K-drama Priest is not just a horror series about exorcism, says star Park Yong-woo

SINGAPORE – South Korean television drama Priest may be a horror series about exorcism, but lead actor Park Yong-woo says that there is so much more to it.

In an email interview with The Straits Times, the 47-year-old says: “This is a production that isn’t just about inducing fear. It also portrays the theme of love.”

Priest, which is streaming on Viu, is set in a Catholic hospital where the patients also appear to be afflicted by supernatural elements. Park plays an older priest who works closely with a younger priest (played by Yeon Woo-jin) to fight the evil spirits possessing some of the bodies.

Each episode has them wrestling with the doctors and patients on the notions of science versus faith.

Park adds that despite the dark premise, the show often takes a “light and humorous approach”.

“My character Moon Ki-seon is a three-dimensional figure who is good at sports and also has a sense of humour,” he says.

The series, which premiered last November (2018), has gotten modest ratings, but has been well-reviewed. Fan comments online have all pointed to how the show is “so twisty” and “unpredictable”.

The surprises in the show are partly the reason the actor decided to take it on.

Says Park, who has appeared in such diverse projects as thriller film Handphone (2009) and dark romantic comedy My Scary Girl (2006): “I prefer doing projects that have themes or characters that are less predictable. For Priest, I am trying my best to present to the audience a sense of horror that is unfamiliar.”

He was also excited about the prospect of working with Yeon, 34, a rising star who was nominated for Best Actor at the 6th Korea Drama Awards for the romantic drama When A Man Falls in Love (2013).

Park says: “He is an actor who is not only positive but also flexible. The moment I heard that I was going to collaborate with him for Priest, I was really looking forward to it.

“In the show, even though I appear to treat him coldly, his character also doubles up as a friend whom I can joke around and chat with.”

New episodes of Priest are available on Viu every Sunday and Monday.

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