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'Sweet Stranger and Me,' a rom-com with suspense

All Headlines 17:56 October 20, 2016

By Lee Haye-ah

SEOUL, Oct. 20 (Yonhap) -- Just when a woman loses the two people closest to her -- her mother and her boyfriend -- she meets a stranger at her doorstep who claims to be her stepfather. If what he says is true, he was her mother's last love before she suddenly passed away. The only thing is, he's three years younger than even her.

As far as unrealistic story plots go, the upcoming KBS series "Sweet Stranger and Me" is no exception. But director Kim Jung-min sounded convinced women will discover the man of their dreams in this stranger.

"Women like men who are cute and mischievous but also reliable like a father. Someone who will always be on their side," he said during a promotional press conference held in western Seoul. "This character has both qualities, which I think will appeal (to women)."

Kim Young-kwang (L) and Soo Ae pose for a photo during a promotional press conference for "Sweet Stranger and Me" in western Seoul on Oct. 20, 2016. (Yonhap)

The mysterious man, played by model-actor Kim Young-kwang, is a dumpling chef at a restaurant that used to be run by his "ex-wife" and mother of flight stewardess Hong Na-ri (Soo Ae). Insisting he will take care of her, the man moves in with Hong, who despite her initial shock and confusion decides to respect her mother's choice and accept him into her life.

For Soo Ae, it's her first role in a rom-com in nine years.

"In my previous films and dramas, I played some heavy roles so I thought I'd like to play a lighter character at this point," said the versatile actress who has appeared in a wide range of genres from romance and comedy to historical and thriller. "I'm discovering sides of me I didn't know and enjoying the filming."

While her character appears perfect as a professional flight attendant, she's actually sloppy in real life, which could be fun to watch for viewers, the actress added.

A poster for "Sweet Stranger and Me" (Yonhap)

Kim, who's playing a character in a leading role for the first time, confessed to feeling a lot of pressure before shooting began. Now those feelings have passed, he said, thanks to the staff and other cast members, including fellow model and friend Lee Soo-hyuk.

"I was both excited and worried that we'd be working together for the first time in years, but it's been fun," said Lee, who plays an ambitious chaebol heir.

Jo Bo-ah also stars in the series as a stewardess who steals Hong's boyfriend of nine years.

The first four episodes will be closer to a mystery than a rom-com, according to Kim, the director. After that, however, he hinted that more about the chef will be revealed and help audiences relate to the character. At the end of the day, it will be a "warmhearted" drama that speaks to family values, he said.

"Sweet Stranger and Me" premieres at 10 p.m. on Monday. It will air Mondays and Tuesdays.

Stills from "Sweet Stranger and Me" (Yonhap)

hague@yna.co.kr
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