Wearing a yellow shirt and a fluorescent green jumper, Yun Seok-ho is immediately recognizable from quite far off. The producer of "Winter Sonata" — and with it the driving force behind the juggernaut known as the Korean Wave — started with "Autumn Fairy Tale" and already followed up with "The Scent of Summer." What remained, natch, was "Spring Waltz", which now debuts on KBS on March 3.
Spring colors have clearly made their way into Yun’s outfit, and the 49-year old, true to form, started off by discussing the new drama’s color. "It’s pink," he says. "It feels like spring, and symbolizes romance and fantasy." "Autumn Fairy Tale" was yellow and red, "Winter Sonata" was white, and "The Scent of Summer" was blue and green tones.
The drama carries familiar Yun themes in the way that childhood memories and a love story are woven together against beautiful natural settings. In a climate where dramas with lightning-fast story development dominate, Yun’s melodrama likes to take its time.
"This trend where a cool, bizarre and cynical atmosphere is considered stylish while calm and seriousness are passé doesn’t agree with me," he says. At the same time, he denies that "Spring Waltz" is made to please an audience of Japanese women. And being the man that launched a thousand careers in Asia did not protect him from the raging egos of the stars when he embarked on the new series.
Yun delicately alludes to the difficulties he had casting the new show. "The Korean Wave generated many international stars, but there is barely one among them who behaves like an international star," he says. But Yun made a virtue of necessity, resolutely casting relatively new faces like Seo Dong-woo, Han Hyo-joo and Daniel Henney instead.
On the cusp of turning 50, Yun still dreams of romance. "Maybe it’s because I still haven’t got married that fantasy lives on in my dramas," he smiles.