Vincenzo is the next K-drama to watch

Nathalie Tomada - The Philippine Star
Vincenzo is the next K-drama to watch
The action-packed legal thriller will premiere on Netflix tomorrow, Feb. 20 at 10 p.m.

Heads up, K-drama fans. The next series to watch is Vincenzo, which tells the tale of Vincenzo Cassano (Song Joong-ki), who was adopted as a child by an Italian family and became a lawyer/adviser to an Italian mafia. He returns to Korea and employs ruthless tactics he learned over the years to take down villains, driven by his personal philosophy that “only evil can punish evil.”

Vincenzo crosses paths and joins forces with an equally ruthless lady lawyer named Hong Cha-young (Jeon Yeo-bin of the critically-acclaimed After My Death) and her intern Jang Joon-woo (Taecyeon of the boyband 2PM). Based on the teaser notes, they become crime-fighting antiheroes who will go after “evildoers” deemed untouchable by the law.

So, why is Vincenzo a must-see? Song Joong-ki, whose last onscreen project was the recently-released first Korean space blockbuster Space Sweepers, said at a recent virtual presscon The STAR attended: “Because I’m in it (laughs). But in all seriousness, the wonderful cast, the amazing story and the amazing creators behind it, we all put in our very best work and I think you will not be disappointed. Personally, I also feel that our drama series boasts of cliffhangers. You will be able to see that at the end of each episode. So, I really hope that you can check it out and enjoy our show.”

2PM’s Taecyeon is the legal intern Jang Joon-woo, Song Joong-ki is Vincenzo Cassano, adopted from Korea as a child who grew up to become a lawyer/adviser to an Italian mafia and Jeon Yeo-bin is the badass lawyer Hong Cha-young.

Before Vincenzo’s premiere on Netflix tomorrow, Feb. 20 at 10 p.m. (with new episodes every Saturday and Sunday), learn more about the action-packed legal thriller from our roundtable interview with the lead stars.

How would you describe your character in the drama??

Song Joong-ki: “So, all three of us play the role of a lawyer, but each of us have different personalities. As for me, I play the role of Vincenzo. My character was the consigliere (adviser) of the Italian Mafia. If that’s a little hard to grasp — obviously, we all know the masterpiece, The Godfather, and the character Tom who works for Al Pacino in the movie is the legal adviser who looks over the mob’s overall operations. I think that will put my character into perspective for you. (He) arrives in Korea and while he doesn’t have any legal status in the country, he comes across various things and tries to solve the challenges.”

Jeon Yeo-bin: “I play the role of Hong Cha-young of the most prestigious legal firm in Korea. She’s a character who is not driven by what is good or bad… She is strictly driven by what is more advantageous for her.”

Taecyeon: “I play the role of Jang Joon-woo and he is a character that is very naive, makes a lot of mistakes and always has his eyes set on the character Hong Cha-young. Some people who look at my character might think to themselves, how in the world did this person pass the Bar? But he’s a very charming character.”

What were your thoughts when you read the script for the first time?

Song Joong-ki: “We’re currently doing our conference here with the press from APAC (Asia-Pacific), but our story is not just pertaining to a particular or single country, it’s actually applicable to all societies and countries because there’s always evil people everywhere. Unfortunately in Korea recently, whenever I watch the news, you know, some pieces make us so angry that it brings us almost to tears.

“And I thought that the way the story dealt with and punished evil was very refreshing. There are a lot of villains in our story and unfortunately, there are a lot of these villains in real life as well. And I think that the way that the characters approached these villains and also the method and the concept of punishing the evil was very satisfying for me, which is what drew me to the material.”

Jeon Yeo-bin: “When I saw the script for each episode, the speed at which the story rolls out was just fascinating and also the level of detail. I really fell in love with the script. I think what I was drawn the most to was my character — most charming and just such a cool character. Another appeal that our show has is that it really has that juxtaposition of the hot and cold (elements).”

Taecyeon: “There were two things that I was really drawn to — the storyline and the description (of my character). It was so well-written that I was able to picture the scenes in my head and I could immediately figure out what the writer wanted to express in these scenes. They came to life and felt very real — that’s one reason. And the second is the personal growth that my character goes through. He starts out as this clumsy intern who is always looking to Cha-young for everything, and then goes through his own growth.”

?What’s your first impression of your co-stars? How do you feel about each other while working on this drama?

Song Joong-ki: “This is actually my first time working on a project with my wonderful co-stars here. When I first heard that I’d be joining them in the cast, I felt like they were the perfect fit for the characters in the script. And when we met for the first time, I was really assured. I felt like they were people I could work with to create great synergy, to cheer each other up and to really just have a good time on set. You know, when we do these projects, some things tend to be very difficult and there are a lot of challenges on set, and I feel like because I was able to work with these two, we could really cheer each other up and just have a great time creating the title.”

Jeon Yeo-bin: “I believe I was the very first person to be cast in the drama series. And at the time, I was not aware of who I would be working with so when I heard these two names, I was extremely happy. As for Taecyeon, we have previously experienced working with each other in Save Me. As for Joong-ki, he was one of my favorite actors while I was still in school so it was really amazing to hear that I would be working alongside him and I had a lot of expectations. Upon meeting him in person, Joong-ki is a person who really pays attention to details so it was amazing to work with someone like that. And as for Taecyeon… we just had great chemistry from the get-go. I feel extremely grateful to be working with these two and I have a lot of love for them.”

Taecyeon: “When we met for the first time on the set, Joong-ki, I felt like he was already Vincenzo himself. He was neat. Perfect. And when I met him, I could not help myself but be jealous of him. And along the side of the perfection that his character has, there’s also the comedic aspect to it, and I was amazed to see when we were reading the script, you know, just a single performance from him would make everybody break into laughter in the room. And I just continue to be in awe of him.

“As for Yeo-bin… you know, people tend to become very nervous when they’re just starting out on a set. However, I was amazed to see how determined and passionate she was from the very first scene. In fact, one of the first scenes had her head on the table and falling asleep, and when I saw her act out that scene, I felt like she had really brought the character to life from the written words in the script. Prior to that, we actually had a lot of practice sessions together. And every time, I am just in awe of her talent and I also feel like she’s very much like a sponge. She really takes it all in and then is able to express it and put it all out there on screen.”

Vincenzo is directed by Kim Hee-won (The Crowned Clown and Money Flower) and written by Park Jae-bum (The Fiery Priest, Good Manager and Good Doctor, among others).

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