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Press conference and open set day for Saimdang, the Herstory

We’re still quite a ways off from the seeing SBS’s historical drama Saimdang, the Herstory on the air, but the drama did hold a press conference and open press day at the shooting location on November 30. Since the series doesn’t even have a spot on the schedule yet, I presume the press blitz was to remind us that the show’s still busily in the works; it’s probably a smart move, since it has such a lengthy production schedule that it’s easy to forget about it while other dramas come and go much more swiftly.

Not that anyone would forget Saimdang entirely, if only for being Lee Young-ae’s long-awaited television comeback, and her first in a decade since headlining the epically successful Dae Jang Geum (Jewel in the Palace). She’s turned down numerous projects and focused on her family, getting married and having children in the interim, so everyone’s curious to see what about this drama would lure her out of her extended hiatus.

Saimdang, the Herstory, which is produced by Group Eight, reimagines the life of the famed Joseon-era writer and artist Shin Saimdang, though it will have a modern-day element with Lee Young-ae also playing a present-day university art history lecturer. The contemporary character happens upon Saimdang’s diary and delves into the secret behind a mysterious painting of a woman; it sounds a lot like a Possession-esque (the A.S. Byatt novel) format, intertwining the lives of researchers and their long-deceased subjects as both stories unfold concurrently.

At the press conference, which was held at the Seamarq Hotel in the eastern city of Gangneung, Lee Young-ae expressed her feelings at coming back to dramas after ten years, and described the drama as the story of a woman and mother: “I don’t think women’s concerns from 500 years ago are different from their concerns today. Through acting the two characters, I wanted to tell a story of women.”

About her extended break from dramaland, Lee said, “They say ten years is an epoch, and now that I’ve become a mother, my view of the world has broadened and deepened. I’ve come to understand the perspective of a mother raising children. My reason for choosing Saimdang, aside from it being interesting, is that I wanted to delve into the education of children and examine the concerns of women’s lives through the drama.”

Song Seung-heon plays the “Joseon Gatsby” who falls in love with Saimdang after a fateful encounter, and remains devoted to her for the rest of his life. He called it an honor to be acting opposite Lee Young-ae in her comeback, and also his main reason for taking the role. He said, “I’d never thought I would get to work with Lee Young-ae sunbae-nim, and every day feels amazing and like a dream. I remember being so nervous going to my first day of filming that it made me mess up my lines.”

Song Seung-heon has done a sageuk before, but Dr. Jin was more of a fusion project, given that it featured a time-traveling character. (Also, that drama was terrible, and the less of we speak of it the better.) Song played a 21st-century character in that one, so Saimdang will be his first time taking on a conventional sageuk role, and he called it unfamiliar and a challenge for himself.

No doubt the widespread success of Dae Jang Geum is on everyone’s minds, but I do hope the production isn’t pinning its hopes on similar expectations, if only because the landscape has changed so much since that drama aired. Song Seung-heon did say, “As a drama that can move people through our common emotions, we have hopes that it will be embraced by Hallyu fans, but we aren’t making the drama consciously with thoughts of ‘Hallyu.'”

Saimdang began filming in August and will be 100 percent pre-produced. It plans to air in the second half of 2016, though an official airdate has yet to be announced.

Via Newsen, Mk.co.kr, Hankyung, Joins

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So much pretty on my screen *___*
If it's LYA I'd watch her do cartwheels dressed as a clown for 100 episodes

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-- (Also, that drama was terrible, and the less of we speak of it the better.) --

Ahh, but I remember correctly that we have a good time reading Head's entertaining recap back then.. ^^

LYA, my oh my, look at her.. Can't wait to watch the return of a classy actress. Love, love her. But, it seems there is no hope for seeing Mr. Hand towel's interesting *cough* vein *cough* in this drama then.. *grump*

Can 1 have hope and wish, PD-nim? Pretty please.. Fanserving is not a crime in the industry.. ^^

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Can't wait, he is such a good actor and nice to look at as well.

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I'm reading LYA's statements and shooting stars out of my eyes. Such an awesome lady.

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She is so beautiful! Can't believe it's already ten years since her last drama. She has this somewhat regal aura & elegance to her that I can't help but feel in awe looking at her pictures

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LYA doesnt seem to age a single bit. Shes a legend

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Imagine, 2003 was the year of LEE YOUNG-AE's most recent drama; while it was HAN JI-MIN's very first year!

Time flies so fast!

And Han Ji-min made quite a name for herself. I looooove Lee Young-ae.

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Why does the first picture scream "a noona and her younger brother" to me?

I think it's their very similar smiles - their line-dimples(?) look exactly the same to me. And they both have high cheekbones and similar eye shapes. Maybe it's their aura... *shrugs*

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Lee Young Ae is getting older (of course) but she shines so much that it just awesome to see her age well.

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100% pre-produced. It's good to see some dramas are beginning to embrace pre-production.

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OMG Lee Young Ae looks so young in campus setup. Is she a professor here? 'Cause she looks just a bit older than anyone in their thirties.
Definitely needs to watch this, despite Mr. Hand Towel's presence.

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OMG Lee Young Ae looks so young in campus setup. Is she a professor here? ‘Cause she looks just a bit older than anyone in their thirties.

http://www.soso.pk/

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100% pre-produced. It’s good to see some dramas are beginning to embrace pre-production.

http://www.lagayraho.com/

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produced by Group Eight

Oh no.....that's never been a good sign.

I hope this one bucks that trend and Lee Young-ae's judgement is vindicated (i.e. the drama is actually good)

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Does Korea understand that Gatsby is not just a blanket term to describe a man devoted to one woman? The Great Gatsby is not even really about love; it's about greed, the mythology of upward mobility, moral decay and the corruption of the American dream post-WWI. Pretty sure Song Seung-heon's character will not represent class instability and post-war nihilism (in Joseon?), anymore than Lee Young-ae's will become a cipher for the illusory "Joseon dream."

Sorry, it just irritates the crap out of me when these press releases appropriate terms and names from literature so carelessly.

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It's not unlike the way the press and popular media routinely uses 'Lolita' as a shorthand for 'seductive teenage girl', despite the eponymous heroine actually being a 12 year old who looked 8 and was targeted by a paedophile for it.

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Yeah, if anyone were to appropriate a term from that book for general use, it should have been nymphette, not Lolita.

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haha this is exactly what we analysed in literature class...but i agree the comparison is bad.

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I want this to be good, but Song Seung-heon....Don't get me wrong, he's very pretty, and serviceable enough for anything that requires shirtlessness and angst, but in a sageuk? With a role that might actually require acting? *skeptical face*

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I know, right? Lee Young-ae and then......him. Talk about a gap in talent.

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This pairing...*sigh*

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Kam Woo-sung should have...

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Ikr? Wonder why he turned it down.

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SSH is eye candy, and I like him in light roles like in My Princess, but a big no in weight roles, sageuk especially. I always wish for him do more rom-com. But lets have a little hope that with this pre-produce, at least his acting can be slightly good.

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He isn't even good in movies, I doubt pre-production actually makes that much of a difference with him.

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pogo, i never watch him in movie, waitt, i did watch him in Obsessed. Almost forget. This movie was so boring and the leads also didn't help.

I may not that hard to be pleased, but let see when this air. I don't about anyone else, for me as long as I like the presence of the actor or actress in the drama, it is still OK despite of how terrible his acting. :P

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Woah, Dae Jang Geum's viewership rating: peak=57.8% average=46.3%
I'm not really into long dramas, is it REALLY good?
I've only tried Queen Seondeok, which I'm watching very slowly. I love Lee Yoo Won, so...

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Dae Jang Geum is REAL good. That I can give you.

Even if you know NOTHING about K-entertainment at all, as in ZERO, you'll love Dae Jang Geum.

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k, I'm adding to PTW.
ty.

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Lee Young-ae is such beauty. What a charming beauty. She is the sole reason I am now THIS DEEP into Korean dramas. All hail Dae Jang Geum.

I could tell with that photo that Song Seung-heon looks quite starstruck (until now) with his leading lady. I am sure he feels lucky to be paired with the actual Lee Young-ae.

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Pre-produced should be better than the make things up as they go along craps that they're feeding the public. I love DJG but there's something off about this one. I think it's the main guy. He gives me mediocre vibe.

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It sounds like you haven't seen his acting since the mediocrity is not just in the vibe... haha. Nothing personal against him.

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LYA is aging beautifully. She has her own aura , envy her.
Never be a big fan of DJG and LYA, but she is indeed very beautiful. Hopefully her comeback after 10 years will be hit. The fact that this drama is pre-produce is what attracted me. I hope the result is as expected and much better.

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my only question is why did LYA chose to wear such a matronly dress? The hem is too long, I am sure she is slim enough to wear a more glamorous dress.

this drama is a highly anticipated for old time korean drama fans. looking forward to it.

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I thought I was the only one who noticed.

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The dress isn't that bad, but too old for her age. Maybe for an older lady? The dress was so fancy, but her hairdo was simple and sloppy too.
I love LYA like everyone else. I'm so happy she made it back to Kdramas.
SSH - hopes he doesn't mess up in a real sageuk. Didn't like him in Obsessed. I was bored out of my mind with his Dr. Jin.

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No matter what, im checking this out for LYA. It may be SSH but I'll imagine JJH instead. DAE JANG GEUM OTP FOREVER:) why didnt it happen in real life???!!!

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