Lee Elijah becomes villainess for An Empress’s Dignity
Actress Lee Elijah (Miss Hammurabi) has confirmed her next project to be An Empress’s Dignity, a modern-day love story set in an alternate reality where Korea is ruled by a constitutional monarchy. Jang Nara has been cast to play the lead, a musical actress turned empress, while Lee Elijah’s agency announced that she will play the role of the antagonist Min Yoo-ra for this upcoming SBS drama.
An Empress’s Dignity centers around a cheerful, bright musical actress who suddenly experiences her own overnight Cinderella story when she marries the emperor. As she enters the palace, she must fight absolute power to uncover the truth of the dowager empress’s murder and take down the corruption from within. Along the way, she learns to find love and happiness. Hmm… this sounds like a cross between Goong and Forest of Secrets, and that would be amazing.
Lee Elijah’s character, Min Yoo-ra, is the head secretary who is perfect and decisive at her work. She holds the sacred trust of the emperor, who will be played by Shin Sung-rok (Return, Man Who Dies to Live). She forms a confrontational front with his mother, and enhances the emotional tension of the drama. It seems like a good fit because Lee Elijah has always been good at playing the second lead you love to hate (example: Fight My Way). Also in the cast are Choi Jin-hyuk (Tunnel), who will play a palace bodyguard, and Shin Eun-kyung (Village: Secret of Achiara) as the dowager empress, who ought to be amazing in that role.
Writer Kim Soon-ok (Temptation of Wife, My Daughter Geum Sa-wol) and director Joo Dong-min (Return) are helming this project. Here’s what I can say about this partnership: Kim Soon-ok’s dramas are as addictive as crack cocaine, and almost always contain makjang tropes. I haven’t seen Joo Dong-min’s latest Return, but there was enough strife on set that it made its lead actress quit mid-way through production, and the two other dramas under his full direction The Family Is Coming and Take Care of Us, Captain were not great by any means. Overall, I’m just cautiously keeping hope because I really like the premise of this drama.
SBS Wednesday-Thursday drama An Empress’s Dignity will premiere this coming November.
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