‘Police University’: K-Drama Actor Krystal on Why She Was Drawn to Her Character

The 2021 youth romance K-drama Police University takes over viewership ratings as one of the most-watched television shows on air. In a fresh take, the K-drama is set at a police university and follows the stories of a new group of first-year police students. Besides the comedy-filled crime drama, the show’s cast got fans’ attention as it starred K-Pop idol and actor Krystal Jung (known as Krystal) in one of the lead roles. Krystal explains what drew her to take on the role of her character, Oh Kang-Hee.

Krystal Jung 'Police University' wearing white blazer in front of purple backdrop
Krystal Jung of ‘Police University’ at event | TPG via Getty Images

A hacker turned police student helps solve a crime

Police University will have fans hooked on the main character’s story. Kang Seon-Ho (Jung Jin-Young) lost his parents at a young age and was raised by his father’s friend. Despite being accepted with open arms, Seon-Ho grows up feeling like he does not fit in and has no life ambitions. One day, Seon-Ho uses his hacking skills to help his stepbrother win over a girl that goes wrong. At that moment, Seon-Ho becomes enamored with Kang-Hee.

After his teacher suggests becoming a police officer, Seon-Ho learns Kang-Hee is determined to become an officer and enrolls at the same university. Interweaved is Seon-Ho’s story with detective Yoo Dong-Man (Cha Tae-Hyun). Dong-Man has been on the hunt to take down a gambling ring and crosses paths with Seon-Ho. After an initial conflict, Dong-Man becomes Seon-Ho’s teacher at university and is set on destroying his opportunities but learns he is a useful ally.

Krystal portrays a contrasting character on screen

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Before the K-drama’s premiere, according to Soompi, Krystal explained what drew her to play her character, Kang-Hee. Kang-Hee has had a lifelong ambition to become a police officer and becomes a first-year student at a police university.

The character has a strong sense of justice, and Krystal explains, “[Oh Kang Hee] is someone who is good at everything she does. She’s confident and straightforward. Although she appears tough on the outside, she can be quite fragile when it comes to someone she likes or the family she loves. I am acting while thinking about how to express to viewers those two contrasting sides of her.”

There is another factor that convinced Krystal to be a part of the drama. She explains that the story taking place at a police university has never been done before and was “refreshing.” The K-drama also allowed her to return to her youthful 20-year-old self. Krystal also remarks that she and Kang-Hee’s ambitions and dreams are different, but both desire to be more just.

K-pop idol to K-drama actor

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Krystal was born and raised in San Francisco and was scouted in 2000 by an agency while visiting South Korea. Her parents did not allow her to pursue an idol career due to her young age. But Krystal’s parents did allow her sister to pursue the deal and would later debut with Girls’ Generation. It was not until 2006 that Krystal’s parents gave her permission to join SM Entertainment.

Krystal debuted in 2009 as a lead vocalist for the girl group f(x). She embarked on her acting career in 2010 and gained some fame in her supporting role in The Heirs. It was not until 2017 that Krystal became a K-drama favorite starring in the dramas The Bride of Habaek and Prison Playbook.