Sunday, June 27, 2010

Nich Khun confesses on his ideal type, “Sorry to TaecYeon, but she’s YoonA”

2PM Nich Khun reveals his ideal type of girl before meeting his make-believe wife on We Got Married.

On MBC We Got Married aired on 26th June, Nich Khun boarded the bus to meet his make-believe wife. And in the midst, Kim NaYoung appeared.

Kim NaYoung asked Nich Khun, “You should have someone you want as your wife. If that person is from So Nyeo Shi Dae, who is she?” Nich Khun answered, “Even though I’m sorry to TaecYeon, she’s YoonA.”

Nich Khun added, “EunJung from T-ara and Victoria from f(x).” as his ideal type of girls.

And it turned out that his make-believe wife on the show is f(x) Victoria.

The 2 made the first foreigner couple on the show.

credit:v@kbites+as labeled

Lee Da-hae makes her film debut in 3D blockbuster

After making her name in drama series like Green Rose, My Girl, and Chuno, Lee Da-hae is ready to make her movie debut. She has been cast in the 3D historical project Song of Springs [ν˜„μ˜ λ…Έλž˜], a project described as “a movie telling the life story of legendary court musician Woo Reuk, who opened up the world of sound in a world ruled by the sword.”

Woo Reuk was the creator of the gayageum, a classical stringed instrument, and will be played by Lee Sung-jae (Lawyers of Korea). Lee Da-hae’s character is Ara, the top dancer of Daegaya, a city-state of Gaya during the Three Kingdoms era. Film veteran Ahn Sung-ki (The Divine Weapon) plays a Silla general, while Moon Jung-hee (Oh My Lady) portrays a “mysterious woman of Gaya” described as a femme fatale who runs a bar. Speed Scandal’s young cutie Wang Seok-hyun plays one of Woo Reuk’s students.

Song of Springs is based on a novel written by Kim Hoon and has been in pre-production for six years. It boasts a hefty production budget of 15 billion won and will be directed by Joo Kyung-joong, whose 2002 film A Little Monk won him the best director award at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

credit : javabeans

The characters of Athena: Goddess of War

Here we go, first promotional character stills of the cast of Athena. You won’t find the concept that novel if you’re familiar with the look of IRIS’s promotional shots, but it IS interesting to finally get a peek into the spinoff’s world. I actually think IRIS’s promos were better-looking, but for some reason I’m more interested in Athena than I was about IRIS.

First up is Jung Woo-sung, above, who plays a top agent with the National Anti-Terror Service. (IRIS was set amongst the National Security Service, or NSS, while Athena moves to the NTS.) Can I just say that I love that he’s wearing a fancy suit and bowtie like he’s freaking James Bond? I have a feeling Athena’s story may be more out-there than its predecessor, but since it’s hardly realistic either way, I say bring on the antics.

Lee Jung-gil will reprise his role from IRIS as the president Jo Myung-ho, indicating that this series will place a little more focus on the Blue House (Korea’s White House) than the previous series did. (The newly cast Lee Bo-young plays his daughter.)

The drama is a week into production; filming began on June 19. Overseas location shoots will begin in July.

Below, Su Ae (Sunny, Bottom of the 9th Inning with 2 Outs) sheds her innocent image to go sexy as an NTS agent:

Cha Seung-won (City Hall) is looking mighty fierce as a spy:

Kim Min-jong (Return of Iljimae) takes a departure from his gentle image to play a North Korean defector who becomes Jung Woo-sung’s partner:

Choi Siwon (Oh My Lady) starts out as a newbie data analyst and looks up to his sunbae Jung Woo-sung, but he’ll get his turn in the spy limelight later in the series:

And Lee Jia (Beethoven Virus) rounds out the group of agents. I think (hope) the tough image works much better with her personality than the “girly” one; she was much, much more interesting as tomboyish Sujini in Legend than she was as a shrill fashion assistant in Style.

credit : javabeans

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Never mind, Lee Byung-heon’s lawsuit revived

Just after the court decided that the civil suit filed against actor Lee Byung-heon was withdrawn due to the plaintiff’s lack of action, they received paperwork in the mail from Lee’s accuser, Ms. Kwon, requesting another trial.

Kwon had returned to Canada last December and has not been back to Korea since, missing two hearings, one on April 22 and another on May 20, leading the the court to close the case on June 21. However, they then found that Kwon’s paperwork had come in that day (the last permissible day), reopening the suit in which she requested compensation of 100 million won for psychological damages incurred by Lee’s false promises and sexual misconduct.

Before this latest development, a source with Lee’s management, BH Entertainment, had stated, “We honor the decision of the court. [Lee] has suffered emotionally, but it seems this burden will be relieved.”

The next trial is scheduled for July 14. If Kwon does not appear, the suit will automatically be withdrawn and the case will be closed.

credit : javabeans

First poster photos for Gumiho Girlfriend

I know that I just posted on this drama, but My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho has just released its first poster images and here they are. As you know, the fantasy series just began shooting on Monday, June 21, and now we get our first look at the characters played by Lee Seung-gi and Shin Mina. Although there’s a limit to how much you can get out of a photo (be it a thousand words or not), I think the photos are really cute, particularly the second one below.

These poster shots were taken on June 20 at SBS’s Ilsan production center and capture the couple’s relationship dynamic. (I’m going to guess that the one below is more indicative of the storyline and the one above is just a fun excuse to show the stars looking beautiful together.)

I dig that Lee Seung-gi’s kind of a shlub; so many trendy dramas (or any dramas, really) feature men who are either super-cool (e.g., your Darcys and professional types) or super-warm (e.g., your Ji-hoo sunbaes and Shin-woo hyungs). There’s not much room for your bumblers or beta-males. (A few exist, such as Jung Kyung-ho in Smile, and I always enjoy those exceptions.) Say what you will about the Hong sisters, they have a knack for teasing out unusual character traits and creating some fun relationship dynamics with them.

credit : javabeans

Yoon Jin-seo joins cast of Runaway

Oh, I like this: Yoon Jin-seo has been added to the cast of Runaway, playing an offbeat and lively detective. She’ll be chasing the two leads, spy Rain and mysterious operative Lee Na-young, which means she’ll be working a lot with Lee Jung-jin, another of the pair’s pursuers who is her superior.

PD Kwak Jung-hwan explained that he chose Yoon for her ability to transform herself. That’s certainly true, as she has played a variety of different roles in her previous projects such as Return of Iljimae, Secret Lovers, and Beastie Boys. She’s got a refreshing quality to her that can be sexy but also innocent, depending on the role, and a lovely aura.

Interestingly, one article describes this drama as a “romantic comedy spy melodrama” — the first time I’ve heard rom-com applied to the show. I’ve got nothing against it, although it makes me think of writer Chun’s other spy drama (the Civil Servant remake)…

Runaway premieres in September on KBS.

credit : javabenas

Filming begins on My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho

On June 18 at Ilsan’s SBS production center, script rehearsals began on the upcoming Wednesday-Thursday drama My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho. The reading was attended by the two stars, Lee Seung-gi and Shin Mina, as well as its new additions, comic relief Sung Dong-il and love rival Hyo-min. Writers Hong Jung-eun and Hong Mi-ran (better known collectively as the “Hong sisters”) were also present.

The lead actors have cleared their schedules from now until the drama’s airing later this summer. On June 21, Lee Seung-gi Twittered after wrapping the first day of filming. He also uploaded a few photos taken on set. (His Twitter account,, is named after his Gumiho character, Cha Dae-woong.)

Lee’s first Twitter entry was accompanied by the following photo (the script for Episode 1, marked with his character’s name) and reads:

“First opening! This is the Twitter for Cha. Dae. Woong. ^^ Here, you’ll meet the family of ‘My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho’! Doesn’t matter what your nationality is, everyone’s okay! ^^ Thanks and nice to meet you! Yoroshiku ne. Good luck ^^*”

He posted another photo on the 21st, with the message:

“I went through some effort buying meat for our Mi-ho-sshi in this morning’s first scene… ke. Whenever Mi-ho-sshi cooks the meat, piece by piece, I act thinking I might become that meat…;; I’ll have to ride this in the future, Dae-woong’s motorcycle… I rode it for practice,,, it was totally scary… ke. Gotta be careful ^^”

And he followed that with his latest tweet:

“Today’s filming is over! We finished safely without any accidents~ ^^ I’ll stop here for today, sweet dreams everyone!”

My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho tells the story of a mythical gumiho (a shape-shifter that looks like a fox with nine tails, which can assume human form) who has awoken from 500 years of sleep and is released when a seal is broken. The human played by Lee Seung-gi falls for her but is also afraid of her gumiho powers (because the gumiho traditionally eats human organs), even as everyone around him thinks he’s lucky to have won over such a beautiful girlfriend. The drama airs in August after Bad Guy.


The leading men of Gumiho: Fox Child

Seo Joon-young

Lead actress Han Eun-jung will be acting opposite several leading men in the new sageuk thriller Gumiho: Tale of the Fox’s Child. First announced was Seo Joon-young as a young love interest, who is pictured above.

Two more actors have been cast to play her adversaries, Yoon Hee-seok and Jang Hyun-sung. The former plays a cold-hearted man in pursuit of the gumiho, while the latter is Han Eun-jung’s husband and the human father to the half-fox girl, portrayed by young Kim Yoo-jung.

Jang Hyun-sung, Yoon Hee-seok

First, the husband: Jang Hyun-sung (Jejoongwon) plays “Yoon Doo-su,” who falls in love with “Gu San-dek” (Han) at first sight, and marries her. However, ten years into their marriage, his betrayal of a promise keeps her from being able to turn her fox-spirit self into a human, and she runs away with their daughter, who is herself just on the cusp of realizing her gumiho identity. Jang describes the drama as one that explores complex relationships and emotions — gumiho and child, man and wife, conflict between the former wife and the new one. “It’s not an easy melodrama, and it’s not a family drama that fixates on the protective instincts between family members. Our Gumiho also includes politics, love, and maternal love.”

Jang had worked with director Lee Gun-joon (Loveholic) in his television debut and started out as a theater actor. Asked how he felt about going up against Lee Seung-gi in My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho, Jang laughed, “Does it even make sense to compare me to him? I don’t have any thoughts of challenging an icon like Lee Seung-gi. My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho is a bright contemporary drama, and we’re a sageuk. The dramas have differing structures, and each has its strengths and weaknesses.”

Meanwhile, Yoon Hee-seok also has stage experience as a musical actor, and has also had roles in films like Secret Reunion and I Like It Hot. He will play a “wicked” and “cold” local governor who is persistent in his search of Han’s character, which puts him into frequent conflict with her husband. He’s as intelligent as he is mean, and portrays a formidable enemy.

Seo Joon-young

Finally, let’s take a look at 23-year-old Seo Joon-young, who sheds his model-student image from youth series Sharp #3 for a more adult, sexy one here. (Additional credits: Radish Kimchi, As Much as Heaven and Earth, War of Money, and Marrying a Millionaire.)

Seo’s “Chun-woo” character is a servant who also takes on a bodyguard role to Han, described as “taciturn and masculine.” (Okay, pause here to say: I’m a sucker for this setup. I loved it in Sandglass and I’m inclined to like it here — you’ve got me intrigued already. I just hope this does NOT mean that Han will be a damsel in distress. With her secret gumiho powers, perhaps she’ll be better off than the typical wilting-flower heroine. *fingers crossed*) To build up his physique, he has been busily working out on set and on his own time.

Gumiho: Tale of the Fox’s Child premieres on July 5 on KBS.

credit : javabeans

Runaway adds Daniel Henney to its cast

So Daniel Henney is joining Rain, Lee Jung-jin, and Lee Na-young in spy drama show Runaway, and I’m kinda ambivalent about it.

On one hand, the man is beautiful. On the hand, his acting… not so beautiful. He’s improved since his debut, but not enough for me to get any sort of excited about this. (He was gorgeous and wooden in Sam-soon. Gorgeous and embarrassingly bad in Seducing Mr. Perfect. Better but still inhibited in My Father. And the U.S. medical series Three Rivers made me cringe.)

In Runaway, he’ll form a love triangle between Rain and Lee Na-young’s characters. (I’m guessing the name of that triangle is acute isosceles, wherein he’s the short leg. Seriously, I can’t imagine him being compelling against those two; Rain has serious screen presence and Lee can be mesmerizing.) Henney’s character watches over and protects Lee’s character, “but the details of the character have not yet been decided.” This suggests he wasn’t cast because he fit the script, but that they’ll be creating a role for him. I suppose this means Daniel Henney : Runaway :: Oh Ji-ho : Chuno.

I wonder if Henney will communicate solely in English, as he has in most (all?) of his roles; he speaks pretty good Korean but it seems he’s self-conscious about using it if it isn’t perfect. On the upside, it’ll be nice to have an English-speaking character in a drama actually knowing how to speak English.

Runaway is looking at a September premiere on KBS.

credit : javabeans

Sunday, June 20, 2010

[Photo Spam] Lee MinHo at “One special day with MinHo” Fan Meeting!

On June 20,2010 popular actor Lee MinHo greeted his fans “Minoz” through a fan meeting held at Kyung Hee University, Seoul.

The event with the title “2010, The Special Day With Minoz – One special day with Minho” started at 15:00 local time.

Gag man Yoon HyungBin (popular with his gag character Wang Biho) is the MC for the event whilst many celebrities are spotted on stage performing with (for) Lee MinHo at the event, such as : 2AM and SeeYa. Close friends KimBum and Jung IlWoo were also seen at the fan meeting as the best friends celebrated Lee MinHo’s advance birthday which supposed to be celebrated on June 22,2010. Lee MinHo also gets a surprise guest, Taiwanese actor Joe Cheng who came and gave him a birthday gift at the event.

Meanwhile, another fan meeting is also scheduled to be held on Aug 28,2010 under the theme of “Pink Play concert” which will be taking place at Sheraton Walker Hill River Park Hotel , Gwangjang-dong, Seoul.

More photos under the cut!

The Guest Stars

SeeYa opens the Fan Meeting

With “Personal Taste” drama Casts


Jung IlWoo – Lee MinHo – KimBum

Lee MinHo – Joe Cheng

credit : imuyachan@kbites+as labeled

Jang GeunSeok, “I have been mistaken for a female with my backview”

Actor Jang GeunSeok reveals an incident where he was mistaken as a female due to his backview.

On KBS 2TV Star Entertainment Weekly aired on 19th June, Jang GeunSeok was featured at his fansigning event. The reporter asked, “How do you feel about comments saying that you are pretty?”.

Jang GeunSeok answered, “I feel amazed. Don’t you think that it is not easy for guys to get comments like that? And recently when I hear comments like these, I thought to myself that hair is very important.” Jang GeunSeok was seen with love and wavy hairstyle recently.

He added, “I have encountered many incidents when men had thought that I was a female and turned around to look at me, but when they saw that I’m a guy, they would go ‘*heok’,” revealing that he has been mistaken for a female.

Meanwhile, it was revealed that Jang GeunSeok’s ideal woman SooAe has chosen that she likes Kim TaeWon. Jang GeunSeok commented, “SooAe ssi’s taste is very unique. Actually I like Han YeSeul,” causing laughter with his comment.

credit: sookyeong@kbites+as labeled

Saturday, June 19, 2010

War drama Legend of the Patriots premieres this weekend

Admittedly Road No. 1 and Into the Fire have garnered most of the attention among Korean War projects, but KBS also has a drama premiering this weekend, Legend of the Patriots. (Its Korean title, Jeon Woo, translates literally to Comrades.) It’s actually a remake of a hugely successful series that aired from 1975 through 1978, which was then re-produced in 1983-84.

I’ve been hearing bits about the 20-episode Legend of the Patriots for a while but it has slid under my radar, but now that I take a look I find myself favorably inclined. The production team is a little iffy but the general plot appeals to me more than Road No. 1. (I admit that I find Road’s story a little contrived — it’s got that typical melodrama excess going, carrying itself as the ultimate love warring with the ultimate friendship in the ultimate war story of all time. That makes me ask: O rly?)

Patriots, however, appears to take a larger scope — there are lead characters, to be sure (sageuk king Choi Su-jong and the underrated, imo, Lee Tae-ran), but the story seems to encompass more people and broader conflicts. (I say seems because all I’ve got to go on are previews and clips.)

I don’t mean to put down Road No. 1, because that drama has a lot going for it too, but for some reason it hadn’t captured my fancy narratively and I felt like I really ought to be more interested in it. (I’m not very excited, although the cast is a big draw.) Now that I’ve seen a contrasting point of view, however, I think I know better why — Road No. 1 heaps the tragedy upon you with its circumstances. (She thinks he’s dead, gets engaged to someone else, he comes back, her two men go to war together.) Patriots seems to (and again, I’m only going on previews here) treat the war itself as plenty tragic enough. They don’t frame the war around a great-love-of-all-time at the center.

Here’s what I mean. The first trailer starts out with the simple titles: “They wanted to live. They had to kill each other.”

KBS’s description of the drama is in line with that message:

“It is a misunderstanding to think that a soldier dashing toward the enemy line is filled with loyalty. All he can think at the moment is the order to run surrounded by blasting gunshots. Many of them attempt to flee the base at night and many of them are caught and shot to death. Soldiers will injure themselves to be excluded from battle. They shiver in fear and lose their senses. Then there’s the extreme hunger and the desperate survival of the refugees.

There is no socialism, capitalism, dreams, visions, fame or morality on the battlefield. There is only the human instinct for survival, the instinct that I must kill others for myself to live. The battleground is a black hole that sucks in all decent, humane beliefs.

“Legend [of the Patriots]” aims to elevate the highest value of peace by exposing the horrific reality of war.

That message, however, has sparked some early criticism from a group of netizens who feel that the drama is pushing ideology that is anachronistic to the time period of the drama. Personally, I think that’s one of the key points about art forms — you can’t (and shouldn’t be expected to) create them in a vacuum, or as a facsimile of real life. Art reflects more about the time in which it was created than the time about which it was created, doesn’t it? But I suppose I’m on the side of the ideology this time because I can’t see the downside to promoting a message of unity and peace as a part of a nation’s remembrance of a great war that divided it into two.

Choi Su-jong and men

The main character is played by veteran actor Choi Su-jong (Dae Jo Young, Emperor of the Sea), who plays a Squad Commander. (Official position: Unit 13, 1st Battalion, Platoon 2, Squad 1.) His character description: “I want to live as a soldier should. That’s all.” Based on that quote, I’m getting a reluctant hero vibe from him, which I can dig. He’s a stickler for the rules, but he is devoted to protecting the lives of his subordinates. He served in the national guard and is a war veteran, but never speaks about his past.

Kim Roi-ha (Story of a Man’s cowardly director) plays the Commander of Squadron 2, a strict leader who insists upon discipline from his men and is cool-headed enough to know that with his duty comes the possibility of making sacrifices.

Their subordinates include Im Won-hee (Dachimawa Lee), Nam Sung-jin (Drama City: Money Flower), Hong Kyung-in (Queen Seon-deok’s Seok-poom), Ryu Sang-wook (Creating Destiny, Queen Seon-deok), Lee Seung-hyo (Queen Seon-deok’s Alcheon), Park Sang-wook (Hong Gil Dong’s Su-geun), and Ahn Yong-joon (Lifting King Kong).

Superior officers are played by Lee Deok-hwa, a familiar face and veteran drama actor (Giant, Iron Empress, Dae Jo Young). Lee Joo-seok (Seoul Warrior Story) plays a platoon leader.

And then, you have those on the Northern side, led by Lee Tae-ran (My Precious You, Infamous Chil Sisters), who plays a lieutenant. She was interested in the independence movement when Korea was under Japanese imperialist rule, and learned about socialism. When U.S. forces entered the Korean peninsula, she gave up everything and fled to the North and joined the armed forces, rising to officer status. She’s cool and competent, but starts to feel doubts gradually.

On the battlefield, she happens upon Choi Su-jong’s character, and that stirs something from their pasts.

Meanwhile, Lee In-hye (Iron Empress, Insoon Is Pretty) is part of a guerrilla unit. Her father-in-law is a village elder, and after her husband was shot dead by the North Korean army, she begins to work independently as a guerrilla. From time to time, she helps the soldiers for the South. She shows a tough exterior, though she mourns her dead husband.

In the North: Lee Tae-ran, Kim Myung-soo.
On her own: Lee In-hye, with Heo Jae-ho

The drama has a production budget of 8 billion won, or $6.6 million. (That’s a sizable budget, but compare that with Road’s 13 billion won, or $10.7 million. Per episode, Road spent double what Patriots did, although both budgets are on the high end compared to an average trendy.)

There are two directors and two writers listed. The PDS are Kim Sang-hui (You’re My Destiny and Sharp #2 and #3) and Song Hyun-wook (Hot Blood and Glory of Youth). The writers are Lee Eun-sang (Hometown of Legends: Gumiho) and Kim Pil-jin.

Legend of the Patriots replaces Merchant Kim Man-deok and premieres Saturday, June 19 on KBS1.

Here are a couple more trailers:

credit : javabeans