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[Herald Interview] Ahn Jae-hong, Esom capture realism in modern romance via 'LTNS'

By Lee Yoon-seo

Published : Feb. 2, 2024 - 16:02

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Ahn Jae-hong (Tving) Ahn Jae-hong (Tving)

South Korean actors Ahn Jae-hong and Lee So-young, better known as Esom, said they attempted to capture realism, portraying romance of the modern couples living through the contemporary age, in their latest work "LTNS."

Korean streaming platform Tving's six-part comedy drama series "LTNS," which is short for "Long Time No Sex," centers around the story of Woo-jin (played by Esom) and Samuel (played by Ahn) -- a sexless, married couple -- as they chase unfaithful couples to extort money. The drama series explores the theme of infidelity by providing an unfiltered depiction of modern couples.

The show was directed by Lim Dae-hyung, known for directing "Moonlit Winter" (2019), and Jeon Go-woon, the director of the 2018 comedy drama film "Microhabitat."

By teaming up with Esom for the third time to play a couple, Ahn said he was able to portray a wide spectrum of emotions on-screen and explore diverse sides of romance between a man and a woman.

Previously, the duo acted as couples in "Microhabitat (2017)" and the short independent film "High Surf Expected (2020)," which was directed by Ahn.

"In 'Microhabitat,' I needed to mainly portray a single emotion, which was affection. 'High Surf Expected' also only required the portrayal of bitterness, with the film following the story of a broken couple," said Ahn, at an interview held with reporters in Seoul, Thursday.

"However, I was required to act out a wide spectrum of emotions from heart flutters to contempt in 'LTNS,' portraying a married couple instead of a couple who are dating," added Ahn. He stated that the work tells the story of a married couple who see each other's most honest, extreme and ugliest sides.

According to Ahn, he was at first cautious about shooting '"LTNS," with Esom, considering their previous work together as a couple.

"Many actors team up for a third project. However, not a lot of them co-star in a work for the third time as a couple," said Ahn.

"I was at first cautious about working together with Esom as lovers again. However, I found that we were able to smoothly act out sensitive scenes without even having to discuss them because of our past work experiences," said Ahn.

Esom, who plays Ahn's strong-headed wife in the drama series, added that her work experience with Ahn allowed her to capture the realism of couples enduring through the modern age.

"I thought it was fortunate for me to be acting with Ahn for the third time, as we needed to be a married couple in their fifth year of marriage. (My past work experience with Ahn) allowed for a more relaxed, comfortable and realistic portrayal," said Esom, during an interview held with reporters on Thursday.

"'LTNS' is a drama that asks questions like 'what do you think? 'how is your love life?," said Esom.

"I, too, am constantly pondering. I feel that marriage should be approached very carefully," she added, referring to the scenes of adultery in "LTNS."

Esom (Tving) Esom (Tving)