Gong Yoo’s ‘Han Gyul’ Exactly as Writer Pictured
Can you tell I’m having a slow work day? LOL. Just one more Coffee Prince-related post before the weekend! (I swear, I’m Coffee Prince-ing myself out.) I found this interesting article and (what else?) felt the need to share. I love this kind of behind-the-scenes writerly stuff. Full credits and source behind the jump.
Gong Yoo’s “Coffee Prince” Character Just as Writer Lee Sun Mi Imagined
Love rectangle created for a fresh take of the romantic novel for television broadcast
By Reporter Nam Eun Ju
Looking back at July, there was a writer, Lee Sun Mi (36), behind television programming every day from Monday through Thursday. As the original novelist of “Kyung Sung Sad Story,” adapted into the Wednesday-Thursday drama “Kyung Sung Scandal” [aka “Capital Scandal”], which just finished its last episode on the 1st, romantic novelist Lee Sun Mi is also penning scripts for the Monday-Tuesday series “Coffee Prince Store #1,” of which she is also the original novelist, screenwriting under the pen name of Lee Jung Ah.
I met the writer behind the romance drama in Seoul’s Hongdae.
SONG OF THE DAY
Mono Diary – “달콤함에 빠지다” (lost in sweetness) [ zShare download ]
The writer who’d imagined the “sad story” around the independence movement, as well as the cafe operated by pretty-boy “princes,” said she is “addicted to stories that willingly sacrifice a bit of reality for the sake of romance.” Even while writing within the standardized format of romantic storytelling, she attempted to cross the lines between period piece and fantasy, and of course also genres such as homosexual love stories. After taking a position at Shin Young Media in 1999, during the eight years in which she wrote twenty romantic novels, she wrote with the intention of not repeating her settings and subject matter.
Of course, she had a strategy to survive in the romantic fiction world of broad, superficial romances that appeal to upwards of ten thousand people. “It’s a double-edged sword. The reader does grow weary of the patterns of romance fiction, but without those elements, you turn those readers off. In trying to explore something different in all my material, Coffee Prince is a novel I wrote keeping in mind the feel of popular Japanese novels, which fall somewhere between romance novels and pure literature.” However, romantic fiction is a genre that the writer herself enjoys, and so her main characters have not deviated much. Indeed, Sun Woo Wan of “Kyung Sung Sad Story” and Choi Han Gyul of “Coffee Prince” give the impression of reflecting the writer’s own preference for strong, masculine men.
In their respective dramas, those two have certainly been transformed into lighthearted, cheerful personalities. Although the original author is involved in these adaptations, she has been the one to urge the director to make cuts, saying, “If you can make it better, it doesn’t matter to me what you do.” She says, “Kang Ji Hwan (playing Sun Woo Wan)’s image was a bit more refined than in the novel, but Gong Yoo (playing Choi Han Gyul) was undoubtedly that character. He came across both like a youthful boy as well as a man, as well as being difficult to please… Even without having signed the contract, afterward when I was adapting the story, I only had Gong Yoo in mind as I wrote.” For him, Coffee Prince wasn’t just a novel to be unraveled with words. This was depicted in the 12th episode aired on the 7th, when Han Gyul (Gong Yoo) finds out that Eun Chan (Yoon Eun Hye) is a girl, and at the end of their fight, they officially embark on their romance. While this was the final wrap-up of the original story, the drama still has four episodes remaining in which to create something wholly original. “I thought the novel might exceed the first volume so I wrapped it up rather quickly, and felt some disappointment. I missed the opportunity of exploring aspects of developing the romance between the two main characters in the second half of the book.”
In the novel, Han Gyul seems to change suddenly, but, “in the drama, he goes through the process of naturally changing into someone who’s able to express his inner emotions.”
What does the writer feel fits her best, between being an original novelist and the writer of an adaptation? After Coffee Prince, Lee Sun Mi intends to try her hand at writing an original script. “In the drama, we’re creating dramatic threads and love triangles and rectangles that weren’t present in the original work. There may be those who are dissatisfied, but criticism is something I should willingly accept in order to create interesting, fun melodrama. Marriage? Putting aside what I’ve read, I’ll have to meet someone I like enough to go out with, I suppose.”
Source: Hankyoreh :: Hani.co.kr