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Ahn Hyo-seop from “Business Proposal”: “Is Kang Tae-moo a single since birth? I leave it to your imagination”

Actor Ahn Hyo-seop joined an Q’n’A interview about the drama “Business Proposal.”

On April 11th, Ahn Hyo-seop answered questions about the recently ended SBS Monday-Tuesday drama “Business Proposal” through his agency Starhaus Entertainment.

Ahn plays the role of Kang Tae-moo, a third-generation CEO of a conglomerate family in “Business Proposal.” Kang Tae-moo is a character that God seems to have created by “flexing” everything he has, combining outer appearance, voice, wealth, and even effort.

A Business Proposal

Accordingly, the ratings of “Business Proposal,” which started at 4.9% nationwide based on the ratings research company Nielsen Korea, has risen to a maximum of 11.6%, and succeeded in global success as the world’s second largest in the Netflix TV program category.

In “Business Proposal,” which ended on April 5th, Kang Tae-moo (Ahn Hyo-seop) and Shin Ha-ri (Kim Se-jeong) confirmed their unchanging love for each other and had a beautiful happy ending by proposing to each other.

Here are Ahn Hyo-seop’s questions and answers corner about “Business Proposal”.

Q. How do you feel after finishing the drama successfully?

A. I’m glad and thankful that we were able to finish it safely.

Everyone could have been nervous and frustrated due to the current situation, but we were able to film and wrap up happily because we had a fun script, all the positive and pleasant process, and supportive actors.

Q. Why did you decide to play the role of Kang Tae-moo?

A. Rather than contemplating things, I didn’t think of anything after reading the script.

The script got me hooked on it without any worries for quite a while. That reason alone was enough.

I wanted to be in those interesting situations where Kang Tae-moo was placed, and I wanted to challenge myself in comedy. However, I think Kang Tae-moo is more attractive because he is not just an easy character.

Kim Se Jeong-Ahn Hyo Seop

Q. What was your focus while preparing for the character Kang Tae-moo?

A. When I first read the script, my first impression on Kang Tae-moo was ‘unrealistic’. I thought about how I could express this unrealistic figure, which is indeed from a webtoon.

However, if you only think about the realistic aspect, you can miss Kang Tae-moo’s charm of “being good in many things,” so I acted believing that a character like Tae-moo would exist somewhere in the world.

Above all, Kang Tae-moo’s way of speaking was the most difficult to me. In some ways, I have to recognize that the way this character speaks might be unnatural, but I have to create a unique tone of voice to make it more Tae-moo-ish? I think I did well.

I acted, believing that if the viewers get used to Tae-moo’s way of speaking, his colorful charms would stand out better. The most important thing was that I believed in Kang Tae-moo and I believed in myself.

Q. What’s the charm of the character “Kang Tae-moo”?

A. I think Tae-moo’s biggest charm is his boyish charm. On the outside, he has the image of a cold, sharp city man, but if you look inside, you will see a boy who is stagnant and doesn’t have parental love which everyone should have. Maybe that’s why he pursues a perfect life to fill that empty space.

As Tae-moo meets Ha-ri, a character that has never been seen anywhere else, he begins to find his true self. As he sometimes has childish quarrels and feels pure love, he starts to find a him that he had never experienced before and changes himself. I think this was his most interesting and attractive point while acting.

Kim Se Jeong-Ahn Hyo Seop-A Business Proposal

Q. Is there anything you’re satisfied with or disappointed about while acting as Kang Tae-moo?

A. No matter what role I play, I always feel lacking and I feel sorry for that. Specifically, rather than feeling disappointed in my acting in certain scenes, I feel disappointed at the details where I could have solved it a little more fun, or I could have tried it in another way. I think it was even more disappointing to know that the character were eventually completed by gathering trivial things.

My experience was so good that I didn’t hold onto that sadness because I was able to do everything with the best staff and actors. Thank you so much throughout the shoot.

Q. How was your chemistry with Kim Se-jeong, Kim Min-gyu, and Seol In-ah?

A. In conclusion, I think it’s right to say that I was happy.

First of all, they were all very considerate, so we were able to make it while giving way to each other. There were many interesting scenes created by us listening to each other’s thoughts and accepting them in our own way.

In the part that Se-jeong talked as her character Ha-ri, we matched with each other to add little adlibs, thinking about “How can we make the scene stand out even better?” That’s what I was trying to think. Everyone worked hard and I think I was motivated a lot.

Kim Se Jeong-Ahn Hyo Seop

Q. What if Kang Tae-moo met Jin Young-seo instead of Ha-ri?

A. As you know, if you look at Jin Young-seo’s personality and Tae-moo’s personality, I think it would have been a very short meeting where we agreed with each other right away and parted way.

Q. In what scene did Kang Tae-moo fall in love for the first time?

A. There is a scene where Ha-ri and Tae-moo talk on the phone at the playground. Drunk Hari scolded the students as her phone suddenly got cut off, and Tae-moo ran out looking for the place where Ha-ri was most likely to be. He ran around worrying about Ha-ri. When he came to his mind, Tae-moo felt, “I can give this much emotion to someone.” He realized for the first time, “I can be shaken this much for someone.”

The very next day, when Ha-ri was notified of her dismissal, it was because Tae-moo wanted to deny his feelings. As he denied this feeling of love which he felt for the first time but still went back for Hari, Tae-moo was actually afraid of love but still longed for it.

A Business Proposal

Q. There are suspicions that Kang Tae-moo has been single since birth because he is a workaholic.

A. I want to leave this part up to the viewers’ imagination.

Q. Did Kang Tae-moo and Shin Ha-ri have any worries about work and love while enjoying their office romance?

A. Kang Tae-moo is very quick-witted when it comes to working. Although Tae-moo and Ha-ri work together in the same company, Tae-moo’s attitude toward work remains the same. Tae-moo is not only cool-headed but also a boss who has to make decisions and takes responsibility for his company. When talking about work, he would immediately focus. When Tae-moo works, he is calm and excludes all other emotions to make reasonable judgments. On the other hand, he will go straight with his sincere emotions when dating.

When Tae-moo had to go to the U.S because his grandfather was sick, he asked Ha-ri to come with him but Ha-ri decided to stay in Korea. Both of them love and have strong pride in their works, and Tae-moo must have decided to go to the U.S alone because he respects, trusts and understands Ha-ri.

Just like how he can be faithful to the feelings of love although he began working in the society so early, Tae-moo’s innocence is the thing I want to resemble.

A Business Proposal

Q. Are there any memorable behind stories during the filming of “Business Proposal”?

A. The story that comes to my mind right now was the scene when Deputy Manager Gye-bin (Lim Ki-hong) made a bomb drink for Tae-moo and the Development Team 1 at the company dinner. In fact, there were only simple gestures. But the senior’s acting got me so shocked. Everyone gave him sincere and respectful applause and the atmosphere at the shooting scene was really good. I thought “Sp even a short gesture can be expressed in different ways”. I heard that he practiced picking and shaking beers in the bathroom at home. It’s a scene that I won’t forget for the rest of my life because that was the day when I got positive inspiration from seeing him acting sincerely every moment.

And also the scene when Tae-moo and Ha-ri were on a date and it suddenly rained. Tae-moo noticed that Ha-ri was worried about his trauma, so he apologized that he couldn’t tell Ha-ri about his secret first then the two had a kiss. The way the two were so considerate and thoughtful of each other was so beautiful. The emotions at the scene were not created but drawn from their conversations that “would occur if they were done by Tae-moo and Ha-ri”. I think this has been a drama with heart-warming scenes that made the viewers feel happy.

Q. There have been many famous lines, such as “I can do well in everything” and “Honey!”. What was the hardest line for Ahn Hyo-seob?

A. From the beginning to the end of this drama, there were a lot of cheesy lines. There were many moments when I had to portray Tae-moo’s narcissism at the beginning of the filming. Saying the lines of Tae-moo bragging about his specifications to his grandfather was quite hard at first. Or when Tae-moo felt Ha-ri was in trouble with her friends, and he wanted to protect her in his own way. 

Especially the was the line “My heart skipped a beat” when Tae-moo saw Ha-ri. Usually, when you feel heart-fluttering and your heart is pounding, you won’t be able to express it in words. It was a challenge for me to say the line right away. I was really shocked, so my heart was actually pounding.

Ahn Hyo-seop

Q. What did you gain from playing Kang Tae-moo?

A. I gained lots of confidence. I don’t know if it was for playing Kang Tae-moo or being able to work with great people in such a great environment. It could be both. I think I have become more confident in expressing what I want to say

One common thing between Tae-moo and me is that we don’t often open up to people. Harmonizing with Tae-moo, who eventually found his true self, I was able to reach out to people with a more open mind.

Q. As much as it was loved by Korean and overseas fans, “Business Proposal” even ranked No.2 on a global chart. Were there any comments from the viewers that impressed you? Do you realize your recent popularity?

A. I knew that K-drama content is arousing more and more interest from the viewers, but I didn’t expect us to get this much attention. Thanks to it, I was able to believe that if I put my sincerity into any work, it can go beyond difference and reach everyone. People around me gave lots of reactions, and each and every one of them was impressive.

I read all the comments, from the ones that showed love for ‘Business Proposal’ to the ones that pointed out what we lacked, with a thankful attitude.

Recognizing that the drama could not suit everyone because each of us has individual taste, I think I tried to take a step back and humbly accept everything with gratitude, 

About whether I realize my recent popularity or not, I would say even my old friends who don’t often watch my work also finished “Business Proposal” haha.

Kim Se Jeong-Ahn Hyo Seop

Q. You have pulled off different characters through “Dr.Romantic 2”, “Lovers of the Red Sky”, and “Business Proposal” that even drama fans could not recognize it was you. Did you have any problem with character transformation?

A. I don’t think there was any pressure to transform with different characters. Rather than feeling pressured,  I thought this was such an interesting and profound job to learn about new characters, so I think I prepared for every moment with all my heart.

The time after I finished my role Ha-ram in “Lovers of the Red Sky” and began playing Kang Tae-moo in “Business Proposal” was quite short, so I tried to take care of each role carefully.

Q. You have established yourself as a leading actor of the new generation through many recent works. What is your goal as an actor?

A. Rather than setting a new goal just because I have become more popular or received more attention, I always keep my original motto in life: “In every moment, and even now, I will do my best with sincerity”

Since I will continue to love this job, I want to play different kinds of characters in various works. And apart from the results and achievements, I hope that I can enjoy all the moments working in the field.

Ahn Hyo-seop-Kim Se-jeong

Q. Is there a new genre or character you want to try?

A. I have played many good characters that stand out outwardly, so I want to try roles that are heartbroken or evil roles. I also want to try academy materials. I’m also looking forward to playing a young role in “A Time Called You” before becoming too old. I will also wear school uniforms. 

Q. How do you feel about continuing to work hard and taking restless steps with “A Time Called You” as your next project? What are your plans for the rest of 2022

A. After “Business Proposal”, I will film a work called “A Time Called You”. Since Kang Tae-moo is a pure and unique character, I thought a lot about playing another character right away. But I’m doing things step by step.

First of all, my first goal is to put as much passion into the work as possible and finish it safely. I’ve been repeating this every time, but again, I’m going to create an opportunity to meet fans. I really want to meet my fans.

A Business Proposal

Q. A word to Kang Tae-moo?

A. Tae-moo ah! It feels so weird. I think Tae-moo will love himself even more. 

“Kang Tae-moo! Kang Tae-moo! Since you’re a person who can be loved enough, I hope you can share that love with Ha-ri and live happily with her for a long time”

Q. Lastly, please say something to the viewers who have loved “Business Proposal”.

A. With the great support of the viewers, the company meeting ended in love. Tae-moo, Ha-ri, and Ahn Hyo Seop were able to draw their own happiness. To all the viewers, the staff, director, writer, my colleagues, and fans, thank you and I love you all.

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