The Life List: 5 things about Kang Daniel's debut drama Rookie Cops

Kang Daniel stars as Seung-hyun in Rookie Cops. PHOTO: DISNEY+

SINGAPORE - South Korean actress Chae Soo-bin says she was a little intimidated initially about starring in her latest series opposite idol Kang Daniel because he is a "superstar". But the two hit it off quickly on the set of Rookie Cops, a youthful drama about the lives of freshman recruits at a renowned police academy.

Here are five things to know about the series, which will premiere on Jan 26 on Disney+.

1. Rookie actor

Kang stars as Seung-hyun, a by-the-book police trainee whose father is chief of the National Police Agency. The 25-year-old, who rose to fame as the winner of the reality competition series Produce 101 in 2017, is new to acting.

In a video conference with regional media, Kang says: "People did ask me if and when I was going to do a drama and I wasn't always sure about the idea. But then, I got the script for Rookie Cops and it was such a page-turner, it was like reading a novel. I'm in the same age group as these young people in the story as well, so I thought that if I was going to act in any project, then this would be the perfect role for me."

2. "Superhero" leading man

Kang imagined his character as a sort of superhero.

"When he sees something bad happening, he will jump into action immediately. But I'm more cautious. I'll think about what to do, then I'll make a report to the police or something. When I was studying him, I thought, this is what superheroes are like."

Chae (Love In The Moonlight, 2016) also saw little in common between her and her character of Eun-kang, a gutsy female recruit. But that is what made the role rewarding for her.

"She's someone who will say what's on her mind and what she's unhappy about and I can't do that easily, so it was really fun living life as her."

3. Opposites-attract romance

Chae Soo-bin (left) and Kang Daniel in Rookie Cops. PHOTO: DISNEY+

In the series, Eun-kang clashes with model student Seung-hyun immediately. But the two eventually find themselves changing their opinions of each other.

Kang says: "My character is a man of principle, so he can be a little suffocating, but he changes for the better as the series goes on. One of the highlights of the drama is watching how Seung-hyun and Eun-kang, who are polar opposites in personality, come together and fall for each other."

4. Idol with a good heart

Chae, 27, was initially intimidated by Kang's image.

"He had dyed hair, he's this superstar, an idol, right? So I felt like he was far away from me and that I could never bridge the distance between us. But he's actually a really good kid and we became close friends.

"Sometimes, we had difficulties on the shoot and he had some minor injuries, but he was always more worried about the crew than himself and that showed me his good heart."

5. Bright, healing series

Chae Soo-bin in Rookie Cops. PHOTO: DISNEY+

Kang and Chae call Rookie Cops a positive and hopeful coming-of-age tale.

He says: "Although it may seem like a cop drama, the series is about students at the academy, so while some of its themes are serious, it is also a very playful, delightful show with some comic relief for audiences to enjoy."

Rookie Cops premieres on Disney+ on Jan 26.

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