‘Saimdang’ drama to hit the air next year
The press conference took place near Ojukheon, the birthplace of Shin Saimdang, who graces the 50,000 won bill.
She is one of the most well-known historical figures of her time and was a famed calligrapher, painter and mother of scholar Yulgok during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).
The drama series jumps between the Joseon Dynasty and modern Seoul. Lee will portray Shin Saimdang as well as Seo Ji-yun, a contemporary college lecturer who teaches Korean art history.
“Many people think of [Shin] as a person who only exists on the 50,000 won note, but I want to show more sides of her through this work,” Lee said.
Lee said she tried to think of the historical figure as a working mom of the Joseon Dynasty. “I’m learning the way Shin Saimdang raised her children. I came to feel attached to this work because I’m a mother and a wife.”
She also shared her personal experience with Ojukheon. “My husband and I came here years ago, and we threw coins and prayed to have children.”
She refuted rumors about her not wanting to shoot after 9 p.m. because she’s a mom. “The rumors have been exaggerated. The production environment has changed a lot compared to 10 years ago. We hope to produce a quality drama series through preproduction.”
Lee’s previous period drama series, “Dae Jang Geum” (2003-04), was a global hit. In some Middle Eastern countries, the drama earned up to 90 percent viewership.
“I can’t say this [next project] is going to be another hit overseas, but I’m pretty sure this will win the hearts of many viewers,” Lee said. “This is a story that will make you laugh and cry. I also want to show the beauty of hanbok through this drama series.”
Hanbok refers to traditional Korean clothing.
“Saimdang: The Herstory” began shooting in August, and it will be 100 percent pre-produced, or filmed before it starts to air, unlike other Korean dramas. The show will hit the air next year.
By Sung So-young