Song says new role is very ‘Alice in Wonderland’
Published : May 18, 2012 - 18:42
Updated : May 19, 2012 - 05:57
Viewers might be wavering over which program to tune in to come next weekend when two brand new series, MBC’s “Dr. Jin” and SBS’ “A Gentleman’s Dignity” (working title), go head to head.

While actor Song Seung-heon, who is starring in “Dr. Jin,” sincerely wishes fellow actor Jang Dong-gun and his drama, “A Gentleman’s Dignity” the best, he did not mince words when it came to the desired outcome.

“I would like his series to do well, but I would like ours to do a tad bit better,” Song, 35, said at the series’ press conference in Seoul Thursday. 
The cast of MBC’s “Dr. Jin” — (from left) Lee Bum-soo, Lee So-yeon, Song Seung-heon, Park Min-young, Kim Jae-joong — attend the drama’s press conference in Seoul on Thursday. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)

Song has the advantage of having stayed in the drama game after a five-year hiatus from 2003 to 2008. That said, Song admitted that he is stepping out of his comfort zone with “Dr. Jin.”

“As an actor, I have been kind of avoiding the historical romance genre, it’s true,” he admitted. “It’s a challenging genre. But then I saw the script for ‘Dr. Jin’ and I really wanted to do it.”

Song revealed that he liked the fact that his first period piece would feature him as a modern man who has traveled back in time to the Joseon Dynasty.

“It is like ‘Alice in Wonderland,’” he said. “Playing a modern day guy who interacts with Joseon period people is fun.”

“Before this, I was already aware of the popularity of the Japanese comic series,” Song said. “Looking at the script, revamped with Korean sentiment, I could not resist jumping on board.”

The upcoming series is an adaptation of Motoka Murakami’s comic book series “Jin,” changing the setting from Edo-period Japan to the Joseon period, and replacing real-life historical figure Sakamoto Ryoma (who was depicted in the original) with Joseon political figure Yi Ha-eung, who will be portrayed by actor Lee Bum-soo.

Song is tackling the role of the protagonist, neurosurgeon Dr. Jin, with actress Park Min-young playing his love interest both in the 21st century and in 1860. JYJ boy band member Kim Jae-joong is playing Dr. Jin’s rival for the Joseon Dynasty heroine’s affections in his first role in a historical piece.

Kim revealed that he received a couple of tips from fellow boy band member Park Yu-chun, who starred alongside actress Park in KBS’ historical romance “Seonggyungwan Scandal” in 2010.

“He said, ‘Min-young is an excellent actress, so work hard at doing a good job,’” said Kim, 26.

Park, known for her feisty and cheery roles in dramas like KBS’ “Glory Jaein,” revealed that this work represents a departure from previous characters.

“My Joseon Dynasty character will be passive,” the 26-year old actress said, adding that “that does not mean she is weak.”

“She possesses a very powerful energy.”

“Dr. Jin” starts airing May 26 on Saturday and Sunday nights at 9:50 p.m. on MBC.

By Jean Oh (oh_jean@heraldcorp.com)