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Lee Jia trades in her shortbow for a violin bow

Joining Kim Myung Min in the upcoming MBC drama Beethoven Virus is Lee Jia, the Korean-American who made a huge splash with her acting debut as Bae Yong Joon’s love interest Sujini in last year’s fantasy-historical epic Legend [Taewangsashingi].

In Beethoven Virus, Kim Myung Min portrays a strong-willed, perfectionist orchestra conductor, while Lee Jia has been cast as a violinist with a “refined” and “feminine” outward appearance but a lively and mischievous personality. She’s started taking violin lessons to appear natural with the instrument. (Aside: If she’s just learning now, she’s going to drive me nuts. It’s a particular pet peeve of mine that people always look so incredibly fake while “playing” the violin.)

The Wednesday-Thursday drama will air in July and is brought to you by some notable people: director Lee Jae Kyu of Damo and Fashion 70s and writers Hong Jin Ah and Hong Jaram. This pair of Hong sisters — not the ones who penned My Girl or Hong Gil Dong — also wrote kpop-centric Over the Rainbow and sports-themed Taereung National Village.

Perhaps the mere topic of classical music has linked the drama in viewers’ minds with popular Japanese manga (and later drama) Nodame Cantabile, which was also popular with Korean fans. That, combined with the high profile of the actors and producers involved, leads to a building buzz around Beethoven Virus.

Via Star News, Sports Chosun

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I love Kim Myung Min and Nodame Cantabile.

Looking forward to checking out the korean version.

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i also remember Nodame Cantabile when i read this article.

I think Kim Myung Min it's a great actor and i'm looking forward to watch this drama.

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Okay I'm going to sound like a hater, but I don't know if E Ji Ah really deserves this role. A Lee Jae Kyu drama is kind of an event. You're playing against Kim Myung Min. You need a Ha Ji Won kind of actress to play against Kim Myung Min if it's going to be *that* kind of story.

My guess is E probably has some experience with strings in her background. At least, some formal music training. I mean, she's Korean American, right? ;)

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this really does remind of a more "refined" Nodame Cantabile. but i love Nodame for its immaturities, so i'm not sure if i'll like this. plus, all the actors in Nodame could actually play their instruments (or at least Ueno Juri did).

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i didn't think of nodame cantabile when i read this article. i loved that jdorama, but i'll keep an open mind on this one.

do you play the violin, javabeans?

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Yay, finally I'll be able to see Mr. Kim Myung Min's work. Being a violinist, I know it's extremely hard to "look" the part if you're not playing it. Most people overact the gestures and poses. Thanks for the news.

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When I heard that it had to do with a conductor I immediately thought of Nodame Cantabile! But still, it sounds like it will be different.

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Is Lee JiAh a Korean-American or is she Korean and she just went to America to study?

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I read somewhere that it was supposed to be based on Nodame Cantabile or maybe rather inspired? Dunno, but I do think it'll be quite different. Anyway, Lee Ji Ah did mention in an interview that she'd return in a MBC drama soon and I was just wondering what show it could be and it turns out to this one! ^^ And it's gonna air in July already (so soon~~)! I'm totally excited now :D I've seen Kim Myung Min in both Bad Family and White Tower and he's just awesome XD And of course I've been a fan of Lee Ji Ah ever since I started following The Four Gods/Legend ^^

Thanx for the news!

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@ladychick,

E's Korean but she came here when she was roughly 10. You can pick up her American sensibilities because she's often seen rocking it with emo accessories. I'm totally tickled punk that Korea's in love with a riot grrrl and doesn't even know it. :D

That and when says bye, she does the 2-finger chest tap (?!?) That's right -- Lee Ji Ah is not only sXe, she gangsta!! She is to K-drama what Iverson is to Philly! Recognize!!

Definitely check out her home site (on Internet Explorer.) She's redone it into a kind of live comic book!!!

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Oh my goodness, as a violinist myself, I hate it when the actors/actresses "play" string instruments on screen when they've had no experience. It almost always looks incredibly fake. Keri Russel's cello playing in August Rush was on the line for me.

Do you play the violin?

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I haven't picked up a violin in ages, but I did play it for ten years (and only about half of that was out of parental coercion!), which is enough to get me irritated whenever string instruments in movies are "played" by actors who don't know the fat end of a cello from the pointy one.

i remember watching an interview with richard gere (promoting a movie where he plays the violin) where he described being so determined to look and sound "authentic" that he studied violin intensely for about four months, and rolled my eyes. the first four months learning to play violin means you can barely play a set of scales without sounding like a mouse screeching on a torture rack. 's just one of those steep-learning-curve instruments.

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"(Aside: If she’s just learning now, she’s going to drive me nuts. It’s a particular pet peeve of mine that people always look so incredibly fake while “playing” the violin.)"

I played violin for about 13 years..so I;m pretty much in agreement with you Javabeans and the others here who play instruments....

fake violin playing just make me cringe >.

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for me, at least she's making an effort for the part... i like Lee Ji Ah a lot in Tae Wang Sha Shin Gi, she really looked so innocent and refreshing...

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OMG I completely agree! I always thought it was because I actually play violin so I didn't like it when people faked it, but thank goodness other people think so too! I hate watching music videos or movies where guys fall in love with girls who "play" violin when the whole time I'm thinking..."hey look at me I can actually play!!"

Sorry that was just a venting moment.

Love your site!

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Hello, I am new to your site and I got to say this is great. I too am a fan of Korean dramas. Can I X post what you said in this article in my blog? Thank you!

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did not know Nodame was a jdorama. watched the anime and LOVED it! i'll have to check it out. as for the fake instrument playing, i agree with you on that one. i've played cello for a while and fake playing is one of my pet peeves as well.
have you seen The Red Violin? they do great fake playing in that movie (if i remember correctly). and it's a great movie too...

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i loved nodame cantabile. one of my fave jdramas! the cast did well in playing the piano, violin, flute and really felt like a real orchestera to me. since in the story they were in a music school. i was impressed.

i really like LJA, i think she's really good. pulled of the stunt scenes and whatnot on Legend really well. KMM is also excellent. I think he'd do well in the role.

i get the meaning behind the violin comment. ive seen bad and ive seen good. hmmm its a while since ive played an instrument, but there are some who can really bring out the feel of the instrument as its played. i think maybe LJA can do a decent job. maybe she is relearning it as well. i cant wait to see this.

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MBC always has the best dramas. Lately, at least!

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i totally agree with you about the awkwardness of "playing" the violin. it totally degrades the instrument no matter how much the actor "practices". Like some of Nodame Cantabile was alright.. but most of it looked awkward half the time. However, the piano playing and the conducting were pretty good.
I understand that this actress may work very hard to act as a violinist, but it just doesnt look rite either way. The essence of a violinist is rarely captured, hopefully this drama may change my opinion. But it's always nice to watch a music drama, something fresh~

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Ohhhh! i love NODAME CANTABILE!
And reading bout the conductor part reminds me of it:)

Aniway, kind of looking forward to this drama though i haven really seen LJ's and KMM's acting b4.

Hopefully, it would turn out to be good!

isn't true?

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oh man. i thought over the rainbow was terrible. hope this one's better.

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I instantly thought of Nodame Cantabile when I read this post... And then, hah, you mentioned it too... But I know this new drama probably isn't going to be as wacky as as Nodame but I might like a Korean drama about classical music... The name of the drama is funny! Beethoven Virus sounds like a title of a shoujo manga or something..... (btw, I'm loving your Who Are You? banner! Go Ara looks so ethereal and Yoon Kye Sang, he looks so rugged and broody... *faints*)

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Hmmm I thought more of Fujimi Orchestra... which is about a violinist and the conductor that falls in love with that violinist. Uh.. forceably. It's yaoi, but that's the first thing that came to mind.

Hmm so I'm guessing Rui in HYD wasn't really playing the violin? I can't really tell... ^-^; Looks fake.. but could be real for all I know.

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I agree with #22 up there... Over the Rainbow was.. over the top for me. I thought the plot was pretty weak and blah.. didn't like the ending either... I hope this will be good as Ejiah is in it...
I don't play the violin (only for 1 year but that was ages ago) so I probably won't be able to tell lol.

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well for me.. i just really wanna see lee ji ah at her new drama series. I guess it will be another challenge for her career. i wish her good luck.^^ man oh man i really wanna see her in person up close. just once will make m y life complete . ^^ hehe

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yay!!! a new drama with two awesome actors...and in a classical music drama? AWESOME!!! I loved nodame cantabile, as well, though i'm hoping that Korea's drama will be completely different. wow, july. not too far away and yet so many days to go through. i pray these next couple months pass well for me so i can actually enjoy this drama. i've also played the violin for a while...maybe they should have gone with piano since that's easier to fake? or maybe she learned before, since she is Korean (as many of you pointed out) ;)

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@haezi,

That's exactly what I'm hoping. I'm not keen on Ejiah (still learning her craft) in this role because she'll have to match Kim Myung Min's presence. And if anything, KMM can eat other actors alive in scenes.

But, on the other hand, Ejiah is bohemia bona fide. And, just going along with the stereotype of well-to-do Korean/American women learning either piano or violin/cello as part of their formative education, if she has that then she could play this role very well.

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nodame cantabile was fun.. i'm a classical pianist but recently getting more into pop & gospel.. i hear everybody about actors "fake" playing musical instruments.. it can be frustrating watching them show off their bad air playing when you've poured blood, sweat and tears into practicing for years and even decades to get to a level where you aren't doing an injustice to the music..

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I really like Lee Jiah in TWSSG but you know, I dont like her in real life! I dont know why but something about her bugs me.....she kinda looks like a gangster with all those scary accessories. Well they are kinda cool but she looks gangster-ish :)

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Hi!! your site are awesome...

I'm a big fan of Lee Jiah. When GMA channel 7 shown the legend me and my friends where hoooked on this show.It"s 1 of the top shows in the philippines.
Hope one day she visits the phil.

Again Thanks 4 d info about lee jiah. Hope they team up again with bae yong joon
they're very good 2gether.

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you guys are funny..... Just the way you're talking about "fake" playing violin that bugged me a lot. Although you guys think you're good at violin or even you know how to play it, you think nobody can play it???

If people always require the true artist playing in the drama or movie, they should not watch it anyway. Nothing is perfect. And do you know how much time, pressure, and afford the actors or actresses have to put in their roles in order to have a perfect characters for audience to see? Let's just don't complain so much.

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NO MATTER WAHT YOU SAY,, LEE JI AH IS STILL THE BEST!!!

AND WHO EVER SAID THAT SHE DOESN'T DESERVE THE ROLE??
HOW DARE YOU??!!!!!
for your information,, LEE JI AH recieved FOUR AWARDS FOR HER ROLE AS SUJINI IN TAE WANG SA SHIN GI..
AND TAKE NOTE,, IT'S HER FIRSAT EVER ACTING EXPERIENCE AND SHE ALREADY GOT AN AWARD FOR THAT....
HOW MANY ACTRESSES GET AN AWARD AFTER DEBUTING??
JUST ATE JI AH..

WHY ARE YOU SO "HOT" ON HER??
ARE YOU PEOPLE INSECURE??

EVEN IF LEE JI AH IS JUST A BEGINNER IN PLAYING THE VIOLIN,,
SHE PRACTICED HARD FOR THE ROLE.. SHE EVEN BROUGHT THE VIOLIN WITH HER WHEN SHE WENT TO JAPAN TO PRACTICE WHEN SHE HAS FREETIME...

IN FACT,, KIM MYUNG MIN IS TOOOOO LUCKY TO HAVE A BEAUTIFUL, MULTITALENTED AND AN AMAZING ACTRESS TO BE HER LEADING LADY..

AND WHO CARES IF SHE DRESSES LIKE A GANGSTER??
IT'S HER STYLE AND SHE'S COOL..
DO YOU KNOW THAT SHE'S A DESIGNER??
SHE'S NOT ONE OF THOSE BORING ACTRESSES WHO WEAR PLAIN CLOTHES
OR JUST MIMIC WHAT IS "IN" AND DON'T EVEN BOTHER TO HAVE THIER OWN STYLE..

ATE JI AH IS THE BEST..BLEEHHH!!!

TO ALL EJIAH FANZ,, JUST DON'T MIND THE PEOPLE WHO KEEP ON BADMOUTHING LEE JI AH..
THEY'RE JUST INSECURE...
KEEP ON SUPPORTING LEE JI AH FORVER!!!

LEE JI AH FOREVER!!!

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she looks coll snd awesome!!!!!

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yeah.. lee ji ah is the best !!!! she deserves this role ... she really work hard for it... i want to watch this movie really really much.... where can i watch it? already on air? i though it's in september or ... something... anyway i want to watch it really really much.... waiting waiting be patient may b i can find this drama somewhere...

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um. uh. "cheddar".
im sure shes great and all but chill out dude.

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yupppppppp.....u rockzzzzz cheddar!!!!!!~~~~~~~totatlly agree with u!!!!!~~~~~^-^
waaaa...i juz knw that u have visit this website also...^-^...actually i also juz knw this site...^-^
once again....ur comment is really good...thankssss for posting some kind comment...love ur comment so much!!!!~~~~^-^

ajaaaaaaaaaa ejiah!!!!!!!!!!~~~~~~~^-^

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lja deserves the role of do ru mi. she's naturally awesome and does not go for the usual girlie cutie girl next door type. so what , if she's emo looking.?i ts just a look . duh!! whats wrong with experimenting and trying something new?hey dude, you must have been eons or century older than the characters of the oldest korean drama... where in this world did you get the idea ( the 2-finger chest tap makes her a gansta!!) what the heck!!!! you must have stimulated your imagination so well that you got a senseless thought from nowhere... anyway dude... chill out!!! have a break!!! have a kit kat!!!

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Lee Jia is the best

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I've been watching the Beethoven Virus these few days, &I'm impressed that even though the actors/actresses faked playing the instrument, they did quite a good job already. They're just actors & actresses, not musicians, so we can't possibly expect too much from them. They just picked up playing the instruments (I'm not too sure about this, but I suppose so), & for everyone who just started (not only implying to this, but also any other situations when you just started on it), you won't be good at it.
So please appreciate the hard work the actors/actresses put in for the drama, &try not to criticize their playing. Lastly, be contented with their wonderful acting &enjoy the drama/movie. (:

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hello miss jiah,i love you soooo much keep up the good work. remember that whatever happens to you we will allways be here for you. GOD BLESS YOU AND MORE POWER,hehe.jorjit awisan from the philippines mountain province here...i love you i love you i loveyou i love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I LOVE VERY MUCH MISS JIAH. LOVE YOUR ROLE ON THE LEGEND. WE WILL SUPPORT AND PRAY FOR YOU ALWAYS.......... GOD BLESS AND MORE POWER ALWAYS. HOPE I CAN BE LIKE YOU ON THE FUTURE...

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