Starring Jung Hae In and Koo Gyo Hwan in the central roles, the second season of the military drama D.P. has seen a grand reception with its nuanced portrayal of the trials enlistees face during their mandatory call of duty in South Korea.
The series tapped into the various aspects of military life, including the experience of being openly queer as a new recruit. Episode 3 portrays the story of Jang Sung Min, an LGBTQ+ character who is also a deserter being chased by the military. Titled Curtain Call, the story follows the performing arts student Sung Min who is mocked and bullied by his seniors for wanting to play a female character, Nina, from Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull.
The hardships of his college days continue after his enlistment, as he is harassed with homophobic slurs in the military and often targeted for his artistic persona. Sung Min ends up escaping, and after surviving excruciating difficulties, his dream of performing as Nina draws very close. However, a minor mishap makes it come undone, and the central characters, Jun Ho (Jung Hae In) and Ho Yeol (Koo Gyo Hwan) find him collapsed on the side of a bridge.
The hard-hitting episode has created a lot of buzz, and viewers cannot help but be mesmerized by the performance of Bae Na Ra, who played the role of Sung Min. Apart from his stellar acting, Bae also left a lasting impression with his rendition of “Wig In A Box” and “Midnight Radio” from the musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch in the drama.
Though the spotlight on Bae is probably the brightest right now, thanks to D.P. 2, he really became a well-known face in 2020 through the JTBC show Phantom Singer 3. His heart-touching singing skills left the audience in awe, and he made it to the first round of the finals before getting eliminated with a difference of only two votes. His rendition of “Always Remember Us This Way” from A Star Is Born and “Diamond” from Itaewon Class on the show are still some of his best-known performances.
But even before this reality show appearance, the actor was well-known in the musical scene. After graduating from the Seoul Institute of the Arts with a major in musical acting, Bae started his career in 2013 as a musical theater actor and has been a part of iconic productions such as Rebecca and Kinky Boots. But before landing his significant roles in theater, he had worked several years as an ensemble member to build up his experience and expertise.
On top of being a musical and K-Drama actor, Bae also has a brief experience working as an idol. In 2019, he became a part of The T-Bird, a five-member project boy group created by OD Entertainment. The group debuted in March 2019 with the single “Rock Star.” Bae showed off a different side of his artistic talent, effortlessly adapting to the idol style of music and dancing.
However, the group has not been very active in recent years, and it is assumed they have disbanded quietly.
Given that Jang Sung Min was his very first television role, K-Drama fans are rooting hard for Bae’s future projects. With his multifaceted talent getting much-deserved recognition, the actor expressed his sincere gratitude toward viewers.
First of all, I am grateful for the compliments and attention. It was an enormous honor just to be able to be a part of a project that I love so much, and I am genuinely thankful for being able to bring Jang Seong Min to life.
—Bae Na Ra
Meanwhile, Bae recently signed an exclusive contract with YY Entertainment and will promote as an actor-singer with the label’s support. His labelmates include former B.A.P‘s Bang Yongguk and actor Lee Joo Ahn.