Interview: ‘Jazz for Two’ stars talk about Korean BL series, surge in popularity, fan meetings

At a glance

    • Actors Ji Ho-geun, Kim Jin-kwon, Song Han-gyeom and Kim Jung-ha said they want to have a fan meeting in different countries if the opportunity comes
    • Song Han-gyeom is a member of K-pop boy band Omega X while Kim Jin-kwon is a member of NewKidd

“Jazz for Two,” a Korean BL (boys’ love) series, is currently available on streaming platforms GagaOOLala and iQIYI. 

It stars Ji Ho-geun as Han Tae-yi, K-pop boy band NewKidd’s Kim Jin-kwon as Yoon Se-heon, K-pop boy band Omega X’s Song Han-gyeom as Suh Do-yoon, and Kim Jung-ha as Song Joo-ha. 

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The stars of the Korean BL series "Jazz for Two" (IPQ)

An adaptation of the popular BL webtoon, “Jazz for Two” ("재즈처럼") that became No. 1 on Lezhin Comics, the series is about the struggles and pressures of four high school students attending an arts school. 

“Jazz for Two” put the spotlight on the four actors, who have gained attention from the public following the airing of the drama. In particular, their Instagram followers increased after the drama was released. 

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"Jazz for Two" stars (from left) Song Han-gyeom of Omega X, Ji Ho-geun, Kim Jin-kwon of NewKidd and Kim Jung-ha (Instagram)

In an interview with Manila Bulletin, the four stars talked about how they were cast in the drama, their preparations for their roles, chemistry on the set and surge in popularity. 

How were you cast in Jazz for Two? 

Ji Ho-geun (Han Tae-yi) - For me, an acquaintance of mine had my actor’s profile. The director, Song Su-lim, she was looking someone for the role of Han Tae-yi. She said it would be great if I would come to the audition for that role, it would be perfect for me. So that’s how I got to audition for the program.  

Kim Jin-kwon (Yoon Se-heon) - I prepared for several days for the audition. I was quite nervous about it but I heard positive feedback from the director which really encouraged me. But still with a little bit of nervousness as I waiting for her feedback at the final confirmation and then I finally got a call back to take the role of Seo-heon for this drama. 

Song Han-gyeom (Suh Do-yoon) - My members Jae-han and Ye Chan participated in ‘A Shoulder to Cry On.’ I got to know some of the staff. I got connected to them. The I heard about the audition so that’s how I got connected to the opportunity. 

Kim Jung-ha (Song Joo-ha) - A producer actually suggested that I audition for ‘Jazz for Two’ after watching my previous work. 

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Actor Ji Ho-geun (Instagram)

What was your reaction when you learned that you will be starring in a boys’ love (BL) series?

Ji Ho-geun - When I got tested, I didn’t really think about the genre itself because I was just so happy and honored to be in the environment to act as an actor so it was a great opportunity for me. Just Like Han-gyeom here, it was my first take and acting debut as well so there were a lot of concerns and pressures on it as well. But thankfully we receiving so much love from the fans and I'm having great days with their love 

Kim Jin-kwon - "Jazz for Two" is based on a webtoon series, which is very popular. I was just glad to join as a cast for the drama adaptation of such a good work. It’s my first time to play a main character in a Korean drama which made me really excited for the opportunity.  

Song Han-gyeom - Regardless of the genre, I was just so happy to be cast in the drama and to debut as an actor. I was eager and I was passionate to do my best because it was really my first take on acting in my life. But seeing my members performed on ‘Shoulder to Cry On’ and with other activities, I think I learned a lot about the process of acting and how to prepare for a scene or the drama itself. I think that really helped me prepare with a lot of passion for this project. 

Kim Jung-ha - BL was the first drama that I took the challenge on but I haven’t really seen any difference being cast in a BL drama versus other types of drama because my main focus in any work is how much people would enjoy watching this and how much people give love to this work. So that was my main focus. I didn’t care what genre I got into. 

Did you know one another before starring in “Jazz for Two”? 

Song Han-gyeom and Kim Jung-ha - No, we actually met for the first time through this drama. Before then we were all strangers but we got close super fast 

What preparations did you make for your respective roles? 

Ji Ho-geun - In order to play the role of Tae-yi … Tae-yi is like a dark character. He has this really dark story from his past and he has trauma, and which is quite different from like who I am in real life. So I had to do a lot of you know imagination and I really put myself in Tae-yi’s shoes to think about his own trauma and his past to really understand the character. Also he plays the trumpet in the drama so I watched a lot of performances or like movies such as movie about like Chet Baker to really get that motivation as a trumpet player 

Kim Jin-kwon - For me, Se-heon is like a timid character but sometimes he is incredibly great. So I tried to balance those two different characteristics for Se-heon. Also he loves piano, obviously, so I looked up a lot of YouTube videos to find some inspiration on how can I look very, very passionate, like I’m really good at playing the piano. 

Song Han-gyeom - For me, Do-yoon’s character is very playful, optimistic and he has this unexpected charm, which is kinda a little bit different from the real life me, Han-gyeom, from what I do and what I say. I was wondering where I could find some inspiration and I thought I can think of something from my younger self for Do-yoon so I actually thought of some like videos and like photos and I took some time to look back on myself when I was younger. 

Kim Jung-ha - To play the role of Joo-ha, I actually took guitar lessons because he is a guitarist. From the beginning to the middle part of the drama, Ju-ha seems like a villain, one who always makes troubles, likes to pick up conflicts with other characters. For me, I thought it was really crucial to find that really sentiment turnaround point when he actually solved those conflicts with other characters especially with Do-yoon. I really wanted the viewers to think,  ‘Oh he has his own story line and he has his own emotions as well. I really want wanted them to think, I really wanted to convey that he has a storyline and he's not the villain and he has his own emotions as well. 


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Song Han-gyeom of Omega X (Instagram)

Did you watch BL dramas as reference for your roles in Jazz for Two? If so, what are the titles? 

Ji Ho-geun - For me, I watched the movie “Call Me by Your Name” with Timothée Chalamet and I took a lot of inspiration from that movie. 

Kim Jin-kwon - I watched the previous work of our director, Song Su-lim, which was “A Shoulder to Cry On” and I also watched “Call Me by Your Name.” I think it was very beneficial to get motivation and inspiration from other people 

Song Han-gyeom - I also watched “A Shoulder to Cry On” 

Kim Jung-ha - I also watched “A Shoulder to Cry On” because I was wondering what our director’s direction and the picture would look like in our own drama so I was curious so I watched that drama. And also it was not really intentional to study or get motivation from but I some other BL dramas with my acquaintances or my actor friends who starred in.  

How did you prepare for the intimate scenes like kissing? 

Kim Jung-ha - I think for me what’s more important is to focus on acting before and after some scenes like kisses because if we do the acting correctly and like if we follow the story line well enough, I thought those scenes would come out naturally on before and after scenes. 

Song Han-gyeom - I agree with Jung-ha. Also another thing, we focused on we had to find really beautiful angle for that scene. So we listened to the director’s direction for that scene very specifically and sometimes we will share some ideas like how we could appear like more beautiful, how we can make the scene overall pretty

Kim Jin-kwon - Like so something I know really looked into was that other kiss from the dramas to really find that good angle to look pretty on the camera, to make it enjoyable for the viewers. I remember actually filming the kiss scenes at the beginning of the whole shooting process and I remember after that, it was really easy for us to go into like light intimacies. I also remember filming that kiss scene In the beginning of the filming process within just three three takes and the director actually clapped for us. She was complimenting us so much. So yeah, it was very memorable. 


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 Kim Jin-kwon of NewKidd  (Instagram)

Jin-kwon, you are a member of NewKidd, and Han-gyeom, you are a member of Omega X. What were the reactions of your group members about “Jazz for Two”?

Kim Jin-kwon - For my members, they would actually message me and say that ‘you did really well. They came out so nice.’ They would sometimes send screenshots of some of the scenes which would make me really be proud of myself.  

Song Han-gyeom - So I was actually kind of embarrassed to show my members how I act because it's my first take on acting so I was a little bit embarrassed to share that with my members. So I actually told them to not watch me acting. I don't know If they intentionally found that or you know those videos of me acting come up on their algorithm. I don't know but they watched the clips constantly and they would say, ‘Oh you look so natural. It’s just how you are in real life. You act so naturally.’ 

What changes did you experience after starring in "Jazz for Two"? 

Song Han-gyeom - Yeah, I think we all saw definitely some significant increase in our followers for sure. And sometimes we would get a lot of messages from our fans, complimenting us. Sometimes they would write comments like ‘I enjoy this episode, something related to the drama. Sometimes they would have their own interpretation and discussion session among the fans about the drama, which was very exciting and fun for us to read that as well. That’s the moment we realized this is something different from before filming the drama. 

Kim Jung-ha - Yeah, I definitely saw the increase in my (Instagram) follower numbers. First of all and sometimes it's really fun and like exciting to read all the fan comments saying like They are so deeply dedicated to the drama and they will comment Something Like Jung-ha you're so cruel like as if I am really the character and like this is not the actor but the character itself So it's actually really fun and like to read all the comments and like engage with them

Ji Ho-geun - Yeah like the sign significant change would be the social media following and I think it's a great proof of you know how much love and support we have been receiving and we are receiving for “Jazz for Two” like they are sending so much love and like encouragement to all of us. And I think the number is you know one of the many proofs we got a lot of support and love from our fans. 

Kim Jin-kwon - I truly enjoyed reading and seeing all the reactions and comments on social media. Most of them are very positive, which made me really happy. It made me realize how much impact this drama had on a lot of the viewers, which encouraged me to do even better, to show better performance as an actor in the future. 


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  Kim Jung-ha (Instagram)

How was the chemistry among you on and off the set? 

Song Han-gyeom - I think it's really hard to actually distinguish between on and off the set because we are literally the same.  Like we have the same chemistry as really good friends and colleagues, and we even have our group chat for us four. We just talk normally and like we talk about exercise going you know working out and Ho-geun sometimes would like leave a little bit of like singing clips like in that Messenger as well. So it's all like very friendly and, you know, we are just the same people like on and off set. We have a great chemistry and friendship all together.

 What challenges did you face while filming Jazz for Two? 

Ji Ho-geun - I don’t know if it was about our passion or the weather but yeah, I was very, very hot. 

If you are given another chance to star in another boys’ love (BL) series, will you accept it? 

Kim Jung-ha - We don’t know what’s gonna happen. It might happen, it might not happen. For now, what I hope for is to really focus on “Jazz for Two.” 

Song Han-gyeom - If I have a great opportunity coming up, I will definitely accept it. But for now, like Jung-ha said, I would like to focus on “Jazz for Two” and to have more opportunities to meet fans of the drama as well. 

Ji Ho-geun - Yeah, I definitely agree with Han-gyeom. That’s how I feel 

Kim Jin-kwon - Just like the drama, for me, like Seo-heon, I only have Tae-yi. 

Do you have plans to have fan meetings outside South Korea? 

Song Han-gyeom - Yeah, we are always ready. I think you can definitely look forward to good news someday. With any opportunity that calls us, we are ready to take off anywhere. Please let us know. 

Stream "Jazz for Two" on GagaOOLala and iQIYI

Follow the "Jazz for Two" stars on Instagram: 

Ji Ho-geun 

Kim Jin-kwon 

Song Hangyeom 

Kim Jung-ha 

Jazz for Two 




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 The stars of "Jazz for Two" (Instagram)