Saturday, September 11, 2010

Jang Keun-suk to play Indie rocker in new drama

Korean actor and singer Jang Keun-suk [Tree J.Company]

Korean actor
and singer Jang Keun-suk has signed on for a role in an upcoming KBS drama, according to his agency Tree J. Company on Friday.

Tree J. announced in a press release that he will be playing the role of an Indie rocker in the series, based on the web-based cartoon by writer Won Soo-yeon, tentatively titled "Mary is Staying Out Overnight.

Won Soo-yeon is the writer of the comic series "Full House" whose small screen adaptation in 2004 starred top Korean star Rain and actress Song Hye-kyo.

"Mary" is about a girl named Jung-in who has never been in a romantic relationship and instead has two fake marriages with two separate guys, a perfectionist and a leader singer of a band, with completely different personalities.

"I feel more pressured choosing a project that involves singing. It makes me wonder if I have a set image as an actor who only plays musicians in dramas," Jang was quoted as saying, adding that he enjoyed reading the synopsis for "Mary."

"I feel like I am making a return and as an actor I get the most joy in starring in a new drama," Jang continued to explain. "I am putting everything into 'Mary' and hope to show the audience something new."

"Mary is Staying Out Overnight" will premiere in the country in November.

Jang, 23, rose to fame with his roles in MBC's sitcom "Nonstop 4" (2003) and "Beethoven Virus" (2008). He became a household throughout Asia last year through his role of the eccentric lead singer in the hit SBS' series "Minamishineyo."

He recently wrapped up his Asia tour in Korea last weekend, which kicked off six months ago, where he met with numerous fans in Taiwan, Beijing, Singapore, Tokyo, Osaka and Hong Kong.

Reporter : Lucia Hong luciahong@
Editor : Jessica Kim jesskim@
<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

Monday, September 06, 2010

Kim Hyun Joong: ‘I Am Trying to Be Cynical”

"I have too placid of a temper, so I am trying to be cynical.” -Kim Hyun Joong

Kim Hyun Joong, who became a star actor by appearing in the drama “Boys Over Flowers,” will make a comeback to the small screen by appearing in KBS’s new Wednesday and Thursday drama “Mischievous Kiss" (written by Ko Eun Nim, directed by Hwang In Roi and Kim Do Hyung). The drama is about a genius but cynical male protagonist named Paek Seung Jo, who has an IQ of 200 and meets an impatient troublemaking female protagonist named Oh Ha Ni (Jung So Min). They will present a pleasant and cheerful love story in the drama.

Kim Hyun Joong had played Yoon Hi Hoo in “Boy Over Flowers,” and he made a comeback after a one year and six month break after finishing “Boy Over Flowers.” He explained about the character Paek Seung Jo, whom he will play, by saying, “The character is a mixture of Koo Joon Pyo and Yoon Ji Hoo in ‘Boys Over Flowers.’”

In the production presentation held in the Imperial Palace Hotel in Nonhyundong on August 26, Kim said, ”He has a warm heart inside, but he becomes a cynical person because he cannot express his genuinely warm temperament. I am trying to act as cynical as possible, but the director wants me to act more cynically, so I am studying how I can become more cynical.”

The production company Group Eight explained Paek Seung Jo is an “entirely different kind of genius,” who can read 20,000 letters and memorize 400 words in a single minute. Kim Hyung Joong said with a smile, “Honestly, it is very difficult to play a character with an IQ of 200. I am actually speaking lines of some totally new vocabulary that I have never known so far, and the words such as 'equation' and 'log' appear in the script, so it is like studying again in high school.”

About the question regarding his somewhat delayed comeback to acting after “Boys Over Flowers,” Kim answered, “I had performed very hard as a singer so far by releasing an album.” He added, “Before taking this role, I was worried about how I can play a high school student because I am already 25 years old. But I had been informed that the production director Hwang In Roi would direct this drama, so I applied to have an audition and earned the role of a high school student. While acting, I am trying to speak as aggressively as possible. I sometimes have to shout and show a disheveled appearance in the drama, so I might be able to present more interesting acting than I did in ‘Boys Over Flowers.’”

Kim Hyun Joong, who belongs to the group SS501, had been caught up in controversy over his acting ability due to his rather inaccurate pronunciation. He said, “I am practicing speaking while biting a cork stopper to create more accurate pronunciation. I still feel ashamed when people call me an actor. I am acting as an actor, but it is still more natural for me to stand on the stage as a singer. As I am trying very hard to acquire qualifications to become a real actor, I think that I might be able to say confidently that I am an actor someday in the future. I will be happy if I can hear people’s evaluation saying, ‘He put more effort on acting in this drama than when he appeared in ‘Boys Over Flowers.’”

Kim Hyun Joong had signed an agency contract with Keyeast, in which star Hallyu actor Bae Young Joon is the largest shareholder, last June when his next appearance in a drama had not yet been decided. Kim explained, “I moved to the new agency because I thought that I could get a lot of help for my further activities both as a singer and an actor. I mostly talk about personal matters in conversations with Bae Yong Joon, and I am learning many things about self-management from him.”

Kim Hyun Joong also candidly said, “I actually feel pressured because the drama ‘Mischievous Kiss’ is my first TV appearance after the hit ‘Boys Over Flowers.’ If I say that I have no pressure about the viewer ratings, it would be a lie. It is the same as the activities as a singer. For singers, the second album is more important than the first album, and I think that acting is the exactly the same because the second work is more important than the first work. So, I am trying my best to show a better performance. I know that the competing drama ‘Bread, Love, and Dreams,’ which airs on the different broadcasting station, has high viewer ratings, but I want you to watch my drama because it will be much more exciting and interesting.”

source: KBS Global

[REVIEW]TV series "Naughty Kiss" - First episode

A scene from MBC TV series "Naughty Kiss" [MBC]

"Naughty Kiss" - First episode (MBC TV, 9:55 PM)

The lighting was bright and the colors eye-blindingly brilliant. The picture shown in "Naughty Kiss" was as warm as a spring day, enough to capture the mellow and shy sensitivity teenage girls feel when reading romantic comics. However, a drama is not a painting of a landscape. A drama only comes to life when the people in the picture move about and form relationships. This is why the first episode did not leave any impression other than confirming the skills unique of its producer. During its hour-long run, the drama failed to describe the characters in the show. It was difficult to differentiate whether the character Baek Sung-jo (played by Kim Hyun-joong) was being arrogant or is level-headed and the portrayal of Oh Hani (played by Jung So-min), with her flat personality which is typical of the main female characters in romantic comics, failed to deliver any refreshing elements.

Too add on, there was not a single character including friends, family and teacher who seemed to have been created after much thought into. Even the use of exaggerated and incoherent regional dialect of the reckless and idiotic Bong Jun-gu (played by Lee Tae-sung) was enough to make the viewer feel complacent. Such issues seem even more problematic since "Naughty Kiss" has neither an elaborate plot nor dramatic composition.

The characters are the foundation, pillar and roof to comedies, and even more so in romantic comedies are made of. The colorful spoons in a restaurant, the imagination scenes which are as free as the heart of a female high school student and shiny school grounds will not be enough to capture the hearts of the audience. Because dramas exist due to viewers accepting the made-up lives in dramas as if it is their own business. Before becoming like one's diary which does not matter if left unread, will the drama be able to create a memorable kiss that will leave the viewers wanting to re-watch the show?

Reporter : Yoon Hee-Seong nine@
Editor : Lucia Hong luciahong@
<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

[ Korean Drama 2009 ] Will It Snow For Christmas?

Romance, Melodrama
Episodes: 16

Broadcast network:
Broadcast period:
2009-Dec-02 to 2010-Jan-28
Air time:
Wednesday & Thursday 21:55


Go Soo as Cha Kang Jin
Kim Soo Hyun as Kang Jin (teen)
Han Ye Seul as Han Ji Wan
Nam Ji Hyun as Ji Wan (teen)
Sun Woo Sun as Lee Woo Jung
Song Jong Ho as Park Tae Joon


Cha Kang Jin is the son of barmaid, Cha Chun Hee. His life is difficult as he gets into fights and has to watch other people push his mother around yet he can't do anything to stop it. He meets Han Ji Wan when they were teens but they weren't able to continue their relationship as Ji Wan ran away after her older brother's death. He meets Ji Wan 8 years later when he's attending her engagement ceremony to Park Tae Joon. However, he is heartbroken as Ji Wan pretends to not remember him at all.


Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Will ‘Athena’ Exceeds Popularity of ‘IRIS’?

The spy-action drama “IRIS Season 2 - Athena: Goddess of War,” in which actor Jung Woo sung and actress Soo Ae will appear as the male and female protagonists, will be broadcast from this coming winter in December on SBS. The drama is a spin-off of the original “IRIS” drama and it is based on the original story of the KBS drama “IRIS,“ which had aired last year on KBS. “Athena: Goddess of War” is very similar to the original “IRIS” as the production company Taewon Entertainment, which had produced “IRIS,” will also produce this drama, and it has been equipped with an all-star cast and large-scale action and melodramatic storyline. But the backdrop of the drama has been expanded from the Korean peninsula and Asian countries into the whole world, and the relationships among cast members have become more complicated.

“Athena: Goddess of War” will depict espionage activities of members of the National anti-Terror Service (NTS), the same organization in “IRIS,” fighting against the secret organization named “Athena” concerning the new energy source “TWR.” The drama has become a hot topic as actors who used to appear in movies, such as Jung Woo Sung, Cha Seung Won, and Soo Ae, have been cast as the main protagonists, and it already has begun filming from last June in six different countries including Italy and Japan.

In the preview, which was released in the showcase event held at the Garden stage in Lotte World on August 30, the scenes depicting an explosion and gunfight, which reminded viewers of action movies, filmed in Italy were unveiled to the viewers.

Actor Jung Woo Sung will make a comeback to the small screen after a fifteen-year break since his dramas “1.5” and “Asphalt Man” in 1995. He will play the elite special agent named Lee Jung Woo who will confront the huge shadowy conspiracy. Jung Woo has been transferred from the National Intelligence Service to the NTS, which is the special organization preventing any crisis with international undertakings, as he had been recognized for his excellent strategic performance during his work. At NTS, he meets his former colleague Yoon Hye In (Soo Ae), whom he once loved, and becomes confused after finding out that Hye In had been involved in a secret organization within NTS. In the showcase, Jung Woo Sung said, “In this drama, I have to present both a love story and an action performance. While I had been searching for my next work, I had been informed that this drama was under planning, so I willingly decided to appear in this drama because I thought that it would be a good opportunity to participate in producing a good drama.”

Actor Cha Seung Won will play the heartless character Sohn Hyuk, the head of the branch office of the United States Department of Homeland Security in East Asia, and he also leads the secret organization “Athena,” and confronts Jung Woo Sung in the drama. Cha Seung Won said, “The role that I play is a so-called villain who forms an alignment with a third force to hatch a wicked plot. But as the story of the drama develops, the character will be changed dramatically. This drama is a spy action drama like “IRIS,” but it will contain more various scenes to enjoy watching and it will present a more complicated storyline with various characters. It is not just a simple spy action drama, but a more interesting and exciting spy action drama.”

Actress Soo Ae has shown her pure and graceful beauty so far, will this time transform into a cold-blooded spy. The character whom she will play is a double agent, Yoon Hye In, who belongs to the National anti-Terror Service (NTS) as a profiler and also takes a role within a secret organization as a special agent. She is a character who locks a secret away in her mind. Soo Ae said, “I really enjoyed watching ‘IRIS.’ I had confidence in performing action scenes, and I received the casting request at an appropriate time.”

Actress Lee Ji Ah will play a special agent, Han Jae Hee, who is a colleague of Yoon Hye In. She hides her feelings of love towards Jung Woo, and has to have an inevitable confrontation with Yoon Hye In. Lee explained about the character, whom she will play, by saying, “She is a very rational and thorough person when performing her work, but at the same time, she is very honest in expressing her love.” She added, “I worry, as I heard that my action looked too bloody and spiteful, but actually I had taken much care about performing action scenes not to receive an evaluation saying female actor’s action scenes look too weak.”

Actor Kim Min Jong, who will play a former North Korean intelligence agent coming from a rich labor party named Kim Ki Soo, said, “Kim Ki Soo is a very freewheeling character with manly charms and charisma. There was no indication about a North Korean dialect on the script, but I tried to express the language of a North Korean defector while acting.”

Choi Si Won, a member of the idol group Super Junior, will play a rookie NTS agent named Kim Joon Ho. Choi said, “At first, I was very nervous due to pressure, but as other senior actors are taking care of me as if I am their real nephew, I am filming the drama with no more pressure. Other members of Super Junior are very envious of me about acting together with great senior actors.” He was smiling while making his comments.

In addition, singer BoA and actress Lee Bo Young will appear in “Athena: Goddess of War” as guest stars.

A spokesperson for Taewon Entertainment said, “The story is based on the war on energy, which is not an absurd story, but can happen in the real world. We will attract viewers’ eyes with a solid story line reflecting world policy and a grand scale.”

source: KBS Global