From The Straits Times    |

Content producer: Hayden Ng

What can we expect from your new drama Saimdang?

Song Seung-heon: Firstly, it’s Lee Young-ae’s first drama appearance after 13 years of hiatus from dramas. This drama is about a tragic love story between my character Lee Gyeom and Young-ae’s role Shin Saimdang.

Tell us more about your role.  

Song: The name of my role is Lee Gyeom and he is the first love of Shin Saimdang, who is played by Lee Young-ae. The two characters fell in love immediately when they first met. Lee Gyeom is a very romantic man who has an undying love for Saimdang.  

How did you prepare yourself for this drama?  

Song: It’s my debut after a few years of absence from the small screen so it’s been a nerve-wrecking experience. Saimdang is a period drama which is why I had to do a lot of preparation.  

Unlike Young-ae’s character – which is based on a real historical figure – my role is a fictional one. That means I’m given more freedom to “develop” and prepare for it.  

Also, a lot of us imagine ancient characters to speak and behave very differently from us but we didn’t want that. So, before we started filming, my producer and I sat down to discuss how we could break those assumptions.

Photo: Singtel

What are the similarities between you and Lee Gyeom?  

Song: When it comes to love, I think Lee Gyeom’s a better lover than I am. That’s because he continues to love and care unconditionally for Saimdang even when she has a child. I don’t know how I’d be able to do that in reality. But just like him, if I’m in love with a person, I’ll dedicate all my love to her.  

How does it feel to work with Lee Young-ae?

Song: I’ve never imagined myself acting with her because she’s so popular. I’m very honoured and happy to work with her in Saimdang. It’s been many years since her last drama appearance but she’s still a very hardworking actress.

Similarly, it’s been some time since my last drama appearance, which explains why the both of us were very nervous when we were shooting Saimdang.  

Photo: Singtel

What’s your most memorable experience while filming this drama?  

Song: During my first day of work, I felt nervous when I met Young-ae because she’s a superstar. I ended up making a lot of mistakes during the shoot. However, I was surprised when she told me that she was equally nervous too. In the end, we had more NG scenes than what we’d expected. It felt like we were “newbies” all over again!

Korean actress Lee Young-ae is appearing in her first television drama after 13 years. Find out why it took her so long to finally take on a new role.