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Elle’s interview with Coffee House team

SBS’s Coffee House is currently on hold till next week; two weeks were postponed due to World Cup coverage. This Elle interview with Park Shi-yeon and PD Pyo Min-soo actually came out last month — just before the drama aired — but I figured this would be a good time to get in a dose of Coffee House while we’re waiting for new episodes.

In PD Pyo Min-soo’s dramas, there are real people. Those real people show real expressions when they suffer troubles. There is love. The name Pyo Min-soo is a symbol of that kind of trust. SBS’s Coffee House is a drama he made while thinking of ways he could become happier. And Park Shi-yeon, who leads this drama with him, says without hesitation that she is happy.

ELLE: What was your reason for picking Park Shi-yeon as a lead character? There must have been an overlap with her and the character, and what she could draw out from within herself.

Pyo Min-soo: “I wanted to portray confidence a little differently this time. You could call her someone with confidence in life. In that case, she’s not in a rush and should have time to relax, and the actress Park Shi-yeon showed that side the best. She’s extremely kind, too. I had heard before that she had a good personality, but it feels like she’s honestly come from a good-hearted planet.”

Park Shi-yeon: “In the drama, Eun-young has a very free spirit. Should I call her frank? She’s faithful to her emotions, but doesn’t hold grudges. To be honest, I can’t do that. Even if something goes wrong, I think, “Okay, I’ll just have to put up with it.”

Pyo: “She’s very understanding. She’s that type of person.”

Park: “Eun-young’s the type of woman who can readily point out ‘Hey, this is wrong’ and then cast that off and laugh and converse again, but because I can’t do that in my real life it’s really refreshing to be able to act that. I have a really bright personality, but somehow I’ve always been cast as the femme fatale. I wanted to do a role like this at least once before I got too old. On top of that it was a Pyo Min-soo drama, so I had no reason to hesitate.”

This could be the birth of a leading female character who could be called romantic [idealistic].

Pyo: “That’s right. Eun-young isn’t a character that you find much in the real world, someone who hardly exists. She is confident, she knows how to take care of people, she knows how to help people in trouble, she’s clear and expressive. Haha. To throw yourself into work without reservation means that you know exactly what that work is. That’s why she can say without hesitation, ‘Yes to this, no to that.’ That includes giving up right away when something’s not possible.”

Park: “That’s appealing. She can even tell men clearly that she dislikes them if she dislikes them, and that she likes them if she likes them.”

Pyo: “When I’m alone I can swear all I want and say things like bastard and asshole, but I can’t in front of others. The strongest expression I use is at the level of ‘Really? You’re going to do that?’ And some people will just ignore it and move on. For me, that was speaking pretty strongly, but they can’t feel that. That’s why when I first meet someone, I’ll let them know in advance that if I say something like that I’m being forceful. But in this drama, Eun-young is very clear about her statements.”

On top of that, she’s perfect, and also incredibly picky about her coffee preferences.

Park: “I love coffee and books most of all. I don’t have the chance to read very much, but I always have to have coffee, a book, and sleep. [Laughs] I like those things personally, but I also like things that everyone can relate to. She’s not a standard character, which makes me even more fond of her. I feel like she can do anything, and I’m overflowing with thoughts. I have even deliberated over things she might wear and gone online to order clothing for her. Actually, this is the first time I’ve ordered something online. That’s how much I want to show [the character]. I want to try everything, and since she’s not like the characters I’ve played before, I feel ambitious.”

With coffee and novels as its subject, the teaser video released online gave off a really hazy feeling.

Pyo: “These days, I’m seeking the answer to the question ‘What can I do to be happier?’ This drama is an extension of that. There will be more joy, more things to laugh at, more playing with emotions. I ordered the actors to show multiple colors.”

The project had the working title Page One, but it was changed to Coffee House, which brings to mind your prior drama Full House.

Pyo: “Part of it is because it’s an English title, but there were comments that the meaning of Page One didn’t really come through clearly. When we first chose the name Page One, it was to suggest the first page of life, the first page of a new drama. The feeling that each and every day is a first page.

This is your first time working with writer Song Jae-jung of Unstoppable High Kick. That collaboration probably has its own energy.

Pyo: “The collaboration is good. He’s a writer who understands the level of entertainment. My job is the express the emotions, but if we can be in tune and add to each other, we can produce a good drama.”

Park: “I received the scripts for 5 and 6 a few days ago, and reading them was so much fun. It was so funny — “Ah, is he an idiot?” I was happily giggling to myself and read it all in one sitting. If it’s easy to read, then I think it would naturally be fun to watch as well.”

Aside from dramas, what do you do to keep yourselves happy?

Pyo: “Getting absorbed in enjoyable things, whether that’s reading books, watching TV, watching soccer, sleeping, eating good food, having good conversations, or doing my best with positive thinking. It isn’t that positive thinking makes your environment positive, but that doing your best within your environment is positive thinking.”

Park: “Honestly, this is the first time working has been this fun. When I’m acting a dark role, sometimes going to the filming set feels overwhelming. For one, there’s the director who demands that the dark atmosphere be preserved. I’ve been instructed to not eat for a few days and bring out emotions that put me just on the brink before wanting to commit suicide. In those instances I worry about what I’m doing, but these days I’m really enjoying myself. I don’t generally like to change my staff so I’ve been working with the same people all this time, and those around me say that this is the first time that they’ve seen me take such care into every bit of clothing. I usually just wear what I’m given, but this time I’ve stepped in to pick out new clothing myself. I like to take baths, and I’ll read the script while I’m in the bath, which helps me memorize my dialogue. While I’m by myself, I practice by getting angry or yelling or losing my temper or laughing. That’s how I am these days. I enjoy it.”

When I called to discuss scheduling over the phone, to be honest I was surprised. I knew the broadcast premiere was fast approaching and figured that the director must be incredibly sensitive around that time. But for the director to be this friendly and kind?

Park: “Not long ago when I was filming the one-act drama [Drama Special’s Red Candy], Lee Jae-ryong sunbae said he really envied me. He knew Director Pyo’s style very well, haha. Only a few decades ago, I hear that directors would scream on set and it was considered a virtue for actors to be timid. But Director Pyo is the very person who started to change that. Honestly, how humiliating must it be when a director curses at the actor, “Hey! You there! You [expletive]!” when everyone’s attention is fixated on them? Director Pyo never raises his voice on set even now, and he’s always running around. He’s the busiest person. He’ll go over to the actor to say, ‘Please try it this way.’ Then he’ll run over to a staff member to say, ‘Please do it this way.’ If an actress finds a run in her stockings that interrupts things, he’ll run out secretly during a break and buy some.”

That might be called temperament more than style.

Pyo: “It’s embarrassing for me too, but that’s how it is. The nature of a drama is to express people and humanity, and there are so many people who go into making a drama. If the set itself isn’t humane, how can we express humanity? On top of that, actors are by nature sensitive to their emotions and surrounding environments. When actors and staff members feel safe and secure, the drama improves and if the drama improves, I’m happy and if I’m happy, my wife is happy and if my wife is happy, my mother-in-law is happy. If this continues, can’t we make the 6 billion people on the earth happy? Ah, is that what humanitarianism is? Haha. That’s why I try to speak calmly, and I think that improves the results. The schedule is very tight, but even if I don’t have much time it’s crucial to be on top of the actors’ feelings and conditions. That’s why I always want them to enjoy themselves.”

Seeing the reactions of your main cast, it seems things are proceeding as you want them to.

Park: “You’re right. Haha.”

Pyo: “That makes me feel happy and refreshed.”

This drama is a love story, which is a common thing but still difficult to do. What in the world is love about?

Park: “First off, if the two people don’t respect each other, I think that once one person disregards the other, the relationship falls apart. Also, you have to trust each other. If you want both of those things, you really need time [to build it up]. All interpersonal relationships are like that, but love relationships particularly need both.”

But in dramas when love is depicted, you can’t leave out the moments when faith is shattered and cracked, and conflict builds. And you have to have empathy for the characters and their pain for viewership ratings to peak.

Pyo: “I see love’s failure and pain differently than in the past. Maybe it comes with aging, but I think it hinges on adjusting our thinking. When you like someone, one person might think that calling three times a day isn’t enough, but once your feelings cool, three times becomes a hassle. Feelings change every moment. We briefly talked about happiness earlier, but I think the things that made you happy in the past aren’t that necessary now. What’s important is what makes you happy today, maybe tomorrow. In this drama, the things of the past don’t drag you back, and they’re there, but I want to talk about how happy we can be today and tomorrow. I don’t want to give the feeling that the people in the drama are hung up on love. They don’t live their lives for love; I want them to have loves that benefit their lives, to have passion for their lives as they do their life’s work. You can take Shi-yeon-sshi’s comment about respecting each other and broaden it to mean respect for everybody. Find out about that person’s good points, reveal some of my own faults and learn about each other. Let everyone live happily.”

I felt that Director Pyo Min-soo’s previous dramas were all particularly infused with deep emotions. They felt as though you took apart that emotion called love and showed it candidly.

Pyo: “When talking about my old dramas, I divide them in half. In the first part are the strong stories. With adultery? Dark loves? Backstreets, with no lights? Things like that. Haha. Then after Full House, I went on a brighter path. If you categorize this one, it’s also a bright story. Whether bright or dark, a drama hinges upon how you portray the people.”

Here is Pyo’s filmography (drama-ography?):

Lie (1998)
Blue Fog (2001)
Loneliness (2002)
Full House (2004)
What Star Are You From? (2006)
Insoon Is Pretty (2007)
The World They Live In (2008)
Coffee House (2010)

Sometimes I get a harsh feeling, maybe from the strong dialogue, but when watching a so-called ‘Pyo Min-soo/Noh Hee-kyung brand’ drama, I feel like there’s the declaration, sometimes an insistence, that ‘This is what love is like.’

Pyo: “When writer Noh Hee-kyung wrote Lie and Foolish Love, and when we worked on Loneliness together, there was definitely that kind of declaration. Like life is painful, everything’s a lie. The dialogue was like that, too. ‘Love is like a traffic accident.’ ‘Love is like the seasons — when winter passes, spring comes back.’ But these days I wonder how someone can pass judgment or make declarations about anyone else. From More Beautiful Than a Flower onward, Noh Hee-kyung also seemed to ease up on the pronouncements and took a more contemplative approach. Instead of directing as the leader of an army, I’m taking the ‘back-up’ style. From that perspective, when considering love, everything is beautiful. Painful love? Beautiful love? A love with a past? Maybe the love of a person you don’t love? It’s all quite beautiful. I find that people who are enthusiastic about their emotions and who live diligently are all beautiful. They’re beautiful even if they quarrel, and beautiful even after you split up and suffer heartbreak. Rather than thinking this person is good and that person is bad, thinking that person loved someone, is loving now, or will love in the future — that in itself is really beautiful.”

Park: “For me, of all of Noh Hee-kyung’s dramas, the dialogue of Goodbye Solo really sticks with me. Because the twenty- and thirtysomething lead characters loved so beautifully, Bae Jong-ok sunbae-nim [a veteran in the drama’s cast] said, ‘It must be hard, being young.’ I think I understand that feeling now.”

It seems like this can only be said by someone who likes people on a fundamental level.

Pyo: “Whoever I meet, I see their strengths first. I want to see that.”

Park: “The first time I met the director was in the parking lot. I worried, what if he didn’t recognize me? So I couldn’t meet his eyes properly as I greeted him [politely in passing] — I looked this way, he looked that way and we passed each other. Listening to him talk, it seems there are a ton of points we have in common. There are a lot of times when he’ll know how to read the emotions. It’s one way he’s considerate.”

Pyo: “Now that we’ve stripped away the formalities, we’d better talk frankly, saying things like, ‘Hey, what’s with you?’ Haha.”

With a new drama and a new start, what do you both wish to gain through it?

Park: “I want to be so into the character that I can be called by her name, for people to say, ‘About Eun-young, yesterday in Coffee House…’ I’d like to be an actor who is able to be completely different each time, like drawing a fresh image on each new sheet of blank paper. I’d also like them to know that I’m a cheerful person.”

Pyo: “More than anything, I’d like for it to be a drama where you can say that the actors really attempted everything they wanted to attempt. If there are any mistakes, I’ll fix them up, so I want them to not worry and try as much as they want. I want viewers to be able to say that everyone worked hard, and that they felt like those people are like real people. I hope everyone can be healthy and enjoy themselves.”

This is where the line from The World They Live In must make a reappearance, to “Live like it’s a drama.”
“That one phrase is the reason Noh Hee-kyung and I both started in dramas. To put it another way: Live with joy. Be honest with how you express your emotions, and be faithful to every moment. If our world is joyful for our hundred years, perhaps the next hundred will be okay, even with a little sadness. If we could choose to make sure of a good today versus a good future, most would pick their futures, but I’d choose today. Dividing today into 24 hours, people might choose to skip this hour now and choose to be happy later, but I wouldn’t. People always think of what’s next, but then that means happiness is off in the future, like a rainbow. Be happy right now.”

Are you happy now, too?

Pyo: “I’m happy.”
Park: “Of course I am, too. Haha.”

Via Chosun, Elle AtZine

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Thanks for the fix JB!
I need my CH back NOW!!!!

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They are such lovely people and this drama just catches me by the reigns!

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Park Si Yeon ! <3
omg, through this article, i found out that we share one thing in common: we both like the drama Goodbye Solo. Uh, is destiny trying to tell me something? I sure hope so.

Keep rocking PSY, you are the best!

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"Be happy right now", so true. Brilliant!
thanks JB.
=)

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Aackkk! PSY!!! Girl crush alert!!! *ding ding ding*

Thanks, JB! Ok, off to read the article...

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I get the feeling from this interview that Park Shi-yeon is really thankful for this role, and the opportunity to project a different image (which, I must add, suits her way better than her other more dark roles). I can't blame her really, before this drama people were really disdainful of her, because of roles like the ex-girlfriend in My Girl, which was shallow and spiteful. In roles like that, people don't love to hate, they just hate (unlike PT's In-Hee, who was admittedly very fun to hate).

This is why I'm really glad for PSY, because we can finally see her range and more importantly, the character that suits her best. I've said before that though the talent and skill of the actress/actor is of course, important, I think the compatibility between the actress and her character is also immensely significant. I think this really shows through here. Who doubts that this is her best performance yet? I certainly don't.

Thank youuuu for the interview! Man, going without Coffee House for three-ish weeks was taking a toll on me :(

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This was so much fun reading!

Especially this part:

"When actors and staff members feel safe and secure, the drama improves and if the drama improves, I’m happy and if I’m happy, my wife is happy and if my wife is happy, my mother-in-law is happy. If this continues, can’t we make the 6 billion people on the earth happy?"

I giggled at how funny it sounded towards the end with the mother-in-law, but it was so true!

I think this also reflects onto viewers as well, where they can enjoy the dramas more. As the drama improves and you're not seeing actors with eye-bags and looking tired, the acting improves and so does the drama flows better when it's not feeling rushed.

I wish more dramas can have this same feeling behind the scenes, and perhaps the dramas would feel less rushed and confusing.

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i'm loving the psy's pix with frame. nicely done! :D

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Wow.. that's interesting!!! I love it!!

By the way, javabeans can you please not post the kiss scene suddenly in between I haven't gotten to that part and was shocked of that spoiler!!

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ahhhhh still no clues pd nim what is this???? cant wait for monday though yaaaaay!

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I really like the dialogue b/w the interviewer and the interviewees. It feels like the drama, somehow. Also, love the pictures :)

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Aww, PD Pyo sounds like a really lovely person...

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I love PSY (and PD PMS of, course) more and more !!!
I think they have achived what they wanted initially based of the response from the viewers. This drama is refreshing , but realistic mix with various emotions , laughter and many deep message about love, life and human. This interview , indeed, is a confirmation for all my thoughts in this drama and I am so delight

On the other hand, I am very glad that SY got a new and beautiful beginning in her journey as she could turn many of us into the believers. She 's done a magnificant job ,not only to "draw a fresh image on each new sheet of blank papper", but aslo potrait her love wonderfully that many of us had to differentiate her (who we used to hate/ ignore) and her charater- who we love and support. Thereforce, due to this so well-done EY role, we 'll love you as an actress too, PSY!!!

Like xylophonic said," Who doubts that this is her best performance yet? I certainly don’t."
Me neither ^^
I will be looking forward for her future projects

Thank you again JB!!! You are awesone as always:)
**Who cares about WC? I want my CH back NOW!!!!** -- such a long wait ~~~

PS; I hope the rating go up. They did so well!!! What's wrong with the rating systems in Korea?

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Ah... They both sound so lovely, and the thoughts they conveyed really showed in the drama itself. I hope they keep on trying hard! I absolutely love the feel and air of Coffee House.

I really do think Page One is a much better title though. I mean, every single time I do a Coffee House drama google search the first five results are all Coffee Prince results. Plus, it ties into the idea of a novelist, fresh beginning, new love, optimism very well. Coffee House says... nothing - except maybe comfort and a laid-back nature?

But it's only a title.

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Oooh, thanks for the fix, JB, totally appreciate it. Really missing Coffee House now, but I guess it's good cos the cast and crew will get a bit more breathing room to film their new episodes...

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Thank you so much! This makes me love the drama so. much. more.

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I love PD Pyo ever since Full House. He's such a sweet person.

And the interview was so full of insights that I can't help but nod and agree. Very nice and very true answers from them. Such maturity!

Be happy today, I like!

Thanks dramabeans!

:)

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that was a wonderful read. Really gave me a lot of things to ponder about. The PD seems like my kind of person. Who enjoys life and trys to find/see the best in others and him/her self. Really loved the article.

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She's really pretty, but I don't like how they do her make-up on the show. They make her look like she has dark circles around her eyes.

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I really love the PD since Full House drama. I like the way he directing the story which is made him differentiate with others. It kind of sweet and full of heart touchy feeling.
One of the sweetest drama that I love is The World Within.
Even many commented this drama as lack of success, in my mind, I found something that tickle me to watch it again and again. Hard to understand may be, but may be it scenes which is unfamiliar draw me to the drama fans.
Same case for Coffee House.
Even the drama is still airing in Korea, me, who is an Indonesian, really addicted and allocated my special time for hunting it episodes.
And Im almost deadly wait for the next episode after the kiss scene, I guess may be Seun Young see they kiss the phone box. Awww.... must be heart breaking, Im rooting for Seun Young, eventhough I didnt deny the chemistry between creepy writer, Ji Soo and Eun Young. I miss antics Ji Won also, kekeke.
Javabeans, thanks a lot for your recap of Coffee House, really appreciate and enjoy it so much.

Ahhh, Monday is still long way to go... T T

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THANKS SO MUCH!!!! Coffee House is definitely not our ordinary drama ;)

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Thanks. Anything for a CH fix right now. At least they didn't feature Eun Jung - am I the only person out there who really hates her character and her acting? What's with the open-mouthed look all the time? This is the first time I've actually hated a character this much!

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@ A

Hate's a strong word, eh?

I think Eun Jung's just inexperienced, but she's not doing too bad of a job. Of course, that is a matter of opinion for each viewer. Personally, I don't think she's terrible. She may not be a veteran, but I think that's somewhat to her character's advantage because SY tends to be innocent and green with life

Regarding the interview, it's very enlightening. Director Pyo is very clear about his vision and yet, vague enough with possible spoilers.

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Oh wow. What a great interview.. PD pyo gave so much meanuingful words that are true and real.. We can learn a little bit from his philosophies in life

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Great interview...this show has turned my opinion of PSY acting ability entirely around...a complete 180. She's wonderful! Go EY! Suffer JS!

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Thanks JB for posting that interview. What with being without CH for 2 weeks. it's like heaven sent for feeding our CH addiction. :)
I love CH to the max!
I'm so glad that the PD chose PSY to be EY.
Her characterization of EY is something that I've haven't seen yet in any dramas. It's not something that I can put my finger into but one thing's for sure it's a very refreshing portrayal. At first, my thought on PSY with KJH was like a big "HUH???". But now watching the drama, I saw that she can really carry herself specially with her scenes with KJH. I'm now a fan of hers. :)

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Park Shi-yeon is so lovely. Thanks, JB, for the translation.

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coffee house, you just need to be on my screen just.. like,.. NOW.

dangdiggitynabbit, i'm shaking and crying already!!! PLEEAAASSEE!!!!

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@25 haha JS needs to suffer quite a bit before he gets EY =]
it's nice to know the PD is a nice guy :P
four.
more.
days.
*tick tick tick*

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Agree with Hipployta and ambs!!!
He need to suffer so he can change to a marure and responsible guy to deserve her.
EY is precious !!!
At the mean time, she can have fun with Mr._mate_matching_Hot_Lawer ^^;;
so someone can go nut ! hehe

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Thank you JB

I was looking for a translation of this interview lately, so glad you made it :)

I do like the PD's philosophy regarding happiness beyond the romantic love relationship ^^

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Wow, thank you so much JB!! :D :D

Now I really want to sleep and sleep and wake up in monday.. hahaha..
Can't wait for new CH!

Hope the cast and crew can bring out their best! 8 more to go!

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Thanks JB for this article. Based on this interview, my prediction is that her character will be the chosen one to be with JS. Don't bash me for my wishful thinking. Can next monday come quicker please?

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In the screencap of the two kissing in the phone booth, look at KJH's deltoid and tricep muscles under the taut white shirt. Nice. Sorry for being so shallow:) The interview was great to read, too.

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Thanks JB for the interview! Frankly speking, Coffee House is my favorite Pyo Min Soo drama. I didn't really like Full House and The World They Live In...
Pyo seems to be a very nice person ^^.

(I LOVE the last picture, with Seung Yeon between Eun Young and Jin Soo!!!)

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How I LOVE this interview!! I'm in awe of director PYO!! He makes COFFEE HOUSE even more REAL to me! and Park Shi Yeon's views are beautiful! I'm happy that the PD and writer of this drama was able to work with such beautiful people. Their beauty comes from within, very admirable!

I'm super loving Coffee House more and more now. I'm simply hooked and addicted! What a wonderful cast and crew. I hope they'll be able to maintain this kind of "feel" until the end and that they'll be able to finish a wonderful story like no other ordinary kdrama would!

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How I LOVE this interview!! I'm in awe of director PYO!! He makes COFFEE HOUSE even more REAL to me! and Park Shi Yeon's views are beautiful! I'm happy that the PD and writer of this drama was able to work with such beautiful people. Their beauty comes from within, very admirable!

I'm super loving Coffee House more and more now. I'm simply hooked and addicted! What a wonderful cast and crew. I hope they'll be able to maintain this kind of "feel" until the end and that they'll be able to finish a wonderful story like no other ordinary kdrama would!

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I apologize for the double post and it may look like I'm spamming this page!!! My sincerest apologies Javabeans! My internet connection seems to be having a problem now! SHOOT!! =)

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BRAVO - BRAVO - BRAVO!!! =)

Thaaannkkk for detail rep about THIS nice interview between PD and Park Shi Yeon --- How impressive.

I am glad that PD had a good decision to chose Park Shi Yeon to be Eun Young in this fun-fun drama "Coffee House", of course!

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"I’ve been instructed to not eat for a few days"

am i the only one who went from giggly and happy to :||||||||| while reading this? ㅠㅠ

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I can't wait for my next Coffee House fix! I feel so deprived!

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!!! HELP WANTED !!!

My apology JB for this announce but I think it would be nice if International CH watchers could leave messages to cheer CH’s crew through the official CH’s site in SBS.

I tried to sign up myself last week-end but so far : no confirmation e-mail and impossible to log in.

So if a kind soul WHO HAS ALREADY A SBS ACCOUNT would be nice enough to help us to create a thread in CH SBS Forum, please send me a message at

choufy / at / hanmail.net or through pm in Soompi or through my blog.

Thanks by advance… 3 more days to go untill episodes 9 & 10 : Fighting !

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What a fantastic interview -- the PD and the actor both seem like really thoughtful, wonderful people. And I have to say that the PD's adorably quirky eyebrows are distracting me from even Park Shi-yeon's glorious face!

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It's good that Park Shi Yeon got to break away from the typecast of femme fatale. I like her in this drama. And what they say is true. Be Happy Right Now! Don't wait...

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I don't disagree with this post!

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The more interviews I read of PSY, the more I like her. She seems like a genuinely nice, sweet, bright and down-to-earth person! It is completely different from her femme fatale, glamorous image in dramas and photoshoots. I really enjoyed this interview with her and PD Pyo Min Soo. PSY had such lovely, deep thoughts and reading this just impressed me even more. She comes off as very real, very genuine and her interviews make me happy. I'm happy for her. Unlike many celebrities, she sounds like she has a good head on her shoulders and I admire how she's happily living a regular life, getting married and having a baby, like she wanted.

PD Pyo Min Soo seems like a genuinely nice person, too. I loved his responses in this interview. He has good taste in actresses, haha. Song Hye Kyo and Park Si Yeon -- two of my faves! <3 They're both kind of similar in a way. They're both low-key, genuine, insightful people and I just love them both.

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