Sunday, February 27, 2011

Noh Min-woo gets in bed for Midas

Funny what a difference one project makes: After Pasta and My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho, all I could muster for Pretty Emo Boy Noh Min-woo was indifference. Then you put him in four episodes of ’80s-music-themed Rock Rock Rock, and suddenly he’s adorable, energetic, and emotive.

I’m hoping it’s the latter Noh Min-woo we get to see in Midas, the SBS Monday-Tuesday drama which, if you base on these previews, is about…uh…something. I’m not sure what. But it’s intense and exciting, perhaps. And it’s about MIDAS.

Official descriptions to give us a few more details, such as how it’s set in the business world and deals with the conspiracies and betrayals of the chaebol world. It stars Jang Hyuk, Lee Min-jung, and Kim Hee-ae; Noh Min-woo plays the latter’s younger brother, a rich playboy from a chaebol family.

Midas follows Athena, which oddly enough ends on a Monday without a special or extra broadcast. That means Midas‘s first episode will air on Tuesday, February 22.


Song Joong Ki’s relationship with Yoo Ah In became awkward after winning the ‘Best Couple Award’

On February 19th, actor Song Joong Ki guested on KBS 2TV’s “Entertainment Relay” and confessed that his relationship with Yoo Ah In became really awkward ever since the ‘2010 KBS Acting Awards‘.

Earlier, we reported that the two were nominated for the ‘Best Couple Award’ at the 2010 KBS Acting Awards for their roles as ‘Yeorim’ and ‘Geol Oh’ in “Sungkyunkwan Scandal“.

Although their characters were depicted as ‘just friends’, the relationship garnered enough interest and votes to eventually win the ‘Best Couple Award’. At the time, Yoo Ah In had wittily stated during his awards speech, “You all are really persistent!”

The reporter asked, “When you search for ‘Song Joong Ki’, Yoo Ah In’s name comes up in the related search term box. Do you guys still keep in contact?”

Song Joong Ki answered, “Honestly, it’s gotten sparse. Votes for us really dominated the ‘Best Couple Award’ poll, and it was actually quite surprising. I lost contact with Yoo Ah In after that (laughter).”

When asked to record a video message for his former castmate, Song Joong Ki stated, “I used to call you ‘Ah In-ah’ before, but I guess now it’s ‘Ah In-ssi’, how are you? It’s gotten a bit awkward.”

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‘Secret Garden Concert’ tickets sell out in 5 minutes!

SBS’s hit drama, “Secret Garden“, has once again show its explosive popularity through ticket sales for its upcoming OST concert on March 12th at Seoul’s Olympic Stadium. Amazingly, the “Secret Garden Amazing Concert” sold out all 2,000 seats in approximately five minutes, a feat which exceeded some sales records for pop idol concerts!

Achieve Group DN, the production company for the “Secret Garden” OST, said that the large-scale concert would hold different stages they weren’t able to show in January’s concert. The production company also revealed that they’ve been requested by several international promoters to hold an overseas tour.

The concert boasts the participation of those artists who contributed to the OST, including Baek Ji Young, Kim Bum Soo, 4men, Yiruma, BOIS, Yo Ah Ri, Mi (美), and many others. The cast is said to also appear for the show, however, actor Hyun Bin will not be able to attend due to his enlistment with the Marines.

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Yamashita Tomohisa discusses possible Korean album and his love for Korean culture

Japanese idol star Yamashita Tomohisa sat down to a press conference with reporters on February 24th and shared his love for Korean culture. The interview began, however, with questions about the differences between the Japanese and Korean music industry.

The reporters asked the star about what he thought the driving force or secret was in Japanese idol groups being able to stay together for a long period of time. “I’m not sure you can call it a secret, but I think it comes from the fact that the time members spend together and the time they spend on their own is strictly divided,” Yamashita replied.

Popular groups like SMAP, V6, and the Kinki Kids have all maintained their positions at the top for ten years now. Last year, Arashi also celebrated their 10th anniversary.

The idol was also asked for his opinion on the differences between J-pop and K-pop songs. “J-pop has a unique music world that only Japan has. Korean music has a lot of strong rhythms and beats that make you wanna get up and move. The ballads also have great melodies.

The topic then moved onto Korean girls. “They’re both sexy and cute. Any man likes that type of charm, no matter where they are in the world. I actually have a Korean friend who I first met in a Japanese broadcast hall. We exchanged numbers and because of that friend’s influence, I became interested in performing on a Korean stage two to three years later.”

He continued, “I love Korean food as well. I really like kimchi and eat it frequently. Samgyeopsal, samkyetang, soon tofu, and bibimbap are also great. I’ve watched Korean dramas on Japanese TV. Koreans pay a lot of attention to the production behind their music and music videos, which I took note of.”

At the mention of his first visit to Korea back in 2008, he explained, “This is my first time for work, but I’ve visited a few times on my own. I came with my family first, then with friends, and once alone for vacation.”

When asked about his groupmates, NEWS, he revealed, “I haven’t been able to see my groupmates often recently, but I’m thinking of buying ‘kim’ (dried seaweed) to share with them.”

Yamashita continued, “I have a lot of interest in collaboration dramas with Korea, and would like to work with Korean actors. I’m close with Jaejoong as well, so if the opportunity should arise, I’d like to work with him. A song off my album, ‘Last Love Song‘, was produced by a Korean composer.”

After performing “Party Don’t Stop” on “M! Countdown,” he revealed, “One day, I’d like to release an album sung in Korean.”

His album, “SUPERGOOD, SUPERBAD,” was released in Japan on January 26th and ranked first place on Japan’s Oricon chart. It’s currently scheduled for release in Korea on March 2nd, and will follow with his first Korean concert in mid-April.

Meanwhile, Yamashita returned to Japan on February 24th.

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Gong Hyo-jin in the next Hong Sisters drama?

Gong Hyo-jin is being named as the top contender for the starring role in the next Hong Sisters’ drama, The Discovery of Affection, about a has-been starlet’s romance with a younger actor who’s at the top of his career. Lee Seung-gi is slated to be the co-star, and though reports on the two actors are not final (nothing signed yet), the studio is reportedly calling it, and gearing up for a massive production. The PD will be Queen Seon-deok‘s Park Hong-kyun, and this will be the Hong Sisters’ seventh drama, slated to follow Royal Family on MBC this summer.

I love quirky, understated Gong Hyo-jin, and to top it off, she’s the star of one of my all-time favorite dramas, Biscuit Teacher Star Candy. Lee Seung-gi is in one of my OTHER all-time faves, My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho…which means that if they star in one drama TOGETHER, I might implode.

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King of reversals: Park Shi-hoo interview

He’s one of those actors whose buzz you don’t really get…until you watch him in something, and then you’re like, who IS this guy, and can I have MOAR, please? Park Shi-hoo steadily made his way up the actor food chain with family dramas and daily shows, (or as the second lead in dramas like Iljimae) until his starring role in last year’s cult hitProsecutor Princess, which wasn’t so hot ratings-wise, but had a rabid fanbase whose fervor knows no bounds. Seriously. It’s sometimes scary.

And then at the turn of the new year, he began as the second lead (again) in the workplace drama Queen of Reversals, with Kim Nam-joo and Jung Jun-ho. The show kept getting extended, and extended…and then ratings kept on rising, and rising…and the more screentime he got, the better the drama was, and the more his character romanced the heroine, the more we HAD to see what happened next. It’s actually a case where an extension allowed time for the second lead to be developed as a character…and paved the way for him to get the girl. (And keep fans from posting angry comments, I daresay.)

This is an interview conducted at a theater where he watched the last episode of Queen of Reversals with fans, a thing he likes to do.

How do you feel after having watched the last episode with fans?

I think watching the last episode with fans really remains in my heart. I like it because it becomes a happy memory for me.

There are a lot of fans here. How does it feel?

I’m thankful for fans from Thailand, Japan, everyone who flew overseas to faithfully cheer me on. I’m so touched by them. And now, even grandpas and grandmas recognize me. Lately, young kids all the way up to older people are sending me love. I’m so thankful, and amazed.

Queen of Reversals kept getting extended. Wasn’t that hard?

It was not unlike doing two dramas. Truthfully the shoot was really hard. It was like being drunk on sleep for one hour, every three days. It was a really tough decision to extend from 20 episodes to 30. But our team’s vibe was so good, and the chemistry between the actors was good, so we were able to finish the series out in good spirits. If there’s one downside, it’s that I’ve shot this drama for so long that I think it’s going to be hard for me to break out of Yong-shik’s character.

In this drama you earned a new nickname. What do you think are your best traits?

I think they’re looking favorably at me working hard on my role. In the case ofQueen of Reversals, in the beginning my character was cute, and then in the latter half I had sadder scenes, and lots of scenes where I got to confess my love. I think fans are responding to the sadness in my character. Is it because they felt sorry for me? Haha. Personally, I like the nickname “꼬픈남” best. [kko-peun-nam, as in 꼬시고 싶은 남자 = a man you want to seduce] I’ll always work hard in my future projects, to keep fans’ expectations rising.

How was your chemistry with onscreen partner Kim Nam-joo?

Shooting for a long time with Kim Nam-joo sunbae made me realize that she’s such a warm sunbae [senior colleague]. I learned a lot from watching her look after everyone, from the cast to the staff. I also think that we were able to make a good drama with over 30 episodes because we worked well together. I’m thankful for that.

Your last kiss scene became quite the subject of conversation.

When we filmed the last kiss scene, the director was crying. He said, “When you cried, your sincere emotions came through, and it made me cry.” I was so grateful for his words.

From the beginning of the drama your character’s fashion sense was on display. Do you have a personal interest in style?

I like sunglasses and scarves a lot. I used a lot of my own sunglasses on the drama shoot. When styling, I like to make a point with fashion, like a prop.

What genre do you want to tackle for your next project?

I want to try something that I’ve never been able to show before. A manly role in a noir film would be good. I also get told a lot that I’d be good as a vampire, so I want to try that. Should I try a horror movie this summer? Haha.

The most memorable fan you’ve met today?

Someone with a physical disability came all this way, and even brought me a present. I felt such warmth today. As much precious love that I’m receiving, I want to keep working hard to give back more.

Any goals for the new year?

Queen of Reversals went on for a long time, but my fans cheered me on without rest, so I’m grateful. I think on an actor’s journey, the saying that you “reap what you sow” isn’t really right. I think it’s more like, “You have to work hard to reach that critical point, and only then will results show.” So you could work hard until 99, but if you don’t do that last 1 percent, everything from 0 to 99 could go to waste. I’ll try my hardest to always show you my best.

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Hyun Bin & Kim Sung Oh reunite for Samsung’s “Smart TV”

‘CEO Kim’ Hyun Bin and ‘Secretary Kim’ Kim Sung Oh indulged in their bickering “Secret Garden” relationship once more for a fun advertisement CF with Samsung’s Smart TV.

Samsung Electronics specially cast the two actors due to the popularity of the drama, and because of unending requests from fans hoping to see the characters together again.

Focusing on their hilarious drama relationship, Samsung produced two CFs under the theme, “The difference between the sky and the ground.” Fit to his character, Hyun Bin can be seen stressing the importance of luxury and the modern to Kim Sung Oh.

Samsung’s representatives revealed, “No matter what TV the Samsung Smart TV is put up against, its features will distinguish itself from all. The Smart TV will be working hand-in-hand with the charms of actor Hyun Bin, who is also one of the top actors of our time.”

Version 1

Version 2 (Hyun Bin version)

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