Gong returns to television after five-year break
Five years have passed since actor Gong Yoo last starred in a television drama, leaving fans hankering for his long-awaited return to the small screen.
It looks like his television comeback will not disappoint. Gong has decided to return with a puff pink, star-studded, star-scripted rom-com.
Given that, it would be hard to say Gong is taking a gamble with KBS’ new series “Big.”
He has seen great success with the rom-com genre in the past, not to mention the drama is being written by the famed Hong sisters (Hong Jeong-eun and Hong Mi-ran) known for spinning out high-rated series like MBC’s “Couple or Trouble” and the more recent “The Greatest Love.”
Add to that his equally popular co-stars “Cyrano Agency” actress Lee Min-jung and Miss A’s Suzy and Gong seems to have clenched yet another smash hit.
“I kept thinking about starring in a drama after completing military service,” said the 32-year old actor at the drama’s press conference in Seoul, Tuesday. “I think fans really wanted me to do one.”
Of his co-stars, he said, “Photos went up featuring me with Lee Min-jung and Suzy and I saw what people posted about it. Some wrote ‘He lucked out’ and others, ‘He hit the jackpot,’ and I can’t disagree. I think I am really lucky.”
“To Lee Min-jung’s fans I would just like to say that I plan on really enjoying working with her for the next two to three months of filming, so please don’t get too jealous,” he quipped.
Gong Yoo (center) and co-stars Lee Min-jung (left) and Miss A’s Suzy attend the press conference for KBS drama “Big” in Seoul, Thursday. (Park Hae-mook/The Korea Herald)
Signing up for a star-scripted and star-studded series does not mean Gong is looking to hitch a free ride.
As demonstrated by his memorable role in “Coffee Prince” (where he played a rich brat whose attraction to a heroine disguised as a boy prompts him to question his sexual orientation), Gong is not afraid to take on complex roles that go beyond the knight-in-shining armor stereotype.
This time around he will be playing two roles ― 30-year old pediatrician Seo Yoon-jae and 18-year old Kang Gyeong-joon (an angst-ridden adolescent who finds himself trapped in the body of Seo after a fateful car accident).
“I wanted to take on that challenge and I am really working hard to do both roles justice,” he said.
Co-star Lee Min-jung is playing Seo’s fiancee and high school teacher Gil Da-ran. In the big switch, Gil is tasked with dealing with having her husband-to-be possessed by the spirit of her mischievous student Kang.
“Not only is the script a riot, but Gong Yoo really brings his character to life,” said the 30-year old actress, who admitted that she is having a hard time keeping a straight face while filming “Big.” “He is really funny.”
Of co-star Gong, Lee said, “He has this dandified persona so I was worried, but actually he’s pretty grungy.”
“Just kidding,” she quickly added.
“I think she’s really cute,” Lee said of co-star and girl group member Suzy ― who cut her acting teeth on KBS’ “Dream High” before going on to star in the popular flick “Architecture 101.” Suzy is playing Kang’s close and not-so-normal friend (and potential love interest) Jang Ma-ri.
“If I were a guy I think I would dig her,” Lee said of Suzy in jest, before getting serious and saying. “I’ve seen all of Suzy’s work and I think she does a good job. She doesn’t put on any airs when she acts.”
Budding starlet Suzy announced that she is “prepared to read the script till it is tattered to bits.”
“I am ready to really enjoy playing a freak,” she said of her role as a left-of-center teenager.
“Big” starts airing June 4 on Monday and Tuesday nights on KBS 2 TV at 9:55 p.m.
By Jean Oh (email@example.com