Unfolding in Jeju Island, Welcome to Samdalri follows Sam Dal, who experiences a sudden loss of everything she had built in Seoul. Returning to her hometown, she reunites with her childhood friend, Yong Pil, and a heartfelt love story unfolds as they come to realize their mutual affection for each other.
The drama promises to warm viewers’ hearts with stories of the endearing residents of Samdalri, a pristine locale. Ji Chang Wook was particularly captivated by this aspect, stating, “Welcome to Samdalri is filled with small joys and heartwarming moments among friends and family.”
His character, Jo Yong Pil, embodies the essence of the drama. Described by the actor as “affable and warm-hearted,” Yong Pil is a forecaster at the Jeju Meteorological Administration, born and raised in Samdalri. He dedicates himself to providing accurate weather forecasts, crucial for the local haenyeos (female divers) and fishermen.
Yong Pil has a special someone: Jo Sam Dal (Shin Hye Sun). Having left for Seoul and returned home in scars, Sam Dal reunites with Yong Pil in Samdalri after eight years apart, ready to write a new chapter in their shared history. Ji describes Yong Pil’s unpretentious, sincere affection as his most appealing trait, noting, “He’s always waiting for Sam Dal, watching over her quietly, which doesn’t require him to be overtly stylish to show his genuine nature.”
To maximize this character’s appeal, Ji focused on naturalness and comfort. “I wanted Yong Pil’s overall setting and looks to be comfortable and natural, so I took a more relaxed approach to styling, including hair and clothes.” In terms of acting, he said, “As Yong Pil is someone who protects and observes Sam Dal, I paid special attention to my reactions.”
The anticipated chemistry with Shin Hye Sun is another highlight. Ji Chang Wook expressed excitement about working with her, saying, “Shin Hye Sun fits the image of Sam Dal perfectly, providing a sense of trust and stability. I expect our collaboration to create great synergy.” He continued, “She is charming in her own right, without the need for pretense. This allowed us to interact comfortably, naturally crafting the amusing and relaxed dynamics between Yong Pil and Sam Dal.”
Meanwhile, Welcome to Samdalri is the first collaboration between When the Camellia Blooms director Cha Young Hoon and Go Back Couple writer Kwon Hye Joo. The drama is set to premiere on December 2nd at 10:30 PM KST.