From left, actor Kim Soo-hyun, Eun-jung of K-pop group T-ara, Suzy from Miss A, Taecyeon of 2PM, IU and Wooyoung from 2PM pose in a promotional photo for the upcoming TV drama "Dream High." The show will premiere Jan. 3 on KBS. /Courtesy of Holym
By Kwon Mee-yoo
Will a high school full of top K-pop singers and produced by hallyu (Korean wave) star Bae Yong-joon give a boost to the movement?
KBS’ new drama “Dream High” stars Taecyeon and Wooyoung from 2PM, Suzy from Miss A, Eun-jung from T-ara and singer IU — all first-rate young singers popular on the local entertainment scene. Kim Soo-hyun, who played the young Ko Soo in the 2009 drama “Will It Snow for Christmas?” is the only recognizable actor among the six main characters.
Holym, a television production joint-invested by Bae’s agency Keyeast and Park Jin-young’s JYP Entertainment, and CJ Media co-produced the drama and its publication rights in Japan have already been sold.
The highly-anticipated drama portrays the life of high school students of Kirin Art School, a school cultivating future artists and entertainers.
Bae, the creative producer of the drama, also guest-stars as Jeong Ha-myeong, the art school’s board chairman. As a creative producer, Bae provides the overall concept, goals and ideas for the drama.
“I was interested in educating the youth and thinking of establishing a school for entertainers-to-be. Park had the same idea and we focused on expressing the students’ dreams, hopes, agonies and conflicts through song and dance,” Bae said. “For the authenticity of the drama, I insisted that real singers and dancers should play the roles.”
He hinted at a possible expansion of the drama to other fields. “The boundary of content is falling apart and since the drama has an emphasis on singing and dancing, it might be reproduced in movie or musical form,” Bae said.
Park Jin-young, president of JYP Entertainment, directs the music and dance while acting the role of a part-time English teacher at the school.
He produced 10 original tracks, writing six new songs.
“I am trying to make the songs and dance in the drama trendy, portraying current pop culture,” he said.
The top producer is known for his Midas touch in producing g.o.d., Rain, Wonder Girls and 2PM, but in “Dream High,” he is a rookie actor who is nervous about his debut.
“Taecyeon and Jung Ji-hoon (Rain) are my acting teachers and it was hard to accept that I fell behind the people I taught at first,” Park said.
Bae and Park want to open a school like Kirin Art School in the real world later. “We are of the same age and talked about the school on private occasions. We have the same dream and I have found a good friend through this drama,” Park said.
K-pop stars to make acting debuts
Lee Eung-bok, director of the 16-episode drama, said, “I want to show how young students grow up and achieve great dreams through small efforts.”
The director said he was prejudiced against idol groups and the popular culture before meeting Bae and Park. “They have a dream in educating young entertainers and I will portray their ideas on the small screen,” Lee said.
Boy band 2PM’s Taecyeon, who successfully made his debut in the drama “Cinderella’s Sister” earlier this year, plays Jin Guk, a student good at dancing, but raised in his father’s shadow.
“Guk is a rebellious student and I wanted to play the role as the character is different from Jeong-woo in ‘Cinderella’s Sister,’” Taecyeon said. “Though I am not a veteran actor yet, I will do my best based on what I learned from previous experiences.”
Kim Soo-hyun plays Song Sam-dong, a boy from backwoods who discovers his talent at Kirin. Unlike other singers in the drama, Kim is training hard in singing and dancing. “Sam-dong is an unfinished character and I will improve with Sam-dong throughout the drama,” Kim said.
Miss A’s Suzy acts as Go Hye-mi, who dreams of becoming the next Sumi Jo, while Eun-jung plays Yun Baek-hui, a follower of Go who later stands alone after being betrayed by her.
Wooyoung, also from 2PM and taking an acting role for the first time, plays gifted dancer Jason, and singer IU, 17, plays Kim Pil-suk, a girl who falls in love with Jason.
Actor Um Ki-joon plays the role of music teacher Gang O-hyeok, while actress Lee Yun-ji portrays dance instructor Si Gyeong-jin.
The new drama will air every Monday and Tuesday at 9:55 p.m. on KBS2 starting next week.
욘사마 ㅡ JYP 결합 한류 재점화
배용준이 기획하고 아이돌 스타들이 다니는 고등학교가 다시 한류를 일으킬 수 있을까?
KBS에서 다음 주부터 방영하는 새 월화 드라마 “드림하이”는 2PM의 택연, 우영, Miss A의 수지, 티아라의 은정, 가수 아이유 등 인기 가수들을 캐스팅했다. 여섯 명의 주요 캐릭터 중 2009년 드라마“크리스마스에 눈이 올까요?”에서 고수의 아역을 맡았던 김수현만이 배우 출신이다.
“드림하이”는 배용준이 만든 콘텐츠 회사 키이스트와 박진영의 JYP 엔터테인먼트가 공동출자해서 만든 드라마 제작사 홀림의 첫 작품으로, 일본 판권은 방영 전에 이미 판매됐다.
스타를 키우는 기린예고에 입학한 여섯 명의 신입생들의 이야기를 그리는 이 드라마는 배용준이 크리에이티브 프로듀서, 박진영이 뮤직, 댄스 디렉터를 맡아 더욱 눈길을 끈다. 배용준은 기린예고 이사장 정하명으로 특별 출연하고, 박진영은 영어 선생님 양진만 역을 맡아 이 작품을 통해 배우로 데뷔한다.
“스타를 꿈꾸는 아이들이 성장하면서 느끼는 고민과 갈등, 방황, 희망 등의 다양한 감정을 노래와 춤으로 표현하는 것에 중점을 두고 있다,”고 배용준은 말했다. “평소에 아이들 교육에 대해 관심이 많아서, 엔터테이너를 양성하는 전문학교를 만들고 싶다는 생각을 했다. 그런데 박진영도 같은 생각을 하고 있단 생각을 알게 되어 의기투합하게 되었다.”
박진영은 드림하이의 OST를 위해 6곡을 새로 쓰고 4곡은 다른 작곡가들이 썼으며, 배우들이 실제로 노래를 부른다고 했다. 그는 “드라마에 등장하는 춤과 노래들이 사실적으로 보이고 들리도록, 지금의 유행보다 오히려 앞설 수 있도록 신경 썼다,”고 했다.