By: Puja Talwar
Kim Bum is back again as the crafty and troublesome half human and half gumiho, Lee Rang in the “Tale Of The Nine -Tailed 1938”, a sequel to the 2020 hit “Tale Of The Nine Tailed”. The drama is headlined by Lee Dong Wook who returns as the charming gumiho, Lee Yeon. Joining the cast is actor Kim So Yeon ( The Penthouse) in a pivotal role.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFnD8zYGiBg
As the action shifts to Japan (1910-1945), it shows how Yeon has 16 hours to retrieve a stone that can help keep the gate between the earth and the world of demons firmly under lock, and that is only possible if he can get access to a mysterious masked villain. However, the one thing that remains constant is the love hate relationship between the two brothers Yeon and Rang. Though they had transitioned from enemies to friends in the previous edition, however in 1938, Rang’s disdain for his brother is palpable.
In an exclusive with Urban Asian, Kim Bum when asked about revisiting Lee Rang yet again and what appealed to him most about the character said,
“When I first approached Lee Rang, I thought simply. I thought of Lee Rang as an innocent character who just wants to bother and mess around to get attention from the person he likes, similar to a child. I was attracted to this story because I was intrigued by the script, which is based on Korean legends and tales with a modern, fun twist. For those who have watched season 1, they will know that Lee Rang has many scars, and he only looks up to his older brother. It will be exciting to see what the year 1938 was like for Lee Rang and how future Lee Yeon’s appearance affects and changes him. To use a Marvel analogy, it’s like the Avengers story at the time when Captain America and Hydra were present.”
Kim So Yeon who plays the a Mountain Goddess of the West” Ryu Hong Joo confesses being a fan of the fantasy genre, as well as of season one of “ Tale of the Nine-tailed”
“ When I was offered the role, I accepted without thinking twice. (laughs) I wanted to challenge myself to do a fantasy drama for I don’t know if there ever will be another chance”. The actor also admits she trained diligently at an action school and sharing screen space with Lee Dong Wook was a dream come true for her. “ I have experienced action scenes before, but sword fighting was entirely different. I practiced with a sword that is heavier and longer than the actual sword used in filming. At first, I couldn’t even swing it across. (laughs) I am relieved to see how the scene turned out in the show, as many have helped with the process. And Lee Dong-wook was like the central figure of the set. He was an actor I have always wanted to try working with, and getting the chance to do so was exciting, and thanks to him, I had a lot of fun on set”.
Kim Bum who remains synonymous as So Yi Jung , one of the key F4 members from the cult classic Boys Over Flowers, which has been a rite of passage for fans into the K-drama universe reveals he has always been overwhelmed with the love that has come his way.
“It has been over a decade since ‘Boys Over Flowers’ came out, but it still sticks with me. This show helped me realize that there are people outside of Korea who love me and watch me. Though they are far away, their sincerity always reached me, and during my break and in times of sadness, the fans’ energy changed them into grateful times.”
The talented actor who has gone on to prove his versatility in hits such “Tale Of The Nine Tailed”, “Ghost Doctor” and “Law School” says he is always drawn to the storyline and the world of the drama, when choosing his projects.
”Working in a new genre, collaborating with new individuals, and expressing novel emotions always presents challenges. Hence, it is difficult to single out one genre as the most challenging. Personally, I have a fondness for cerebral, detective-based genres or large-scale projects that encompass an unprecedented epic universe”.
With the global popularity and mainstreaming of S Korean content, both actors feel its given them an opportunity to showcase the diversity and richness of S Korean content.
“We have always been sharing our stories, just as we are now, and we are grateful that people are listening to them. Because we will continue to do so for those who watch our stories, it has not challenged the actors ‘more.’ We have been challenged ‘constantly’”, says Kim Bum.
Kim So Yeon further adds
“I believe our drama has the responsibility to be the storyteller of Korean traditional folktales throughout the world. As a messenger that delivers Korea’s charms, and as one of the actors in the cast, I work with more responsibility.”
Produced by Studio Dragon ,“Tale of the Nine Tailed 1938”, has been ranking in the top ten list across 19 countries. The studio has emerged as one of the key story tellers, with mega hits such as The Glory, Crash Course in Romance, Under the Queen’s Umbrella, Little Women, Alchemy of Souls 1,2, Crash Landing on You, It’s Okay to Not Be Okay to its roster. Studio Dragon’s line up for the next quarter, includes, “See You In My 19 th Life” , “Celebrity” and many others