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
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.