Avid K-Drama fans know this: It’s the mega-slap that puts “drama” in K-Drama. And, for an inexplicable reason, some of the most viral K-Drama slaps have come to involve food—from kimchi to bean paste. In 2017’s Woman of Dignity, the slap was served with some creamy alfredo sauce.
In episode 10, one of the female leads—played by actress Yoo Seo Jin— finds out that her husband has been cheating on her with another female lead played by actress Jung Da Hye. The two argue until Yoo Seo Jin’s character decides to “slap” Jung Da Hye’s character by tossing a plate of pasta on her face. This scene, eventually nicknamed the “Pasta Slap” scene, gained a lot of attention from the viewers and even garnered over 1M views on YouTube.
Following the K-Drama, actress Jung Da Hye revealed in an interview that the pasta slap scene could have actually been much more dangerous than it seemed on television. On Live Talk Show TAXI, Jung Da Hye claimed that originally the Woman of Dignity director “insisted that we shoot the scene as described in the script,” which mentioned that the pasta is steamy, hot, and freshly served.
The script specifically said that I get slapped by ‘hot, steamy pasta’ and the director was pretty adamant on doing it exactly as written.
— Jung Da Hye
The actress then thanked her co-star actress Kim Hee Sun for saving her from imminent facial burns. Kim Hee Sun stepped up against the director and made sure the pasta got cooled off.
Kim Hee Sun eonni told the director that I ‘make a living off my face’ and saved me from having hot pasta poured on it. She made sure they cooled down the pasta that we used to shoot the scene.
— Jung Da Hye
Then, looking back at the scene, Jung Da Hye recalled how painful the slap had been—regardless of its temperature. She recalled, “The noodles hurt more than expected” and said it felt like being slapped with rubber gloves. In fact, during a separate interview, the actress even commented that she no longer eats pasta with alfredo sauce because she became traumatized by the scene.
K-Drama fans have since criticized the director for not prioritizing the cast’s safety. Thank goodness Kim Hee Sun intervened and stopped an unfortunate incident from happening on set!
Watch the problematic scene here: