|From left, MBC TV series producer Kim Kyung-hee and actors Um Ki-joon, Lee Joon-ki, Baek Yoon-shik and Shin Joo-a pose during a photo session of a press conference at Melon AX hall on October 23, 2009. [MBC]|
Hard times make a hero. Major broadcaster MBC, faced with times tougher than ever with low viewership ratings for its Wednesday and Thursday night dramas, is set to launch "Hero" on November 11 with hopes of regaining its reputation. Kim Kyung-hee, recognized for her unique style of producing in dramas such as "Ground Zero" teamed with Park Ji-sook, who garnered attention for her extraordinary writing in one-act dramas such as "Fugitive Lee Doo-yong" and "Blue Skies of Jeju Island" to create "Hero", a story aimed at rooting the lower middle class in society by depicting the lives of two strong powers -- the media and chaebols (conglomerates).
It may sound like the show is set in a grand background and has a great purpose, but the video showing highlights from the upcoming drama presented at the Melon AX hall on October 23, contained bright and lively scenes. The same atmosphere was carried on into the press conference where a witty Lee Jun-ki said, "I was hoping to create some scandals and make viewers more curious with some photographs so it's a shame she couldn't make it today." His co-star Kim Min-jung was unable to attend the event due to an arm injury. Producer Kim too said, "Not losing the humor is an important value (in this drama). I'm trying to express that all the characters have been hurt and have their reasons, but in a way that it won't seem too serious." This drama, which talks about the important values people forget about while living, dreams of attaining a difficult yet possible goal. You will see what that goal is when you substitute the 'people' for the 'drama' in these actors' definition of what a real hero is. "One who knows the value of people and tries to protect it (Kim Kyung-hee)" "Everyone who becomes the main character of their life is a hero. (Uhm Ki-joon)" "One who values himself, is considerate of his surroundings and makes his life into something valuable. (Lee Jun-ki)" "One who can represent the lower middle class. (Baek Yoon-shik)" "There is a lot of evil in this world, but the ones with a good heart are the ones who become the hero. (Shin Joo-a)"
Lee Jun-ki: as Jin Do-hyuk, newspaper reporter who is full of ambition
Lee repeatedly emphasized that Jin is a character who is "less serious and more cheerful" than previous characters he has played. Jin, optimistic and energetic, could be taken as someone who is fun compared to Lee's previous roles where he was an undercover agent for the intelligence service or had to be a real hero carrying a heavy burden on his shoulders. But Lee will not have a completely easy time with his role playing someone who transforms into a reporter with a strong sense of justice and speaks up for the lower middle class society. Jin wants to become a reporter after his father but he comes from a family which struggles from the rigors of life and he was not able to study of his own will due to his immature sister who only worsens the situation. Jin barely gets into a third-rate newspaper but runs into a wall when the paper decides to cease publication. However, he swells with new dreams and expectations, when his interviewee, a former gang boss, proposes that they set up a new newspaper.
Kim Min-jung: as Joo Jae-in, leader of a police department's homicide team
Joo, a detective who graduated police academy with first honors, is a character who always plays by the book. At work, she is alike her father who passed away while on duty but in normal life, she is alike her mother who is feminine and elegant yet a little immature. That is why she will sweep out criminals with various types of martial art fighting but wear pink pajamas at home or will be carefully sneaking into a crime scene but turn shy in front of the one she likes. That is where her appeal is and the reason why she will be confused over liking Jin and Kang. According to producer Kim, Jae-in will "always quarrel with Jin who seems to be living a third-rate life -- ignoring him and despising him -- until she gradually realizes his attractiveness and starts to change and mature."
Um Ki-joon: as Kang Hye-sung, an elite reporter who dreams of becoming successful
Um concisely explained that Kang is one who is "full of ambition" and will "use any means possible to achieve his goal". While Kang is cold-hearted and nimble-witted, he is the typical character who gets engaged to the daughter of his newspaper Dae-sae Ilbo's chairman and secures his position as the mainstream reporter in the economic section of the paper. However, as he starts to grow feelings for detective Joo, he cannot stand her getting closer to Jin and agonizes from it.
Cho comes out to society after serving 15 years in a prison cell. He no longer has any followers except for Sang-chul (Cho Kyung-hoon), his wife has remarried with someone else and his daughter, who has become a college student, turns her back on him. He, who has nowhere to turn to, ends up proposing that he and Jin, who was after him for an interview, set up a newspaper through which Cho tries to settle his hidden past with newspaper Dae-sae Ilbo. Baek, who always has considerable presence in his films or dramas whether he be playing the good guy or the bad guy, refrained from answering most of the questions about his character and replaced them with his chuckles. "There weren't any difficulties. (chuckle) I just try to make it realistic." Despite his short responses, we can expect Baek -- the master who has been accumulating on his experience over the years -- to fulfill his role well.