‘All of Us Are Dead’: Actor Lee Yoo-mi Defends Na-Yeon, One of the K-Drama’s Most Hated Characters
As a group of teenage characters fight off zombies and try to start alive as a group, there is always one character that rubs audiences the wrong way. In Netflix‘s All of Us Are Dead Korean drama, Lee Yoo-mi plays the role of Na-yeon. The group of main characters in the K-drama comes from different backgrounds, and Na-yeon was born with a golden spoon in her mouth.
Throughout the drama, she becomes one of the most hated characters. She bullies one of the students for his social status and is willing to sacrifice anyone. Actor Lee defends her character’s demeanor and actions in the zombie K-drama.
[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for All of Us Are Dead.]
‘All of Us Are Dead’ character Na-yeon is a high class bully
Since All of Us Are Dead Episode 1, audiences see Na-yeon’s inherent dislike toward her classmate, Han Gyeong-su (Ham Sung-min). She purposely berates him and calls him dirty when he sits on her desk. As the zombie outbreak takes over the school, Na-yeon’s true colors become more vibrant. Na-yeon makes small comments implying her safety is more important than her classmates.
By episode 3, audiences realize how much her social class status affects her. She lashes out at Gyeong-su, calling him a “welfie.” It is a derogatory term for students whose families are on welfare. After a zombie scratches him, Na-yeon strongly urges to get rid of him.
When he passes an hour quarantine without turning, Na-yeon does the unthinkable. She stains her handkerchief with zombie blood. When she supposedly apologizes to Gyeong-su, she berates him for being a welfie while wiping his wound with the infected blood.
Na-yeon purposely kills Gyeong-su causing the rest of the characters to turn on her. Later on in All of Us Are Dead, when she is hiding in the music room closet stocked with food, she refuses to tell the others who are hiding in the room as well.
Lee Yoo-mi explains her ‘All of Us Are Dead’ character was trying to survive
Actor Lee’s character Na-yeon instantly became one of the most hated characters in All of Us Are Dead. Na-yeon’s demeanor and actions showed one of the K-drama’s societal issues about class status, power, and what people are willing to do to survive. Despite knowing her character’s horrid actions, Lee defends aspects of Na-yeon in a Vogue Korea interview.
According to Soompi, Lee explains, “She has no choice but to be in a rush because she has to survive. Her desire to live was just expressed in a different way. Na-yeon does what she can because she’s human. That’s why I think people feel pity [for her]. If she’s really mean, that means I acted well, right?”
Actor Yoo Chan-young chimed in, saying, “Although Na-yeon’s personality is a bit off, she doesn’t say anything that isn’t true. In real life, you need someone like that.” Lee explains when dissecting the All of Us Are Dead character further, Na-yeon is someone who is “faithful to the emotions she feels.”
Audiences came to dislike the Na-yeon from the start, but by episode 8, she realizes her mistakes and how lonely she is. When watching the video recording her classmates left, she is sad about killing Gyeong-su and misses her friends. Audiences start to pity Na-yeon despite her horrid actions.
Lee Yoo-mi went from playing a beloved ‘Squid Game’ character to a hated student in ‘All of Us Are Dead’
Squid Game fans instantly recognize Lee for her role as Player #240, Ji-yeong. In another K-drama about survival, Lee’s character was well-loved by fans. During the marbles game, she becomes a close friend to Sae-byeok (HoYeon Jung). Like the other players, she had a rough backstory, having recently left prison for murdering her abusive stepfather.
She joined the Games believing she had nothing else to live for in the real world. During the marbles game, Ji-yeong and Sae-byeok waited until the final moment to play and decide a winner. But Ji-yeong realizes Sae-byeok has more to live for wanting to reunite with her little brother. In the end, she sacrifices herself to let Sae-byeok win.
Lee’s Squid Game character is a drastic change from her role in All of Us Are Dead.