Cover The cast and director of 'All of Us Are Dead' talk about the zombie K-drama (Photo: Netflix)

The main cast and director of Netflix’s zombie K-drama, All of Us Are Dead gets candid about their characters, working on the series and surviving a zombie apocalypse

Zombies are once again rollling onto our screens. After the success of Train to Busan, Kingdom and Alive, fans of the zombie genre and Korean dramas will be treated with All of Us Are Dead which follows a group of high school students struggling to survive during a zombie apocalypse.

The zombie series hopes to follow in the successes of the survival show, Squid Game and the horror series, Hellbound. With a rising cast to boot and a fresh approach to the genre, All of Us Are Dead is looking to be your next binge-watch.

Ahead of the show’s release on Netflix, Tatler caught up with the main cast members—Park Ji-hu, Yoon Chang-young, Cho Yi-hyun and Lomon—and director Lee Jae-kyoo during an exclusive roundtable discussion to talk about their characters, working on the show and surviving a zombie apocalypse.

Read also: Why You Should Watch Netflix’s New Zombie K-Drama, ‘All of Us Are Dead’

Most of the casts are new rising stars, were there any specific intentions or criteria when casting this lineup? Can you tell us your experience working with them?

When I was casting the lineup, I thought it was very important that the actors should be very close to the characters that we wanted to portray. In the end, I really picked the cast who are similar to their characters in real life, especially if they were particularly emotional in their own ways which I thought was also a plus point.

Working with them was very great. We emphasised having rehearsals so that it’ll be very realistic to the viewers. It’s important to make the series feel immersive and we wanted to make sure that the cast could improve on their emotions and expressions going forward.

Park Ji-hu, how similar are you to your character? You’re also the youngest among the main cast, how was the friendship and chemistry among the cast while filming this drama?

I think I’m actually very similar to my character because we’re both kind of clumsy, very upbeat and I like hanging out with my friends. In a lot of moments, I thought to myself if I were On-ju, I would have done the same.

The entire cast was also very nice to me even if I was the youngest. We met a lot met up a lot before filming so we became really close friends. When we were on set, they would give me some advice on how to get into college and adult society.

Read also: The Cast of Netflix’s ‘Hellbound’ Talks Bringing the Webtoon to Life

Yoon Chang-young, have you always been interested in the zombie genre? Can you tell us more about your action scene in the library and how you prepared for it?

Yes, I have always loved zombie content. I love World War Z, Train to Busan and Black Summer on Netflix so I was delighted to be part of this show. 

For the library scene, we had a full day rehearsal where we kind of walked through the choreography and how we would act. It actually took four days to shoot that scene. Since it was like a scene between Gwi-nam and Chung-san, we made sure to pay a lot of attention to the dynamics between the two actors.

Cho Yi-hyun, your character is one of the strongest in the show. What drew you to her? Can you tell us more about the preparation for your role?

I think Nam-ra is very charming because she stays poised during all the crises while everyone else is in panic. She’s very discerning which is what really drew me to her. And because my character becomes different later in the series, I went to action school and took a lot of action lessons to show my expressions and how I would use my fingers and the rest of my body.

Read also: 15 Scariest Asian Horror Movies to Watch

Lomon, for your role, what did you most focus on? There are also a lot of survival scenes in the series, which one is your favourite? 

For me and Chan-young, we voluntarily took extra training classes because we had a lot of difficult action scenes. We did that three months prior to the actual shoot. In terms of acting itself, I thought to myself, “If I were a high schooler, what would I have done? If I was Soo-hyuk, what would I have done? And if I were normal, what would I have done?” The good thing is that my character, Soo-hyuk and I have a lot in common. That’s what I mostly focused on.

Meanwhile, my favourite action scene is the scene in episode two. After three months of hard and difficult training, that was the first action scene that I shot so it felt very fresh. The zombies really looked very realistic so I could really feel like I was immersed in the scene.

If you are stuck in a school surrounded by zombies just like in the series, do you think you’ll survive until the end? Who do you think has the highest chance of surviving?

Cho Yi-hyun: I think I will be the one who will survive until the very end because, unlike Nam-ra, I’m a coward. I think I will just hide until the whole zombie apocalypse ends. And I think Lomon will die first (laughs) because just like his character Soo-hyuk, he really takes the lead and I think he’s going to fight the zombies and get bitten.

Yoon Chan-young: I think I’ll die first. (laughs) I think I’m really going to die first because the zombies are actually really fast and fierce. I also like to take the lead so if I try to fight them, I’ll get bitten right away. I think the one likely to survive until the end is Ji-hu because she’s smart and clever.

Don’t miss: Netflix’s ‘Squid Game’ Cast and Director Talk About Bringing the Korean Survival Show to Life

What is the perfect tool or weapon to hold in your hand that would keep you safe from zombies?

Park Ji-hu: Against the backdrop of a school, I’d take everything that I could get my hands on. I think the most useful would be a mop because I could break the mop and the edge could be really sharp so I could use that. But if I could ask for anything, I would ask for bows and arrows because if I’m at a longer distance, I can still shoot the arrow. If I’m very close to a zombie, I could still use the arrows to kill the zombie.

Lomon: I’ll choose a baseball bat because I can use it to hit the zombies on the head. I can also use it to keep them out by putting in on the doorway.

All of Us Are Dead isn’t just an ordinary zombie series. It also talks about a lot of issues that happen at schools like bullying and teenage pregnancy. Why did you combine all those issues with the zombie theme?

Director Lee: The issues that you mentioned, they’re not just confined to the school space. But because our backdrop is a school, it might seem like a school story. I think these conflicts between genders and classes and different hierarchies, appear everywhere and in all corners of the world. It just shows through at the school because that’s the setting.

But after you’re done watching, I think you will believe that these are actually universal themes that we can all resonate with. I thought it was a fresh approach to put these immature adolescents against zombies on a school campus so I’m very pleased to bring you this idea.

When I was young, we used to swim in the streams and if someone begins to drown, all the kids will just jump in to save their friend. But when we become adults, we choose the safest option—we don’t just jump in but we think about the safest way to save others and ourselves. 

So that’s why, when I worked on this series, I thought about what it means to be an adult and what education and society do to us. When you watch the series, you can see how these teens make decisions in these life or death situations. I think that could also give adults a lot of food for thought.

Read also: Exclusive: Han So-Hee Talks Transforming Into an Action Star for Netflix’s ‘My Name’

All of Us Are Dead premieres on January 28, 2022 exclusively on Netflix.

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