched the first two eps and don't quite know what to think yet.

Binnie...is almost unrecognizable. So much so that it kind of feels wrong to call him that while discussing this show, know what I mean? Dong Soo is such a serious, intense character that to use Hyun Bin's nickname seems too frivolous, or something. Granted, I've only seen him in a couple of things, and I haven't seen the movie version of Friend, but I can already tell that this drama won't be like anything I've seen to date. Even with the (ridiculous) blurring, it's very violent.

Anyhoo...I'll definitely keep watching, but only if I have a funny, fluffy drama to watch immediately after each episode.

On a lighter note, he is REALLY just so beautiful. There are many closeups of his face...the pause button might get used a lot before it's over.

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