Going back to school, finding new faces for Cheese in the Trap movie
Okay, so maybe Park Hae-jin (Man to Man) and Park Ki-woong (Monster) are a smidge past high school uniform age, but I can’t deny that I’m looking forward to seeing them reinterpret the frenemy-bromance of Jung and In-ho in the movie remake of slice-of-life campus romance Cheese in the Trap, which began filming two weeks ago. What can I say? I still feel a little burned by the drama, but I can’t stay away; I need to see how this version works out!
Park Hae-jin reprises his role from the tvN drama as Yoo Jung, the smart, rich, seemingly perfect popular guy who shows glints of a mysterious, darker inner side. Those flashes of darkness go largely unnoticed by most people, but not the perceptive heroine, Hong Seol, played here by Oh Yeon-seo (Come Back, Ajusshi). Park Ki-woong’s character, Baek In-ho, had been poised for a brilliant piano career until a misunderstanding ruined his dream and drove a wedge in his friendship with Jung; in the present day, In-ho is all simmering resentment toward his former friend.
These stills must be from their happier days when they were still best friends, given the easygoing vibe and the friendly smiles. I find it hilarious how much older the guys look compared to the younger-looking extras surrounding them, but I wouldn’t prefer other actors playing their younger parts (there’s so much emotion derived from watching them play their own backtories out), so I’m closing an eye to that.
And it’s not something the film’s director, Kim Je-young (director of So I Married My Anti-Fan, writer of Wonderful Radio and Wonderful Nightmare), hasn’t considered. In a recent interview, Kim said, “I saw that there were even online comments asking if the movie would be at a night college or if it would be ‘Professor in the Trap.’ I know that there are some concerns about the casting in that regard. However, to be honest, I don’t worry about those reactions. What’s most important is how well these actors can express these characters. Cheese in the Trap is a project where the depiction of the characters’ psychologies is extremely important, so I think the most important thing is to have actors who know how to act in these roles.”
Of his main cast, director Kim said, “To be honest, Park Hae-jin’s image as Yoo Jung is so strong that it was a bit discomfiting. Even though Hae-jin-sshi is extremely warm and well-mannered. But I didn’t want to crack this ‘peculiar discomfort.’ I thought that aura would ultimately suit Yoo Jung, and I started to think of how I would use it in the film. Oh Yeon-seo is just as her reputation says, really refreshing and easygoing. I could talk with her comfortably from the first time I met her. She has a wonderful energy. Yoo In-young is as tough as her Baek In-ha character. Because Baek In-ha is the most manhwa-like character, she’s actually the hardest to express, but I believe Yoo In-young will be able to find it. When I first met Park Ki-woong, I could feel an ease about him. I found we communicated very well. He’s also very knowledgeable, and watches a lot of movies for reference. I got a strong feeling that he is an actor who works hard.”
There’s also the concern of remaking the same concept for a different format, and using the same actor for both. Director Kim stated that he gave a lot of thought to that, and particularly how to find a fresh angle when Park Hae-jin had already played the character and gotten a lot of praise for his first depiction. He said, “I found that it wasn’t just me who deliberated over that, but Hae-jin-sshi did too, and we spoke a lot about it. We definitely want there to be a difference in the acting of Yoo Jung from the drama version, but we can’t turn the Yoo Jung we know into a completely different character. If the drama showed six or seven different aspects of Yoo Jung, rather than drawing the character anew, we’re aiming to show two or three more new sides to him, to show eight or nine total. To achieve that, Hae-jin-sshi has been deliberating over every line and small detail, checking over everything extremely closely. I think Hae-jin’s shoulders will be feeling heavy.”
Aside from the high school stills released today, we also have a few candid pictures that were uploaded online by fans that feature Oh Yeon-seo on campus and wearing Seol’s trademark curly reddish hairstyle. They’re grainy and blurry, but they’re better than nothing!
The supporting cast includes Yoo In-young (Goodbye Mr. Black) as In-ho’s reckless and flighty older sister, Baek In-ha; 2NE1’s Sandara Park as Seol’s best friend Bora; Healer’s Oh Jong-hyuk (he played Park Min-young’s reporter father who died young) as stalker creep Oh Young-gon; and Moon Ji-yoon as another carryover from the tvN drama, once again playing the bullying Sang-chul sunbae.
Cheese in the Trap began filming last month, and expects to shoot for three months total. No word yet on a release schedule, but it looks likely to be late this year or early next.
- Yoo In-young joins Cheese in the Trap movie as Baek In-ha
- Cheese in the Trap movie courts Park Ki-woong to play Baek In-ho
- Oh Yeon-seo to be the new Seol for Cheese in the Trap movie
- Cheese in the Trap reboot film secures Park Hae-jin to reprise lead role
- The rise and fall of Cheese in the Trap
- Cheese in the Trap: Episode 1