‘Bride of the Water God’s Shin Se-kyung and Nam Joo-hyuk Talk About Their Role and Building Chemistry


The Chemistry Between Yoon So-ah and Ha-baek

The drama Bride of The Water God was produced by tvN and aired between July 3rd – August 22nd, 2017. The drama starred Nam Joo-hyuk, Shin Se-kyung, Krystal Jung (credited as Jung Soo-jung), and Gong Myung among others, as the four main characters in the drama, instantly creating hype around its release. The drama occupied the Monday – Tuesday 11 pm slot previously occupied by the drama Circle, which is known to be one of the prime time spots for the broadcast network.

As the drama focused on Nam Joo-hyuk and Shin Se-kyung’s characters, fans started to question the secret behind their steamy on-screen chemistry. So are you also curious as to how they built that chemistry? Stay tuned to find out!

tvN’s Bride of The Water God

The story of the drama was adapted from a manhwa of the same title, that depicts the water god Ha-baek who falls in love with the mortal, Yoon So-ah. Although adapted from the comic, there are some differences in the storyline and setting that sets the two apart. For one, the setting of the original comics are in the realm of the gods, high up in the sky with more fantastical elements featuring a myriad of gods not featured in the show. The drama is set in the modern world, for a change, focusing its storyline on Ha-baek who has been sent on a quest in the human realm.

The relationships from the comic, despite the change in setting, have been kept quite the same, with the focus placed on the four main characters and their intertwining four-sided love. The gods and their backstory are also quite consistent with the ones in the comic, with their powers and history with each other as they live out their youths among other gods. Ha-baek, the water god, still falls in love with Yoon So-ah in the drama, with goddess Moo-ra and god Bi-ryeom tagging along for the ride.

The only character to experience a significant change is Yoon So-ah, who in the comic is just a girl sacrificed by her village to the water god Ha-baek, as a way to ensure a plentiful harvest. The complete opposite is shown in the drama, as Yoon So-ah is seen as a struggling medical practitioner with her own clinic and her unaccomplished aspirations.

The change in both the setting and the main female protagonist’ backstory definitely affected the response from fans and viewers alike. Before the drama even aired, fans had expressed their anticipation for the drama as it will take place in a modern setting that is a lot easier to digest for viewers who have not read the comic. Yet, after it aired, the fans were very critical of the portrayal of the two main leads and how the story went as opposed to the arc in the comic.

The negative response had an effect on the overall viewership of the drama, but despite it, there were still viewers who remained for the actors and actresses that have fandoms of their own. Not only that, the chemistry among the four leads is just too good to pass up, especially between Ha-baek and Yoon So-ah.

On-Screen Chemistry

The chemistry between Yoon So-ah, portrayed by Shin Se-kyung, and Ha-baek, portrayed by Nam Joo-hyuk, is just off the charts. The skinship and longing expressions shown on-screen are loaded with meaning and sent fans’ hearts into overdrive.


The couple is known for the heartwarming actions, such as subtle touches and warm hugs, but also quite unusual ones such as the scene where So-ah towel dries Ha-baek’s hair after he showered. Not only that, but they also upgraded their skinship towards the end of the drama by introducing feeding each other on a date and plenty of kissing.


The first kiss between So-ah and Ha-baek happened under the tree where they first signed the contract for So-ah to be his slave. It is also the place where Ha-baek supposedly lost his stone and tasked her as his servant to help him find it. It is the perfect setting for their romantic kiss.


Following their first kiss, their characters became more comfortable with each other so they kiss a handful of times by the finale of the drama. It shows the growing chemistry between not only the characters but Shin Se-kyung and Nam Joo-hyuk. Their romantic kisses definitely helped fans to feel their character’s growth.

Off-Screen Chemistry

The Nam Joo-hyuk and Shin Se-kyung couple definitely caused some buzz within the Korean entertainment industry as their acting touched the hearts of both domestic and international fans. In one interview, Shin Se-kyung showed her doting on the relationship she has with her leading male co-star, stating that this is the first time she is acting opposite a younger man, yet she was touched by his kind and considerate actions. She revealed a behind the scene story where Nam Joo-hyuk cried along with her during tense and emotional scenes. This encouraged her to also deepen her emotions during their scenes together.

Another thing she has revealed during an interview is that she is motivated by Nam Joo-hyuk’s acting, and this sense of motivation and admiration helped her really get into the character of Yoon So-ah. This also is a factor in realizing the chemistry the characters have as she genuinely felt part of that feeling, thus it is not hard to flesh out the rest. Aside from that, his superb acting also helped a lot, as it takes two to tango even in acting. An example of their hard work is being supportive of each other when doing close-up takes. As mentioned before, this is the first time she has acted with an actor that genuinely cries with her in every take.

So what do you think of Shin Se-kyung and Nam Joo-hyuk’s chemistry in the drama Bride of The Water God? Do you think it is very realistic and a true representation of their hard work? Or do you think there are some aspects that could be improved? How about the process of realizing their relationship? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!