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British drama 'Mistresses' gets first Asian remake in Korea

All Headlines 16:42 April 25, 2018

By Woo Jae-yeon

SEOUL, April 25 (Yonhap) -- This week, two popular South Korean actors made high-profile comebacks in the small screen after six years away. Interestingly enough, the two have chosen a Korean adaptation of popular western TV series as their ambitious new work.

Jang Dong-gun's "Suits," the Korean version of the American TV series of the same name, will air on KBS 2TV later in the day. Actress Han Ga-in is appearing in the Korean remake of the popular British drama "Mistresses," a thriller drama surrounding four close female friends embroiled in a mysterious murder case.

Actress Han Ga-in smiles during a press event for "Mistress," set to premiere on cable channel OCN on April 28, 2018. (Yonhap)

"I read the script after I put my baby to sleep, and I couldn't put it down. I was confident that viewers would feel the same way I did," the actress said of the reason why she chose the work as her comeback show during a media event in Seoul ahead of its Saturday premiere.

She plays Jang Se-yeon, a widow who runs a cafe and raises a daughter alone after the death of her husband. She believes her husband is still alive and feels increasingly anxious as she keeps getting anonymous phone calls.

Han explained her character as an "outwardly soft but internally strong" woman, and hoped to convincingly depict how the character handles mysterious episodes and grows into a more mature person.

As it was her first TV appearance in six years, questions were raised about her life as a new mother and how she balances work and family. The 36-year-old married actor Yeon Jung-hon in 2005 and gave birth to a daughter in 2016.

"I feel like I have become a completely different person after childbirth. I thought I was strong both inside and outside. I used to be calm. I feel very happy but at the same time very challenged to take care of my precious baby," she said.

She mentioned how she sometimes experiences mood swings, adding, "Sometimes I can't control myself."

While she was nervous about the new start, she expected her experiences in recent years of pregnancy and motherhood to help her expand her acting scope.

The four lead cast members pose for photos during a press event for "Mistress," set to premiere on cable channel OCN on April 28, 2018. (Yonhap)

The drama features three more female characters -- Han Jeong-won (Choi Hee-seo), Kim Eun-soo (Shin Hyun-bin) and Do Hwa-young (Goo Jae-yi).

Han is a high school teacher and wife of a famous chef. She and her husband try to start a family, which doesn't work out well as the couple has fertility issues. One day, she has a one-night stand and things get out of control. Kim is a psychiatrist and falls in love with a teacher from her high school. After the lover dies of cancer, his son suddenly shows up to meet her. Do works at a law firm and enjoys a free lifestyle by keeping a string of lovers. She is asked to find evidence of a client's husband's infidelity. While doing the work, Do gets deeply involved with the man.

The original British series got an American remake from June 2013 to September 2016. The American version had four seasons, featuring Korean-American actress Kim Yun-jin who shot to fame in the U.S. TV series "Lost."

Producer Han Ji-seung said the Korean remake would explore various issues and challenges that people face in everyday life.

"In the beginning, I focused on such keywords as anxiety and fears felt by women in particular, but it, at some point, got expanded to include a message that everyone struggles under the weight of life and that you are not alone in this," the producer said.

The 12-part series will premiere at 10:20 p.m. on OCN on Saturday.

A poster for OCN's new series "Mistress" in this image provided by the cable network. (Yonhap)

jaeyeon.woo@yna.co.kr
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