By Han Sang-hee
SBS’ new drama ``Giant’’ spans over 30 years, and both makers and actors hope it will captivate viewers.
The 50-episode television series revolves around young and passionate characters making a living and searching for their goals and love in Seoul during the busy 1970s.
``It was a bit of a burden as I had to act a character whose life span ranges from his 20s to his 50s,’’ Lee Beom-soo, who plays the main character Lee Gang-mo, said during a press conference Tuesday.
``But I thought I would give it a try,’’ he added with a smile.
Seoul was in the middle of a huge transition during the 1970s, both socially and financially, thus giving birth to various stories and incidents regarding poverty, priorities and success. Lee Gang-mo was in the middle of all three. Born to a poor family in the late 1950s, Lee loses his father in a mysterious murder right after birth. The young Lee struggles to make a living and finally takes his ill mother and sister to a small motel and continues to make ends meet by begging and singing in the streets. One night, he buys some briquettes to heat up the room but the motel owner accidentally causes a gas leak, killing those inside, including Lee’s mother. The heartbroken Lee vows that he will never be poor again and begins his lifelong journey toward success.
Like any other rags-to-riches story, or typical Korean drama, there is always a twist regarding competitors and lovers.
Actress Park Jin-hee plays Lee’s love interest Hwang Jeong-yeon, another passionate character with a family secret.
``This is my first period drama, so I’ve been so nervous over the past few weeks. I never played a
cold and serious character before, so I had so many thoughts in my head,’’ Park said.
The drama features the highlights of the city’s development, bringing politics, power and money to the small screen. Money was all it took to gain power, and so, many, including Lee, had every reason to fight for it no matter what.
``The drama `Giant’ is based on one man’s success story, who made it through the dangerous urban jungle thanks to his wisdom and courage. We hope the drama will bring a sense of joy and comfort to viewers. Moreover, the show will also help people realize the true meaning of success in this corrupt world we live in today,’’ SBS said through a press release.
The series may have been anticipated by some, but for one actress, this was the drama that would help prove her potential.
Hwang Jung-eum, who instantly shot to stardom after starring in the hit sitcom ``High Kick 2,’’ will appear as Lee’s younger sister.
``For a while, I lost interest in acting. I didn’t have any confidence but `High Kick’ helped me regain my strength,’’ she told reporters when asked about her successful year as the perky university student. The 25-year-old has quite a long career as an actress ― appearing in a number of dramas, including ``East of Eden’’ and ``Winter Bird’’ ― but it was not until the sitcom that she finally became a household name.
``It’s been a while since I worked on a full one-hour drama, and I do hope everything goes well. I never had a serious interest in acting when I was younger, but now I really want to do well. I’m sure I’ll grow as an actor through `Giant’,’’ she said.
With high hopes of winning the hearts of viewers, the new soap ``Giant’’ will first air on May 10 at 9:50 on SBS.