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May Queen’s leading men Jae Hee and Kim Jae-won

With May Queen‘s premiere approaching, here are a couple of interviews with its two male leads, Jae Hee (Color of Woman) and Kim Jae-won (Can You Hear My Heart), who happen to be friends who’ve worked together before (albeit more than a decade ago) and were both excited to be cast in a drama again together.

They’ll be rivals for the heroine (played by Han Ji-hye), but really I could be happy with more of a focus on the boys’ friendship over everything else. Hey, I’m pretty much a sucker when it comes to brotherhood and bonding.

Admittedly there are several factors holding me back from excitement about May Queen, such as its world (shipping industry), its length (32 episodes), and its timeslot (weekends). So… it’s really all about Jae Hee and Kim Jae-won for me. And that may not be enough (see: Color of Woman, which had a premise and a cast I actually did quite enjoy, though stuff sure went downhill in the bakc half).

In May Queen, Jae Hee plays Park Chang-hee, a character who grew up poor and becomes successful through tons of hard work. As an adult he sounds like your standard cold, proficient, selfish type of businessman, but I do like his background as the son of the butler to a company chairman.

That childhood experience definitely gives us a peek into what makes him tick as a grown-up, knowing that he lives in the boss’s house alongside the boss’s privileged son (who grows into Kim Jae-won). Thus while Chang-hee feels conflicted when his romantic feelings clash with his ambition, we understand why he chooses his professional ambition.

Jae Hee explained, “Park Chang-hee is a guy with a lot of pain. Rather than living life according to his own will, he gives up a lot for the sake of those he loves, doing things he dislikes because they need to be done. Even as he can’t enjoy his own life, he’ll still do whatever he can for the people he cares about.”

Jae Hee’s stint in military service actually overlapped with Kim Jae-won, who was his sunbae (which I find amusing given that Jae Hee’s actually the hyung by a year). He said, “Because we did a drama before [2001’s Our House] and were in the army together, we became friendly. In the army, when we came out on leave we would have a drink together, but once we were discharged and returned to our individual lives, we haven’t been able to meet up. So when I heard we were both cast, I was really happy about it. Since you have to talk a lot with your co-stars, it makes it more comfortable that we already know each other well.”

Regarding the filming atmosphere: “We’re still filming the childhood portions, so I haven’t been to the set yet. But Ji-hye-sshi seems to have a bright personality, and Kim Jae-won-sshi and I both dislike overly heavy moods — he jokes a lot and has a cheerful personality. I think the set will be a lot of fun once we start filming.”

Kim Jae-won, on the other hand, plays Kang San, a man with a “bright, healthy personality” who had a cushy upbringing. His initial description sounds pretty typical, though there’s a shift that could be a lot more interesting further down the line. He’s a fast learner with “genius-like talent,” able to pick up a skill or remember something after seeing it just once. However, when he learns of his dead parents’ secret he experience a personality shift, becoming ill-mannered and reckless. Given Kim’s gentle and warm image, it’ll be a change for him to play a stronger, tougher sort of role.

Kim explained, “Kang San has a personality that’s a lot like mine. He has a toughness within his gentleness, which is similar to how I am. If you’re too tough, you end up breaking.”

As you may know, Kim had to drop Me Too, Flower when he was hurt filming an early scene, after which he was replaced by Yoon Shi-yoon. That means he’s had a bit of a forced hiatus as he recovered, and he said, “I went to physical therapy treatments regularly and pursued my hobbies. I was supposed to undergo surgery for the shoulder I injured from the last drama, but they told me that surgery would mean I couldn’t work for nine months, so I didn’t do it.”

About acting with Jae Hee, he said: “I was really happy when I heard Jae Hee and I would both be acting in May Queen. It’s not a common thing to meet again in a new drama. In the army we spent all day stuck together, so now that we’re out I think we’ll have fun acting together. I think actors have more synergy and chemistry when they know each other well and look out for each other.”

And regarding co-star Han Ji-hye: “I’m meeting her for the first time for this drama. She had a bright personality before, but now that she’s married I feel like she’s matured and grown more, similar to how a man changes when he comes back from army service.”

May Queen has an interesting list of producers, in that they’re all over the place. The credits are solid, but I’m scratching my head a bit to see how that’ll translate into this show: PD Baek Ho-min did the comedic weekend family drama Assorted Gems, and also the intense makjang Flames of Ambition. Writer Sohn Young-mok penned quintessential ’90s trendy drama Last Match (about basketball), as well as the weekend sageuk Iron Empress. It’s a strange mix, right?

May Queen was originally set to premiere on August 11, but with Dr. Jin’s last-minute pre-emption over the weekend, it’ll now be airing its first episode on the 18th.

Via TV Report, Osen

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Well, I guess if I do watch, it'll be a nice change to see how the heck they make the shipping industry interesting. Or I could just watch Jae Hee. Yeah, that's probably what I'd do...

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I agreed! Tentatively gonna watch for e seek of Jae Hee :) unless e drama is real good. Not an interesting female lead for me thou.

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For some reason i dont like Jae Hee's other roles besides the one he had in delightful girl...i am the man is gorgeous but his dramas are not my cup of tea...witch amusement was BAD!
Kim Jae Won was a delight to watch in Can you tear my heart, so i am curious about his next project...
And i am not a fan of the leading lady...i constantly wanted to kick her butt pr something while i was watching the duo"

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OTL i pressed the publish button before even completing my comment -_-"
anyways as i was saying...her character really annoyed me in Duo...kinda like what PMY's YR character is doing for me in Dr. Jin...but obviously i hate YR much more...she has to be the worst leading lady in the history of K drama ever!

TBH i am not excited abt this drama but i guess i will check out a few episodes rather than judging it prematurely. :)

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Haven't seen the "Duo" but one really shouldn't mix the character w/ the actress.

Han Ji-hye has done some charming roles, but in addition to that, she is known to have one of the most charming/winning personalities among the K-actresses.

As for me, I simply can't get the appeal of Kim Jae-won.

People comment on his smile, but he has one of the most (for the lack of a better word) "plastic" smiles which is off-putting.

Not only that, simply had to laugh in the pool scene in the film "100 Days w/ Mr. Arrogant" (which btw, was just an awful movie) where he appeared shirtless and the ladies were fawning over him even tho he looked like a pudgy 12 year old boy.

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If you don't know Kim Jaewon very well you shouldn't say that...that's the reckless words !!!

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It's just too bad that you can't appreciate Kim Jae Won smile, but i think you shouldn't judge him just because of that. 100 Days with Mr.Arrogant is few years back and he barely started in entertainment industry at that time, it's just normal to have some flaws, everyone has a room for improvement, and he did well and improves a lot in every drama that he made. For his personality, among all Korean actors, he is one of the artist with good attitude towards anyone, on and off the camera, all of those artist that work with him can prove that. I'm one of his fans since 2006, i think, i know him much better than you,... If you don't like him, it's fine. But for all his fans, His SMILE is the sweetest, every time i see his sweet smile, no matter what mood i'm in, i can't help but to smile too..among all the stars, he is the brightest.. we love so much no matter what you say... :)...

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I love kim jaewon oppa smile. I love his good and gentle personality also, he is the best actor as far as I know. Kim jaewon oppa, saranghe

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I hate when people says something bad and not nice about Kim Jaewon Oppa. His smile is the Best Smile in the world. Please do not say something bad if you don't know him well. Kim Jaewon Oppa, Fighting !! :)

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Kim Jae Won Smile is like a sunshine for me, he made my day bright and shining every time i see his sweet smile. His acting skills is superb and award winning specially in CYHMH. I love his personality, he is very professional at work and down-to-earth as a person. He is one of the best artist i've known in Korean Entertainment. I will watch this drama just for him. :) ... oppa fighting...

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I love Kim Jae Won Oppa smile. His smile makes my day become wonderful. 100 days with Mr.Arrogant was a good hilarious month movie. I like that movie. Really entertaining. I always support KJW oppa. The best actor I have ever known. Love You always, KJW Oppa <3<3.

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I love Kim Jae Won Oppa smile. His smile makes my day become wonderful. 100 days with Mr.Arrogant was a good hilarious movie. I like that movie. Really entertaining. I always support KJW oppa. The best actor I have ever known. Love You always, KJW Oppa <3<3.

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Love Kim Jae Won since his first dramas and movies. He is such sweet and gentle, honest. He has most amazing smile.

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Kim Jae Won, those lips...am done ; )

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Nice poem.

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I will watch this for Kim Jae-won: I loved him in CYHMH and was so disappointed & sad than he had to drop M2F.
Sidenote: The difference of skin color between the 2 pics is amazing. 00

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heheh i noticed that too! i think the second pic is with his real skin color..he is like really really fair!!

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Very fair. I was suprised at how pale he looked when I watched CYHMH. That's the only thing I've seen him in and I loved him there.

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Me too! I am only watching because of KJW! Not familiar with the other two as I have not watched them in any dramas or movies! KJW is my only motivation!

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Kim Jae Won oppa look more charming on those photos, it seems like he never aged at all. I love him as an artist and really respect him as a person. He is one on the most outstanding Korean actor that i've known. His talent in acting is getting better and better. I will definitely watch this drama. I like Jae Hee too. He is also a good actor. :) As for Han Ji Hye, i can't say much because i didn't able to watch her past drama, but i hope she will have a good chemistry with Kim Jae Won.

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She to me, is frankly SO uninteresting. But if time permits (omg so many dramas TMTH) I might give this one a go...

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nah. pass.

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If. I'm going to watch this at all, it'll be for Jae Hee. Just please be good drama, my last-watchable-Jae-Hee drama was Witch Amusement, which saying a lot.

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Jae Hee, please break your bad-drama-choice streak.

*burns offering for the kdrama gods*

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Han Ji Hye is very very good in EOE. All the scenes when she suffered knowing she was pregnant w her lover's enemy's babe got me. It is just the Duo writing for her character sucks, other than that, she is flipping amazing for me.

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It is an interesting pairing because they both seem so soft - no hard edges.

In CYHMH, perennial 2nd lead, Nam Goong Min, provided that eerie "come to the dark side" flavor that made me really nervous, which I liked.

Is the changed KJW going to be that guy this time?
Can we also have the two guys in bed together like in CYHMH? Is that a bad thing to want?
How about a water fight, too?
Some of the many reasons CYHMH was fun.

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Ha! I'd forgotten all about them famous 'bed scenes'! And no, not strange at all to like that ; )

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Ah yes, the tussle between KJW and NGM! One of my many favorite scenes! I always felt the bromance between these two was the best of 2011!!

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Thank you!

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jaewon looking sexy in that first pic of him. probably won't watch this unfortunately.

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Han Ji Hye looks like a old frump in that dress. Ditch that look and give that dress to Good Will.How can you get interested in this drama when she looks so awful?

The theme about the shipping business sounds boring.
HJH's latest roles haven't been that good, but because I like both Jee Hee and Kim Jae Won, I'll tune in. It's nice to work with your friends.

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I don't know what is wrong but somehow HJH seems fat...

but I know she isn't. It is her clothes PLUS the angle of the pictures...

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Oh goodness, both actors [Jae Hee and Kim Jae Won] are really manly and good-looking! I am glad that they both have a good chemistry together and friendly compliment to each others. :D That's great for both of them!

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Ah, Jae Hee, I thing he is under-utilized in dramas. Not sure if it is his choice or casting directors are morons, but he is under-rated. This sounds like a role that will allow him to practice his acting chops. I'd love to see him cast as an eccentric or even a villain and have some fun chewing some scenery.

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All I can say is, that is an ugly dress/cloth-with-holes that she is wearing. It gives her no shape.

That, and I'm still not sure if I'm going to watch this drama. The shipping industry world doesn't exactly make me want to jump on the bandwagon.

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May Eye Candy more like :D

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Kim Jae won looks good with darker hair.

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i'm watching. and altho the shipping industry doesn't appeal to me...AT ALL. i just can't NOT watch KIM JAE WON. i love him too much!

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KJW looks so good on those pics!!!! love him <3333
gonna watch it because of him...

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I'm going to watch it for Jae-Jae. I hope this time I can see a more matured Jae Hee. I just hate to see men in their 30's acting like teenager like tha way he acted in that flopped drama COW.

As for Jae Won, i loved him in CYHMH and can't wait to see his killer smile again. I was also disappointed at first when he dropped MTF, but Yoon Shi-yoon was really great on that drama.

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First teaser is out!

RAWR KJW <3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMM2SzxnF60

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What on earth happened to Jae Hee's hair?

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Jae Hee!!! & Kim Jae Won! :) I hope this is gonna be good...I wonder how many weeks the childhood portion is gonna be...since they are still filming it

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Jae Hee!!! & Kim Jae Won! :) I hope this is gonna be good...I wonder how many weeks the childhood portion is gonna be...since they are still filming it.

Oh, it's the same little teenage girl who played Won in Moon/Sun!!! I love her!

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I hope he can show his choco abs in this drama.... He Hasn't showed it yet in his drama since he finished his army duty

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I hope Jae Won can show up his choco abs post army duty in this drama.. I haven't saw it yet LOL

I loveeeee Han Ji Hye in humming, she is fuckin pretty and charming...

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It feels like looking at the cover of an old drama. All the actors were in shows that I loved in 2005 or something. And I haven't watched any of their dramas since they got out of army.

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Gosh! Jaewon Oppa look so handsome...I have beej waiting for his new drama. I am sure the rating May Queen will be great because of Jaewon Oppa as news said 15% viewers of May Queen drama because of Kim Jaewon as a lead actor there..Jaewon Oppa, FIGHTING !! :)

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With Kim Jae Won on board, for sure this gonna be a great drama... :) i like him so much. He is amazing. I just love everything about him. His Angelic SMILE, his humble and gentle personality, his outstanding acting skills... everything is just great...

Jae Hee made a lot of drama, and also proven himself as a good actor just too bad that it seems like he is under-rated.

Han Ji Hye, she is very pretty in EOE... i didn't really watch much of her drama but i think people should give her a chance to prove herself... :)

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Seriously, wae is Jae Hee and Kim Jae-won look younger outside than before they went in? No seriously~...
..it just reinforces the first crush I had on Jae Hee ever since Chun-hyang~...ahhhh~, those 2005 days~...!

About your qualms, it's kinda like "Flames of Ambition"...and now I know that it's because of the PD: world of the shipping industry (you'd have to look at FoA's OP to see the similarities: youtube.com / watch?v = 1BKuhn8d3UE)...the length...the timeslot, hmmm, maybe natch...

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ahhhh!!!! kim jae won i still love you/your killer smile/gentle personality/handsome face/your voice and simply everything about you

FYI I love 100 days with mr. arrogant even if movie critics say its bad....i guess the movie's purpose was just to make people laugh and der was never a dull or boring moment in each scene

And is it just me or does kim jae won luk a bit like kim hyun joong and his voice sounds a bit like KHJ too...<3

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@ April ,I agree... Kim Jae Won is always great in every way.. i like everything about him.. His voice, his smile, the way he look is so gentle... :)

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Han Ji Hye great actress. Glad she is back.

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The boss's son that Chang here oppa lived with did not grow up to be Kim jae won but was yoon Jong hwa.

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The boss's son that Chang here Oppa lived with did not grow up to be Kim Jae Won but Yoon Jong Hwa.

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I watched May Queen, only because it reminded me of a great Korean drama: East of Eden. The main actress Han Ji Hye also played a key role in East of Eden. However, May Queen is not as good as East of Eden. I wonder why Korean drama is getting more and more evil. It pains me to watch that good persons suffer and bad persons prosper.

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I really like this drama. Acting of KIM JAE WON n JAE HEE is so nice. Above pics of both OPPA's r nice....

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