Korean shows

‘Brand new experience’: Jun Ji-hyun, Ju Ji-hoon tease fans on what to expect in ‘Jirisan’

Ysa Abad
‘Brand new experience’: Jun Ji-hyun, Ju Ji-hoon tease fans on what to expect in ‘Jirisan’

JIRISAN. Jun Ji-hyun and Ju Ji-hoon are the lead stars for the upcoming mystery series.


Are you excited for 'Jirisan,' too?

South Korean top stars Jun Ji-hyun and Ju Ji-hoon are teaming up for the upcoming mystery series Jirisan, which will premiere on iQiyi on October 23. 

Inspired by Mount Jiri, the second tallest mountain in South Korea, Jirisan tells the story of a group of national park rangers assigned to Mount Jiri. Bravely weathering typhoons, floods, and other natural disasters, the group involves itself in search and rescue missions to save those who’ve gotten lost climbing up the mountain.

Ji-hyun plays experienced star ranger Seo Yi-gang, who becomes the partner of rookie ranger Kang Hyun-jo, portrayed by Ji-hoon. As they spend long hours together as senior-junior colleagues, their relationship blossoms as well. 

Lead stars Jun Ji-hyun and Ju Ji-hoon.

During the series’ press conference on Wednesday, October 13, Ji-hyun said of being paired with Ji-hoon for the first time, “It was a very good partnership, we were at ease.”

A different Ji-hyun and Ji-hoon

Compared to her elegant and goddess-like characters in her previous rom-com series, Ji-hyun is set to showcase a new side of strength and skill in Jirisan. “Actually, I accepted the role because I wished to play a strong woman, females today are stronger in character. I never thought I would play a park ranger. To me, this is a brand new experience,” she said. 

Jun Ji-hyun during the ‘Jirisan’ press conference.

Jirisan also marks Ji-hyun’s drama comeback after nearly five years. Her last lead role was for The Legend of the Blue Sea in 2016, but she made a cameo appearance in the 2021 Kingdom: Ashin of the North. “I was very happy throughout the filming process. As I prepared well in mountaineering gear, there were not many difficulties,” she added. 

For Ji-hoon, he said that his preparations for his character involve discussing with writer Kim Eun-hee and listening to her analysis of his role. “He is able to express innocence, playfulness, cruelty, strength, and much more with just his smile. He matches our vision of Kang Hyun-jo who is warm, can exert an air of dominance, and is able to express despair,” the production team said of lead actor Ji-hoon. 

Ju Ji-hoon as rookie ranger Kang Hyun-jo.

In addition to the onscreen chemistry between the lead actors, Jirisan also stars Sung Dong-il, Oh Jung-se, and Cho Han-cheul as members of the Haidong Branch search and rescue team on Mount Jiri.

There’s more to ‘Jirisan’

While the trailer teases viewers with an action-packed plot, writer Kim Eun-hee revealed that Jirisan not only revolves around mystery and suspense. “I feel that I’ve only talked about murders, but I do feel a need for the show to heal the soul,” she said. 

Eun-hee, who also wrote hits Signal and Kingdom, teamed up with cinematographer Choi Sang-mook for the series. “We have chosen to follow the story of park rangers among the mountains, trees, and nature of Jirisan. In our mundane reality, I hope the series’ spotlight of the beautiful peak can help viewers cleanse their negative emotions.” 

Lead actress Ji-hyun was also all-praises for the writer. “What sets her script apart from others is that a lot of scenes that I took for granted, later gave me a lot of hints for the plot that came out later,” she said. – Rappler.com