By Han Sang-hee
Television fans all recognize singer and actor Lee Seung-gi
for his perfect guy-next-door image with a sweet smile and attractive personality but can he pull off a stuntman wannabe university student who has a thing for mysterious creatures?
The makers of the new drama "My Girlfriend is a Gumiho
" (working title) would want a yes for an answer, as he is matching up with actress Shin Min-ah
and aiming to create yet another successful romantic drama series for television viewers.
"`My Girlfriend is a Gumiho
' is like a gift box: It has funny, heartwarming and even heartbreaking elements all in one shot. We are all sure the series will be able to offer a bit of happiness to viewers", Boo Seong-cheol
, the producer, said during a press conference last week at SBS headquarters, in Mok-dong, northern Seoul.
The storyline is simple: Cha Dae-wung, played by Lee, accidently wakes up the legendary gumiho, or the nine-tailed fox, that seeks revenge and lives on human flesh and livers. Surprisingly, the fox/human is nothing like the legendary character that appears in ghost stories, but a cute and clueless girl who prefers hanwoo, homegrown cattle beef, and is searching for true love with a man who will love her despite her haunting condition. Lee, not knowing what to do with the gorgeous "monster", helps her along her journey of soul searching and looking for love and discovers his true feelings for her.
"The gumiho in the drama is so innocent and pure that she seems a bit dumb. It was hard for me to act because it was a character I have never experienced", Sin said.
It will take a bit more than effort to perfectly bring out the role assigned to her, as Sin is better known as an advertisement star here, complete with the looks, body and charms. She may have appeared in various dramas and films for the past 12 years since her debut, but it's hard to pinpoint a memorable character or work that establishes and highlights her acting career. Amid the ongoing worries and criticism, the 26-year-old admitted her lack of acting experience on both the small and big screens.
"I may have been criticized for not being fully devoted to my acting because of the numerous commercials I worked on, but that's something I will have to develop and prove to viewers in the future. I hope to break that stereotype of me through `My Girlfriend is a Gumiho
"', she said.
Fellow actor Lee will also have to break from his usual image of being the ultimate good guy in order to transform himself into a true actor.
He started out as a singer in 2004, but he was given the chance to prove his versatility through the popular drama "Shining Inheritance
" (2009, SBS). From there, he became one of the most sought after commercial star and hosts, appearing in various ads for home appliances, beverages and clothing brands and hit shows such as "One Night Two Days" (KBS) and "Strong Heart" (SBS).
"I was not the one and only person who made the popular shows popular. The most important thing was teamwork and I think I was lucky in that area. I think this drama will also be a success as we all have great teamwork", he said.
Teamwork will be needed, indeed, but will Lee be able to bring something new to the table aside from his signature smile and smooth emceeing, and try to work on his overall acting for a change?
"I believe I'm not the only one who wants to discover a new image of me, something completely different from the old `Lee'. My previous work for `Shining Inheritance
' was a bit more serious than this one and I will do my best to bring out a more comical and cute character this time", Lee added.
Written by the writers for hit soaps such as "My Girl"
(2005, SBS) and "Fantastic Couple
" (2006, MBC) Hong Jeong-eun
and Hong Mi-ran
, the drama will hopefully reach to the top as a trendy and fun soap with catchy characters.
The 16-episode "My Girlfriend is a Gumiho
" starts airing tonight at 9:55 p.m. on SBS.