“I am not a prince,” Ju Ji-hoon says humbly. But the Kingdom star has come a long way since debuting in the hit K-drama Princess Hours back in 2006. (Did you know that he also played the role of a crown prince back then?) Prior to that, the leading man was a model and even made it to ad campaigns for brands like Calvin Klein and Levi's. It would explain his unique and fun sense of style, which he isn’t shy of flaunting during presscons.
Though being part of the cast for the Korean movie franchise Along with the Gods in 2017 catapulted him back into fame all over Asia (the films were a hit in Taiwan and Hong Kong, too!), it was Netflix’s Kingdom that has made his body of work more visible to an even broader international audience.
“I think I said this couple times before, but [Kingdom] is unique and that it is a very successful mix of film and drama series,” Ju Ji-Hoon shares in a video call with Preview. The actor went on to talk about why he thinks this particular zombie series is such a hit. “I think that finding the midpoint between the two genres [film and TV] really brought out the best of each genre. And [the story] is also very interesting.”
But filming this epic K-drama wasn’t always easy. As seen in season two, the action sequences were intense and required a lot of physical stunts from most of the cast. “It wasn't always the most comfortable [to film the series], but I really am satisfied with the outcome,” he says. When asked how the show has affected his career, his reply was simple. “When it comes to what being part of Kingdom has brought for me… Just look at us today. Because of Kingdom, I'm sitting right here in this chair, video conferencing with you guys,” the actor quips.
True enough, Netflix or online streaming services in general have bridged races and cultures through entertainment. As Korean director Bong Joon-ho famously said during the Golden Globes, subtitles are but a small hurdle to look past if you want to enjoy quality content from all over the world.
Kingdom is currently streaming on Netflix.