The epic adventure began in February, 2015. After an enormous success of Heirs in 2013, South Korean screenwriter Kim Eun-sook was ready for her next big K-drama. She let her imagination run wild for Descendants of the Sun, a military romance that changed the face of Hallyu.
The script was simple, yet cinematic. It was a perfect blend of rhyme and rhythm. All that was left to do was find a solid cast of actors who would bring her script to life.
The search for the leading man and leading lady lasted almost three months. Shockingly, actor Song Joong-ki was not the preferred choice. Top brass was looking for someone “muscular and tough.” The cherubic actor did not fit the bill.
Lee Eun-bok, the drama’s producer, met Song Joong-ki in person. Although not “muscular” and “tough looking,” Song Joong-ki’s personality did bring a certain soldier-like charisma to the table.
As fate would have it, it was during this time when Song Joong-ki was discharged from his mandatory military service. After a series of discussions with the writers and directors, Song Joong-ki was chosen to play the lead in Descendants of the Sun.
He was cast alongside actress Song Hye-kyo, who was also making a comeback to television after two years. In 2013, she acted in the K-drama That Winter, The Wind Blows. In 2014 and 2015, the beautiful actress made a name for herself on the big screen when she starred in two Chinese movies, The Crossing and The Queen.
In 2016, Song Hye-kyo played Song Joong-ki’s love interest Dr. Kang Mo-yeon in Descendants of the Sun.
The pairing of Song Joong-ki and Song Hye-kyo was magical. When fans first caught a glimpse of the “SongSong couple,” they were spellbound. Their onscreen chemistry turned a simple love story into an epic romance.
After that, there was no looking back. Descendants of the Sun ranked among Google’s Top 10 for 2016, according to a report by Inquisitr. Although the show aired on KBS2 in South Korea, its popularity scaled new heights in Asia. Soon, fans in Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan, and China were glued to their screens, be it on television, computer, or smartphones.
The products endorsed by Song Joong-ki and Song Hye-kyo in Descendants of the Sun sparked a surge in sales. The Laneige lip shades flaunted by Song Hye-kyo became the most sought-after lipstick brand.
In the meantime, Song Joong-ki and Song Hye-kyo became a brand of their own. The hashtags #SongSongCouple and #KiKyo started trending on social media. Fans started their own groups and fan pages dedicated to Song Joong-ki and Song Hye-kyo. The couple thus made history.
Actress Song Hye-kyo was all praises for her soldier co-star.
“Song Joong-ki is totally masculine. He has good manners, and, after seeing how he acts around elders, I think he is quite a great person. He’s fundamentally a good actor,” she said, according to Inquisitr.
South Korea honored the enigmatic duo by doling out the President’s Award for their performance in Descendants of the Sun. The K-drama boosted the economy of South Korea.
While Song Joong-ki was chosen as the honorary ambassador for South Korean tourism, Song Hye-kyo made the country proud by winning the Goddess of Asia title.
In the show’s on-screen world, Descendants of the Sun showcased the intertwined destinies of a handsome soldier and a beautiful doctor. In real life, it marked the epic comeback of Song Joong-ki and Song Hye-kyo.
[Featured Image By Ahn Young-joon/AP Images]