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Actor Lee Min-ho returns to small screen with fantasy romance 'The King'

All News 16:58 April 16, 2020

By Kim Boram

SEOUL, April 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korean star actor Lee Min-ho said Thursday that his latest television project, "The King: Eternal Monarch," will be a turning point in his acting career of nearly 20 years.

"I've been on a hiatus for about three years, and that time was very important for me as I've turned 30," the 32-year-old actor said in an online press conference. "I've looked back through my past years and thought of what to do in the future. At that moment, I received a call from producers of this series."

This combined image provided by SBS shows characters of "The King: Eternal Monarch." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Lee, who debuted in 2003 and soared to stardom with the 2009 drama series "Boys Over Flowers," left the entertainment scene due to the two-year mandatory military service in 2017, following his last TV drama series, "Legend of the Blue Sea" (2016).

Discharged from the military in April last year, he chose "The King," set to air on Friday through SBS, for his return project. It is one of the most anticipated dramas thanks to the reunion of Lee and renowned screenwriter Kim Eun-sook after "The Heirs" (2013).

Kim is known as the most sought-after drama writer in South Korea for a number of smash-hit TV series including "Descendants of the Sun" (2016), "Guardian: The Lonely and Great God" (2016) and "Mr. Sunshine" (2018).

"When I first read the script, I was so eager to participate in this project and I wanted to do it well," he said. "I decided to go with this drama as I knew Kim's influence on the Korean entertainment circle."

In the 16-episode fantasy drama about two parallel universes, Lee takes the title role of Lee Gon, emperor of the Korean Empire in the past, who goes over to the present-day Republic of Korea after a time portal opens due to unknown reasons.

Lee said his character is a scientific and mathematical person who likes to extract the right answer to a problem, but is very sincere and warmhearted at the same time.

"He wants a clear answer and focuses on the process of solving problems," he said. "He looks a bit slow, but his words have power and sincerity."

Kim Go-eun, who takes on two different roles, as a detective in the present and a criminal in the past, said viewers will love "The King" for its unique setting in parallel universes and attractive characters.

It is her second time working with author Kim Eun-sook following the hit drama "Guardian."

"This drama is about two parallel worlds and has many details. All the characters are memorable and sweet," she said. "I'm doing my best to live up to the expectations of the screenwriter and fans."

Directed by Baek Sang-hoon, "The King" will also be available simultaneously on Netflix from Friday.

This photo provided by SBS shows Lee Min-ho (L) and Kim Go-eun, who play the lead roles of "The King: Eternal Monarch," posing at a press conference in Seoul on April 16, 2020. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


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