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(LEAD) Drama 'Goodbye, Mr. Black' to challenge 'Descendants of the Sun'

All News 17:30 March 14, 2016

(ATTN: UPDATES with more comments at bottom; ADDS photos)
By Park Sojung

SEOUL, March 14 (Yonhap) -- Producers of "Goodbye, Mr. Black" said Monday the upcoming drama will offer an entirely different set of values and story than its rival series "Descendants of the Sun," which is currently dominating the Wednesday-Thursday night time slot.

The MBC series based on a Korean cartoon series of the same title tells a tale of revenge by Cha Ji-won (Lee Jin-wook) who loses his everything -- his wealth, dignity and even his fiancee -- to his best friend Min Seon-jae (Kim Kang-woo).

The first part is set in Thailand, although the original story takes place in Australia, and the Southeast Asian country is where Cha meets an orphan girl, Kim Swan (Moon Chae-won), who secretly admires him and tries to help in his quest for retaliation.

Cognizant of the early rise of "Descendants of the Sun," producer Han Hee cautiously offered that his show will combine the genres of revenge and melodrama in unprecedented ways.

"Viewers are already familiar with the two genres and they are shown almost every day on TV, but I want to make this drama different," he said, adding "Goodbye, Mr. Black" will also reveal the sides of its actors and actresses fans have never seen. "We want to keep our viewers guessing."

Actress Moon Chae-won on the lead role said she hasn't gotten a chance to watch "Descendants of the Sun" properly, but expressed her support for the KBS 2TV series.

"I haven't watched an entire episode yet. I've only watched it on TV at the filming set," she said. "I've worked with (Song) Joong-ki before, so I want to wish him well."

Actor Lee Jin-wook also said he wants the show to be captivating in its own right.

"Rather than competing with 'Descendants of the Sun' -- it's already doing well -- I'll try to emphasize our strengths on 'Goodbye, Mr. Black,'" he said.

Meanwhile, Lee and Moon appeared to be thoroughly enjoying their partnership, with Lee even asking the writer to add more scenes of the couple kissing.

"(Working with her) has been great. Looking at her makes me happy. She's a lovely woman," Lee said. "Our characters have a sizeable age gap, so I try to protect her character like an older brother would. Working with her, though, naturally makes me want to protect her and look after her."

Moon, whose character loses her parents to a tsunami in Thailand as a child, said learning Thai has been among the toughest challenges she's faced.

"Japanese I can somehow mimic, but I've had a lot of trouble with Thai," she said, adding she's been too concentrated in her work to worry about the Zika virus, a few cases of which have recently been reported in Thailand.

But she had no qualms about chopping off her mane for the role.

"It's fun living in the hairstyle of my character," she said. "I like long hair on other people, but not particularly on myself."

Actor Kim Kang-woo who plays the best friend-turned-traitor said the surplus of great actors who play villains these days has added pressure.

"It makes me think of new ways to play the bad guy," he said. "But this time, I decided not to perceive myself as the villain and instead try to understand my character. I hope some viewers are able to feel sympathy for him."

Actress Yoo In-young, who is the fiancee Yun Mari in "Goodbye, Mr. Black," noted a positive difference in her role compared with her previous ones.

"It's my first time playing a character who is loved by two men," she said, laughing. "It gets lonely, playing someone with unrequited love, but it's fun being on the set with two men fighting for me. I'm not sure how long this will last, but I hope it does for a very long time."

"Goodbye, Mr. Black" premieres on Wednesday at 10 p.m.


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