Based on the classic Korean cartoon “Youngsim,” “Oh! Youngsim” is a romantic comedy about the reunion between childhood friends Oh Young Sim and Wang Kyung Tae, who unexpectedly run into each other again after 20 years.
Song Ha Yoon stars as the titular Oh Young Sim, a variety show producing director (PD) who has become notorious for all her programs getting cancelled early. When the opportunity to produce a new dating show comes her way, Oh Young Sim is determined to use it to redeem herself. However, things take an unexpected turn when the famous start-up CEO she casts for the show turns out to be her childhood friend Wang Kyung Tae (Donghae), who has undergone a major glow-up since she last saw him.
Song Ha Yoon, who belongs to the generation that grew up watching the cartoon “Youngsim,” talked about her memories of the classic show. “There weren’t many programs back then, so you’d just wait for the day when your favorite cartoon aired,” she recalled. “It was like that for ‘Youngsim’ too. So when I think of ‘Youngsim,’ I’m reminded of the times when watching cartoons and going to the playground to play was part of my daily routine.”
The actress continued, “To be honest, I had forgotten about ‘Youngsim’ for a while, but as soon as I heard the name, I remembered my childhood days of eagerly waiting for the time when ‘Youngsim’ would air and watching the cartoon.”
As there is a 20-year gap between the cartoon and the drama, Song Ha Yoon also spoke about how she’d pictured the character of Young Sim in her thirties. She explained, “I realized that the Young Sim in the script was just like me, so I made up my mind to work harder while living as Young Sim. I think the way she keeps trying without giving up, even when she experiences small defeats, is a lot like me in real life.”
The actress added, “I thought I’d be so grown up by the time I hit 30, but I’m still making the same mistakes. So I tried to take the frank, free-spirited, and mischievous nuances of the cartoon’s Young Sim and make her into a more realistic character that feels like someone we could meet in our everyday lives.”
Meanwhile, Donghae commented, “I did a lot of analysis on Kyung Tae’s situation and personality as an adult, but what I focused on most was the mind and feelings of the younger Kyung Tae. Why he loved Young Sim so much, what it felt like to walk away, and what it’s like to come back and meet her again. Although a lot of time has passed, wouldn’t the young Kyung Tae’s heart remain the same?”
Just like Young Sim and Kyung Tae, Song Ha Yoon and Donghae are also the same age in real life. Regarding how being co-stars of the same age might have helped during filming, Song Ha Yoon remarked, “Maybe it was because we grew up in the same era, but there were a lot of things we saw eye-to-eye on. We didn’t actually spend our childhoods together, but we lived in the same era, so we naturally had common memories.”
Donghae added, “There is a visible difference in CEO Kyung Tae when he is with Young Sim. It’s like how you become yourself when you are socializing with someone you’re comfortable with. Being the same age made it easier and faster for us to interact with one another as Young Shim and Kyung Tae.”
Donghae also went on to share, “There is an important scene in the middle of the drama that remains in my heart. For the first time, two people who were previously busy fighting one another have an honest conversation. It is an opportunity to ask each other how they are and resolve small misunderstandings.”
Song Ha Yoon agreed, “That’s right. The whole process felt very comfortable and natural. We filmed it on a beach in Gangwon province, and I think it was more memorable because the weather and scenery were so beautiful.”
Donghae and Song Ha Yoon’s full pictorial and interview can be found in the June issue of Singles magazine.
Start watching full episodes of “Oh! Youngsim” with subtitles below!
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