Korean Actress Ha Ji Won To Play The Role of Empress Ki in "Hwatu."
By Joan MacDonald | May 17, 2013 01:10 AM EDT
It has been a great year for historical kdramas, especially those that consider the lives of women in Korea's history. "Jang Ok Jung" took a new look at the life of the much-despised concubine and the upcoming "Goddess of Fire," starring Moon Geun Young and Kim Beom, will relate the story of the royal potter Baek Pa Sun.
And now a new drama, "Hwatu," starring Ha Ji Won, will reexamine the colorful story of a real-life historical figure, Empress Ki.
In 50-plus episodes, this saga will tell the story of Lady Ki, who was sent to the Yuan Dynasty as a tribute. Lady Ki was said to be beautiful and so talented in singing, dancing and poetry that she captured the heart of the emperor.
She first became a royal concubine then bore the emperor a son that eventually ruled the Yuan dynasty. Ki was promoted to first imperial consort and helped shape the future of the Yuan Dynasty as well as politics in her own country. She engaged in a lot of political maneuvering and in the end disappeared without a trace, so "Hwatu" is bound to be rich in plots and schemes.
According to the production company, this drama will also focus on her love story.
"The empress' ardent love story, which has never before been told, is beautiful but sad," said a representative of the production company. "Ha Ji Won will bring her unique sensibility and charisma to the role."
Ha Ji Won is most famous for playing stuntwoman Gil Ra Im in "Secret Garden" and was recently seen as the North Korean secret agent Kim Hang Ah in the drama "King 2 Hearts," as well as playing Jin Ok in the film "The Huntresses."
She is a very dedicated actress who spends a lot of time preparing for roles, whether that involves learning martial arts or learning how to ride a motorcycle, so it will be interesting to see what her preparation for this role entails. The actress also recently discussed how seriously she takes her roles and how difficult it can be to leave her characters behind. She admitted that she was so invested in her role in one film, that she needed counseling to process the film's traumatic ending. Hopefully this version of Empress Ki's history will have a hopeful ending.
The rest of the cast has not yet been chosen. The drama is written by Jang Yeong Cheol and Jeong Kyeong Soon I, who worked together on "Giant" and "Salaryman."
Han Heui will direct. He directed "Dr. Jin" and "Over the Rainbow."
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