July 14, 2006
Ha Ji-won will be taking on the title role in the upcoming KBS miniseries "Hwang Jin-I", about a famous Chosun-era gisaeng or female entertainer. The first episode will be shown on Oct. 11.
"After looking at a lot of top stars for the role, we recently signed a contract with Ha Ji-won," the producers said Friday. The actress goes head-to-head with Song Hae-gyo, who also plays Hwang Jin-I in a movie of the same title that starts filming at the end of the month. Ha reportedly thought about turning down the part, citing the lack of time to practice the geomungo or six-stringed Korean zither and other skills of the accomplished all-round entertainer.
But she changed her mind when the first episode originally slated for September was postponed. Ha’s agency Soft Land says Ha will study geomungo, dancing and even tightrope-walking starting this month, having said that she wants to do whatever she can herself instead of relying on a double. The drama depicts the life of Hwang Jin-I from her early years through when she became a famous gisaeng through the lens of a modern sensibility. Stories including her attempt to seduce great 16th century scholar Seo Gyeong-deok and their subsequent student-teacher relationship will be portrayed against beautiful scenic settings. The drama will air on Wednesdays and Thursdays in 30 episodes.