Actress Lee Na-young, who is more well-known in the film industry, is returning to the small screen with the new rom-com series “Romance is a Bonus Book” (direct translation), in which she stars opposite Lee Jong-suk.
She plays Kang Dan-Yi, a former top copy editor at a PR firm who was happily married with a daughter but who is now divorced, with her career put on halt. She strives to excel in the workplace again, representing many South Korean women who face similar struggles. Women whose career path have been cut off are called “gyeongdannyeo” here.
“Though it’s been a while (since I last filmed a drama), I’m having so much fun on set,” Lee Na-young said during a press conference Monday.
“Before filming, I heard a lot about gyeongdannyeo in today’s society and saw the issue being discussed on programs. I could feel their struggle.”
Lee highlighted a scene in which Kang is interviewed for a job by an interviewer who happens to be a single mother, saying the dialogue between the two reflects their respective situations.
The series marks Lee’s return to TV in nine years since she starred in the KBS series “The Fugitive: Plan B” in 2010. She said working conditions are better now, calling it a good thing for creators.
(Shot and edited by Choi Ji-won/The Korea Herald)
Meanwhile, Lee Jong-suk will play Cha Eun-ho, a rising writer with many best-sellers and also the youngest editor-in-chief in the publishing industry. Kang and Cha start out like siblings but viewers will see their relationship develop.
During the press conference, Lee Jong-suk was asked what it was like working with Lee Na-young, as he has said she is his ideal type in the past.
“I’m a ‘successful’ fan,” Lee said shyly, adding that he dreaded the question, which sparked laughter at the venue.
He told the press that the show would be like a gift to fans because he is likely to enlist in the military this year.
Starring in a rom-com for the first time, Lee said that he wanted to show what fans might like and that acting opposite Lee Na-young helped him to better play his role.
In the process, he has realized it is not an easy task to film a 16-episode show based on a story that centers on emotions between people.
He added that the only problem with acting opposite Lee Na-young is that he blushes while filming with her.
Jung Hyun-Jung, the writer of the show, who closely followed the publishing industry to better understand the field, hopes the show will be an opportunity for viewers to look back on their relationships.
“Relationships between people have become cooler in real life. Friendships and relationships don’t turn people’s lives upside down.
“I would like people to contemplate how we look at relationships between each other.” she said in a written statement.
The new tvN series will air at 9 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
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