Second interview: Writer of Coffee Prince
Interview with “Coffee Prince” writer Lee Jung Ah:
“Embarrassed over such favorable response for treatment of gay love”
“This wasn’t a drama that I started with a specific intention to make a big statement about homosexuality. A woman playing the role of a man was an important aspect, but this drama is just a love story about a person named Eun Chan. Rather, the audience has found more favorable meaning in the homosexual relationship issue than the producers, for which I feel very thankful, and also somewhat embarrassed.”
The youthful Monday-Tuesday MBC drama starring Gong Yoo, Yoon Eun Hye, Lee Seon Kyun, and Chae Jung Ahn, “Coffee Prince Store #1,” has provoked extensive discussion by the public regarding the changing tastes and maturing of our culture. Among the discussion is the way that the dramatic device of using a woman acting as a man has depicted a romantic story unrestricted by gender and portrayed a mature human relationship, which has met with widespread favorable response.(…)
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W (Where the Story Ends) – “만화가의 사려 깊은 고양이” (The cartoon artist’s thoughtful cat)
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Coffee Prince Store #1‘s original novelist, and now the writer of the drama adaptation, Lee Jung Ah [pen name for Lee Sun Mi], recently said in an interview with Newsen, “The idea of a woman posing as a man isn’t a new story, dating back to Shakespeare’s classics. To be honest, in the process of writing this love story about a girl named Eun Chan, in large part the use of the device draws on the fantasies of women. I didn’t have a strong intention of switching the focus to the subject of homosexual love, but because of such wonderful response and critique, PD Lee Yoon Jung and I were a bit embarrassed [Laughs].”
Frankly, the subject of a girl acting as a pretty boy, and meeting and falling in love with a beautiful man, has been reproduced in many various ways in romance novels or manhwa. Although this is the first time the topic has been shown on mainstream television, discussion of gay love has become a more visible trend in society at large, and while some viewers may find the matter exciting, many others accept the idea naturally.
The writer adds, “Although the subject of a girl acting as a man is important in this drama, at the core of the story is Eun Chan’s love. The drama does talk about homosexual love, but the device is really to show the genuineness of Han Gyul, who loves this Eun Chan just as she is. It was also to express to women who want to experience love, person-to-person, one such effective way.”
The writer also expressed her gratitude, saying, “The fact that viewers are able to accept this issue of homosexual love so naturally is owed to Yoon Eun Hye, acting so lovably as the character of Eun Chan.”
Meanwhile, Coffee Prince Store #1, which is been closing in on the 30% viewership mark with each episode, finishes its broadcast run with its 17th episode, on August 27.