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Glimpses of Actors from "Overzealous Merchants" During Breaks

The KBS TV2 weekend drama "Overzealous Merchants" is like a source of energy to viewers. But what do its actors do when they have short breaks during the shoot?

Take a look.

# The secret to looking beautiful lies in hard work.


▲ Chae Jung-an, who plays charismatic sales queen "Jae-hee," fixes her smoky makeup during the break.

She said, "I chose the smoky makeup look to make a stronger impression. But it requires a lot of work. I got into the habit of fixing it often to prevent smudges."


▲ Cho Yoon-hee, who plays a cute insurance company worker, also checks her attire during the break. She pays particular attention to her attire because her character moves a lot and is very vibrant.

# Taking pictures is the best way to have fun during free time!


▲ Lee Won-joong, whose character shows the essence of being a good merchant, was caught taking pictures of himself.


▲ It can only be fun when people enjoy striking poses!

Han Ye-won, who plays "Ji-oh," smiles and makes the V-gesture whenever she sees a camera.


▲ Striking affectionate poses is also fun during short breaks.

# Studying acting with zest to become "overzealous merchants"...


Park Hae-jin, who plays "Ha-ryu," is engrossed in acting these days. He is always surrounded by veteran actors.

Thanks to the zest and hard work of its cast, this drama has received rave reviews from viewers.


▲ The ability to act naturally is acquired through hard work.

These actors spare no effort to better understand their characters. Perhaps that's why viewers speak highly about their acting skills.

The filming set overflows with positive energy thanks to actors who, despite their busy schedules, take the lead in setting a good mood.

"Overzealous Merchants," which is about people who aspire to become top salespeople in Korea, airs on Saturdays at 10:20 p.m. and on Sundays at 10:30 p.m. on KBS TV2. Don't miss it!

By Jin Young-joo, KBSi

Source: YZOO Creative

All Rights Reserved ⓒ KBS & KBSi

Source : KBS Global

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Kim Min-Jung's Role on TV Soap in Jeopardy


Actress Kim Min-jung

Kim Min-jung's injury could jeopardize her appearance as the lead actress in the TV soap ``Hero,'' which is due to air Nov. 9 on MBC, Yonhap News reported Monday.

According to a staff member of the television series, Kim said she was considering leaving the cast.

``Kim felt responsible for the show and was determined to do whatever it would take to act, but her recovery rate is very slow and she is in a great deal of pain, and is facing a major dilemma," Kim's management agency was quoted as saying.

The makers of the TV series held a meeting over the weekend but have yet to reach a final decision.

``It's quite the predicament with the program slated to air in less than a week, but we're afraid of even bigger damages if we carry on shooting,'' said Kim's representative.

The 27-year-old was diagnosed early last month with calcific tendinitis, a condition characterized by crystalline calcium phosphate deposits on the tendons, which causes pain and inflammation, in her right arm. She reportedly is unable to use it.

The actress suffered the injury while shooting the baseball melodrama ``Strike Love'' in April, but chose to neglect it and went on to train at an action school for the upcoming show, aggravating her condition. She was unable to attend the press conference for ``Hero'' that took place on Oct. 23.

About 30 percent of her tendon is damaged and half of the crystalline calcium phosphate deposits remain, and her arm is very swollen, said the agency.

She is currently receiving laser therapy since surgery would leave a scar. ``They said she would recover after four or five sessions but there hasn't been much improvement after three. We're squeezing in one more session for the shoot, but we will have to wait and see if there are any good results,'' said the agency.

``Hero'' is about Jin Do-hyeok, a reporter for a third-rate paper (to be played by Lee Joon-gi), trying to make it big in the news world. Kim is supposed to play the role of a tough police officer who becomes romantically involved with Jin Do-hyeok. It's a role that requires action sequences.

Credits : Lee Hyo-won, Staff Reporter (hyowlee@koreatimes.co.kr)

Source : The Korea Times

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Actor Wins Legal Battle Over Unpaid Guarantees


Actor Park Shin-yang

Top actor Park Shin-yang Monday won a legal victory in his efforts to get the production firm for "War of Money," which he starred in, to pay him a guaranteed fee.

The Seoul High Court upheld a lower court ruling and ordered the production firm to pay 380 million won it had promised for extra appearances Park made in the popular television series.

"Although the guarantees promised in the extra contract were three times that paid for Park's appearances in the original contract, the signing of the contract didn't involve anything that was seen as being illegal," the court said.

Park appeared in the television series at the end of 2006 based on a contract that promised him 45 million won for each of 16 installments. When the SBS series was a success, the production company and Park agreed on four extra episodes in which Park appeared for 600 million won in total. Park took legal action when the production firm failed to pay him as promised.

Credits : foolsdie@koreatimes.co.kr

Source : The Korea Times

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Yoon Sang-hyun to perform at Tokyo music fest


Korean actor Yoon Sang-hyun [MGB Entertainment]

Korean actor Yoon Sang-hyun is set to perform at an Asian music festival in Tokyo, according to his agency on Tuesday.

The actor will sing three songs, including "Neverending Story", at the PAX MUSICA 2009-Asian Pops Platinum Live with other Asian pop artists on October 8, MGB Entertainment said in a press release.

Yoon made the Korean pop classic "Story" popular again after singing the song in the hit TV series "Queen of Housewives", which co-starred actress Kim Nam-joo.

The 36-year-old actor rose to fame after appearing on the MBC drama "Housewives", which is currently airing in Japan.

PAX MUSICA, founded in 1984, is the first Asian music festival and has featured performances from top Asian musicians over the years including Korea's Cho Yong-pil and Japan's Tanimura Shinji.

This year, the line-up for Korean artists includes Shin Seung-hoon, Oak Joo-hyun, Son Ho-young and idol group Choshinsung.

Reporter : Lynn Kim lynn2878@asiae.co.kr

<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

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Korean Wave 'Sweeps N.Korea'

North Koreans enjoy watching South Korean soap operas as much as anyone across Asia, a recent defector told Time magazine. "Many people watch them in secret, even when the police have tried to stop it," he is quoted as saying in the magazine's latest edition.

"In recent years, bootlegged South Korean dramas have been flooding into the northern neighbor -- part of a recent explosion across Asia in the popularity of South Korean TV shows and music known as the Korean Wave."

"On the black market in North Korea, American DVDs go for about $0.35; South Korean ones go for $3.75," the weekly said. "Foreign films are allowed to be shown in some contexts, such as the Pyongyang International Film Festival held every other fall, and in recent weeks state television has occasionally shown Disney films like Snow White, Cinderella and Robin Hood. But a wide selection of foreign films have always been available to the country's elites, having been smuggled in before the 1990s, though never at the rate that happens now."


Secretly distributing or watching South Korean soaps is a crime equivalent to "promoting the ideology of the enemy state." North Korean authorities have recently launched a massive crackdown on "North Korean university students, the movies' biggest audience, and smugglers at the Chinese border," it said.

The most recent crackdown began in September, after authorities caught a group of students in a university computer lab watching the new South Korean disaster film "Haeundae," according to a Seoul-based defectors' organization.

"Ten years ago, that particular crime carried a sentence of five years in a prison camp; today, enemy-propaganda watchers are usually handed a sentence of three months or less of unpaid labor," Time said. "The shift may not have been an ideological one," but "the regime made the decision because it couldn't afford to send so many people to prison camps," it speculated.

"When students are caught, they buy cigarettes for police officers to escape labor sentences, and sometimes even give officers the bootleg to watch themselves." One North Korean university student in Seoul is quoted as saying, "I used to believe strongly what the government told us -- that foreign films are crazy and violent. We used to be terrified of watching South Korean dramas... But I've opened my mind."

"It's silly to say North Koreans are so naive that they think South Korean dramas represent actual life in South Korea. They know it's entertainment," said Simon Cockerell, the general manager of Koryo Tours in Beijing, which leads tour groups to North Korea.

Source : englishnews@chosun.com



North Koreans fall in love with South Korean dramas

North Koreans might not be allowed physical contact with the outside world, but many of them indirectly get a taste of freedom from illegal movies and soap operas smuggled in from other countries.

Time magazine reported on Oct. 29 on the rising popularity of foreign films in North Korea, especially South Korean dramas.

Myung Chul-jin, a 43-year-old North Korean living in Seoul, told the magazine about the trend. He recalls the happy moments in Pyongyang when friends gathered to watch smuggled Korean soap operas and Hollywood films like "Superman Returns" and "Titanic." "North Koreans love foreign dramas," says Myung, and continued, "Many people watch them in secret, even when the police have tried to stop it."

According to the article, bootlegged South Korean dramas have been flooding into North Korea as South Korean TV shows and music gain explosive popularity across Asia. Due to the higher risk of execution for smuggling, the South Korean DVDs in are much more expensive than other foreign films on the black market. Korean films cost up to $3.75, while American DVDs go for 35 cents. Despite the higher price, South Korean films and dramas have become so widespread across North Korea that the government launched a crackdown this fall on university students -- the biggest audience -- and smugglers at the Chinese border.

Myung analyzes the government's strict reaction towards the films by saying, "The government is terrified of the ideas North Koreans are getting about the outside world."

"The people are starting to ask, 'Why are we poor?' And they point to South Korea."

Not all the foreign films are banned. Certain movies are allowed to be shown in some contexts. For example, the Pyongyang International Film Festival is held every other fall, and in recent weeks, Disney animations like "Snow White," "Cinderella" and "Robin Hood" have been shown on state television.

The punishment for watching South Korean films has been loosened in recent years. According to two refugees in Seoul, that particular crime carried a sentence of five years in a prison camp ten years ago; today, enemy-propaganda watchers are handed with a sentence of three months or less of unpaid labor.

Credits : Hwang Aesol (csa919@gmail.com)

Source : The Korea Herald

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Hallyu Stars to Stage Special Show in Tokyo


Heartthrobs Lee Byung-hun, Jang Dong-gun, Song Seung-hun and Won Bin will take part in a special ``hallyu'' (Korean Wave) festival in Tokyo in December, Yonhap News reported Monday.

The event, to take place Dec. 17 at Tokyo Dome, will be directed by renowned Japanese writer-producer Yasushi Akimoto. The four actors will give a theatrical performance set to an audiovisual piece by acclaimed Korean director Hur Jin-ho (``A Good Rain Knows'').

The four 30-something stars, who are known to be good friends, are said to have initiated the project, wanting to do ``something fun and unprecedented.''

Lee (``I Come With the Rain''), who became popular in Asian countries through TV soaps such as ``All In,'' said he was was ``happy to meet fans through a special production before the end of the year.''

Jang (``Good Morning President''), who rose to stardom through appearances in dramas like ``All About Eve,'' and Song, who garnered local fans in melodramas such as ``Autumn Fairytale,'' said they were looking forward to meeting Japanese fans after a long hiatus.

Won, whose critically acclaimed thriller ``Mother'' recently opened in Japanese theaters, also expressed enthusiasm for the unconventional project.

The top stars will also introduce fans to their latest films and TV dramas and take part in an interview session.

Credits : Lee Hyo-won, hyowlee@koreatimes.co.kr

Source : The Korea Times

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Kim Min-jung leaves "Hero"


Actress Kim Min-jung [J1ENT]

Actress Kim Min-jung has withdrawn from playing her role opposite Hallyu star Lee Jun-ki in MBC TV series "Hero", a week before its premiere.

The 27-year-old actress had been set to play the lead female role in "Hero", but decided to pull out due to an arm injury which has made it impossible for her to participate in shoots, an official at broadcaster MBC said on Tuesday.

Kim had suffered the injury while shooting drama "Strike Love" in April which developed into a calcific tendinitis, a condition of calcium deposits within the rotator cuff tendons.

Her agency said the actress cannot move her arm properly due to the condition and will have to undergo continuous treatment and therapy. The injury had also kept the 27-year-old actress from attending a press conference for the drama two weeks ago.

"Hero", about a group of youngsters who rebel and fight against a corrupt society, is set to air starting November 11.

Kim was to play the part of Joo Jae-in, a police officer on a homicide team who becomes romantically involved with Jin Do-hyeok, played by Lee Jun-ki who stars as a reporter at a third-rate newspaper.

Reporter : Park So-yoen <muse@asiae.co.kr>

Editor : Jessica Kim <jesskim@asiae.co.kr>

<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

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Big Bang's "Iris" OST to be released Wed


Boy band Big Bang [YG Entertainment]

Boy band Big Bang's soundtrack to hit TV series "Iris" will be released tomorrow, according to the drama's production company on Tuesday.

"Hallelujah", sung by the five-member idol group, will be used for the actions scenes in the blockbuster spy drama, Taewon Entertainment said in a press release.

Big Bang recorded the song particularly in support of member TOP who appears as a sniper named Vick in the Wednesday and Thursday night drama.

The song was written by Big Bang leader G-Dragon and jointly composed by the singer and Teddy, who has penned many of hit songs for their agency YG Entertainment's artists including the boy band and girl group 2NE1.

Several of South Korea's top actors including Lee Byung-hun, Kim Tae-hee and Jung Jun-ho star in "Iris" which has seen its ratings gain every week since its premiere in mid-October to stand at nearly 30 percent.

Jessica Kim jesskim@asiae.co.kr

<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

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Nov.03, 2009


Asiana Int'l Short Film Festival to Open Thursday

The Asiana International Short Film Festival (AISFF), the only film festival in Korea to have a competition category for international short films, will be held at Cine Cube in Gwanghwamun, downtown Seoul, from Thursday until Tuesday next week.

With total prize money of W43 million, the 7th AISFF this year drew the event's largest number of entries from the greatest number of countries -- a total of 2,027 films from 82 countries.

The final selection was pared to 79 films from 32 countries, which will be screened for six days in seven categories. The opening films are an Argentine animation, "The Employment," and a French short film, "WU." For further information, visit the festival's website at www.aisff.org

Source : englishnews@chosun.com

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Yoon Kye-sang's 'Leftist' Remarks Cause Online Stir


Actor Yoon Kye-sang

Actor Yoon Kye-sang, a former member of now-disbanded idol boy group G.O.D., is causing a stir on the Internet for his remarks that the Korean movie circle is dominated by "leftists."

In a recent interview with GQ Korea magazine, Yoon said, "The Korean movie circle is basically left-leaning, and very hostile to (an idol-turned actor)." He also said, "What I mean by leftists is that they are very closed. I don't care even if the word causes misunderstandings. I'm saying that as I myself experienced it."

However, as his remarks ignite disputes among Internet users, Yoon posted Monday an apologetic letter under the title of "A Shameful Day" on an online cafe of his fans.

"I'm really ashamed of my ignorance. I'm sorry to my fans," Yoon said. "Frankly speaking, I have wrongly understood the meaning of the word `leftist.' The word has no political connotation. And at the same time, I don't have any prejudice against the movie circle."

Yoon also said he will "have to think by himself a lot."

Despite his apology, netizens are posting comments critical of his remarks, indicating that the disputes involving his remarks are unlikely to subside soon.

The controversy and apology came as his new movie "The Executioner," about people on death row and executioners, is to be released Thursday across the nation. Yoon plays the role of a prison guard in the movie directed by Choi Jin-ho.

Yoon debuted on the big screen in 2004 in Byeon Yeong-joo's movie "Flying Boys," where he co-starred with Ha Jeong-woo.

Credits : Cho Jae-hyon (chojh@koreatimes.co.kr)

Source : The Korea Times

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Kim So-yeon in "Iris" - Part 1

The female warrior Sun-wha from KBS drama "Iris"

Car chases, shoot-outs and bed scenes. KBS TV series “Iris” has been grabbing viewers’ attention from the start with its daring sideshows. The all-star cast, including Lee Byung-hun, Kim Tae-hee, Jung Joon-ho and Kim Seung-woo, boasts an enormous scale that one would have thought impossible to put together. But in between the glamorous moments of the drama, actress Kim So-yeon catches our eyes with a clean-cut look and clear character. Playing the role of North Korean agent Kim Sun-wha, she cut her trademark long hair and worked hard to shoot all the action scenes while suffering injuries. But she focuses more on the inner depth than the outward appearance of her character. She said she is happy and excited about “the things I’ll be showing you in the future”. <10Asia> met with Kim So-yeon, who has long dreamed to play the sad and beautiful female warrior that has never before been portrayed in a Korean drama.

10: You have been in shooting for quite a while now. Is the atmosphere on set pretty loose?

Kim So-yeon (Kim): I was cast in February and started shooting in March. We shot exactly half of the drama right before it aired. (laugh) It’s a drama that relies heavily on action scenes rather than the story, so there’s still a lot of stuff that I need to do. Many dramas wrap up with a weak ending, but the directors on “Iris” are determined to do everything til the end so it’s a little exhausting.

10: You have two directors. Most people would think director Kim Kyu-tae would be responsible for mise-en-scene, while director Yang Yoon-ho would be in charge of the drama’s big scale. (laugh)

Kim: In general, that’s true but they are both very meticulous about mise-en-scene. (laugh) The two sets of the crew have been named “Team K” and “Team Y” after the directors’ last names. Both teams have their own color. “Team K” has a warm charisma and is always filled with quiet laughter. When you shoot in that kind of atmosphere, you feel like you’re soaking into that as well. As for “Team Y”, director Yang is such a cool man. He has a loud voice, gives clear directions and makes his actors feel really comfortable. The atmosphere is very lively and you feel like you’ve accomplished something when you finish shooting.

10: You have been shooting for a while, so the actors must have pretty good chemistry with one another.

Kim: The guys are all so funny that we became close very quickly. Jung Joon-ho is really funny, but he himself never laughs. (laugh) Kim Seung-woo is a really good person. It was very touching when he told me and Tae-hee, “We are going to make you feel moved at least once, and after you finish shooting, you are going to think that you did good at least once." Lee Byung-hun is an awesome actor and I found out he has a very fun personality. Tae-hee has the image of a prim and proper girl, but she’s very hard-working and nice.

10: I heard that your first shoot was abroad.

Kim: I started shooting in Japan. Tae-hee and I had a huge action scene together at the end of the Japan shoot, so we practiced every night in the meeting room. Lee Byung-hun had to do car action and jump off a dam, so it was pretty tough for him. The shoot finished after a month and on the last day, it felt almost like a wrap-up party. (laugh) But after that, we had just as much to do in Korea, then in Hungary, and we had to do more shoots on location in China. The tough work never ended.

10: You did a lot of shooting abroad. Did you have any lines in the local language?

Kim: Tae-hee had some lines in Japanese, and I had a scene in the first episode where I had to speak Hungarian. It’s a completely different language than English and it was totally unfamiliar, so I could never get it right no matter how I hard I tried to imitate it. I went through so much pain for just one sentence that I don’t think I will ever forget that line. It was an important scene, so I was very stressed out about it and messed up a lot of takes. I ended up crying after we finished shooting. That rarely happens for me.

10: I heard you had a lot of problems with the props as well.

Kim: There was a scene where I had to hold a long rifle to kill Hyun-joon (played by Lee Byung-hun) and it weighed about eight kilograms. We couldn’t get one in Korea so I practiced for the scene with a plastic gun. But on set, I got the real rifle sent from Germany. It was heavy, but it was turquoise and very pretty. (laugh) They wouldn’t even let you touch the gun freely unless you were the person in charge, so there was a lot of tension, the gun was so heavy and the scene was a long one. I ended up becoming a zombie. I always put all my strength into the first take, but I was so disappointed and frustrated that I kept getting the lines wrong, even though I had rehearsed them a thousand times.


Scenes from the TV series "Iris" [KBS]

10: How were the other action scenes? I heard there were some injuries -- weren’t you scared to shoot after you got hurt?

Kim: Everybody had a hard time because the action scenes were so intense. Lee Byung-hun had a poultice all over his body, but I was the only one who got in the headlines because many of my injuries were very visible. (laugh) When you’re shooting a scene where you have to punch or kick someone, it’s hard to control yourself when you’re too focused. And it gets even harder when you’re trying to do it right on the first take. (laugh) I think I can control about 30 percent of my strength. And it looks better on screen too. I’m still learning how to do action scenes.

10: You must have undergone a decent amount of training before going into shoot.

Kim: I usually don’t exercise, so it was hard trying to get used to the massive workouts. I also had to gain a lot of fat in the beginning and do physical strength training. I learned taekwondo and kung-fu too. I would get home and fall asleep without even taking off my makeup because I was so tired. It was exhausting but fun. I wanted the part so badly and that desire overtook the pain.

Reporter : Yoon Hee-Seong nine@10asia.co.kr

Photographer : Chae ki-won ten@10asia.co.kr

Editor : Lee Ji-Hye seven@10asia.co.kr

Editor : Lynn Kim lynn2878@asiae.co.kr

<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

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Kim So-yeon in "Iris" - Part 2

10: Why were you so attracted to this role?

Kim: I was thirsty for a role like this.

10: You mean a character with action scenes?

Kim: Not just the action but a character with a strong image. I really love Angelina Jolie from movies like "Wanted" or "Tomb Raider", where she looked fantastic as a sleek, sexy woman running around with a gun. I have strong features too so I thought I would look good carrying a gun or playing a detective role. That was when I got the synopsis for "Iris" and the role of Kim Sun-wha. There were only about five or six lines written about her character at the time but I really wanted to play her.


10: What parts about the character did you find attractive in that brief explanation?

Kim: I didn't feel that she was a "brief" character as shown in the synopsis. I felt like she was so much more, and the part did change a lot during re-writes of the script. In the beginning, there was no romance between Hyun-joon and Sun-wha, but that changed during the shoot in Japan. Tae-hee and I formed a love triangle with Hyun-joon. I think I'm going to give my whole heart to Hyun-joon in the second half of the drama.

10: So it's a love story where you choose love over ideology and feel guilty about it, right?

Kim: I think that's what makes it so attractive! Sun-wha is a character with a tragic destiny. She doesn't know what it feels like to be a woman being raised as a human weapon and every cell in her body becoming brainwashed. That's why she doesn't know how to express love even when she falls in love but she develops the emotions and starts worrying about it. We recently shot those scenes of my character going through the emotional changes and I had to act out subtle body language and looks when our bodies touched during the action scenes. It was so exciting to express this kind of faint love and I would think, "This is it!" after shooting. Isn't such love more appealing to the viewers as well? The important thing is not what the character ends up gaining, but how much presence she makes on screen.

10: For Sun-wha, making a presence started successfully with her hairstyle. Was it your idea?

Kim: I didn't think of it in the beginning. The producers wanted to give Sun-wha many changes and offered me a wig, but the way I looked in a wig felt so fake. So I offered to cut my hair and everyone was surprised. (laugh) I think it was a great idea now. The writer complimented me on it and I'm satisfied because the images that I wanted are coming together and alive even better.

10: The wardrobe must have been something to worry about as well, unlike in other dramas.

Kim: I'm always wearing jeans, walker boots with a leather jacket, tank top and camouflage jumper. It's a never-before-seen style so I think it's appealing. I don't think this role is simply boyish and strong. There's a complicated, sexy aspect to it so I think a lot about that.


10: It's also an unrealistic character, but I feel like you're really giving the character a sense of reality on your own.

Kim: Surprisingly, I don't think about how I should play the character. I think that once you understand this woman's history and pain, you don't need to make something out of it forcefully. I really love roles where, if it were real circumstances, it would be heartbreaking, pitiful and even a bit pathetic but you can live out the role with the story and the pain in your acting. There's a lot more to express emotionally.

10: Sun-wha looks like a completely new role, but when you think about it, you've played a lot of repressed characters over the years, including in [the TV series] "All About Eve".

Kim: In the emotional aspect, she could be considered similar to Young-mee in "All About Eve". But an actor's role can't be completely different every single time, unless it's a circus. You have your own personality and nature. But I am changing as a person. I'm getting older and like my subconscious adds or erases stuff, I believe the way you express a similar character clearly changes too. So I think there's a different look in my eyes and a different something. I want to show a different kind of depth, if it's possible.

10: A certain level of response is expected with the drama's scale and casting, but female viewers don't usually prefer this kind of drama. How can you appeal to them?

Kim: I myself am a female viewer. The Angelina Jolie's films I mentioned earlier -- I used to fast forward through the movie and just watch the scenes that Jolie appears in. (laugh) I also only recently watched "Swiri". That's how I was but now I'm so into this drama. It's better to watch ten minutes of the drama than me explaining everything, but it's a drama that has grown deeper in terms of scale and acting. I used to talk about myself a lot more in my previous interviews, but this time I keep talking about "Iris". I make my first appearance in episode 3, but you have to start watching from the first episode. The melodrama storylines are truly the best! Really!

Reporter : Yoon Hee-Seong nine@10asia.co.kr

Photographer : Chae ki-won ten@10asia.co.kr

Editor : Lynn Kim lynn2878@asiae.co.kr, Lee Ji-Hye seven@10asia.co.kr

<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

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New poster for Kim Bum's "Emergency" unveiled


Poster for Korean movie "Emergency" [Ziness]

A new poster for Korean actor Kim Bum's upcoming film "Emergency" was released to the public today.

The unveiled poster shows Kim posing with each of his co-stars, Kim Byul and Lee Chae-young, who play his romantic interests in the story.

In the first picture with Lee, Kim portrays the sexy side of his character as a woman-seducing host who sells sexual fantasy for a living. In the other photo, the actor is shown as an innocent boy-ish man who is happy to be with his first love, played by Kim Byul.

The two couples represent the contrasting theme of night and day, standing for the film's tagline "P.M. 11:30 I sell fantasies, A.M. 11:30 I meet love."

The 20-year-old actor, who debuted in 2006, became a household name after appearing in the hit TV series "Boys Over Flowers" earlier this year.

"Emergency" is set to open in Korea on December.

Reporter : Lynn Kim lynn2878@asiae.co.kr

<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

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TVXQ Dispute Causes Conflict Among Members


Members of TVXQ from left, Xiah, Micky, Hero, Max and U-Know

Amid the ongoing battle between three members of K-pop group TVXQ and their agency, SM Entertainment, held a press conference Monday to announce their stance on a recent interim court ruling prior to a final verdict.

The agency of the troubled boy group stressed that the legal case regarding the three members ― Xiah, Micky and Hero ― was not about ``slave contracts'' or human rights, but ``financial temptation that started with a cosmetic business.''

``The petition is based on financial temptations that started with a cosmetic business,'' Kim Young-min, the head of SM Entertainment, said during a press conference at the 63 Building, Yeouido, southern Seoul. Along with Kim, Nam So-young, head of SM Entertainment Japan, and executives Han Se-min and Jeong Chang-hwan, were also present at the conference. This was the agency's first official statement after the legal quarrel began.

The other two members issued a statement saying that they couldn't allow the band to collapse ``because of their illegal cosmetic business,'' urging the three members to come back.

Cosmetic Chaos

According to SM, the five members were allotted the same amount of proceeds when the band started, as many former groups who disbanded in the past experienced discord regarding money issues.

``However, many things changed after the three members started investing in a cosmetic business,'' Kim said.

In December, 2008, the three members asked Kim if they could invest in a cosmetic company. Kim told them that it would be better if they did not accept any royalties due to legal issues, and also prevented them from using any of TVXQ's photos, stressing that if they did, the members were to inform the agency immediately.

From January to May, the agency discovered that the three members were, in fact, promoting the cosmetic company in China and holding various events in Japan. They were alerted by Internet portals and fans' complaints.

``The agency's biggest concern was that the image of TVXQ could be hurt through promotions and also the fact that it would be impossible to build up star status, image and reputation as one of the best boy groups in Asia once they were entangled in a mess concerning a cosmetic business in China and Japan,'' Kim said.

He said that despite the agency's request to see their contract with the cosmetic company, the three refused to show it to them.

A Note From the Two Members

U-Know and Max also expressed their feelings for the first time through a statement Monday, saying that there was no way that the group TVXQ would work under a different agency and that they hoped the three members would return quickly.

``We have been working under the same contract with SM for the past five years. The group was created by SM and we believe there is no other place where TVXQ can be present. We are keeping our promise with SM and carrying out our activities as a group under the agency only,'' the statement signed by the two members read.

They also mentioned their worries regarding the cosmetic business.

``We thought working with a company that approached the members without informing the agency would bring problems, and thus we did not participate in the business,'' the statement read.

``We cannot believe that TVXQ might collapse like this over a cosmetic company. We hope the three will return to the time when we all pursued the same dream before their business.''

Future of SM and TVXQ

The Seoul Central District Court gave a partial victory to the three members last week, stating that the three were free to appear in dramas, commercials and movies until a final verdict. Legal representatives for the three said that they will continue their action until the contract is declared null and void.

The creators of H.O.T., Girls' Generation and SHINee added that the court's decision would bring chaos not only to related people, but also to the entertainment industry as a whole.

``The court's decision was made without considering the true nature of this case. The current system that made 'hallyu' (the Korean wave) possible through long term investments and raising stars will collapse,'' Kim said.

The agency added that the contract the three members wanted to scrap was changed three times in 2002, 2007 and 2008, following the Fair Trade Commission's recommendation that the members and their parents give their supervision and approval.

``If a contract that was made by the singer or actor's agreements is not valid after their success, this will confuse the whole entertainment industry. It will be impossible to invest and carry out efforts that are put into the overall hallyu business in a competitive market,'' Kim said.

Adding that the agency will further look into legal measures, Kim said that there was a strong need to have legal criteria regarding exclusive contracts to cover similar cases in the future.

``The court's decision has granted free activities for the three members, but they can only work as TVXQ under the agency,'' said Kim. "We have set the date for the group's comeback in spring next year. Thus, we request a reply from the three members by Nov. 12. They may contact their management personnel, which is still managing the group TVXQ.''

Credits : Han Sang-hee (sanghee@koreatimes.co.kr)

Source : The Korea Times

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Yoon Soy-yi picks up "Hero"


Actress Yoon So-yi [Asia Economic Daily]

Actress Yoon Soy-yi has decided to replace Kim Min-jung in MBC TV series "Hero" which is set to premiere in a week.

Kim had originally been set to play the lead female role opposite Hallyu star Lee Jun-ki but pulled out due to an arm injury she suffered while shooting a drama in April, making it impossible for her to participate in shoots.

"We had recently started asking Yoon to play the part but her decision late last night because she is currently also busy with a movie," an official related with the production of "Hero" told Asia Economic Daily over the phone on Wednesday.

"Hero", about a group of youngsters who rebel and fight against a corrupt society, is set to air starting November 11.

Yoon will play the part of Joo Jae-in, a police officer on the homicide team who becomes romantically involved with Jin Do-hyeok, played by Lee Jun-ki who stars as a reporter at a third-rate newspaper.

Senior Reporter : Moon Yong-sung <lococo@asiae.co.kr>

Editor : Jessica Kim <jesskim@asiae.co.kr>

<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

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Nov.04, 2009

Japanese Actress Returns to Korean TV


Yu Min

Japanese actress Fueki Yuko, known in Korea as Yu Min, is making a comeback to Korea after a four-year absence. Starting from the seventh episode of the KBS 2TV drama "Iris" this Wednesday, she will play a cold and astute intelligence agent in the Japanese cabinet.

Yu Min starred in many successful Korean dramas including MBC's "My Home" in 2001 and was greatly popular among Korean fans for her innocent image. She went back to Japan and has been acting there. The producers of "Iris" said, "We had a new character that suited Yu Min, so while we were preparing for a location in Japan we made a proposal to her with the role."

"Iris" will be the second show in which Yu Min has appeared with actor Lee Byung-hun, after the SBS drama "All In" in 2003. "I'm very happy to get to meet the Korean audience through this star-studded blockbuster drama," she said. "I'm excited about acting with Lee again. The shooting has been thrilling."

Source : englishnews@ chosun.com

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Han Hyo-joo to sign on for MBC drama


Actress Han Hyo-joo

Actress Han Hyo-joo has been cast as the main female character in a new drama helmed by Lee Byung-hoon, producer of hit TV series "Jewel in the Palace" and "Isan".

"We will soon sign on for the drama after discussing further on the terms of the contract but the production company confirmed today that she has been cast to play the part," Han's agency BH Entertainment told Asia Economic Daily over the phone on Wednesday.

The drama, tentatively titled "Dong Yi" in English, is about the life of Dong Yi who grows up to become Choi Suk-bin, a consort of King Sukjong and the mother of King Youngjo during the Joseon Dynasty.

Lee teamed with script writer Kim Yi-yeong from "Isan" again to create the historical epic set for airing on MBC early next year.

Han became one of the most sought-after actresses in the entertainment industry this year after starring in TV series "Shining Inheritance" which ended its run triumphantly in July with a 41.7 percent viewership rate.

Senior Reporter : Moon Yong-sung lococo@asiae.co.kr

Editor : Jessica Kim jesskim@asiae.co.kr

<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

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Cho Hye-ryun to star in Japanese film


Korean comedienne Cho Hye-ryun [TN Entertainment]

Korean comedienne Cho Hye-ryun is set to appear in a Japanese film, according to her agency on Wednesday.

Cho had been cast to play the leading role in a film tentatively titled "Hear the Song of the Woods" and has already shot 60 percent of the movie, TN Entertainment said in a press release.

"Cho is very proud about the film since she usually played supporting roles in the film," an official at the agency was quoted as saying. "She is doing her best to promote Korea through the movie as well."

"Woods" tells the story of a Korean-Japanese music teacher who brings dreams and hopes to twelve students at a rural school which is about to shut down.

Korean actor Jeon Moo-song also has a supporting role in the otherwise entirely Japanese cast and crew. Cho speaks most of her lines in the movie in Japanese.

Cho got the part after a producer saw the comedienne talking about her father on TBS talk show "Inspirational Stories of Comedians".

Cho Hye-ryun is one of the most successful and hard-working comedians in Korea. She has appeared on numerous comedy shows, dramas and has released a book and fitness video as well.

"Woods" is set for release next fall both in Japan and in Korea.

Reporter : Ko Kyoung-seok kave@asiae.co.kr

Editor : Lynn Kim lynn2878@asiae.co.kr

<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

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Oh Ji-ho to Make First Appearance in Historic Drama

Actor Oh Ji-ho will appear in a period drama for the first time since he started his career as an actor. He has gained popularity by playing comic roles in dramas such as “My Wife is a Superwoman” and “Couple or Trouble.” He is currently appearing on the weekend entertainment show “The Invincible Baseball Team.”

Oh will play Song Tae-ha, an army general who was reduced to a wanted slave during the Joseon era in “The Slave Hunters” scheduled to air in January next year. The character is a political scapegoat who does everything to restore his reputation.


▲ A still of the drama featuring Oh Ji-ho

Oh reportedly caught people’s eyes from the first shoot on August 13 where he appeared in blood-stained tattered clothes in a violent fight scene. He also impressed the crew with the physique he has built for his role. He has been working out hard and learning martial arts since he was cast.


▲ A still of the drama featuring Oh Ji-ho

The drama is expected to be an opportunity for Oh to show a new side of himself as his role of a strong-willed, cold-hearted fugitive is quite different from the timid, humorous characters he typically plays.

“The Slave Hunters” is written by Chun Sung-il, well-known for screenplays such as “My Girl Friend is an Agent” and “Once Upon a Time,” and produced by Kwak Jung-hwan, whose previous work “Conspiracy in the Court” received rave review for dealing with insightful themes in a creative way in a historic drama.

Writer: KBSi Jin Yeong-ju

Source: Film company Haneul

Photo: Ji Yoon-mi

Copyright ⓒ KBS & KBSi

Source : KBS Global

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Heartthrob Jo Appears on `What Makes a Man'

[TV Report] In the popular "Happy Sunday-What Makes a Man" program on KBS2 on Sunday, two of the cast members, Kim Guk-jin and Kim Seong-min, had the honor to board an F-16 fighter jet while star actor Jo In-seong made a surprise cameo appearance. Jo is currently serving in the Air Force.


The two Kims were chosen as the winners to try their hand as an F-16 pilot, a first for an entertainer.

All cast members underwent training in the last episode. The two Kims, who scored high in the training and who were in the best physical condition on the day of the selection, were chosen as the finalists.

The other cast members and all staff and crew were nervous from the time they took off in the plane until they safely returned. Everyone applauded and viewers at home also held their breath when the jet shot up and disappeared into the sky with a thundering roar.

After the experience, Kim Seong-min said, “My legs felt immense pressure when the jet made a sudden turn. I'm still shaking."

Kim Guk-jin was more nervous before the flight. But he also pulled off the mission and was greeted by fellow cast members.

He said, “I thought the jet would reach the sun. I felt like a fish floating in water."

Actor Jo In-seong also made a brief appearance on this episode. He was caught on camera during rehearsals for an event to mark the Korean Air Force's 60th anniversary.

The cast members screamed delightedly at the sight of Jo and nearly forgot their fellow member Guk-jin flying in the air.

Rave reviews flooded the program's Web site after the program. Viewers said, "The flight challenge was impressive and exhilarating," "I was so moved," "The air show was the best scene ever on a weekend entertainment program," "I extend congratulations to the two Kims."

Internet broadcast media for "Guide & Review," TV Report

Email reports to pi@pimedia.co.kr <Copyright ⓒ Pimedia TV Report>

Writer: TV Report

Copyright ⓒ KBS & KBSi

Source : KBS Global

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