Thursday, August 26, 2010

‘The Slave Hunters’ Wins Seoul International Drama Award

The KBS drama “The Slave Hunters” has won the Grand Prize in the category of Hallyu drama, which was a newly established award from this year, in the Seoul International Drama Awards 2010.

The organizing committee of the Seoul International Drama Awards held a press conference in the Seoul Press Center on August 20 and selected the Grand Prize winner among Hallyu dramas, and “The Slave Hunters” was ultimately chosen as the best Hallyu drama. The actor Jang Hyuk, who appeared in “The Slave Hunters,” and the actor Lee Byung Hun, who appeared in the drama “IRIS,” were chosen as the best actors.

The Slave Hunters” was also awarded in the category of best director (Kwak Jeong Hwan PD), so the drama made the achievement of winning three awards. Actress Ko Hyun Jung in the MBC drama “The Great Queen Seondeok” and Han Hyo Joo in the SBS drama “Brilliant Legacy” were awarded as the best actresses. And the writers of “The Great Queen Seondeok,” Kim Young Hyun and Park Sang Yeon, won the Best Writer awards.

The organizing committee had first decided the nominees among dramas airing from April 1, 2009 to April 30, 2010 (excluding dramas aired in the morning time) considering the recommendations from the Corea Drama Production Association, the Korean Television Actors Association, and the Korean Radio & TV Writers Association, and then they thoroughly examined those selected nominees, which had been exported to more than ten countries, and finally decided the award winners.

The Seoul International Drama Awards, the awards ceremony for dramas all over the world hosted by the organizing committee of the Seoul International Drama Awards and the Korean Broadcasters Association (president Kim In Kyu), is now in its sixth year since its opening in 2005.

The largest number of dramas ever -- 172 dramas from 43 countries -- were entered in this year’s awards. The award ceremony will be held at the KBS Hall on September 10 at 6:35 pm. The awards will be presented by being categorized into the Drama Category, which specify awards for Single Drama, Mini-Series, and Drama Series, and the Individual Category, which will select the Best Director, Best Writer, and Best Actors and Actresses. The Jury’s Special Awards will also be presented.

The organizing committee had first decided the nominees among dramas airing from April 1, 2009 to April 30, 2010 (excluding dramas aired in the morning time) considering the recommendations from the Corea Drama Production Association, the Korean Television Actors Association, and the Korean Radio & TV Writers Association, and then they thoroughly examined those selected nominees, which had been exported to more than ten countries, and finally decided the award winners.

The Seoul International Drama Awards, the awards ceremony for dramas all over the world hosted by the organizing committee of the Seoul International Drama Awards and the Korean Broadcasters Association (president Kim In Kyu), is now in its sixth year since its opening in 2005.

The largest number of dramas ever -- 172 dramas from 43 countries -- were entered in this year’s awards. The award ceremony will be held at the KBS Hall on September 10 at 6:35 pm. The awards will be presented by being categorized into the Drama Category, which specify awards for Single Drama, Mini-Series, and Drama Series, and the Individual Category, which will select the Best Director, Best Writer, and Best Actors and Actresses. The Jury’s Special Awards will also be presented.

source: KBS Global

Drama Tackles ‘Presidency’

A drama is about to tackle the topic of the presidency.

Korean dramas about politics and historical stories had featured the president mainly as a background character so far, but these days the president has been the protagonist of a few mini-series dramas in a row, and the president has suddenly stood out as a “popular job” in dramas.

SBS TV’s new drama “Dae Mul,” which will begin airing from October, and KBS 2TV’s new drama “President,” which will begin airing from December, are stories of politicians who run for the presidency. Both dramas will focus on the process to run for the presidency, and the stories happening after being elected as the president will be unfolded as well. To be specific, the presidential candidate will be the main character, and in the process of running for the presidency, the dramas will portray the job of the president itself and the lifestyle of the president from various angles. The drama “Dae Mul” has cast the actress Ko Hyun Jung as the female protagonist and tells the story of the first female president, and the drama “President” has cast the actor Choi Soo Jong as the protagonist.

◇Showdown of Korean and Japanese original cartoons - Is a former human rights lawyer the ideal president? Both dramas will be produced based on the original cartoons.

The original cartoon of the drama “Dae Mul,” which has the same title and was written by Park In Kwon, tells the story of the first female president of Korea. The former prosecutor Seo Hye Rim runs for the presidency and becomes the elected president after a circuitous path. The drama “President” is based on the Japanese cartoon writer Kaiji kawaguchi’s cartoon entitled “Eagle.” Even though the original is a Japanese cartoon, it deals with the election of the US president because Japan has a prime minister system instead of a presidential system. This drama will be about the protagonist named Jang Il Joon who will run for the presidential election in 2012 for the election of the 18th president of Korea.

As both dramas deal with the presidential election, they will naturally discuss the type of ideal president, and it is very interesting to find that both dramas have chosen human rights lawyers as the protagonists. The character Seo Hye Rim in “Dae Mul” was initially a prosecutor who fought against social evils, and she decided to resign from the prosecutor position after taking the responsibility for arresting a "heavy hitter" who had been the de facto power behind political gangs. After that, she starts to work as a lawyer and gains popularity as a human rights lawyer, and she decides to run for the presidency based on her popularity as a human rights lawyer.

The character Jang Il Joon in “President” is the brightest man who had come from an ordinary family and had been accepted by a prestigious university, majoring the law. In the university, he participated in the student movement during the Yushin regime and came to have a new dream. He gained a good reputation as a human rights lawyer and ran for the National Assembly, and finally succeeded in becoming elected as a member of the National Assembly after his third attempt. After that, he runs for the presidency to create a whole new country where there will be no conflict among people with different ideologies, regional sentiments, and social class.

◇"Telling a story about the President is no longer taboo.” - Before these two dramas, the movie “Good Morning President,” in which the actor Jang Dong Gun appeared, had been a hot topic by setting the president as the protagonist last year. In “Good Morning President,” three presidents, played by Jang Dong Gun, Lee Soon Jae, and Ko Doo Shim, presented humane characters with wit. The movie had shown comical stories about the president, but these new dramas will have more of a political tinge by describing the process of running for the presidency, which is actually a "battlefield without gunfire." That is, those dramas will deal with the president more actively. Production staff members all say that there is no other job as attractive and dramatic job as the presidency.

The production director of “President,” Kim Hyung Il said, “There has been a desire to look at the story of the president closely, and the desire has finally been realized. The fact that we can freely talk about the president in a drama means that our society has become mature.” He continued, “Up until now, any work had been prohibited that dealt with a story about the president, so the president had only been dealt with in documentary programs within dramas set in the Republic era or in stories of unofficial history, but now that has been changed and the atmosphere of society allows any work describing the president, whoever the person is, what kind of worries the president has in mind, and how the president has been living.”

The section chief of the SBS drama, Park Jong, also said, “Our society has become candid enough to allow dramas pick up the subject of the president. Among various incidents, a murder case is the best material to deal with, and among people, the president is the best character to express dramatic settings. For this reason, many foreign movies and dramas have also chosen the president as the protagonist.”

The bellwethers of the change have appeared gradually. In the drama “Lovers In Prague,” the female protagonist, played by the actress Jeon Do Yeon, was a daughter of the president, and the drama presented the humane relationship between father and daughter. In the drama “City Hall,” the male protagonist, played by Cha Seung Won, was a politician dreaming of running for the presidency, and at the end of the drama, the protagonist actually ran for the presidential election. In addition, in the drama “Boys Over Flowers,” actor Lee Jung Kil played a doctor who was once the president of Korea, and enabled viewers to look at the ordinary life of the president after his presidential term. In the drama “IRIS,” the president agonized over the fight against a terrorist organization.

The section chief Park Jong added, “The drama ‘Dae Mul’ will tell a story about the presidential election, but the elements of the melodrama will also be highlighted, so as a whole, the genre of the drama will be the fusion of melodrama and political drama.” In “Dae Mul,” an attractive politician named Kang Hyun Suk and a former Casanova named Ha Ryu will star and be involved in a love triangle with the female presidential candidate, and the love story between them will be covered with much importance.

◇"We are waiting for the great president.” - The consecutive appearances of dramas with the topic of the presidency reflect the desire to have a great president. The production director Kim Hyung Il said, “Apart from the party, the leadership of the president is very important as it will decide the fate of the country. Everyone has a desire to have a great president in Korea, and the drama will channel those wishes into presenting an ideal presidential character in the drama.”

source: KBS Global

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Kim Hyun-joong "Naughty Kiss" to air in Japan starting Dec

Official poster for MBC TV series "Naughty Kiss" [MBC]

SS501 member Kim Hyun-joong starrer "Naughty Kiss" will air in Japan starting December, according to the show's producer on Tuesday.

Park Rae-hyun, in charge of the PR & Promotions team at production company Group 8, told 10Asia over the phone that cable music channel Mnet Japan will broadcast the TV series twice a week in about three months time although additional details have yet to be set.

Park also added that several other countries in Asia are "actively showing interest" in the drama which has been garnering much hype since its casting stages due to its heartthrob male lead.

Kim, already famous as the leader of his popular five-man band and at the height of his career after starring in last year's hit drama "Boys Over Flowers," will play the role of Baek Sung-jo, the all-around Mr. Perfect-type character who ends up falling in love with a girl always getting into trouble, to be played by actress Jung So-min.

Famed director Hwang In-roi will helm the show based on Japanese comic series "Itazura na Kiss," which sold over 27 million copies in Japan and has been made into animation in Japan and a top-rated television drama in Taiwan.

Hwang, who previously directed "Goong" (MBC, 2006) and "The Return of Iljimae" (MBC, 2009), will team with noted television writer Go Eun-nim for the small screen adaptation of the comic.

The romantic comedy will premiere on public network MBC starting September.
Jessica Kim jesskim@
<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

Monday, August 23, 2010

Micky Yoochun Debuts as Actor: ‘I Felt Pressure’

"I had felt pressure before I began acting.” -Micky Yoochun

In the production presentation of the KBS drama “SungKyunKwan Scandal,” which was held at the W Hotel located in Kwangjingu on August 17, Micky Yoochun confessed that he had felt pressure before he had made his debut as an actor. He seemed to be nervous as he said, “If the feeling was just the pressure that people tend to feel when they start something new, I would have felt glad, but it was more likely the pressure coming from the stress; I had a heavy heart before I began acting.”

Micky Yoochun will take a shot as an actor for the first time by playing the role of Lee Sun Joon, the only son in a noble family during the era of King Jeongjo in the Chosun dynasty. Sun Joon is a principled person with the sprit of scholarly fidelity and he combines both a good appearance and knowledge.

Micky Yoochun revealed that he himself had an open-minded and liberal personality, so he was far from a principled person, but when he considered that Sun Joon felt pressured from something unknown, he could say that he might be very similar to the character Sun Joon. He said, “The reason why Sun Joon had become a principled person was his father. I felt empathy with Sun Joon, who was feeling pressured by his surroundings. I also had felt pressure from my work so far. It was not the pressure originating from the feeling as a star singer, but it was more like the feeling that I was losing myself, which was not what I wanted to and intended to. But, I could reduce the pressure while I was acting. Right now, I am feeling very pleasant because I can act and involuntarily fall into acting while filming this drama.”

Since his debut in 2004, he has kept the top place as a member of the most popular male singing group, so adjusting to acting was not an easy task for him at all.

Micky Yoochun said, “As I am acting for the first time, I feel that acting for filming is totally different from acting for practicing. Expressing emotions is very difficult, but at the same time, it is very exciting. When I learned how to perform action scenes from the action director, I could picture the action scenes in my mind like dance choreography. But, as I cannot express the movement like the choreography, I tried my best to perform the actions like a real character by accepting advice from the action director.”

Regarding the name that he used in the drama title, Park Yoochun, he said, “I do not think that you need to differentiate the singer Micky Yoochun in the group Dong Bang Shin Ki from the actor Park Yoochun.”

And he did not hide his longing to stand on the stage as a singer. He said, “Not long ago, I held a concert in Japan and I could hold the microphone for a long interval after that. At that time, I felt a longing for the stage and singing. I really miss performances as a singer, and I still cannot get over the feeling of longing. My fans might have to wait for a long time from now on, and I hope that they will just enjoy this situation instead of thinking that they are waiting for me.”

Micky Yoochun said that he did not have any specific character that he wanted to play because he just wanted to be devoted to whatever role that he takes.

He said, "I have never cared about the viewer ratings. It is my first time, so I am very nervous. It would be very good if the ratings reach as high as fifteen percent. I do not have any desire for an award, but as I have already felt as a singer, I do not want to be listed as a nominee for any award if I do not win that award (laugh). But if I can win a prize with acting, the feeling would be very good and something new.”

source: KBS Global

Friday, August 13, 2010

[ Korean Drama 2009 ] You're Beautiful / Minami Shineyo

Romance, Comedy
Episodes: 16

Broadcast network:
Broadcast period:
2009-Oct-07 to 2009-Nov-26
Air time:
Wednesday & Thursday 21:55


Jang Geun Suk as Hwang Tae Kyung
Kang Soo Han as young Tae Kyung
Park Shin Hye as Go Mi Nam (Male) / Go Mi Nyu (Female)
Lee Hong Ki as Kang On Yu / Jeremy
Jung Yong Hwa as Kang Shin Woo


The management company of the idol group A.N.JELL insisted on adding a new singer to the group as the lead vocal, Tae Kyung's voice was hurting. However,the new member, Mi Nam, had to go to the States to repair a botched eye job just before signing the contract. His agent came up with the idea of having his twin sister, Mi Nyu,to stand in for him and pretend that she was her brother. The two of them grew up in an orphanage and Mi Nyu, who was all set to become a nun, agreed to this charade as she didn't want to spoil her brother's chance of fame which would make it easier to look for their mother.


BoA to make special appearance in TV series "Athena"

Korean pop star BoA [SM Entertainment]

Korean pop star BoA will be making a special guest appearance in the spin-off of last year's blockbuster drama "IRIS," according to her agency SM Entertainment on Wednesday.

SM announced in a press release that in upcoming action drama "Athena," BoA will be playing the role of a top female singer who will be faced with a hostage situation by terrorists before her concert, while being protected by her bodyguard Jung-woo (played by Jung Woo-sung).

BoA's scenes for "Athena" will be shot in mid-August and go on air after the show's premiere in November on major broadcaster SBS.

"Athena," featuring other cast members Cha Seung-won, Soo Ae, E Ji-ah, and Kim Min-jongChoi Si-won of idol group Super Junior, will be about terrorist acts and threats against the Korean Peninsula and the whole world.

The drama finished filming on location in Italy last month and will continue on into Japan, New Zealand, Singapore and Switzerland.

BoA does not have any previous acting experience but was recently cast as the female lead in a Hollywood dance film which will be written and helmed by famed screenwriter Duane Adler. Filming for the dance flick will begin early next year in the U.S.

BoA made her singing debut at the age of 13 and known as the first Korean artist to make a breakthrough into the Japanese music scene.

She made her comeback to the Korean music scene for the first time in five years with her sixth studio release "Hurricane Venus" last week.

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

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Star couple seeks to lure more fans with new soap

A scene from “My Girlfriend is a Gumiho.” Singer-turned-actor Lee Seung-gi and actress Synn Min-a will appear in the upcoming drama “My Girlfriend is a Gumiho.” The 16-episode romantic series about a stuntman-wannabe and a legendary fox with nine-tails starts airing tonight at 9:55 p.m. on SBS.

By Han Sang-hee

Television fans all recognize singer and actor Lee Seung-gi for his perfect guy-next-door image with a sweet smile and attractive personality but can he pull off a stuntman wannabe university student who has a thing for mysterious creatures?

The makers of the new drama "My Girlfriend is a Gumiho’’ (working title) would want a yes for an answer, as he is matching up with actress Synn Min-a and aiming to create yet another successful romantic drama series for television viewers.

"My Girlfriend is a Gumiho" is like a gift box: It has funny, heartwarming and even heartbreaking elements all in one shot. We are all sure the series will be able to offer a bit of happiness to viewers,’’ Bu Seong-cheol, the producer, said during a press conference last week at SBS headquarters, in Mok-dong, northern Seoul.

The storyline is simple: Cha Dae-wung, played by Lee, accidently wakes up the legendary gumiho, or the nine-tailed fox, that seeks revenge and lives on human flesh and livers. Surprisingly, the fox/human is nothing like the legendary character that appears in ghost stories, but a cute and clueless girl who prefers hanwoo, homegrown cattle beef, and is searching for true love with a man who will love her despite her haunting condition. Lee, not knowing what to do with the gorgeous "monster,’’ helps her along her journey of soul searching and looking for love and discovers his true feelings for her.

"The gumiho in the drama is so innocent and pure that she seems a bit dumb. It was hard for me to act because it was a character I have never experienced,’’ Synn said.

It will take a bit more than effort to perfectly bring out the role assigned to her, as Synn is better known as an advertisement star here, complete with the looks, body and charms. She may have appeared in various dramas and films for the past 12 years since her debut, but it’s hard to pinpoint a memorable character or work that establishes and highlights her acting career. Amid the ongoing worries and criticism, the 26-year-old admitted her lack of acting experience on both the small and big screens.

"I may have been criticized for not being fully devoted to my acting because of the numerous commercials I worked on, but that’s something I will have to develop and prove to viewers in the future. I hope to break that stereotype of me through 'My Girlfriend is a Gumiho,’’’ she said.

Fellow actor Lee will also have to break from his usual image of being the ultimate good guy in order to transform himself into a true actor.

He started out as a singer in 2004, but he was given the chance to prove his versatility through the popular drama "Brilliant Legacy’’ (2009, SBS). From there, he became one of the most sought after commercial star and hosts, appearing in various ads for home appliances, beverages and clothing brands and hit shows such as "One Night Two Days’’ (KBS) and "Strong Heart’’ (SBS).

"I was not the one and only person who made the popular shows popular. The most important thing was teamwork and I think I was lucky in that area. I think this drama will also be a success as we all have great teamwork,’’ he said.

Teamwork will be needed, indeed, but will Lee be able to bring something new to the table aside from his signature smile and smooth emceeing, and try to work on his overall acting for a change?
"I believe I’m not the only one who wants to discover a new image of me, something completely different from the old `Lee.’ My previous work for `Brilliant Legacy’ was a bit more serious than this one and I will do my best to bring out a more comical and cute character this time,’’ Lee added.

Written by the writers for hit soaps such as "My Girl’’ (2005, SBS) and "Couple or Trouble’’ (2006, MBC) Hong Jeong-eun and Hong Mi-ran, the drama will hopefully reach to the top as a trendy and fun soap with catchy characters.
The 16-episode "My Girlfriend is a Gumiho’’ starts airing tonight at 9:55 p.m. on SBS.


Thursday, August 05, 2010

Who Will Be Action Queen?

Actresses will have a showdown while performing wild action sequences in TV dramas to be aired in the second half of Fthis year.

In the SBS TV drama “Athena: Goddess of War,” actress Soo Ae (30) and Lee Ji Ah (29) will play heroines; in the SBS TV drama “Secret Garden,” actress Ha Ji Won (32) will be a female warrior; and in the KBS 2TV drama “The Fugitive,” actress Lee Na Young will play an amazon.

The special agents in National anti-Terror Service, Soo Ae and Lee Ji Ah

Soo Ae and Lee Ji Ah will play special agents in the National anti-Terror Service (NTS) in the drama “Athena: Goddess of War,” which will begin airing in November, and they will have a head-to-head showdown in the drama. Soo Ae will play double agent Yoon Hye In, who belongs to the National anti-Terror Service (NTS) as a female profiler and also takes a role within a secret organization as a special agent. Soo Ae has revealed her pure and graceful beauty until now, but this time, she will transform into a cold-blooded killer and will perform difficult action scenes in the drama.

Lee Ji Ah will play a special agent and Yoon Hye In’s colleague, Han Jae Hee. She is a first tier special agent who had worked in the National anti-Terror Service's (NTS) branch office in Europe and comes back to the headquarters in Korea. When she appeared in MBC TV's “The Legend,” which is her debut drama, she had already been given a challenge in performing action scenes by playing the role named Soojini, and she will show off her action performances in this drama once again.

The two actresses had trained for two months in an action acting school, and they recently began filming the drama at six overseas locations starting from Italy and moving to countries like Switzerland, Singapore, New Zealand, and Japan. “Athena: Goddess of War,” which is a spin-off of last year’s original and popular drama "IRIS," will portray the remarkable activities of NTS agents fighting against the international terrorist organization called Athena. Actor Jung Woo Sung and Cha Seung Won have been cast as the male protagonists.

Ha Ji Won to perform as stunt woman

Actress Ha Ji Won has already consolidated her position as a top actress utilizing physical movement, and she is expected to transform into a stunt woman in the drama “Secret Garden,” which will be broadcast around November. The casting has not yet been decided, but the production staff members are trying to cast Ha Ji Won without considering other actresses for the role. A spokesperson for the production company said, “We are preparing for the drama having only Ha Ji Won in mind for the role, and we expect to have good news if we can adjust the filming schedule.”

At this moment, Ha Ji Won is participating in filming the 3D movie “Section 7.” When she appeared in the previous movies “Sex Is Zero” and ”Miracle On 1st Street,” she played the roles of an aerobic dancer and boxer, respectively, and she also successfully performed the action scenes in the movie “Duelist “ and the MBC TV drama “Damo.”

“Secret Garden” will portray the fantasy melodrama between the owner of a department store (Jang Hyuk) and a stunt woman named Gil Ra Im, and Ha Ji Won is expected to showcase various stunt action scenes in every episode. The spokesperson said, “We will show the stunt woman’s remarkable activities in details. As Ha Ji Won is a ‘prepared female warrior,’ we do not worry about her stunt acting.”

Unidentified official, Lee Na Young

Actress Lee Na Young will make a comeback with the KBS 2TV drama “The Fugitive,” which will begin airing at the end of September, after a six year break by playing a secret official named Jin Yi. A spokesperson for the production company said, “Jin Yi belongs to a national organization, but the title of the organization has to be kept a secret, and Jin Yi’s mission is also a secret in the drama.”

A romantic comedy action drama, “The Fugitive” will tell a story of an astronomical amount of money which had disappeared during the Korean War and resurfaced some sixty years later in 2010. Jin Yi is an unpredictable character showing off a beauty characterized by purity and sexiness at the same time. When she is chasing the vanished money, she shoots guns, fights barehanded against the enemy, and sometimes jumps from high buildings. Lee Na Young has usually played calm roles so far, but this time, she will challenge herself by performing action scenes. The drama, which has cast star actors including Rain and Daniel Henney, will film dynamic and realistic chase scenes in overseas locations such as Japan, Hong Kong, China, and Macao.

source: KBS Global