After a year of preparation, the production team of hit SBS drama “The Chaser” last year has produced new Monday and Tuesday drama “Golden Empire” set to premiere July 1.
The show has a weighty plot to it, telling of how humans are in conflict between seeing success and fulfilling their desires against the backdrop of 20 years of Korea’s economic history, starting around the year 1990, which included the development of new towns, the IMF crisis, the craze over ventures, and the global economical crisis.
In the new series, actor Son Hyun-joo, who was a folksy father in “The Chaser,” plays Choi Min-jae who is the second son to conglomerate group Sungjin’s vice chairman, and Ko Soo a character named Jang Tae-joo who is born into a poor family and joins a real estate development business.
Actress Lee Yo-won, who plays Choi Suh-yoon, the second daughter to the chairman of conglomerate Sungjin, gets involved in the secret strife within the family, and Jang Shin-young plays Jang Tae-joo’s senior and real estate consultor named Yoon Seol-hee.
Like the plot and characters show, the drama will be a serious one. The show’s executive producer Lee Hyun-jin explained, “This is a drama we started working on immediately after people asked me what I’d do with my life since ‘The Chaser’ is over. We’re thinking of showing various people’s love and desires within our serious theme and story.”
“Last year’s ‘The Chaser’ was such an immense and painful drama for me,” remarked actor Son Hyun-joo, who will play a completely different character from the previous show. He then explained that he decided to take on his role because he was “highly drawn to the conglomerate who does not show his feelings and stays true to his desires which is an image that is completely opposite from before.”
Then of his first time ever experience of playing the role of a conglomerate he said, “For ‘The Chaser’ I only had a prison uniform and one other set of clothes so it was fun getting ten suits and 20 dress shirts made for this show.”
Ko Soo, who plays Jang Tae-joo who after observing his father’s misfortune turns into a greedy man, said of his drama, “I was worried that the theme of desires would be too grandiose but we’ll ultimately be telling about all people live.”
When asked if his values have changed in any way from working on a drama revolving around money and success, he answered, “I always let others have the first pick and enjoyed giving [rather than receiving] but I’ve started to think that there are things I don’t want to give up on or I want to have.”
However, he added frankly, “I don’t know whether making a lot of money equals success or being happy equals success.”
Lee Yo-won, playing a daughter who fights to protect her father’s conglomerate, said of her role, “I’m not familiar with dramas about conglomerates since it’s my first one but I felt that the script was very substantial and solid.” She also stated, “It’s made me want to overcome my weaknesses or fears.”
Regarding her character, she explained, “She’s very attractive because you’ll see how she gradually grows by pulling forth the desires that are within her.”
The crew and cast said they will approach viewers “slowly and with depth,” emphasizing the drama will be serious. It will be worth looking forward to seeing if “Golden Empire” becomes a masterpiece that covers much of modern Korean history or stops at a mediocre drama that will not perform beyond “The Chaser.”
Reporter. Jang Seo Yoon firstname.lastname@example.org
Translator. Jessica Kim
Courtesy of SBS