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[Herald Interview] Like cilantro, some will love Netflix's 'Chicken Nugget', others won't: actor, director

March 20, 2024 - 14:41 By Lee Yoon-seo

Ryu Seung-ryong (Netflix)

While Netflixes new mystery-comedy-drama series "Chicken Nugget" has elicited mixed responses from viewers, the show has a distinct, never-before-seen comedic style, said actor Ryu Seung-ryong and director Lee Byeong-heon.

"Chicken Nugget" is a 10-part Netflix original series about the adventures of Choi Seon-man (Ryu Seung-ryong) and Go Baek-joong (Ahn Jae-hong), as they try to turn Choi's daughter, Choi Min-ah (Kim Yoo-jeong), back into a human after a mysterious machine transforms her into a chicken nugget.

According to Ryu, "Chicken Nugget" is like cilantro -- it has a distinct taste that some love and others hate.

"Liking cilantro is a matter of individual preference. 'Chicken Nugget' is like cilantro in that sense," said Ryu, during an interview with reporters in Jongno-gu, Seoul, on Tuesday.

"Because of its uniqueness, we assumed the drama series would shock some audiences and cause them to stop watching after the first episode," he said.

"However, I think 'Chicken Nugget' possesses a certain attractiveness that gets people addicted to it if they overcome the (psychological) barrier in the beginning," he said.

According to Ryu, director Lee had requested that the drama series feature some elements from the webtoon of the same name.

"Director Lee wanted to include elements of the webtoon on the screen. Therefore, I wanted to deliver the lines in theatrical tones and act exaggeratedly. The sets and the clothes we wore on-screen were also reminiscent of two-dimensional art," he added.

A scene from "Chicken Nugget," starring Ryu Seung-ryong (Netflix)

Director Lee, who has helmed several hit Korean comedy films such as "Twenty" and "Extreme Job," said he aimed to challenge himself by creating comedic content with a new and fresh tone.

"Visualizing such a unique story was a challenge in itself, and it required courage," said Lee, during an interview held with reporters in Jongno-gu on Monday.

"I had to find a clear answer to the question, 'Why should I do this work?,'" he said.

"As someone who specialized in producing comedy, I have always felt the need to produce content with a unique comedic tone. 'Chicken Nugget' was that content, and there appeared to be plenty of opportunities to expand upon the themes of the original webtoon when I first read the work," he said.

"(It's also fun to) look at the comments and reviews. It seems people's reasons for liking or disliking 'Chicken Nugget' are all different," said Lee.

"I actually consider it a success if audiences' opinions about 'Chicken Nugget' are polarized. I still think I'm in the process of gathering data in the field of comedy. Better (content) is possible as more data is accumulated," added Lee.

All 10 episodes of "Chicken Nugget" are currently available for streaming on Netflix.

Lee Byoung-heon (Netflix)