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Thursday, February 2, 2023

Song Hye-kyo returns to the small screen in a blaze of glory

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Song Hye-kyo as Moon Dong-eun in "The Glory" [NETFLIX]
Song Hye-kyo as Moon Dong-eun in “The Glory” [NETFLIX]

Star actor Song Hye-kyo is making a comeback to the small screen with the new drama series “The Glory,” joining forces with screenwriter Kim Eun-sook for a second time after “Descendants of the Sun” (2016). The producers and actors of “The Glory” held a press conference held in Dongdaemun, central Seoul, on Tuesday.

Song, Lee, actors Park Sung-hoon, Lim Ji-yeon, Kim, and director Ahn Gil-ho attended the press conference Tuesday.

“The Glory” is a revenge story that will start streaming on Netflix on Dec. 30. It is written by star screenwriter Kim Eun-sook, who wrote the hit dramas “Secret Garden,” (2010) “Mr. Sunshine,” (2018) “The King: Eternal Monarch” (2020) and also “Descendants of the Sun,” which Song starred in.

A dramatic and dark plotline will unfold as Song’s character Moon Dong-eun seeks vengeance on her high school classmates after suffering from years of bullying, the producers explained during the press conference. The series will be divided into two parts, with Part 1 being released this month and Part 2 being revealed in March next year.

“The Glory” is produced by Studio Dragon, a subsidiary of CJ E&M behind productions such as “Twenty-Five Twenty-One,” (2022) “Yumi’s Cells,” (2021) “Alchemy of Souls,” (2022) and “Little Women” (2022).

Writer Kim Eun-sook said that she was inspired by talking to her daughter, a high-school student, about school life and receiving unwanted attention due to Kim’s fame as a star screenwriter. Kim said that she wanted to relay the message that people should be held responsible for their wrongdoings, but also that personal revenge should not be seen as the best course of action.

“It is a story of winding punishment and rights and wrongs,” said Kim. “I also talked to a lot of victims of bullying and the common trait seemed to be that the victims wanted heartfelt and sincere apologies from the perpetrators, which doesn’t happen very often. I wanted to show that the scars that victims carry don’t just go away even after time passes.”

The main cast expressed excitement at the script and the overall storyline.

Song said that she was moved by the story and wanted to give a performance that is different from her previous work, which were mainly melodrama roles and involved the central plotline revolving around a romance.

“I have played a lot of romantic roles, but with this story I wanted to show audiences a different side of my acting,” Song said. “I always wanted to play a role like this. I thought that if I played the part right, it could result in a great drama series.”

Lee, Song’s co-star, also revealed his thoughts on the upcoming series and his part in the production.

Lee Do-hyun as Joo Yeo-jung in "The Glory" [NETFLIX]
Lee Do-hyun as Joo Yeo-jung in “The Glory” [NETFLIX]

“I was blown away by the script and spent hours thinking about my character,” said Lee. Lee’s character Joo Yeo-jung is a plastic surgeon who may help Song’s character in her plot for revenge. “My character is bright, fragile, optimistic, and also has a dark side to him.”

Kim added that she and the director of the series, Ahn Gil-ho, went through a process of reviewing six different versions of the script to get the tone of the story the way they wished. Ahn also praised the cast and explained Song’s casting in particular.

“Song was the first and only choice for the role of Moon Dong-eun,” said Ahn. “There is a vulnerability and strength to the character, she was the perfect choice for the role.”

Kim also said that the opportunity to stream the series on Netflix allowed for a lot of freedom in making artistic choices for the drama.

“There is strong language and violence to express the anger of the main character,” said Kim. “We had to put an age restriction for the viewership and I hope that experienced adult audiences will judge the story fittingly.”

BY LIM JEONG-WON [lim.jeongwon@joongang.co.kr]

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