Film, TV + Theatre

Ok Taec-yeon and the cast of ‘Heartbeat’ on the vampire drama

Bite into this


By Marissa Chin

Ok Taec-yeon and the cast of ‘Heartbeat’ on the vampire drama

Today, Prime Video’s new fantasy South Korean drama Heartbeat premieres on the platform starring Ok Taec-yeon, Won Ji-an, Park Kang-hyun and Yoon So-hee. The 16-episode series sees the 2PM K-pop star as a half-vampire-half-human creature in search of a blood-pumping love and his blossoming relationship with a cold-hearted woman with no time for romance. Before the big premiere, we had a chat with the cast of Heartbeat to get all the bloodthirsty details on why the drama is different from other vampire shows and what they would do as a real-life Cullen (you wouldn’t be able to guess it!).


Ok Taec-yeon on his connection to Heartbeat

K-pop fans would have instantly made the connection between the star’s involvement in the drama and one of his group’s biggest hits which is also named Heartbeat. When asked about whether the role felt fated for him, the idol-turned-actor shared, “Yes, it did definitely feel like destiny had called! To tell you the truth, before the English title was fixed I didn’t think much of it, but once the title was fixed I felt like yes, this is destiny.”


On the show’s global appeal

Of course, the trope of forbidden love between a vampire and a human is not new. Indeed, we have seen numerous iterations of this relationship before. Several South Korean dramas have already explored this dynamic, however, the four actors are sure that Heartbeat brings something new to the table that viewers can sink their teeth into.

Actress Yoon So-hee revealed that “while we’ve seen many vampires in different content types before, the genre is quite refreshing.” As the first drama to feature a half-human-half-vampire character, the actress says that “the new subject matter and element of comedy, and how the drama shows different sides to the characters all come together to gain traction from both global and at-home audiences.”

Further, Won Ji-an (who plays the protagonist’s icy love interest) shared some thoughts on Heartbeat’s universal themes of love that will resonate with many viewers. “When it comes to love, I think we all go through that, whether it’s something you strive to find yourself or something that just comes to you without warning…Although it’s a love story between a human being and a half-human-half-vampire, I don’t think it’s that different from human love. I think that’s something many can relate to.”

For Taec-yeon, it is also the pursuit of love that makes the drama worth watching. “At the end of the day, the theme that our drama series is speaking to is love that makes your heart beat. And that’s something that transcends culture or national borders. Anyone can feel it, it’s universal, and some even live for that very reason…While it is a very classic storyline, it’s also one that makes many hearts beat. I think that’s why many audiences globally will be able to relate to our drama when they see the show.”


On the charming points of their characters

“I wanted to play a sexy vampire!” exclaimed Taec-yeon when he was asked why he wanted to take on such a role. All jokes aside, the actor—who also made a special cameo appearance on XO, Kitty—was “drawn to and wanted to portray a character who was loyal to his heart.” He also considered previous projects he had done, most famously as the maniacal villain in the hit Netflix drama Vincenzo. “My previous work was quite dark and the subject matter was heavy…When I was reading the script for this series, I enjoyed how lighthearted and fun it was. So, I couldn’t wait to portray the character Sun Woo-Hyeol as soon as possible.”

For Ji-an, it was the fact that her character couldn’t be further from who she really is in real life. When asked about the differences, she revealed, “The first is how tenacious she is in knowing how to make ends meet—she’s so much better at that than I am…And also because it’s a love story between a human and vampire, the fantasy element of it required having to rely on my imagination, which is quite different from the characters I have portrayed in the past.” 


On what they would do first as a vampire

Vampires are supernatural beings known for their unmatched speed and strength. Naturally, we had to ask the cast of Heartbeat what they would do if they became an actual vampire. Taec-yeon showed his Batman aspirations when he told us that he would “want to transform into a bat and explore inside caves!” Ji-an resolutely said that she would like to “fly really high” whilst Kang Hyun answered that if he could go without oxygen, he would “explore the deep sea or outer space.”

We like So-hee’s answer the best, though, because it’s simply too adorable. The actress shyly responded, “If I could be a vampire, I’d like to transform into a cat and have a chat with my cat.” 

Heartbeat premieres today on 26 June on Prime Video. Catch new episodes every Monday and Tuesday.


For more recommendations on what to watch, head here.

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