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Choi Young-jae

Choi Young-jae talks about the kimchi slap in ‘So Not Worth It’

By: Ruth L. Navarra

GOT7’s main vocalist and heartthrob Choi Young-jae had an interesting moment in the sitcom “So Not Worth It.” (G)I-dle’s Minnie slapped him with a whole head of Napa cabbage that they used to make kimchi. This moment became a viral scene and was notoriously named the “kimchi slap.”

But the talented idol said that it wasn’t as bad as it looks. He said in English, “Just one take.” He was smiling when he continued in Korean during a Zoom interview with Super, “To be honest it didn’t physically hurt. It only hurts my [pride].”

Choi Young-jae gets a kimchi slapped by (G)I-dle’s Minnie

Yet the actor, obviously seeing the humor in all this, uploaded more photos of himself on Instagram with kimchi marks on his cheek. His and GOT7’s fans, the Ahgases, told him that he took the slap like a king. Comedic moments This is just one of the many comedic moments that you can enjoy in the Netflix Original sitcom, “So Not Worth It.”

Most of the cast use their own names. Park Se-wan is Se-wan, (G)I-dle’s Minnie is Minnie, Carson Allen is Carson, Terris Brown is Terris and Han Hyun-min is, well, Hyun-min.

But you also have characters who get another name. GOT7’s Choi is Sam, Joakim Sorensen is Hans, Shin Hyun-seung is Jamie. Choi is the son of a tteokbokki chain owner in Australia. In the show, he is an idol wannabe (wink, wink), who desperately wants to be signed by one of the big companies in Korea. It angered him when his friend, later girlfriend, Minnie got scouted by a big company.

International dorm

“This is a story about international students living with each other at the international dormitory. It’s not exactly highlighting the differences in culture, but then it is just portraying how people from different cultures come together and live a life together. That is the uniqueness of the show,” he said.

Of course, there were interesting first impressions given the diverse lineup of cast. Park and Shin said that Choi was the most surprising member of the cast. He was completely different from their first impression of him.

“Young-jae was a little bit shy. He gave off an intimidating vibe but he’s not like that at all once you get to know him,” said Park. Shin, who is the roommate of Choi in the show, agrees with Park. He plays Jamie, the adopted son of Hollywood actress, Barbara Houston. While there’s no direct reference, one could easily find similarities between his character and Maddox, the son of Angelina Jolie.

Park teases Shin about being Korea’s shining star.

Shin Hyun-seung and Park Se-wan

“It’s a time when you can really do anything that you want to do. Don’t try to think too much about the negative things. Believe that good opportunities will come along and don’t get too frustrated. Please compliment yourself a lot, and that will make your tomorrow happier.”

Choi Young-jae

Intimidating aura

Shin said that he also got the intimidating aura that Choi gives off at first. He explained that the idol came in last in the shoot so he was very excited to finally meet him in person.

“I was disappointed because I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to make friends with him, but then it very quickly changed,” Shin said. He added that they mistook Choi’s nervousness for aloofness. “Everything was quite new to him when he came in. He didn’t know what to do. This is perhaps why he came off as intimidating.”

Shin continued that Choi’s character is always smiling on screen so there was a huge difference off screen. It turned out that their first impression of Choi was really based on his resting face. (Here’s a quick trivia: the Ahgases call Choi sunshine for his loud laughs.)

They shot the series in three months, so it was easy for them to spot each other’s habits. Park, who plays the resident advisor of the dormitory, talked about Han during the interview.

“I saw Hyun-min scratching his head looking a little upset on set. I wondered what was wrong with him. I thought that it was because he was upset. But then that wasn’t the case. He really was just trying hard not to laugh. This turned out to be his habit,” she said.

Shin revealed more quirks about Choi, one that Choi was not even aware of.

He demonstrated a certain position that Choi would do while he was studying Sam’s character. Shin said that he would crouch and keep his legs close to his chest. “That’s right. You have a good eye to spot that,” Choi said.

The day before the apocalypse

The Korean title of the sitcom literally translates to “I hope the Earth will be destroyed tomorrow.” The actors told us what they would do the day before the apocalypse.

“I am going to spend all the money that I have before I die,” Choi said.

“Go to the department store and buy all the luxury goods,” Park answered.

“I am going to the amusement park with my parents because I like the atmosphere there,” Shin said.

Shin’s answer made the two feel guilty. So they quickly revised their answers, too.

“I am going to go to the department store with my parents to do the luxury good shopping,” Park said.

“I’m not going to spend the money for myself. I am going to use it to make the day great for the less fortunate people. I will be the only one to know that the world is coming to an end tomorrow so they will surely have a great day for them,” Choi said.

As students of an international dorm, the cast go through multi-cultural adventure and fun in Seoul.

Comforting words

Because the show gives a glimpse into the lives of college students in Seoul, Super asked them for words of comfort or advice for college students.

Choi responded first and said that he’s really not in a position to give advice to the college students. But he did say that, “It’s a time when you can really do anything that you want to do. Don’t try to think too much about the negative things. Believe that good opportunities will come along and don’t get too frustrated. Please compliment yourself a lot, and that will make your tomorrow happier.”

Park starts her advice by saying that it’s a long journey ahead. “Sometimes you can walk, sometimes you can run. So while you’re walking, please try to appreciate the flowers and the sky. That is how you will gain the energy to run afterward. Please take good care of yourself.”

Shin also said that you should be able to compliment yourself. “The fact that you are suffering is because you have worked so hard, so far. So make sure that you compliment yourself. When you need to take a rest, do so. That’s how you can keep up afterwards.”

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