The Glory’s ​​Jung Sung-Il, Kim Hieo-ra, Cha Joo-young, Kim Gun-woo on bullying: ‘I can’t tolerate injustice’

Cast members of ‘The Glory’ say they can’t tolerate injustice, bullying

/ 09:00 AM March 10, 2023
Images: Instagram/@netflixkr

(From left) Jung Sung-il, Cha Joo-young, Kim Gun-woo, Kim Hieo-ra of “The Glory.” Images: Instagram/@netflixkr

Korean stars Kim Hieo-ra, Cha Joo-young, Kim Gun-woo, and Jung Sung-il might have angered fans with their respective roles in the hit K-drama “The Glory,” but the South Korean actors affirmed that they’re firmly against bullying due to its traumatic effects to the victims.

Fans can remember Lee Sa-ra (Kim Hieo-ra), Choi Hye-jeong (Cha Joo-young), and Son Myeong-o (Kim Gun-woo) as some of the tormentors of titular character Moon Dong-eun (Song Hye-kyo) in the series, who also played a part in the bullying of the latter.


On the other hand, Ha Do-yeong (Jung Sung-il) is the rich husband of Park Yeon-jin (Lim Ji-yeon) who was unaware of his wife’s past as perpetrator of torture. He also finds himself drawn to Dong-eun due to her skillful ability with a Korean traditional game called baduk or go.

In an exclusive interview with select entertainment reporters, including this writer, the South Korean actors made known their stance against bullying and their experiences in bringing their respective characters to life.


(Facing camera) Kim Hieo-ra as Lee Sa-ra. Image: Instagram/@netflixkr

(Facing camera) Kim Hieo-ra as Lee Sa-ra. Image: Instagram/@netflixkr

Taking notes from Dong-eun’s elaborate plan to outsmart her tormentors, Hieo-ra, who appeared to be deep in thought about the topic, admitted that if she sees someone getting bullied, she would even help the victim to devise a form of revenge. “I will help the victim in a way where I’m going to help in creating a plan to outsmart their perpetrators. I would also make sure that this would not be a one-off thing so the [bullies] wouldn’t do it again. I want to go with the victim to help them in planning their revenge,” she said.

One can see Gun-woo, Joo-young, and Sung-il, on the other hand, being passionate about fighting back against bullying, as the former firmly said, “I would definitely do my best to help the victim because no one deserves to be bullied and tormented.”

Joo-young echoed Gun-woo’s statement, saying, “We have the responsibility to help the victims.”

(leftmost) Jung Sung-il as Ha Do-yeong. Image: Instagram/@netflixkr

(leftmost) Jung Sung-il as Ha Do-yeong. Image: Instagram/@netflixkr

“I’m the type of person who reacts immediately [especially in situations like these], but I would definitely intervene with the bully,” Sung-il began. “I cannot tolerate injustice, and I would do my best to make [the bully] realize that it is wrong in a strong, but in a legal way. I would also report them to the police [if things get worse].”

On bringing their characters to life

While taking on the role of a bully is stressful, Joo-young shared that one of the most challenging parts during filming is working alongside “talented actors.” Among Yeon-jin’s clique in the series, Joo-young’s character is seen as an outsider who even escaped from being bullied, as revealed in Part 1.

“It was very stressful having to work alongside talented actors was one of the biggest challenges. I didn’t want to disturb their performances, and I felt pressured even if no one [in the cast] gave me the reason to feel this way. I wanted to make sure that I am playing my part and to not give a hard time,” she said.

“I really wanted to find the reference for Hye-jeong, but I just couldn’t find one. I didn’t have anyone who was like her around me. So, I had to come up with this character and to be very honest with you, before we went into production, I admit that I wasn’t fully immersed in the role. But since I was always thinking about what character she would be, my memo and phone would always be filled with curse words. I also thought my high energy would be the baseline for her,” she further explained.


(Facing the camera) Cha Joo-young as Choi Hye-jeong. Image: Instagram/@netflixkr

(Facing the camera) Cha Joo-young as Choi Hye-jeong. Image: Instagram/@netflixkr

Meanwhile, Hieo-ra had to study victims of substance abuse, based on Sa-ra’s arc, since it was her “first time” to take on such a character.

“Finding the legitimacy of my character felt dangerous because [the bullies] had to exist as villains who are evil. I also became such close friends with everybody which became dangerous when it comes to portraying my character, which makes it challenging and fulfilling. I would also [study] the glances of a person whether they’re on these substances or not, and also the texture of what would come from that,” she said.

On the other hand, Gun-woo revealed that bringing Myeong-o’s domineering personality to life was a matter of analyzing his character and imagining what he would be like on a normal day. He also shared that he looked up a lot of “reference characters” through films, series, and even interviews featuring real people to help in his portrayal.

“My challenge had to do with the texture of the character. I put in a lot of effort, for example, just thinking of what his character would be like when he’s alone, as well as his aura, stance, and personality. Finding that was the most fun and challenging for me,” he said, noting that Myeong-o is notorious for cursing a lot. “I also have specific sparring partners, which means that I would have someone where we would bounce ideas off each other, which includes a lot of curse words.”

Kim Gun-woo as Son Myeong-o. Image: Instagram/@netflixkr

Kim Gun-woo as Son Myeong-o. Image: Instagram/@netflixkr

Since Sung-il’s character shows emotions through his eyes, he said that his biggest challenge was conveying himself through “nuanced ways.”

“The biggest challenge was expressing my character [properly], because he is a person who doesn’t reveal emotions in a usual way. He just conveys them through nuanced ways. While preparing for the role of Ha Do-yeong, I tried to refer to the so-called high-class characters and I tried to research how the nobles would act through foreign films or drama series. These characters don’t reveal the full array of their emotions, and instead carry this layback energy without showing too much,” he said.

“Along the way, I found out that I was losing what was uniquely mine so I decided to channel what was within me as a person,” he further added.

Also included in the hit K-drama’s lead stars are Song Hye-kyo, Lee Do-hyun, Lim Ji-yeon, Yum Hye-ran, and Park Sung-hoon.

The series is directed by Ahn Gil-ho, while the screenplay is created by Kim Eun-sook, who wrote “Descendants of the Sun,” “The King: Eternal Monarch,” “Goblin,” “The Heirs,” and “Lovers in Paris,” among many others. EDV


Song Hye-kyo reveals she didn’t eat for three days to prepare for scene in ‘The Glory’

‘The Glory 2’ starring Song Hye-kyo, Lee Do-hyun to premiere on March 10

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TAGS: Bullying, K-Dramas, Song Hye-kyo
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