The star-studded Disney+ Original has become its most successful K-drama globally and the most popular on Hulu in the US, beating out the likes of Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe to become Disney’s most watched series across the Asia Pacific region.
“Moving” is a thriller following the fates of low-profile Korean superheroes and their families. The final episode of season one debuted on September 20.
The series has received six Asia Content Awards nominations at Busan International Film Festival, an annual celebration of homegrown and international cinema in South Korea’s second largest city, including best writer for Kang Full and best actor for Ryu Seungryong. Ahead of the awards on October 8, CNN caught up with Ryu to discuss his character, why he thinks the show has resonated with a global audience, and his big hopes for a second season.
Based on the popular 2015 webtoon of the same name, also conceived by Kang Full, “Moving” follows two generations of people with superpowers in modern-day South Korea. Some have enhanced senses, some can fly and others can generate electricity.
Ryu’s character, Jang Ju-Won, has regenerative powers that allow him to recover from injuries. “He has a very rough life,” Ryu told CNN, describing him as “almost monster-like.”
Ju-Won is complex, to say the least. When we’re not watching him fall in love, dote on his daughter and work different jobs to make ends meet, we’re watching him fight for his life. In one complex action sequence, Ju-Won is beat up, set on fire, hit by a car and stabbed multiple times while he fights a gang of 300 people single-handedly (almost reminiscent of the famous corridor scene in Park Chan-Wook’s 2003 film, “Oldboy”).
Despite some rather gory fight scenes involving the supernatural, “Moving” isn’t just an action thriller. The heart of the series is actually an engaging narrative about family. “It’s a series that can show … a mix of moments of happiness, anger, pain, sadness and everything else in one long sitting,” Ryu said.
While shifting back and forth from past to present, weaving in the characters’ heart-warming and (more often) gut-wrenching backstories, the drama shows parents and their children using their super abilities to protect one another from enemies.
The actor says the focus on family helps “Moving” resonate with international audiences. “We all have our family with us,” said Ryu. “Even if you’re not married, don’t have kids, or your parents have passed … it provides moments where we are reminded of (them).”
As an actor, Ryu said he was drawn to Ju-Won’s wide-ranging emotions as both husband and father. In fact, it appealed to him more than being an action hero.
For Ryu, another appeal of “Moving” is the hope it gives to viewers: “(It) shows the weak and powerless becoming superheroes – regular looking people.”
“It encourages (viewers) that they are already doing the best they can and they all have stories to tell,” Ryu said. “Anyone and everyone has superpowers, and because of that they shouldn’t be discouraged. It’s a tough world for everyone.”
That’s also what sets this drama apart from other popular superhero stories, like Marvel’s Avengers – a global franchise the actor has been a long-time fan of. While Marvel and “Moving” share some of the same DNA, Ryu argues the latter “portrays a more day-to-day image, where ordinary people are working to protect their family. They are not wearing tights or uniforms.”
Ryu said that he’d be more than willing to star in a second and even a third season of “Moving.” And while the next instalment has yet to be announced, Ryu has his fingers crossed.
“Kang Full jokingly told me that I should take good care of myself because there are even bigger and more spectacular scenes coming up, if we do go into season two,” Ryu said.
“Moving” is available on Disney+ and Hulu.