Disney+ has recently expanded its impressive collection of K-dramas with the highly anticipated release of The Worst of Evil. This streaming platform has already garnered immense admiration from fans with its previous K-drama offerings such as Revenge of Others, Connect, and Moving.
However, The Worst of Evil has managed to create a buzz among fans ever since its sneak peek in April, as it showcased the intense and dynamic chemistry between the characters portrayed by Wi Ha-joon and Ji Chang-wook. Both actors have previously captivated audiences with their exceptional performances in popular shows like Squid Game and The K2, as well as a diverse range of soft-hearted and action-packed K-dramas.
The newly released Disney+ Korean series presents a gripping and thrilling storyline that is rife with danger and high stakes. It revolves around a married couple who find themselves deeply entangled in the dangerous web of a criminal organisation.
Set against the backdrop of 1990s Seoul, this K-drama follows the journey of police officer Park Jun-mo as he embarks on a complex undercover assignment. As Jun-mo delves deeper into his investigation of a notorious crime syndicate, he becomes increasingly involved with the gang led by the enigmatic and influential Jung Gi-cheol. However, just when it seems like Jun-mo’s plans are falling into place, a sudden and unexpected twist complicates the situation, throwing him into a whirlwind of uncertainty.
Adding to the intrigue and complexity of the plot, Jun-mo’s wife, Yoo Eui-jeong, who is also a dedicated police officer, bravely volunteers to infiltrate the very same criminal organisation. What makes this situation even more captivating is that she shares a hidden history with the charismatic crime boss, as she was once his first love.
Now, the married couple must navigate a treacherous path, carefully concealing their true identities in order to deceive Gi-cheol. Will they succeed in their dangerous charade, or will their past connections and personal motivations jeopardise everything they have worked for?
Under the skilled direction of Han Dong-wook and with a compelling screenplay by Jang Min-seok, The Worst of Evil promises to deliver an enthralling and immersive crime thriller experience. The series is poised to keep viewers on the edge of their seats with its meticulously crafted suspenseful moments and visually stunning cinematography. From heart-pounding action sequences to heart-wrenching emotional dilemmas, this show has it all.
In an exclusive and insightful interview, we had the privilege of speaking with Kwon Ji-hoon, the talented and experienced stunt director of Disney+’s The Worst of Evil. He graciously shared his firsthand experiences of working with the exceptionally gifted cast and orchestrating the breathtaking sequences that bring the drama to life.
Through his valuable insights, we gain a deeper understanding of the immense dedication and creativity that goes into crafting the thrilling on-screen moments that will undoubtedly captivate audiences.
Here, we speak to the drama’s stunt director, Kwon Ji-hoon about working with the star-studded cast and what’s it like coordinating sequences for them.
Disney+’s ‘The Worst of Evil’: Stunt Director Kwon Ji-hoon on coordinating sequences for the star-studded cast
Jun-mo is a police officer that undergoes a drastic change after joining the Gangnam gang. How did you go about reflecting this change in the action sequences?
Jun-mo’s movements in the action scenes at the beginning of the story were technically more sophisticated because he is a trained police officer. For instance, when he arrests drug dealers in the beginning of the series, the movements are more controlled.
When Jun-mo goes to the Gangnam gang to be tested, our goal was to portray how his movements are still very much controlled despite his feigning excessive roughness. But towards the end of the story, when he feels infuriated, and something is awakened inside him, the action sequences were created in a way that can portray his movements as being out of control and much wilder.
What was it like working with Ji Chang-wook?
Chang-wook is someone who always overdelivers. I’d create a sequence and ask for 100%, and he’d deliver 120%.
I didn’t make any particular requests, I simply told him: “Just do whatever you want to do. We have the overall framework and sequences as a reference, but please don’t let that restrict what you want to do. We’ll adjust accordingly if there’s anything that you want to try.”
For instance, when the action scene was being filmed in the Gangnam gang’s office, we had the storyboard ready with the movement sequences already coordinated with other stunt actors and props ready to be used. But in the middle of filming the scene, Chang-wook’s energy spontaneously surged, so some movement sequences were added on the spot.
Towards the later part of the series, Jun-mo has to fight a beefy member of the crime ring, and he starts by first hitting the criminal with an ashtray. As the situation intensifies, Jun-mo bites his opponent and lets out a primal howl with his mouth filled with blood, much like a lion’s roar. That was one of the scenes that were spontaneously added during production.
What was is like coordinating sequences for Wi Ha-joon?
We didn’t have much backstory for Ha-joon’s character, other than the fact that he was a DJ working at nightclubs in the Gangnam area, and somehow years later, he became the leader of the Gangnam gang.
Ha-joon is young, but he stands out even among the actors I’ve worked with for his remarkable aptitude for action scenes. He’s fast and extremely agile with amazing reflexes. I wanted to reflect his strengths in the action scenes, so I based his sequences on agile body movements inspired by boxing.
There were times during production that I had to remind him to slow down so the camera could capture the intricacies of his movement.
The Worst of Evil also features Lim Se-mi’s first action sequence. What was it like creating this for her?
For Se-mi, my idea was that her character would have basic self-defense skills as a trained police officer. Confronting a large group of killers would throw anyone off, no matter how professionally trained you may be in self-defense, and I wanted to capture the authentic response of this character.
Rather than giving Se-mi action sequences where she gets to shoot and kick others in a way that makes her look cool simply because she is the female lead, I wanted to show the viewers that, regardless of how formally trained you are, you can get defeated and chased.
So, Semi had to tumble over tables, fall, crawl, and get thrown down after being grabbed by the hair. We tried to capture these moments in a way that would fuel Ha-joon or Chang-wook’s anger.
The series features a number of large fight scenes. Did you go into this series with the idea of filming these?
It was very intentional. The series revolves around criminal organizations where battles between opposing syndicates happens. The show features several other criminal groups, including the Jaegeon cartel.
For this series we wanted whole groups to fight each other rather than one-on-one fights between leaders. For Ha-joon and Chang-wook’s characters we wanted them to be a part of these big fights and also show them get beaten and injured.
View this post on Instagram
How long did it take to prepare for these large-scale action sequences?
When preparing a scene, I would start by conceptualising the action sequences the moment I received the script. It would usually take around four to five months to conceptualise the scenes.
After working through the fighting styles of each character and how they would fight in certain situations with my team, we would send the storyboards to the director who would give us feedback. We’d revise our plan and go back and forth with the director until we created something all of us were happy with.
Do you remember the scene that took the most time and effort?
One of the most complex sequences was the scene where Jun-mo goes into the gang’s office and Gi-cheul tries to test him. Because Jun-mo realises he’s being tested, he has to act rough and fight accordingly.
I spent a lot of time discussing this scene with Director Han Dong-wook. To create a good action scene, you can’t have everyone look cool and you can’t have everyone looking unruly and chaotic. Our conversations for this scene were heavily focused on how to find the right balance of technical and raw action.
What would you say was the main highlight of shooting The Worst of Evil?
The chemistry. There are so many actors involved in the series as well as all the crew. I think the chemistry among the actors were particularly amazing.
Because of that great chemistry, all I had to do was to create a framework to guide them, and they did the rest.
Watch Disney+’s ‘The Worst of Evil’ trailer here:
(All images used courtesy of Disney+)