Lee Hong-ki is mostly famous for being a member of the popular pop/rock band FT Island, but he’s looking forward to returning to acting, which he’ll do in SBS’s trendy idol-star drama You’re Beautiful [미남이시네요], his first drama gig in five years. (He has made cameo appearances on dramas and sitcoms, but his last drama role was in MBC’s 2004 series Freezing Point.)
I’d say most of the press attention is focused on its leads — Jang Geun-seok as the idol band leader and Park Shin-hye as his crossdressing teammate — but with FT Island’s popularity, I’m sure there’s a vocal minority who’s excited for Lee Hong-ki.
Lee says that partly due to his membership in an idol group, he felt comfortable approaching his role as an upbeat character of an idol group: “The director, Hong Sung-chan, told me to just be as I usually am and to use the way we normally talk in our dialogue, so I didn’t feel a lot of pressure.”
The idol group within the drama is called A.N.JELL (which makes me cringe a little, but I suppose it’s not any worse than real band names like 2NE1). Lee Hong-ki’s character is named “Jeremy” and is a gyopo (Korean living abroad) from England. His father is an upper-class Englishman while his mother was once a famous model, and he grew up well-off.
Lee says his fellow FT Island bandmates are cheering him on, and are looking at his role with particular interest because they also have an interest in acting. He described the pull he feels to both being a singer and actor: “When I am performing as a singer, I feel a thrill standing onstage, and as I act, I feel affection for the television screen.”
I wonder if Lee Hong-ki’s casting was at all influenced positively by another actress, Choi Ran, who is a Hong sisters favorite. Choi has appeared in three of their dramas: She played Jae Hee’s mother in Chun-hyang, Lee Dong-wook’s aunt in My Girl, and Jang Geun-seok’s loyal servant in Hong Gil Dong. She also played Lee Hong-ki’s mother in 2004′s Freezing Point, and has also been cast in You’re Beautiful as the aunt to Park Shin-hye’s twin characters.
Speaking of whom, You’re Beautiful is also drawing attention for its writing team, the Hong sisters (Hong Mi-ran, Hong Jung-eun) who have now penned four successful romantic-comedy dramas. While their dramas have had their flaws, I have greatly enjoyed them all, and consider their writing style to be at the top of the trendy genre. They don’t give up on their characters halfway through or cop out of storylines, which unfortunately is not always true in other trendy dramas. They also have an ability to keep twists funny and the pace fast and exciting, and have been lucky with casting charismatic lead actors with strong chemistry (Jae Hee, Lee Da-hae, Lee Dong-wook, Han Ye-seul, and Kang Ji-hwan, among others).
I hope their streak extends to You’re Beautiful, which premieres on Wednesday, October 7.
Via Joy News
- Jang Geun-seok gets into character for You’re Beautiful
- Park Shin-hye is Jang Geun-seok’s girl in You’re Beautiful
- Hong sisters idol drama to be led by Jang Geun-seok
- New idol star drama in the works