South Korean actor Jang Keun-suk said Thursday he wants to start his 30s on a clean slate by playing gambler Baek Dae-gil in the upcoming TV series "The Royal Gambler."
"I've always wondered whether I've been too complacent with my 'pretty' image throughout my 20s," he told reporters at a press conference at SBS in Seoul. "By playing Dae-gil, which is my first TV role since turning 30 this year, I want to get rid of that and become something else."
Jang turned 30 this year by Korean age reckoning.
In the period drama set in the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), the young Baek is born to King Sukjong and a maid who connives to become a consort despite having already married a destitute gambler. Soon after his birth, he is abandoned by his mother and is raised her former husband who turns him into a skilled high roller.
"My first impression of the screenplay was that it's very three-dimensional as if I'm watching a movie," he said. "Reading it, I closed my eyes and wonder what facial expression I would have made if I were Dae-gil. I didn't want to miss this opportunity."
"The Royal Gambler" is Jang's first historic drama since the KBS 2TV series "Hong Gil-dong" in 2008.
It also stars Yeo Jin-goo as Prince Yeoning who later becomes King Yeongjo. He and Jang will fight over a woman, Damseo, who plots a revenge against King Sukjong, her father's murderer.
"The Royal Gambler" premieres on SBS at 10 p.m. on Monday. (Yonhap)