Princess Ji-woo is back. Choi Ji-woo, referred to as “Princess Ji-woo’’ by her Japanese fans and a famous hallyu star with her tall, model-like figure and innocent looks, is returning to the small screen with SBS drama “Celebrity’s Sweetheart.’’
Choi, who has been acting for 14 years, will play, not surprisingly, beautiful actress Lee Marie, who falls for a poor yet smart ghostwriter, played by fellow actor Yoo Ji-tae.
The press conference, which was held last week, was full of not only reporters, but also overseas fans hands with flowers and presents for the 33-year-old actress and fellow actors.
“I was inspired by the movie `Notting Hill.’ My goal was to offer a full gift set of `melo’ (melodramas),’’ said Bu Sung-chul, the producer.
Indeed, the short clip of the drama showed the perfect tools for a perfect Korean melodrama: a beautiful, yet lonely top actress, a poor but talented writer-to-be, a rich chaebol heir and even a nosy tabloid reporter.
“It was actually a bit embarrassing to play an actress. The scenes where I had to walk the red carpet were actually quite awkward, because I had to act it. But the scenes where Marie becomes devastated by Internet rumors and wants to be someone special for only one person and not the public, was also easy to understand,’’ the star from “Winter Sonata’’ (2002) and “Stairway to Heaven’’ (2003) said.
Unlike veteran television star Choi, this is the first drama for Yoo, who became popular thanks to his performance in “Oldboy’’ (2003).
“I found a new aspect of acting by shooting the drama. While acting in a movie feels like I become a part of the film, working on a drama is like growing side by side with the drama itself,’’ said Yoo.
While Yoo was busy lecturing in classrooms and writing novels in the drama, Choi showed her feminine side with several scenes of her practicing ballet. The actress admitted that she learned professionally for the past eight months.
“It was really me doing that scene!’’ she laughed.
When asked if she was worried of her typecast image as the damsel in distress, Choi smiled and said she didn’t think it was bad to have a certain image.
“I think I have presented quite different roles in the dramas that I have starred in. I believe it’s important for an actor to show different roles, but I don’t think it’s bad to have a trademark image,’’ she said.
The producer, however, thought Choi was perfect for the role and added that he was honored to be working with one of Asia’s top stars.
“My goal was simple. I wanted to bring Choi, who is one of the best melodramatic heroines in both TV dramas and movies, and make a sweet and heartbreaking piece. Choi is especially good in sad melodramas, so she was fit for the role,’’ he said.
“It’s warm and sweet, perfect for the winter season,’’ Choi added.
“Celebrity’s Sweetheart’’ will start airing at 9:55 Dec. 10 on SBS. (Han Sang-hee, The Korea Times)