By Han Sang-hee
The teary-eyed heartthrob from the period drama ``The Great Queen Seondeok'' Kim Nam-gil, joins one of the prettiest actresses in the business for a stylish plot of love, betrayal and revenge. Will this combination captivate viewers? Find out tonight with a brand new soap ``Bad Boy'' on SBS.
Kim became a household name, not to mention one of the most sought after actors in the industry, after appearing as Bi-dam in the hit drama last year. After some commercials and a movie, the 29-year-old decided to return to the small screen as Shim Geon-wook, a heartless stuntman who knows how to deal with pretty girls with innocent hearts to achieve his goal.
``(Shim is) an innocent but bad guy,'' he said during a press conference last week.
Shim is adopted by a rich family that owns Haeshin Group, one of the biggest and richest companies in the country. But when the young Shim is abandoned by his own family due to a misunderstanding, he vows to destroy everything they have and win back the love and fortune he was once promised.
``You can't hate him because while his actions may be based on vengeance; he's actually lonely and is longing for love. I'm actually trying to focus on my acting instead of trying to look good this time,'' Kim said.
The role of Bi-dam was indeed a huge break for Kim, and many guessed that Kim would be worried it might somehow overshadow him and hinder him from bringing something new to viewers. This was not really the case for Kim after all.
``I actually wasn't thinking of doing a drama after `Seondeok.' The ratings were so good and I didn't think I would be able to find a character that would surpass Bi-dam. To be honest, I think this role is quite similar: the character and even the acting,'' he confessed.
``So after talking with the director, I thought it would be better if I could bring a more mature version of what viewers are used to seeing, if it was impossible to change the character completely.''
His decision was clear, for he was sporting the same long hair, mustache and mischievous smile at the press event.
Meanwhile, television fans will also get to meet another star who left the small screen for quite some time. Han Ga-in will appear as Kim's love interest Mun Jae-in. This is Han's first drama in three years, and the news that she was returning to the small screen attracted reporters near and far, with more than 300 swarming the venue to take a closer look at the 28-year-old.
Mun is pretty, smart and ambitious, but lacks the perfect background. She turns toward Shim, but when she finds out that he's been disowned the family and its fortune, she quickly pulls herself together. Showing a stern and heartless face may be easy, but she finds herself caught between her ambitions to succeed and her affections toward the love of her life.
Han has appeared in a number of dramas since her debut in 2002, such as ``Witch Amusement'' (SBS) and ``Dr. Gang'' (MBC), but her performances didn't wow the audience. Along with stars such as Lee Na-young and Shin Min-a, it's true that she is more categorized as a ``CF star,'' but Han wants to change that misconception.
``I am not pretty at all in the drama. I'm a bit evil, even. I accepted the role in the drama because I wasn't scared to brush off my goddess image from commercials,'' she said.
For an actress, returning to either the big or small screen can be a burden, for younger and more talented newcomers instantly steal the spotlight. Han admitted she was worried to return after a three-year hiatus, but was more prepared than ever.
``I have a hard time falling asleep these days but I promise I will show the best of me,'' she said laughing.
The two actors may attract young viewers, but the drama is welcoming yet another, more experienced, actress to lead the story with a firmer grip.
Actress Oh Yeon-su will play Hong Tae-ra, the oldest daughter of the Haeshin Group. Hong lives a rather peaceful life with her husband and children, but feels a change of heart when she meets Shim. Her life is shattered as she falls for him, opening the door of revenge for Shim.
Oh may be in her late 30s, but she is charismatic and charming enough to play opposite with one of the hottest guys in the entertainment business.
``There's a love scene, which made me and also my husband a bit nervous,'' she told reporters with a smile.
The tale of a love triangle, revenge and money will unfold tonight at 9:55.