Im Si­wan plays real-life prince

The South Korean pop star tells Tahir Al­hamzah about his dark role in the drama se­ries, The King In Love

New Straits Times - - Groove -

IN the Korean drama se­ries pro­duced byMBC, K-drama fans have not just one but two of K-pop’s big­gest names in lead roles. The highly an­tic­i­pated drama, which pre­miered on July 17 on Sony’s ONE chan­nel (Astro chan­nel 393), stars Im Yoona from the pop­u­lar band Girls’ Gen­er­a­tion and Im Si­wan of the boy band ZE:A.

In the se­ries, Han Eun San (Im Yoona), Wang Won (Im Si­wan) and Wang Rin (Hong Jong Hyun) are close friends caught in a web of po­lit­i­cal in­trigue and ro­mance set dur­ing the Go­ryeo dy­nasty.The screen­play was adapted from the novel of the same ti­tle, writ­ten by au­thor Kim Yi-ryung.

Wang Won, an am­bi­tious crown prince, har­bours an ex­treme hunger for power. As his de­sire to con­quer be­comes ap­par­ent, his child­hood friend and body­guard Wang Rin, and the beau­ti­ful daugh­ter of a rich man, Han Eun San, be­gin to shape his des­tiny. The three be­come in­sep­a­ra­ble friends, but tur­moil brews when both Won and Rin fall in love with Eun San.

Be­low, Im Si­wan talks about the show and his role.

YOU HAVE AL­WAYS PLAYED

POS­I­TIVE ROLES BUT WANG WON

HAS A DARK SIDE. WHAT WERE THE CHAL­LENGES?

Wang Won is quite a multi-di­men­sional char­ac­ter. At times, he can be a naive boy, but on the flip side, he can also be a se­ri­ous and cold-hearted prince. It wasn’t too chal­leng­ing. I just did my best to por­tray the dif­fer­ent lay­ers to his con­tra­dict­ing per­son­al­i­ties.

IT’S BEEN A WHILE SINCE YOU LAST ACTED IN A PE­RIOD DRAMA. HOW DID YOU FEEL WHEN YOU GOT THIS ROLE? The fact that is a work of fic­tion based on a true story was what at­tracted me to the script. He was a real prince and the son of King Choong­sun, which is part of Korea’s his­tory.

I was cu­ri­ous how this drama would dis­play the first racially-mixed prince in Korean his­tory.

When I heard later that Yoona was of­fi­cially cast in it too, I felt like I have every­thing that I re­ally wanted (laughs)!

WAS IT FUN TO WORK WITH HONG JONG HYUN?

We were film­ing on Jeju Is­land. Hong Jong Hyun and I found a go-kart rac­ing course while we were wait­ing for our scenes. How­ever, it was sad that Yoona couldn’t join us as she was busy fim­ing her scenes.

WHAT WAS THE EX­PE­RI­ENCE LIKE WORK­ING WITH IM YOONA?

I’ve al­ways con­sid­ered Yoona cute when we met as singers and ex­changed greet­ings. Af­ter act­ing with her, she’s turned out to be cuter than I had thought (laughs). She is also a very warm-hearted per­son.

WHAT WAS YOUR MOST MEM­O­RABLE MO­MENT DUR­ING FILM­ING?

To­wards the end of the story, there is a scene where the usu­ally re­strained Wang Won ex­plodes emo­tion­ally to­wards his mother, Princess Won­sung. It’s a big scene of emo­tional con­flict be­tween the two. I don’t want to give away too much and spoil it for the au­di­ence, so watch the drama.

THIS MIGHT BE YOUR LAST DRAMA BE­FORE YOUR ARMY EN­LIST­MENT. HOW DO YOU FEEL?

The cast and crew shared pain and hap­pi­ness to­gether for six months on this project. I hope our au­di­ence will en­joy the drama as much as all of us did mak­ing it.

YOU HAVE DONE MORE

MOD­ERN-DAY DRA­MAS THAN PE­RIOD ONES. WHAT ARE THE CHAL­LENGES AND DIF­FI­CUL­TIES OF WORK­ING IN A PE­RIOD DRAMA?

For this drama, I learnt how to ride a horse. It wasn’t just any type of horse-rid­ing. It was a dis­tinc­tive and in­ter­est­ing style of horserid­ing, de­signed specif­i­cally for his­tor­i­cal dra­mas.

WHAT IS YOUR DREAM ROLE?

I want to try play­ing a char­ac­ter who can ex­press his emo­tions only by his fa­cial ex­pres­sion or body lan­guage, with­out any

(From left) Hong Jung Hyun, Im Yoona and Im Si­wan.

or much di­a­logue.

WHY SHOULD VIEW­ERS WATCH THE KING IN LOVE?

It is a drama that por­trays two men and a woman’s tan­gled love and ego against the back­drop of the Go­ryeo dy­nasty.

We had lots of fun film­ing it so I hope you’ll love and en­joy the drama just as much. A scene from The King in Love.

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