By Chang Dong-woo
SEOUL, July 20 (Yonhap) — Actor Namkoong Min, who portrayed a righteous accountant fighting corruption in “Good Manager,” is returning to television next week as a slimeball tabloid reporter in SBS TV’s “Distorted.”
“I wanted to take a break after ‘Good Manager.’ I thought I exhausted myself by portraying non-stop characters (in multiple works), but after reading the script thought I had to do this,” Namkoong said Thursday during a press conference at SBS TV’s headquarters in western Seoul.
Namkoong, credited for the success of “Good Manager,” said he was confident that the show will turn out to be a success.
“I won’t be the only person responsible, but I thought the drama would turn out as a great piece of work and also become a ratings success. I had a good feeling.”
In “Distorted,” Namkoong plays a sleazy tabloid journalist named Han Moo-young, who seeks fame through unconventional gonzo reporting tactics. With zero work ethic, he does anything and everything for a scoop, often times by injecting himself into a story.
He later discovers an explosive conspiracy and ends up partnering up with Kwon So-ra, a prosecutor played by Uhm Ji-won who’s been demoted to a rural branch due to internal politics, to unearth the truth.
Their detective work is obstructed by the fictional Daehan Ilbo, the country’s largest and most influential newspaper, led by Koo Tae-won, played by Moon Sung-keun.
“I’ve always had a character image in mind where Uhm Ji-won plays a professional who has internal conflicts but also a sense of righteousness,” the actress said, explaining that her character fit an image she imagined.
Though the story is fictional, showrunners said the show is inspired by the hard-nosed news reporting of the “Choi Soon-sil scandal” from last year that sparked months of civic protest and led to the ousting of former President Park Geun-hye. But that doesn’t mean “Distorted” is necessarily serious in tone.
“The themes are heavy but characters are funny. Its about 30 percent comedy, 30 percent genre work and 30 percent drama,” explained Director Lee Jung-heum, who made his directorial debut with the show. Lee said he wanted to depict a world where common sense is upheld.
The show’s supporting cast includes actor Yu Jung-sang and actress Jeon Hye-bin, who plays a shrewd investigative reporter and a hard-as-nails photo journalist, respectively. “Distorted” premiers Monday on SBS TV.