Ok Taecyeon on the set of ‘Vincenzo’, Playing the Villain and the new 2pm music

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Spoilers for Vincenzo below.

Among the ranks of Korean idols turned actors, Ok Taecyeon clearly stands out. A member of the South Korean boy band 2PM, Taecyeon has proven his acting skills in K dramas like Dream high and Save me before taking the lead role as VincenzoThe menacing villain Jang Joon-woo. The black comedy, which premiered on Netflix in late February and aired its finale last weekend, has become a worldwide hit and TVN’s sixth highest-rated show in broadcasting history.

We first meet Joon-Woo as an intern at law firm Wusang, hired to defend and protect corrupt and murderous pharmaceutical company Babel Group. Her boss is Hong Cha-young (Jeon Yeo-been), a beautiful, ruthless lawyer who uses bribery and blackmail to gain her business.

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The first few episodes of Joon-Woo are all about following Cha-young and dropping fun one-liners like “Can you feel my heartbeat?” (a cheeky reference to the 2009 2 PM hit “Heartbeat”). But her innocent image is shattered in Episode 4 by one of the series’ many twists and turns: Joon-Woo is in fact the true heir of Babel Group and responsible for its corruption and bloodshed – including the murder. from Cha-young’s father, Hong Yu-chan, a human rights lawyer determined to demolish Babel.

Seeking revenge, Cha-young takes on his father’s mission – joined by Vincenzo Cassano (Song Joong-ki), member of the Italian Mafia, lawyer and villainous murderer in his own right. Consumed by his evil ambition, Joon-Woo embraces his true identity and his real name, Jang Han-seok.

“I wanted the role the moment I learned that naive legal intern Jang Joon-woo is the ultimate villain and the transformative and surprising character of Vincenzo”Taecyeon told ELLE.com. “I loved that Jang Joon-woo has two faces. Behind the innocent face of a young lawyer loving Cha-young hides an evil spirit that uses people and ruthlessly kills them after achieving his goal. I was thinking Vincenzo was a good opportunity to show another side of me so that was also a deciding factor.

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Up front, Taecyeon talks about his favorite scenes from Vincenzo, in collaboration with Song Joong-ki and Jeon Yeo-been, and new music from 2 PM.

What was it like playing the bad guy?

Jang Han-seok is far from being a simple villain. He’s a multi-faceted character who has opposing sides, hot and cold. This is my first role as a villain; there were challenges. In portraying Jang Han-seok, I tried to lean on certain aspects of myself and emphasize expressions of evil from deep within myself.

Joon-woo’s true identity was kept a secret prior to the show’s release. Was it difficult to keep this a secret?

When we were promoting the show, I couldn’t introduce my character except as a legal intern with a crush on her mentor, Hong Cha-young. When the show aired, I was concerned that viewers would understand Joon-woo’s secret. I was relieved when so many people reacted in totally surprised ways to Episode 4, where Joon-woo’s identity is revealed.

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What was your favorite scene to film?

An unforgettable scene for me is when Jang Han-seok gives a talk and gets sprayed with pig’s blood, a tribute to the film Carrie. I had a hard time keeping my eyes open with blood flowing through them. It was a difficult scene to film. It was also difficult mentally, trying to express Jang Han-seok’s rage upon realizing that Vincenzo had gotten the better of him again. The visuals were shocking when I saw the scene after it was released. It will stay in my memory for a long time.

Another memorable scene is Joon-woo’s “Evil Powerpoint”, where he reveals himself as the true heir of Babel. Did you improvise at all?

All of the dancing and chanting was ad-libbed in the scene where Joon-woo makes the big announcement that he’s the real boss of Babel Group. I discussed it at length with the director. I wanted to portray Joon-woo as someone who breaks out into a song and dances in that situation, an unpredictable villain who doesn’t fit the mold of a serious, scary psychopath.

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2PM members Nichkhun and Chan-sung made appearances in Vincenzo. What do you think of their game?

Due to my schedule, I couldn’t be there while filming. But I saw the scenes they were in after the show came out. I am very grateful that they accepted the cameo appearances and as a co-member I wish they had bigger roles.

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What was it like working with Song Joong-ki and Jeon Yeo-been?

They have always animated the decor! It was great to work with them. We often ate and talked together. Although this was my first time working with them, I always felt comfortable. Song Joong-ki has always been attentive to her fellow actors and staff, and Jeon Yeo has always brought her own energy and charm to all of her scenes. Thanks to them, I was able to focus on my character Joon-woo.

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At the start of the show, Joon-woo and Cha-young are close friends. But when Cha-young finds out Joon-woo’s identity, she ends the relationship. What do you think of Joon-woo’s changing feelings about Cha-young as the story progresses?

I think Joon-woo must have been drawn to Cha-young’s work ethic and his belief that the end justifies the means, his concern for pros and cons rather than good and evil. He watches her as she develops feelings for Vincenzo. His animosity towards Vincenzo – who takes away everything Joon-woo has, including Cha-young – is greater than his resentment towards Cha-young for ending their relationship. I think from Joon-woo’s perspective getting rid of Vincenzo would have solved all of his problems.

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What’s next for you?

The film Hansan: Rise of the Dragon will be released soon. It was my first experience with a piece from a historical period. And later this year you will see me in the tvN series The royal emissary and Jo-i. I am excited about this period drama series with a longer filming time. I do my best to prepare for the role. 2PM is also working on a new album, so keep an eye out for that!

Watch Vincenzo on Netflix

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