Actress Han Ye-seul has sent tongues wagging by missing two days of filming for a soap opera and going to the U.S. The KBS TV drama "Spy MyeongWol" is a love story between a beautiful North Korean spy and a Korean Wave star, but it tanked in the ratings and was criticized for its absurd premise.
KBS was forced to cancel the 11th episode scheduled to run on Monday night because Han absconded and instead aired highlights from previous episodes. Han left Korea on Monday afternoon aboard a Korean Air flight bound for Los Angeles, booking the ticket using her American name Leslie Kim. The actress was born in Los Angeles and her family still lives there.
According to the production staff, Han was scheduled to start filming at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday but did not show up. Co-star Eric Mun as well as veteran actors Lee Duk-hwa and Yoo Ji-in were kept waiting till noon. Han was also scheduled to film on Monday and again did not show up.
There are rumors that Han demanded weekends off and no more late-night shoots and walked from the set last month. On Friday, she apparently turned up nine hours late citing health problems. On Saturday, she got into an open argument with producer Hwang In-hyuk and then reportedly demanded he be replaced.
Ko Young-tak, chief of the drama department at KBS, said, "It is simply unacceptable for actors to leave a shoot simply because their demands are not being met". The production company said, "It looks like Han does not want to keep her acting career in Korea. We plan to file charges against Han for obstructing business and sue her for W10 billion (US$1=W1,081) in damages". KBS said it is looking into replacing Han to resume filming.
But one actor in the show said filming was a shambles. "We had to wait for hours because everything was being done at the last minute and the script was constantly being changed, which made things tough for everyone", he said. "We can't simply blame Han".
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