Cha Seung-won, Kim Sung-kyun and Juyeon explore Maya civilisation in new variety programme

"I tried my best to think of layman terms that could convey the civilisation to the audience," Cha Seung-won said.

Avier Tan

| September 14, 2023
Cha Seung-won
South Korean actor Cha Seung-won explores Maya civilisation in Brotherhood Expedition: Maya. Photo: tvN

Cha Seung-won is an actor by occupation. But he’s also known for his superb cooking skills in Three Meals a Day (2015-2020) despite minimal ingredients. That earned him the nickname Chajumma (combining his surname and Ajumma).

In his newest variety programme Brotherhood Expedition: Maya, Cha is taking on a new adventure.

Cha Seung-won, Kim Sung-kyun and Juyeon

It is Korea’s first variety show that explores ancient civilisation. Together with Cha are actor Kim Sung-kyun and Juyeon of The Boyz.

“The three of us may seem like an odd combination at first sight,” he told HallyuSG via an exclusive interview.

As the trio went along the journey to learn about Maya civilization, it was only a matter of time before they became close brothers.

Kim usually plays fiercer roles. So through the programme, “he reveals another side of him that is gentle, kind-hearted and there are unexpected charms of him”.

He described Juyeon as the “golden maknae (the youngest member of the team)”. And “he really lived up to this nickname in the program,” Cha said.

Breaking down ancient civilisation

In the variety programme, viewers will see the trio showcase the current Mayan experience. And investigate Maya’s past in an engaging manner.

Cha Seung-won
(L to R): Juyeon of The Boyz, Cha Seung-won and Kim Sung-kyun.

“I tried my best to think of layman terms that could convey the civilisation to the audience,” Cha revealed.

Rather than narrating the content, Cha, an ancient civilisation junkie himself, thought that it would be more interesting to convey it via storytelling. And that’s how he explained the content to his co-hosts Kim Sung-kyun and Juyeon too.

On the most memorable moment throughout the programme, Cha said that it’s got to be climbing the El Castillo pyramid at Chichen Itza. He recalled being “particularly moved just by being able to see with my own eyes the huge pyramid that [he] had only seen in books and photos”.

But filming the programme was equally challenging as memorable.

“It is no exaggeration to say that it was full-day filming for this variety program,” Cha said. He couldn’t even recall falling asleep, or chatting with his co-hosts after the shoot as they were all dead beat.

The filming was “physically difficult”, but “I felt like I had explored civilisation without any regrets, so it all became good memories”.

Brotherhood Expedition: Maya is available on tvN every Wednesday, 10:30PM (SGT).


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