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With no doubt, it can be said that 'It’s Okay To Not Be Okay', was one of the best K-dramas released in 2020. It came as a wave of comfort in the hectic pandemic period. The show is a Netflix original with only sixteen episodes. It was released on Netflix and broadcasted on tvN from June 2020 to August 2020, too.
What The Drama Is About?
Moon Gang-Tae lived with his older brother Moon Sang-Tae, who was suffered from autism. Growing up both of them lived a difficult life. Their father died when they were very young and then later on after a few years their mother was murdered. Sang-Tae was the sole witness of his mother’s murder, from where his fear of butterflies manifested. This fear forced Gang-tae to move from city to city in order to prevent his brother from experiencing nightmares. Gang-Tae worked as a caregiver in psychiatric hospitals in every town they settled. While working in the hospital, he met Ko Moon-Young, who had ASPD. And that is where this unexpected love story began.
Oh Jung-Se's Debut And Career
Oh Jung-Se is a south korean actor and stage actor. Oh began his career in acting through theatres and has since appeared in many onscreen dramas as a supporting actor. His performance in 2013 romantic comedy 'How To Use Guys With Secret Tips', earned him special attention from critics and viewers. This lead to Oh being casted in his first leading role in the 2013 movie 'The Hero'.
Oh Jung-Se’s Role In “It’s Okay To Not Be Okay”
Oh Jung-Se played the role of Moon Sang-Tae. Sang-Tae is Moon Gang-Tae’s autistic older brother. He was a big fan of Ko Moon-Young. He read every storybook written by her. Even though autistic, he was an aspiring illustrator. He was the sole witness of his mother’s murder, which resulted in his irrational fear of butterflies. Every spring, this fear of his gave him nightmares and made it hard to go about his days and forced Gang-Tae to move town to town in order to protect his brother.
The role of Sang-Tae is one of the most difficult roles one can ever come across. Many fans commended actor Oh-Jung Se’s portrayal of Moon Sang-Tae. Oh was the perfect choice for Sang-Tae. The way he portrayed Sang-Tae was very natural and lively.
During the press conference of 'It’s Okay To Not Be Okay', with Netflix, the cast was asked about the 'unusual' characters that they portrayed on the show. Oh Jung-Se answered that he was very cautious about the character of Sang-Tae which was why he studied a lot about autism and how to respectfully portray the character of Sang-Tae. But somewhere he still thinks he lacked. Even though he studied a lot, he believed he needed to know more as he didn’t want to be disrespectful and let his fans down. This journey had taught him a lot and it even changed his perspective towards certain things in life.
In terms of the details about the character of Sang-Tae, he spent most of his time preparing for the character. He used to talk in Sang-Tae's voice so that he could practice it in breaks to get used to it as soon as possible. He was a special character than others. Sang-Tae had specific behaviour patterns and habits which made him different from others. But Oh tried majorly to focus on Sang-Tae’s charms such as his innocence, his good-hearted nature, his pure heart and majorly his love for his younger brother Gang-Tae.
We even get to see Sang-Tae’s development as a character by the end of the show. He was quite short-tempered. It could be seen quite often when he hit his younger brother Gang-Tae. Sang-Tae overcame this. He matured throughout the show. He learnt to love others and even gave his brother a chance to live his life without worrying about him.
On July 25 2020, Oh Jung-Se spent a day with a fan who was just like Sang-Tae. Oh spent time with him in an amusement park. This was a very sweet gesture from Oh Jung-Se’s side. He even dressed and spoke like Sang-Tae. The fan’s sister shared the pictures on her Instagram handle. This gesture of Oh won hearts of many fans.
Oh Jung-Se received recognition for his role as Sang-Tae. He won at the 7thAPAN Star Awards and 57th Baeksang Arts Awards for Best Supporting Actor.
Sang-Tae gave us many life lessons. One of his best quote was, “Your body is honest. When you’re in physical pain, you cry. But the heart is a liar, it stays quiet even when it’s hurting.”
Well said Sang Tae!