Netflix‘s K-drama work romance series Start-Up starts something between singer-actress Bae Suzy and actor Nam Joo-hyuk. It is about young entrepreneurs who work at their own start-up firms in Sandbox – a fictional Silicon Valley-inspired district – and mature and fall in love in the process.

Bae was part of the girl group Miss A and has appeared in series such as drama fantasy While You Were Sleeping (2017), while Nam’s credits include the moving drama series The Light In Your Eyes (2019).

The cast of Start-Up also includes actor Kim Seon-ho and actress Kang Han-na.

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Start Up - Suzy Bae and Nam Joo-hyuk
Photo: Netflix

Here are five things to know about the series, which premieres on Oct 17.


In the series, Nam plays Do-san, a geeky mathematics prodigy who loves coding and knits as a hobby.

The 26-year-old says at a live-streamed press conference on Monday (Oct 12): “It wasn’t that big of a challenge for me to portray a nerd because being a nerd is part of who I am, actually. I pulled out some of the nerdy qualities in me and imbued my character with it, like how in real life, when I get nervous in situations, I actually tremble.”


In the series, Bae and Kang play rivals. Bae is Dal-mi, a woman with the ambition of becoming South Korea’s Steve Jobs, and Kang is a rich heiress who also runs her own company.

Kang (Familiar Wife, 2018), 31, says with a laugh: “Suzy is so lovable that it’s difficult for me to bring my claws out with Dal-mi.”

Bae, 26, adds: “Han-na is so bubbly and we have a lot of fun on set, but because we still had to maintain a certain level of tension between our characters, there were times we could not help ourselves but break into laughter during filming.”


Start Up - Kim Seon-ho
Photo: Netflix

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While Kim (You Drive Me Crazy, 2018) is an actor, he is a cast member of the long-running outdoor variety series 2 Days & 1 Night (2007 to present), which he joined as a cast member last year (2019).

Kim, 34, who says his character in the series is the epitome of “young, rich and successful” adds that he hopes fans of 2 Days & 1 Night will not find it awkward watching him act.

He jokes about his differences from his straight-talking character: “I don’t think I’m as mean with my words to others, I talk about people behind their backs.”


Start Up - Kang Ha-na
Photo: Netflix

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The cast reveals that for their roles as young people working in start-up firms, they looked at videos of successful young entrepreneurs for inspiration.

Kang even cut her long locks to better suit the tough businesswoman image of her character. She says: “The hair and make-up team suggested that she might look more suited to a short hairstyle so I went ahead and got it cut.”


While Director Oh Choong-hwan says the appeal of the series is its heartwarming story of growth and working hard for one’s dreams, he gives himself “a pat on the back” for the casting of the central romantic couple Nam and Bae.

He says: “They are just so beautiful together. I hope people look at them onscreen and remember how they sparkle together.”

This article originally appeared on The Straits Times.