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Romantic Fantasy Transcending Time

Posted March. 18, 2003 23:06,   


“We put more focus on young and beautiful actors and actresses crisscrossing the screen,˝ said producer Lee Gwan-hee. ˝It may well be seen as a risky attempt for a TV series but I wanted to make something new and fresh by trying something unusual.˝

He cast Sung Yu-ri (a princess from Baekje Dynasty), a member of popular female vocal group `F.I.K.L,` model-turned actor Kim Nam-jin who makes his TV debut (a spy from Shilla Dynasty), beauty peasant winner-turned actress Kim Sa-rang (a concubine of Baekje king) and young-generation actor So Ji-seop (a general from Baekje Dynasty).

˝When I was doing MBC`s `Equally Matched` last time, I prepared myself for each scene thinking `I have to do this way and that way,` but this time I imagined `what if I were her,˝ said Sung, adding ˝I see my problem of childlike voice, however.˝

In a demo tape released to reporters on March 17th, she indeed carries the same voice that comes with strong nasal sound in different scenes that require expression of different emotions. She sounds just the same when she speaks `Who you are?` `How dare you put your hand...,` and `I don`t think I can see you any more after tonight`.

Producer Lee Gwan-hee, however gave her a big encouragement by saying ˝She has capabilities for tears, action and humor. She reminds me of actress Shim Eun-ha. There is much room for her to grow up.˝

Sung practiced horse riding and marshal art a month before shooting. She had to also recite her lines and investigated her character watching such movies as `Crouching Tiger and Hidden Dragon`, `Bi Cheon Mu` and `Gingko Tree Bed`. She did the scene, in which she rides on a running horse, without a stunt.

The series is called a `fantasy drama.` It uses computer graphics for the great landscape of Nakhwa Cliff and the magnificent standing of the palace. Yet, viewers will see the tragic love set in the old Korea only in the first and second part of the 20-sequal series.

After the second part, the characters are born again in present-day Korea. Then, Sung, the only one remembering the past, will meet the two men from her past and gets involved in a love-and-hate relationship.

˝We thought it would be hard to carry on an focused story coming and going between the past and the present,˝ said the production team. ˝It is a modern trendy drama in general.˝

Producer Lee Gwan-hee worked with Lee Sun-mi and Kim Gi-ho couple again after `the Man in Crisis` in March last year. And it remains to be seen whether the new series will serve well to viewers increasingly growing tired of both modern and old-day dramas or will be ignored as an eccentric mixture.

Seung-Jae Lee sjda@donga.com