South Korean star Park Min-young’s career has been on an upward trajectory since making her acting debut in the 2006 sitcom High Kick!
Four years and four K-dramas later, Park got her breakthrough role with the historical series Sungkyunkwan Scandal, which she followed up with hit shows City Hunter (2011) and Healer (2014).
Last year, she starred in her first romantic comedy – What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim opposite Park Seo-joon – which clocked high viewership for all its 16 episodes. Continuously challenging herself, the 32-year-old agreed to her first variety show, Busted!.
A Netflix original, Busted! is an unscripted series that puts celebrities in fictionalised situations. It follows seven “detectives” as they solve a mystery in every episode. The detectives are played by celebrities Park, Yoo Jae-suk, Ahn Jae-wook, Kim Jong-min, Lee Kwang-soo, Sehun and Kim Sejeong.
One of the fun elements of Busted! is the chance to see the personal sides of these stars as they react honestly to a situation. Sometimes, the celebrities discover new things about themselves too, which is what happened to Park in Episode Two.
In that particular episode, the challenge was to uncover a clue hidden within seven locked boxes. But inside the boxes there are additional hurdles, like a snake. While none of the male detectives dared to go near the box, Park gingerly picked up the reptile and even had a little fun scaring the boys with it.
Park shared in an interview: “When I started the show, I was surprised with the format at first but I immediately got into the mystery-solving part of it. With the snakes, all I knew was I had to get to the bottom of the mystery. I found out then I wasn’t afraid of snakes.”
1. You are quite good at solving the puzzles in Busted!. Did you always have an interest in mysteries?
I am a big fan of Sherlock Holmes, a huge fan. But liking something and doing it yourself are two different things.
In Season One, I wasn’t given any hints or explanation of what was going to happen, and I was bewildered in many situations. But to survive I had to solve the puzzles because there were times when the walls were closing in on me, and I really thought I was going to die.
But as time went by, I started to watch this TV show in Korea where all the geniuses appear and solve difficult questions. I found myself watching that show in my free time and learning how they solve problems.
Now I have really grown to like solving puzzles. And because I received a lot of compliments that I am good at solving puzzles in Season One, I feel a sense of responsibility and am working hard to be even better in Season Two.
2. What can we expect in Season Two of Busted!?
In Season One, we were called the bumbling detectives. In Season Two, I feel our teamwork has gotten better and viewers can see new layers to the detectives. Compared to Season One, we will show you better plots and even the conversations among the cast members will be more interesting. I think we are no longer the bumbling detectives, I would say we’ve become the “evolved detectives”.
3. Have you worked with Season Two new addition Lee Seung-gi yet?
We filmed one episode of Season Two already with Lee Seung-gi, and it feels like he was there from the start. We share similar trait; both of us are clumsy sometimes. It feels like the team has gotten younger as well with his presence. I didn’t have someone close in age to me, but now I have a good friend and partner.
4. Since this is your first variety show after 12 years in the entertainment scene, how long did it take you to agree to do this show?
For Season One, it took me one hour to decide that I wanted to do it. I listened to their explanation for an hour and I said OK.
As for Season Two, it took me one second. It was understood while filming Season One, we would do a second season. So, without even thinking, I said yes when I was asked again.
5. What was the most challenging mystery in Season One for you?
In Season One, the most challenging puzzle was competing against the genius detective team. That episode really made me look back at my entire life and be sceptical about myself because it was an impossible conflict to begin with.
Busted!, What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim and Healer are all available on Netflix.