Swindling bad guys of dirty money, ‘Player’ aims to be a gratifying action series

September 20, 2018

SEOUL, Sept. 20 (Yonhap) — Is it justifiable to claw back — illegally — money made through illegal means? Many Koreans might find the idea of reclaiming ill-gotten gains thrilling and satisfying because many white collar criminals in the country get just a slap on the wrist for their crimes.

“Player,” an upcoming television series on OCN, a cable movie channel that has emerged as a strong player in the Korean TV industry with a number of well-made shows, aims to provide viewers with just that kind of satisfaction when they watch crooks and swindlers have their wealth confiscated.

Producer Koh Jae-hyun said he hit on the idea of making the series years ago when he became curious about what happens to criminals’ wealth when they are put behind bars.

“Where has all the money gone? That doesn’t seem fair. The story started from there,” he said during a promotional event for the new show in Seoul on Thursday.

“How interesting would it be if nice-looking but clumsy people can take all the illegally-made money back? Such a story will be fun and delightful.”

In this photo provided by OCN, four actors of "Player" pose for photos during a press conference in Seoul on Sept. 20, 2018. (Yonhap)

In this photo provided by OCN, four actors of “Player” pose for photos during a press conference in Seoul on Sept. 20, 2018. (Yonhap)

Actor Song Seung-heon leads a team of four people, comprised of a con artist and sweet talker, a driver, a hacker and a fighter.

The producer, who has been friends with Song for more than 15 years, said the actor looked perfect for Kang Ha-ri, the cheerful, easy-going con artist character in the show. Koh suggested that the actor just show his real self through the character.

“I am not sure if showing my real self on the show would be a good thing or not, but (the producer) said he would like to show through Kang Ha-ri how I am when I play with my friends and am at ease,” Song said. “Many viewers will see me play such a character for the first time, so I really wanted to take it on.”

Jung Soo-jung, also known as Crystal from now-disbanded girl band f(x), plays the best driver Cha Ah-ryeong. “Since I was young, I’ve dreamed of doing action scenes, so being part of the series is like my dream come true,” she said. The idol-turned-actor performs action scenes by herself, including riding a motorcycle, without using a double in most cases, she said.

The image provided by OCN shows actor Song Seung-heon, who plays Kang Ha-ri in the new series "Player." (Yonhap)

The image provided by OCN shows actor Song Seung-heon, who plays Kang Ha-ri in the new series “Player.” (Yonhap)

Lee Si-eon takes the role of the genius hacker — a role that might seem uncharacteristic of him for fans of the popular reality show “I Live Alone” on MBC, where he comes across as a silly boy-next-door type, a far cry from a sharp, intelligent hacker.

“Well, the character (in the new show) is only good at hacking. He looks professional only when he is doing his job,” he said, laughing. “I’d known that the director was planning this series since two years ago. I wanted to play the character so bad, so I persuaded him to give me the role,” he said.

The fighter character is played by Tae Won-seok, a relatively new face in the Korean TV scene. He gained around 35 kilograms to play the bulky, muscular fighter.

“Individual characters look amateur, but they create amazing synergy and make a great team together,” the producer said. “I am sure that these guys will satisfy viewers by going after bad guys.”

The weekend series will premiere at 10:20 p.m. on Sept. 29 on OCN.

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