What scared Ju Ji-hoon most when filming Kingdom wasn't the zombies
South Korean star of Kingdom admits he gets scared easily
South Korean actor Ju Ji-hoon is best known for his breakout debut role as the crown prince of Korea in the hit 2006 romcom TV show Princess Hours.
In the upcoming Korean period horror series Kingdom, he comes full circle playing a crown prince yet again.
But instead of being surrounded by palace intrigue and love affairs, he now has to take on horrifying zombies.
Set in Korea's mediaeval Joseon period, the film takes place in a kingdom racked with corruption and famine.
A mysterious rumour of the king's death spreads during a strange plague where the infected cannot die and are hungry for human flesh.
The crown prince (Ju), now a victim to a conspiracy, sets out on a journey to unveil the evil behind it all and save his people.
Kingdom premieres on Netflix on Jan 25.
The 36-year-old heart-throb, who was in town last November for the Netflix See What's Next: Asia event, told The New Paper through a translator that he gets scared easily - to the extent that he "can't sleep".
Regardless, Ju felt compelled to take on the role anyway - in his first foray into the horror genre no less - as he is someone who "likes to surprise and shock people".
The 1.87m-tall former model jokingly added that what frightened him most was when he saw the "actual filming schedule".
Ryu Seung-ryong, 48, who plays the corrupt prime minister, added during the joint interview with a chuckle: "Or when we have finished filming an entire scene but the director wants a retake. I think that is the scariest moment."
Despite the toiling hours on set, he described director Kim Seong-hun as a "perfectionist" and someone who is "quiet yet has a charismatic presence".
Ju added: "I admire his commitment in delivering a quality, well-written story. He really cares to the extent that it has become an obsession."
The pair also expressed their appreciation for the actors playing the zombie characters, describing their task as "physically demanding and challenging".
Ju said: "I have immense respect for them, and I even feel a sense of awe (at their performance)."
Ryu added: "The actor who played the king is a voice actor, so obviously he has a great voice, but the only sound you hear from him were gurgling, monster-like sounds, so I felt quite bad about it."
As Kingdom will be shown internationally on Netflix, he is excited for viewers to get a taste of Korean culture through the show.
Ryu said: "Koreans are familiar with zombie period dramas but I don't think that is the case for audiences from other countries.
"As actors, we want to make the audience believe what is fake is real.
"Kingdom is a little different from the typical horror show. Although it is a little scary, the audience will really be able to immerse themselves in the story, (which is about) human greed and desire."