Actress Song Hye-kyo is returning to the small screen with the new romance series “Encounter,” ending a hiatus following her high-profile marriage to Song Joong-ki in 2017.
She will star opposite actor Park Bo-gum as his love interest. Park has also been away from TV for nearly two years, since “Love in the Moonlight.”
Song plays Cha Soo-hyun, the daughter of a prominent politician and a celebrity in her own right as the ex-wife of a conglomerate heir, widely known as a chaebol in Korea. Cha takes on a hotel business and ends up as a leading figure in the industry.
(Video shot and edited by Lim Jeong-yeo/The Korea Herald)
Speaking to the press during a showcase event on Wednesday, Song explained that her character -- the first divorcee Song has ever portrayed -- is multifaceted.
Cha is overwhelmed by life before meeting Kim Jin-hyuk, played by Park, Song said, assuring viewers that they will get to see both the character’s bright and dark sides.
“It was a little difficult at first, what with Bo-gum being younger, but we were able to film the show smoothly as Park was very (helpful) in following what I discussed with the director,” Song said.
Park echoed that statement, saying that discussing the characters and the show had brought the two lead actors closer.
The show centers on the relationship between two people who are almost each other’s antitheses.
While Cha has little say in her own life, Kim is a free-spirited young man from an ordinary background who worked part-time to save up for a trip to Cuba.
(Lim Jeong-yeo/The Korea Herald)
Far away from home, in Cuba, is where the two cross paths by chance.
The show was filmed in the capital city of Havana, and filming lasted for around a month. Viewers can expect beautiful, colorful scenery depicting different parts of the country, ranging from Malecon beach and the Hotel Nacional de Cuba to streets full of old buildings.
Both actors sounded rather impressed with the Latin American country.
“Cuba is a beautiful country. It’s very laid back and many people were kind. Though the country can be full of passion, it is actually quiet most of the time,” Song said as she described her time there as “comforting.”
Park also had only good things to say about Cuba and boasted that viewers might feel as if they are watching a film.
“Old and modern art coexist in the country, which came across as refreshing and exotic. As the country is full of music and dance, I think it made me feel more upbeat,” Park said.
Director Park Shin-Woo, who described the main plot as “beautiful,” says the show bucks the trend in recent years toward more fast-paced shows, saying “Encounter” is more relaxed, giving viewers a chance to reflect on the romance.
The Wednesday-Thursday show will air on tvN, a cable network, at 9:30 p.m. from next week.