How did you prep for these roles?
LMH: I tried to portray younger Hansu as someone who has a heart of gold—but because he has to survive, he had to make decisions that eventually put him on the bad side. I [also] wanted to make that clear distinction between the young kind Hansu and the older Hansu.
KMH: In order to properly portray teenage Sunja, I had to understand her as this young girl who is living in isolation. To show how she changes as a woman, I had to look at her history and her feelings and convey it to the viewers.
Your characters are rarely seen smiling—except for the opening sequence. What was your experience in filming that scene?
LMH: My character is someone who was really tough and had a rough history, so I couldn’t believe it myself [the character smiling]. I actually asked [screenwriter and showrunner] Soo Hugh a few times if Hansu could laugh and have some fun. I really enjoyed filming that sequence, because Pachinko itself is quite heavy—that was the only time I felt liberated.
KMH: The opening sequence was the only time where I didn’t have to really think about anything. They just played the music for us. I just stood there at first because there were no directions. Like Min-ho, it was the only time that I really felt free and I had so much fun filming it.
See also: 5 Things You Need to Know About ‘Turning Red’, Pixar’s First Asian-Led Animated Film