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Cartoon hero meets doctor in new sci-fi drama

All News 17:42 July 18, 2016

By Lee Haye-ah

SEOUL, July 18 (Yonhap) -- A 30-year-old doctor who never thought she was cut out for the job is one day drawn into one of her father's webtoons and meets its hero -- the handsome, rich, and altogether perfect Kang Chul.

That's the romance side of "W," the new MBC TV series scheduled to air this week. But it's only one of many genres the drama aims to cover, according to its director Jung Dae-yoon, who claimed it's the first of its kind for Korean TV.

"It's the story of a man and a woman who discover their reason for existence while living in different dimensions in Seoul in 2016," he said in a press conference where he was joined by some of the main actors, including Han Hyo-joo and Lee Jong-suk. "There's suspense, horror, comedy and romance."

As the story goes back and forth between reality and the virtual world inside the webtoon of the same name, "W," Dr. Oh Yeon-joo (Han) struggles to keep Kang alive as the Olympic gold medalist and media mogul falls into one dangerous situation after another.

The two are soon inseparable, much to the dismay of Oh's father and Kang's creator, the cartoonist Oh Sung-moo (Kim Eui-sung).

"Even though the setting is a fantasy, there were moments as I acted when it felt very real," said Han, who is appearing in her first TV series in six years. "It's my hope and wish that our viewers will also be drawn into the setting. I've already fallen deep into it and it's a lot of fun and very original."

Both Han and Lee confessed to choosing the drama for its script.

"Any actor who had a chance to read the script would have wanted to do it," Lee said. "I thought it was the kind of script I wouldn't be able to come across twice, so it's been an honor for me to shoot it."

Han was especially careful in her selection as it was her first after a long break.

"I thought that if I were to do a drama again, I would do a dramatic one," she said. "As soon as I received the script, it felt like my dream had come true."

That doesn't mean she isn't nervous, though.

"I feel a lot of pressure. I haven't been able to sleep for days," the actress admitted, saying there are certain expectations that come with being an established thespian. Her most recent work was the 2016 film "Love, Lies" in which she plays a "gisaeng," or a professional female entertainer who served famous Confucians and dignitaries during Korea's Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).

For Lee, who is two years Han's junior in real life, playing a character the same age as her didn't pose any difficulties. In fact, he credited Han with helping his acting.

"We're filming in a comfortable and adorable way," he said, adding that there are a lot of romantic scenes between the two. "It's great," he said with a sheepish grin.

Exchanging glances, Han added, "There are a lot of kissing scenes. It probably has the most kissing scenes out of all the dramas I've been in and I'm expecting it to produce the greatest kissing scene of all time."

Kissing aside, the two actors' acting will probably be the single largest factor that will determine the success of the show, according to Jung, the director.

"It should be easy for viewers to follow the plot if (Han and Lee) display emotions people can identify with as they go back and forth between the two worlds," he said. "They're both doing really well, so it shouldn't be difficult."

"W" premieres on Wednesday at 10 p.m. on MBC TV.


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