Casting continues on SBS’s upcoming Jang Ok-jung, Live For Love, the drama reimagining the life of notorious royal concubine Jang heebin that has cast Kim Tae-hee in the title role. With the traditional villain role being made the protagonist of the story, perhaps there’ll be a twist on the usual heroine in the tale, the good-natured Queen In-hyun who fell victim to Jang heebin’s ambition. That’s the role being offered to Hong Soo-hyun (History of the Salaryman), which would be her second time playing real-life royalty after her turn as Princess Kyung-hye in The Princess’s Man revitalized her career.
According to Hong’s representation, she is currently considering the role favorably. I have no idea whether this drama will give Queen In-hyun a different dimension, though I don’t doubt Hong is up for it. The show will depict Jang as a Joseon-era fashion designer, a descriptor I find pretty inadequate: Will she be a sweet fashion designer or a murderous, power-hungry one? The scant descriptions about this drama are driving me a little crazy, because they promise a lot yet tell you nothing. The well-known story is plenty dramatic as it is and has been explored in lots of dramas and films already, so I expect this Jang Ok-jung to do something different. The producers just aren’t telling us how. Not yet, at least.
In any case, Hong Soo-hyun should be pretty fantastic as Queen In-hyun; she’s proven she can play commanding, vulnerable, haughty, sweet, and scheming. Any or all of those qualities should make for an interesting queen who gets tossed to the side by her king (Yoo Ah-in’s still considering that role) and is eventually reinstated. I’d say the only problem would be that she’d totally blow Kim Tae-hee out of the water. And while I find Kim Tae-hee totally endearing as a celebrity, she doesn’t really need any help from dynamic co-stars to make her own acting look dispassionate.
Jang Ok-jung will air on Mondays and Tuesdays after Yawang ends in March.