This coming week, the Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS) will air their very first K-drama for 2017. It is one of the more anticipated dramas fans are looking forward to as it marks the K-drama returns for both Ji Sung (Ddanddara and Kill Me, Heal Me) and Yuri, of Girls’ Generation (Neighborhood Hero). The K-drama we are talking about is titled Defendant.
Defendant features Park Jung Woo (Ji Sung), a prosecutor at the Seoul Central District Prosecutor’s Office. One day, he wakes up and finds himself a convict on death row as he is blamed for the deaths of his wife and daughter, while suffering temporary amnesia. As a result, he has no idea what transpired for him to end up in the position he is in now. Every day, he struggles to recover his memory and clear his name. The only person who is willing to help him is an eloquent and rational defense lawyer named Seo Eun Hye (Yuri). Unfortunately, she loses in court every single time she argues a case. Will Park Jung Woo be able to remember everything and avoid his upcoming fate as a convict with the help of Seo Eun Hye, or will he find himself walking his last mile?
From the looks of it, Defendant might be an interesting K-drama. However, it was apparently difficult for Ji Sung to film the show. Recently, Ji Sung described the physical and mental toll he endured filming for the upcoming SBS K-drama and what affect it took on him.
Ji Sung explained the hardships to Korean news outlet Naver. Thanks to a translation provided by Soompi, Ji Sung reportedly lost a total of six kilograms — which is a little over 13 pounds — while filming. During a press conference on Thursday, January 19, Ji Sung revealed why he wanted to appear on this drama, which ultimately led to him having nightmares.
“I wanted to try this kind of genre but it took me a while to decide since it’s a difficult subject to approach and I don’t want to even think about any of this actually happening to me in real life.
“I, too, have a wife and daughter, and I don’t want to dare imagine a life without them. I was constantly in a state of tears since I tormented myself in different ways, by either pushing my limits while exercising or continuously reading the script.
“I keep having dreams of me hanging on the verge of death or saving a family from distress. That’s why it’s been hard at times but it also made me wonder, ‘What dream will I have today?'”
Another factor that took its toll on Ji Sung is the fact that Defendant is following another successful K-drama airing on Korean public channels in the Winter 2016-17 swing season, Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim. Ji Sung and the rest of the cast and crew of Defendant are feeling the pressure to “live up” to that K-drama.
“Just like how Romantic Doctor Kim [another title used for Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim] had a message of its own, our drama also has a message we want to deliver to the audience. However, I don’t want to make things up to make our drama fit into the darkness of our society.
“Our drama is simple. It’s about a person on death-row who has been blamed for the deaths of his family members, but I want to give hope since these things should never happen in real life. I hope many people watch this drama and receive some kind of hope that correlates with their lives.”
Ji Sung would continue on with the press conference, claiming that despite Defendant being quite dark, the chemistry between the actors was very good, and Ji Sung brought up Uhm Ki Joon’s ballet skills, and how Yuri learned more about acting from Ji Sung’s wife, Lee Bo Young.
Defendant will make its debut on Monday, January 23, at 10 p.m. on SBS. Afterwards, following episodes will air on Mondays and Tuesdays at 10 p.m. KST. At this moment, there is no news of any video-on-demand streaming sites that will air this K-drama, but it looks like OnDemandKorea might have it.
[Featured Image by the Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC)]