Cover Kim A-joong as Jeong Sae-byeok in 'Grid' (Photo: Disney+ Hotstar)

Making her comeback to the small screen as Jeong Sae-byeok in Disney+ Hotstar's latest K-drama Grid is multiple award-winning powerhouse actress Kim A-joong, and Tatler gets first dibs

Featuring an all-star ensemble comprising Seo Kang-jun, Kim A-joong, Kim Moo-yul, Kim Sung-kyun, and Lee Si-young, Disney+ Hotstar's latest K-drama Grid centres around a group of people hot on the trail of a mysterious existence known only as the Ghost (played by Lee Si-young) who develops a Grid system to protect the planet and mankind from catastrophic solar winds. She reappears after a 24-year absence only to help a serial killer escape, making her an accomplice to murder.

Imaginative young girl turned hotshot detective Jeong Sae-byeok (played by Kim A-joong), who was attacked by the Ghost at a murder scene, is determined to get to the bottom of this mystery and uncover the truth behind the pair's links.

Read more: Disney+ Hotstar Celebrates Incredible Heroines

As K-drama fans prepare to strep into this fast-paced thrilling world of Grid and cling to the edge of their seats, we speak to Kim A-joong about stepping into the shoes of Jeong Sae-byeok and the shift in how women characters are portrayed in modern-day K-dramas.

It's been a while since we last saw you. Tell us what went into the preparation for your role as Jeong Sae-byeok in Grid?

To be honest, I didn’t go through any training for a long time but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t prepare for my role. The reason is that it'd seem a bit odd if my character who's a police detective can do these flashy, action moves. I tried to keep my character as faithful to the reality of Korean detectives as possible. But I did receive some training for shooting.

What are some characteristics of Jung Sae-byeok that you could relate to the most?

Sae-Byeok stands strongly by her conviction and has immense compassion for humanity. She always looks ahead, never back. You’ll see what I mean if you finish watching until episode 10. Of all her great character traits, I think I’m closest to her being compassionate towards other human beings.

What has surprised you most about working with the cast and crew of Grid, one of South Korea’s rare sci-fi dramas?

When I was reading the script, I wondered what this 'Secretariat' would look like when it was built, and the set blew me away when it was completed. It has this air of a watchful eye that surveys the entire Bureau of Management and it conveys impeccably the hierarchy and order that the Bureau upholds. Inside that space, you can feel how dry the relationship among colleagues must be with no personal intimacy whatsoever, which was quite remarkable.

Which character’s story arc were you most intrigued by and why?

Sae-byeok’s story arc is the most human one and that's why it resonates with me so much. She stubbornly walks her own path while adhering to her convictions about justice, which brings out empathy from the viewers. She’s usually strong and courageous but agonises from time to time because of her compassion. All these make Sae-byeok so human. Of course, it's sometimes frustrating to see her not making a choice that would benefit her, but society in real life is maintained in some aspects thanks to people like her, so I'll always root for her.

These days, women are portrayed in K-dramas as stronger ands more dominant. How do you think this shift will benefit the industry as well as K-drama fans moving forward?

I don’t think women characters in K-dramas are portrayed as such out of a vacuum. I believe women in real life have become stronger and have taken a more dominant role in society. This has then translated into the fictional world. Dramas can touch viewers’ hearts only when contemporary insights and sensibilities are reflected.

In your own words, tell us why you think the audience will love watching Grid?

This show is a mystery thriller, so if it's a genre that excites you, you'll definitely enjoy it.

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