Based on the web novel “Minamdang: Case Note,” “Café Minamdang” follows the story of the criminal profiler-turned-shaman Nam Han-jun and Han Jae-hee, the “ghost” homicide detective.
Operating in Café Minamdang, shaman Nam Han-jun runs a shady fortune-telling business with his team, targeting the worst in society. In their search for justice and truth, the paths of Han-jun and Jae-hee intertwine, dangerously linking them to the missing serial killer “Gopuri,” a haunting entity whose spree has not yet come to an end.
In a romantic blend of comedy and suspense, “Café Minamdang” highlights the best of both modernity and traditional Korean beliefs, giving its international audience a glimpse into new territory since its premiere on June 27.
Cast members Seo In-guk, Oh Yeon-seo, Kwak Si-yang, Kang Mi-na and Kwon Soo-hyun spoke at a press conference about what went on behind-the-scenes and what it was like taking on their roles in the live-action adaptation of “Café Minamdang.”
When asked what finalized their decision to star in the drama, Kwak Si-yang responds, “The script was really fun and the subject matter was new and novel. This was also a chance to show a comical side of me.” Si-yang also adds, “Seo In-guk is one of my friends in real life. So, I wanted to be in a production together with him.”
With real-life friendships adding to the cast’s performance on-screen, “the chemistry [between the cast] was close to perfection,” Kang Mi-na explains. “As the youngest, they took really good care of me and the laughter on-set never seemed to end.”
Although the East Asian culture of shamanism may be new to some international viewers, Kwon Soo-hyun argues that this could be a “whole new type of fun” and a unique aspect to the show.
Taking on the role of a shaman, In-guk emphasizes his character’s identity as a con-artist: “It would have been a lot more difficult and I would have done more research if I was acting as a real shaman under the influence of a spirit,” he says. “But this is a con-artist faking to be a shaman. So, I looked into how to use information about a person to solve a case and I had a lot of help from my hacker younger sister.”
“Although taking on Nam Han-jun was difficult at first, I’ve found a lot of comfort in him now,” In-guk says.
When sneaking peeks at In-guk’s profiling scenes, Yeon-seo jokes that “he really seemed like Sherlock Holmes.”
When adapting to the role of the “Ghost” detective, Yeon-seo says “I was looking forward to the character because my fans really wanted me to take a detective role.” He continues, “There was a lot of action involved in my character too so please look forward to those scenes.” But out of all the characters I’ve taken on in the past, I think Jae-hee is the one I want to learn from and set as my role model.”
Unlike his previous characters, who were high-ranking cold officials, Kwak Si-yang mentions how Gong Soo-cheol is warm and comical both inside and out. In addition to gaining additional weight for his role, Si-yang says, “I dedicated myself to learning my character’s dialect because I wanted to give my all.”
Kang Mi-na says“a fun thing about Nam hye-jun is that she curses a lot.” which is in stark contrast to how she is in real life. She continues, “Although I’m the younger sister to Nam Han-jun, I rarely call him older brother … I also had to practice cursing a lot to perfect it.”
With laughter, Kwon Soo-hyun adds, “Mi-na was initially really shy about practicing those scenes in front of other people, but now she does it really loudly and will make eye contact with you as you walk by. It makes it feel like she’s cursing you out.”
Overall, the cast of “Café Minamdang” unanimously agree that the show is one audiences need to experience.
Featured Image via Netflix