These days, Netflix’s original drama ‘DP‘ is a hot topic among people. For a Korean man who has served in the military, it recalls the painful memories of military service and makes them talk about it. It is giving sympathy, and the international reaction is also hot. However, it is not recommended for mothers who are soon to send their son to the military.
The original is very realistic because it is the webtoon ‘DP Day’s Dog’ by writer Kim Bo-tong, who was actually a DP. The ‘raw things’ that the unit wants to hide, such as harassment of seniors’ successors, are depicted without filtration, adding to the shock. Abusive language and assault by superiors is basic, and a gas mask is put on a snoring soldier to bully him. There is also a perverted smirk forcing masturbation in the sight of the senior.
‘DP’ is the story of the DP (Deserter Pursuit), a military police officer who catches deserters. Jung Hae-in (Ahn Jun-ho) and Koo Gwan-hwa (Han Ho-yeol) form a pair to chase people with various stories and face a reality they never knew existed.
Here, Jung Hae-in delicately expresses ‘Ahn Jun-ho’, who understands others and grows himself as he encounters the sad story of a soldier who left the army.
“DP had a sad and heartbreaking accident set in 2014. I served in the military before that. It’s a heavy topic, but it’ll make sense. Especially those who have served in the military will have a lot to think about. The army is getting better, and it should get better. Problems in the play will also have to be resolved in the future. The last episode, episode 6, is subtitled ‘Bystanders’. It’s a question for all of us. Staying still is also the same.”
Hearing these words of Jung Hae-in, I think of two lines in the drama and my heart aches. The first is the line that the soldier’s older sister gave to Jung Hae-in, “Why did you just look at such a sincere and kind child when they were being bullied?” The second is “I thought it was okay” by Sergeant Hwang Jang-soo (Shin Seung-ho), who bullied his successors every time.
“When I heard that line, my heart was heavy. I thought about how to get rid of bullying. Those who had similar experiences while serving in the military must have been upset to hear that. It seems to resonate a lot because it is applied not only within the military, but also in the company or group to which he belongs.”
In order to make the deserter stand out, Jung Hae-in shows a colorless and odorless style of acting with the emotions of an observer. The strategy that made him stand out less made Junho’s character stand out.
“I thought I shouldn’t stand out. It’s about catching deserters, so the story of the deserters should come out well. Of course, Junho also catches deserters and grows up, but if I stand out, the balance breaks down. If it’s too hard, it loses strength, so my partner (old) Gyo-gwa hyung brings life to the play.”
The topic continued with the story of heaviness and lightness. We asked if there was any pressure to deal with the actual case.
“It’s fiction, but based on real events, I thought it shouldn’t be taken lightly. He acted with sincerity. While dealing with a heavy subject, it is moderately controlled with humorous breathing with Corporal Han Ho-yeol (Koo Gyo-hwa) in the middle. If it leans too far to one side and approaches it heavily, it can be considered uncomfortable. The director coordinated this with the conductor. My ad-lib is a private, so it’s almost a reaction. When the exchange hyung says something, he responds. I paid attention to tension control.”
Jung Hae-in called Ahn Jun-ho “a person who finds problems within.” “I often blame myself. He could have caught it, but he could have kept it, and he is an inflexible character. I tried to express Ahn Jun-ho through reaction rather than action.”
Jung Hae-in took on the male lead in sweet romance dramas such as the dramas ‘Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food’, ‘Spring Night’ and the movie ‘Yoo-yeol’s Music Album’, but this time, he took on a completely different story and a different character.
“I didn’t choose to break away from my previous work. The director gave me a good suggestion, and I trusted him. I thought we could shoot with each other. Director Han Joon-hee is based on respect for human beings. The biggest thing was the original, which had the power of the story. When I came across the six scripts, I saw what the story was about rather than my character.”
In order to melt into the character of Ahn Jun-ho, Jung Hae-in learned boxing three months before filming and prepared for action. Most of all, the atmosphere with the actors I worked with and the atmosphere with the actors I worked with seemed to be important.
“He was discharged in 2011. He was a ’60 truck’ driver. He often went out of the hospital. Turn on the radio to communicate with the outside world. It was hard, but I have good memories. However, senior Cho Hyun-cheol, who plays Private Jo Seok-bong, must have been the most difficult. When I saw it, I was also frustrated and angry. It seemed that some actors could have PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).”
Jung Hae-in said, “It can be difficult to bring back bad memories of the past. During the filming period of 4-5 months, it felt like I was in the military rather than filming. It was filmed so realistically that I was confused whether it was filming for a military experience project or acting. There were a lot of actors and staff who had served in the military, so there were plenty of ideas on the field. So the actors were able to play with the details better.”
When asked what kind of work he would like ‘D.P’ to remain, Jung Hae-in replied, “I hope that it will be remembered as a work that allows you to look back on your youth and has given you many achievements and learning.” He didn’t forget to say thank you to the viewers for watching ‘DP’.