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 Author| Post time 18-6-2012 11:28 PM | Show all posts
June 18, 2012

Yoo In-na to tell her side of love story
By Carla Sunwoo Korea JoongAng Daily
Yoo In-na and Ji Hyun-woo

Actress Yoo In-na will soon speak about her relationship with fellow co-star Ji Hyun-woo from the drama Queen In-hyuns Man.

Following Jis surprise love declaration at a fan meeting June 7, the two have been photographed together on a midnight date.

Internet news Web site captured the two on a late-night rendezvous Sunday, strolling with their arms around each other at a park in Bundang, Gyeonggi, where Yoo lives.

After the pictures started circulating online yesterday, Yoos agency said the star would speak to fans about it through her social media account.

As its a purely personal matter, itll be best if Yoo In-na talked about it herself, and she will shortly, said a spokesperson from YG Entertainment.

Although Yoo made no official statement in regard to the matter after the June 7 declaration, rumor has it that many entertainment insiders suspected there had been something between the two since they started filming the romantic comedy drama on tvN.

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 Author| Post time 19-6-2012 10:49 PM | Show all posts
June 19, 2012

Lee Hyori shoots sexy ad with top male model
By Carla Sunwoo Korea JoongAng Daily

Lee Hyoris boyfriend Lee Sang-soon may be forgiven if he feels a tad uncomfortable looking at Lee Hyoris latest pictorial for the July edition of mens magazine LOfficiel Hommes.

In pictures released on June 19, Lee can be seen in various, seductive artistic poses with top male model Matthew Terry.

The two collaborated to promote Calvin Klein jeans and underwear and some of the shots are being declared by netizens as too hot for those under 19.

According to a representative from the magazine, the set was a very awkward one indeed as the two celebrities had to dive straight into sexual poses.

Lee Hyori was the more initiative one, jumping right into it and breaking the ice, said the representative, who also said in the end it was a great shoot, due to Lees efforts.

Lee is one of the nations top entertainers and is as comfortable singing on-stage as she is making the public laugh with her witty comments on variety shows.

Meanwhile, Terry is a relatively new face, but nevertheless a rising star, having made his debut earlier this year for Calvin Klein.

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 Author| Post time 19-6-2012 10:51 PM | Show all posts
June 19, 2012

Yoo In-na says she likes him back
By Carla Sunwoo Korea JoongAng Daily

Its official. Actress Yoo In-na is dating co-star Ji Hyun-woo from the drama Queen In-hyuns Man.

Yoo, who also hosts a radio show, spoke for the first time since Ji announced he was in love with her at a fan meeting event for the drama on June 7.

During KBSs Yoo In-nas Turn Up the Volume radio show, the 30-year-old actress said she never meant to hide the fact that she was seeing her co-star and explained the paparazzi photos from a day earlier that captured the two on a midnight date at a park in Bundang, Gyeonggi, where Yoo lives.

I planned to tell you all on the program. I like him a lot, and when he confessed that he liked me back, I was really excited. I am so thankful that he had the courage to say that he liked me, Yoo said on the program.

And in case her beau was listening, Yoo said, You should quit smoking. Its bad for your health.

A day earlier, when photos of the two started circulating online, YG Entertainment said Yoo would make an announcement about them to fans herself.

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 Author| Post time 19-6-2012 10:53 PM | Show all posts
June 19, 2012

Actor Kim Bum's new role is singer
By Carla Sunwoo Korea JoongAng Daily

Theres a new rising Hallyu star in town that may be able to give actor-turned-singer Jang Keun-suk a run for his money.

Kim Bum, the 22-year-old actor who rose to fame in the dramas Boys over Flowers (2009) and this years Padam Padam will try his luck as a singer in Japan.

Kim will launch his debut album Wednesday and begin a three-day promotional visit to Japan on Saturday. On Sunday, Kim will meet with an expected 1,500 fans at a launch event for his album Hometown at the Odaiba VenusFort in Tokyo before doing interviews with Japanese media.

The album is being described as summery with elements of nostalgia, consisting of seven tracks from various genres, such as rock and ballad.

The album was backed by the famous Japanese label Pony Canyon and was produced by Park Geun-chul, who has worked on sound tracks for dramas.

Leading up to his debut album, Kim has also contributed various song to the sound tracks of dramas in which he has starred.

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 Author| Post time 19-6-2012 10:54 PM | Show all posts
June 19, 2012

Kangin to make comeback in July
By Carla Sunwoo Korea JoongAng Daily

Kangin, a Super Junior member who has been out of the spotlight for about three years following a drunken assault and during military service, is set to rejoin the band in early July as it prepares to release its sixth album, SM Entertainment announced yesterday.

The 27-year-old Kangin has kept a low profile since being released from the Army in April, but has uploaded pictures of his diet meals, which he is sticking to in order to shape up for his return.

Though Kangins military obligation was just over two years, he took a break from Super Junior about a year before joining after he was charged with a hit-and-run and embroiled in controversy after violent outbursts while intoxicated.

The last time he appeared with Super Junior was in October 2009.

Despite his absence, the 13-member boy band has been doing well.

The group performed in the United States on May 20 as part of the SM Town concert produced by its own agency.

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 Author| Post time 19-6-2012 10:56 PM | Show all posts
June 19, 2012

Red carpet a big step for Han Ga-in
By Carla Sunwoo Korea JoongAng Daily

Actress Han Ga-in will join co-star Lee Jae-hoon and director Lee Yong-ju for the closing of the Shanghai International Film Festival, where their movie Architecture 101 will be the final screening.

The three will leave Korea on Saturday to attend the screening on Sunday.

The melodrama was a phenomenal success in Korea when it was released in March.

The film tells the story of two students who meet in an introductory architecture class and fall in love. The story unfolds 15 years later, after the female student tracks down her first love to seek his help in building her dream house.

The movie exceeded 4.1 million views at the cinemas and drew a record number of men, despite the fact that melodramas and romance films are not very popular with males.

Hans agency said that she was thrilled to be invited to the international film fest.

Ill try my best to promote the movie in China so that it does as well over there as back home, Han said.

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 Author| Post time 19-6-2012 11:01 PM | Show all posts
June 19, 2012

Lee Je-hoon evolves
By Claire Lee The Korea Herald

'Architecture 101' and 'Fashion King' actor shares his thoughts on movies, and taking on different challenges
No one on Koreas film scene has been busier than actor Lee Je-hoon in the last few months.

The 28-year-old actor has been involved with two movies and one drama since last year. One of the movies, Architecture 101, in which Lee played a shy university student who suffers heartbreak over his first love, turned out to be a huge box office triumph after its release in March.

Lee, who swept best rookie actor prizes last year for his performance as the emotionally vulnerable high school student in director Yoon Sung-hyuns indie drama Bleak Night, rose to stardom with the commercial first-love flick. He received enthusiastic reviews for his portrayal of the inexperienced young man, which showed off much complexity and emotional depth. His versatility once again shined in SBS recent drama series Fashion King, where he played a struggling young chaebol heir in Koreas fashion industry.

Actor Lee Je-hoon poses for a photo prior to an interview with The Korea Herald on Friday.
(Park Hae-mook/The Korea Herald)

Lees rise to stardom, however, is no accident. After switching his major from engineering to theater studies, Lee appeared in more than 18 student shorts and indie films from 2006-2010. He also appeared as an extra in a number of commercial films, including 2010 erotic thriller The Servant and romantic comedy Finding Mr. Destiny.

Having finished shooting SBS drama series Fashion King, Lee is ahead of the release of his upcoming commercial comedy horror film Ghost Sweepers. Following is a Q&A with the talented and ambitious actor.

Q: Youve played such a variety of roles. What kind of characters draws you in?

A: Im interested in characters that make me curious. The characters I like offer a room for imagination about their untold past and future, even when the given scripts dont explain enough about them. I also like characters that influence other characters in the films D even after their deaths. Gi-tae from Bleak Night, (the high school student commits a suicide in the film) for example, will always be a part of his friends lives.

Q: Your timid university student character Seung-min in Architecture 101, on the other hand, suffers heartbreak, mainly because of his lack of courage. How did you understand the character?

A: I know that many would call him cowardly. But I really think hes done best he could, in the way he thought was right (to win his love-interest Seo-yeons heart.) Of course, those who have more experience in relationships wouldnt approach a person they like in such a way. But I assumed that for a young man whos never been in love before, everything he experiences with Seo-yeon must be extremely overwhelming.

Q: In spite of Seung-mins flaws, many empathize with the character. Have you experienced something similar to what he goes through in the movie?

A: Yes. But Ive never given up (on a girl) the way Seung-min does in the movie D he just turns away without telling her how he really feels. Ive always told very clearly.

Q: Who are your favorite actors (or actresses) and why?

A: Brad Pitt and George Clooney. I like Pitt for being so versatile by playing so many different types of roles, for both commercial and art-house films. Clooney, on the other hand, is a prolific director as well as an actor. I also admire him for his (human rights) activism and his efforts to make a difference in the world.

Q: Would you ever direct a movie as well?

A: I do think about it sometimes. Whenever I am on shooting, I always find the film equipment D such as the camera, lights and microphones D and how they work very interesting. I sometimes look into the viewfinder and try to compose a shot and focus the subject. But Im not planning to direct a film anytime soon D if it happens, itll happen many years later.

Q: What film has changed your life?

A: Director Lee Chang-dongs 1997 noir Green Fish. I was attending middle school when I first watched the piece. And although I could not completely understand the film and where it was getting at, I still found it extremely powerful. I somehow empathized with the character Mak-dong (in the movie, the young character gets involved with street mobsters and ends up having an affair with the boss girlfriend) though I didnt get why he would make such (undesirable) choices in life. Its the film that triggered my love for Korean cinema. Ive been watching a lot of local films ever since.

Q: Who would be dream directors to work with?

A: Lee Chang-dong, Park Chan-wook and Bong Joon-ho. I think the three filmmakers tell the stories that they really want to tell. Their movies always reveal what they think must be told. I have a lot of respect for that.

Q: In Architecture 101, your character Seung-min was made fun of for wearing a fake Guess T-shirt. You made a huge fashion transition in Fashion King, where you played a young chaebol heir who flaunts his expensive wardrobe and lifestyle. What are your favorite fashion items off-screen?

A: Anything simple with a touch of vintage. Ive been also collecting vintage shoes for the past year. I like how these shoes complement any outfit you wear D from formal suit to something totally casual.

Q: If you could have dinner with anyone D dead or alive D who would you choose?

A: Park Kyung-chul (the doctor-turned-stock investor and columnist). Ive read one of the books hes written and found it very inspiring.

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 Author| Post time 19-6-2012 11:04 PM | Show all posts
June 19, 2012

Searching for the killer takes its toll off the set
By Kim Hyo-eun Korea JoongAng Daily

Actor Son Hyun-joo plays detective Baek Hong-seok in the SBS drama The Chaser. Provided by SBS

Detective Baek Hong-seok lived with his wife and 15-year-old daughter in a rundown house with a leaking roof. He dreamed of saving up enough money to purchase his own property and provide a comfortable home for his family before his daughter started high school.

But it all changed when the unthinkable happened. Hong-seoks daughter died suddenly in a strange car accident, the story given by the police dissonant with the facts. His wife, suffocated by the weight of the tragedy, committed suicide.

The detective refused to accept chance as the reason for his daughters death and began looking into the circumstances surrounding the supposed accident. He set all inhibitions aside in order to uncover the truth and in the process discovered a conspiracy that runs deeper than he could have ever imagined.

Hong-seok, played by Son Hyun-joo, is the protagonist of the popular SBS drama The Chaser. The series plot is riveting, but it is the high-quality acting that has separated the program from the K-drama pack.

Son has been featured in television dramas for 21 years, including starring roles in KBS2s My Rosy Life (2005) and The Sons of Sol Pharmacy House (2009), and has enthralled audiences as an indecisive bachelor and a cold-hearted husband.

But his heavy role as Hong-seok has taken its toll.

Right now I am not really capable of going back and forth from smiling to being gloomy, Son said.

The drama veteran has been easy to find on the small screen for the past two decades, but he is surprisingly media-shy for such a well-known figure.

He says he would rather focus his attention on improving his acting skills, often dubbed near perfect by drama critics.

He did agree to sit down with the JoongAng Ilbo for a rare glimpse into the actors world off the set. He is currently shooting The Chaser, which will wrap up on July 17.

The following are excerpts from the interview.

Q. In the drama, the death of your characters daughter is tied to a grand conspiracy, his wife commits suicide and he seems as though hell do anything, from kill to break out of prison, for revenge. What would you do if all these happened in real life?

A. I think I would get extremely irritated and suffocate from the oppression. I was only able to pull off a prison break for the show, but in reality, I dont think I would able to accomplish that. I remember the line spoken by actor Kim Sang-joong (playing lawmaker Kang Dong-yoon) during filming.

When I tell Kang that I will never forgive him for killing my daughter, he says, Forgiveness is what a person with power can do and what a person like you can never achieve.

When I heard Kangs words, it felt like my heart was tearing in half.

You seem to be totally captivated by your role.

Right now I am not really capable of going back and forth from smiling to being gloomy, and so I have to keep this dark expression for my character.

The competition among actors for the best performance seems to be ruthless.

Honestly, to say that there is an acting competition seems so immature. If the actors start to compete amongst themselves, there would be no light at the end of the tunnel for this drama. The thing is that we do have all these seasoned actors and actresses without idol singers who also act.

It has been a long time since an authentic and traditional drama has come out, and that is why I think it is getting such critical acclaim.

There are rumors that everyone in the cast gets the take right in a couple of tries. Is it true that no one really makes mistakes on the set?

No, we do make mistakes. The netizens on the Internet say that we seem to be out of our minds when we are acting, and this is true. We are actually becoming crazy for this drama, and we are doing everything we can to provide a near-perfect performance for our audience.

The scene in which you break down while holding onto the spoons of your wife and daughter at the dinner table was impressive.

This is the first time I have played a role with a lost child, and I think I was naturally able to slip into my character as I am a father in real life. I met my on-screen daughter, Soo-jung, in April, and I kept telling myself that she was my real daughter in order to befriend her as quickly as possible.

What is your relationship like with your daughter?

I have a daughter who is in middle school, and like other fathers, I am worried about how she will grow up in our society that is so unsafe for women these days.

It really saddens me when I occasionally wonder what will happen to her if I am no longer by her side. I am not able to see her that often because I am so busy, and she comes home late from private academy classes. It distresses me to see her so exhausted in the mornings.

There is tough competition among the dramas airing right now.

There are so many dramas. Big has a handsome actor, and compared to Gong Yoo, we are not quite as attractive. That is why we continue to perform action scenes. [Laughs]

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 Author| Post time 20-6-2012 01:23 PM | Show all posts
June 20, 2012

Lee Byung Hun to Leave for America on June 20 for His Hollywood Hand Printing
Nate: 1 l 2 l 3 l 4 l 5 l 6 l CJ E&M enewsWorld Oh, MiJung Translation Credit: Stewart Ho

Lee Byung Hun will leave for the U.S. on June 20 to leave his hand prints in Hollywood.

Lee Byung Hun will leave for Los Angeles from Incheon International Airport with his staff on June 20 at 4:30 p.m. (KST).

Ahead of his hand printing, Lee Byung Hun will hold a few activities there, as well as conduct interviews.

On June 23 (local time) at 1 p.m. in front of Graumans Chinese Theater in Hollywood, Lee Byung Hun will take part in the hand printing ceremony.

At the press conference for G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation in April, the actor had shared his feelings on the honor saying, I couldnt believe it at first and thought they were lying. I still cant believe it now. I think only after I actually do the hand printing, will I realize its true. Making my prints in front of the Chinese Theater is something I never even dreamed of. It is a great honor.

His agency BH Entertainment shared its feelings on the honor with enews saying, Though we do think its a bit premature, it means Hollywood has that much interest in Lee Byung Hun.

This hand printing event is part of the American agency Looking Easts two day Looking East 2012 Korean Movie Festival to be held on June 23 and June 24.

The Graumans Chinese Theater served as the home of the Academy Awards from 1927 until 1946. The theaters forecourt contains some 268 hand and foot prints of past and current celebrities.

Photo credit: Kim Byung Kwan

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 Author| Post time 20-6-2012 10:37 PM | Show all posts
June 20, 2012

Lee Seung-gi to become cyber safety cop
By Carla Sunwoo Korea JoongAng Daily

Entertainer Lee Seung-gi will take part in the Beautiful Internet World campaign, which promotes a harmonious and safe cyberspace by prompting users to be cautious and mindful of their Internet activities and comments.

Lee praised the organization in its effort and said that he supported its cause.

As a nation that leads the way in IT, wouldnt it be great if our online realm was a pleasant environment? Lee said.

In place of negative comments, Lee urged, lets leave positive and encouraging comments. Be respectful and understanding and we can change the online environment.

Beautiful Internet World is a campaign orchestrated by Joy News 24 and the Korea Internet & Security Agency.

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 Author| Post time 20-6-2012 10:39 PM | Show all posts
June 20, 2012

Seo Woo finds romance on the set
By Carla Sunwoo Korea JoongAng Daily

Actress Seo Woo has become the latest entertainer to find love on the set.

Following in the steps of Yoo In-na, who admitted she was dating her co-star, Seo's agency said she is dating actor In Gyo-jin, whom she met on the set of the SBS drama "If Tomorrow Comes."

Although the show ended in April, the two have just started dating, according to their agencies.

The characters played by the actors had no romantic links or significant ties, thus the announcement came as a bit of a shock.

"They are still getting to know one another," Seo's agency said yesterday.

The confirmation comes after an Internet news Web site reported earlier in the day that it spotted the two enjoying a date at a cafe in Hannam-dong, central Seoul, acting very lovey-dovey.

Seo made her debut in the movie "Son" in 2007. In made his debut through MBC's network talent search in 2000.

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 Author| Post time 20-6-2012 10:41 PM | Show all posts
June 20, 2012

Kim Hyung-jun offers a sneak peek
By Carla Sunwoo Korea JoongAng Daily

Ahead of his second album's release in July, singer Kim Hyung-jun has released a teaser image for the album "Escape."

The image displayed on his Web site shows Kim giving off a mysterious air in the dark, silhouetted by a spotlight behind him. The picture also highlights Kim's muscular physique.

Netizens and fans have been gushing over the picture, with many saying they can't wait for the former SS501 member's second album.

"Escape" comes after his "My Girl" debut and marks Kim's return after a year off from singing to explore acting opportunities.

This year, Kim starred in the dramas "Self-Luminous Girl" and "I Love You."

Kim finished a nine-day concert tour of Japan on April 7, performing first in Osaka and then six other cities.

Through the tour, titled "Kim Hyung-jun 2012: First Story in Japan," the singer performed for more than 8,000 fans.

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 Author| Post time 20-6-2012 10:44 PM | Show all posts
June 20, 2012

Jang Keun-suk captivates Chinese
By Carla Sunwoo Korea JoongAng Daily

Hallyu entertainer Jang Keun-suk, whose fame is skyrocketing in Japan, is ready for China.

When a special episode of the Chinese television program "Que Rak Dae Bon Young" ("Happy Camp") featuring Jung aired on Saturday, it had the most viewers of any program in its time slot. More than 350,000 viewers tuned in to see the show on the Internet TV channel PPS.

The feat was all the more remarkable because the 90-minute program dedicated to Jang was on at the same time as the Shanghai International Film Festival, which had Hollywood actors Heather Graham and Aaron Eckhart taking part as well as Chinese actors.

Immediately after the program, Jang's followers on the Chinese SNS Web site Weibo exceeded 500,000.

On Chinese portal Web site Baidu, Jang¡s fan club became the most sought after.

Meanwhile in Japan, the 24-year-old actor and singer is set to make his first appearance July 1 on a music chart show on NHK. He will sing the title track "Crazy Crazy Crazy" from his Japanese debut album.

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 Author| Post time 20-6-2012 10:46 PM | Show all posts
June 20, 2012

Kwon Sang-woo is sick in China
By Carla Sunwoo Korea JoongAng Daily

Actor Kwon Sang-woo has fallen ill in Dali, China, where he has been filming the drama "Poong Hwa Sul Wul."

Kwon contracted enteritis Monday morning and was unable to seek medical treatment immediately, his health deteriorating as the day wore on.

Given his condition, production was to be postponed, but Kwon refused to let his sickness disrupt work.

Later in the day, Kwon uploaded a picture of himself on Weibo, the Chinese social networking site, with the comments, "I couldn't sleep a wink last night due to enteritis. Currently on-set filming; worst condition I've been in; this is terrible."

On his official Web site too, Kwon wrote, "I have no strength and can't eat a thing except for rice porridge. Owner of a Korean restaurant here has kindly given me some medicine."

Besides his current work in the Chinese drama, the 35-year-old star spent most of last year filming the Hollywood movie "Chinese Zodiac," starring Jackie Chan.

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 Author| Post time 21-6-2012 09:12 PM | Show all posts
June 21, 2012

Actor Kim Moo-yul was poor enough to dodge military service
By Carla Sunwoo Korea JoongAng Daily

Actor Kim Moo-yul has landed himself in hot water as his past of dodging military service has surfaced.

On June 21, the Korean Board of Audit and Inspection released a report which stated that the 30-year old actor was exempted from military service back in 2001 due to being a low-income individual.

According to the report, in 2001 Kim was given rating two at the physical examination, which meant that he was fit to be conscripted.

However, from 2007 to 2009, Kim reported more than five times that he had been sitting for civil servant examinations, which excused him for the time being.

Then in 2010, Kim filed a report to the Military Manpower Association, saying that he had a minor illness. When the medical report failed to exempt him from mandatory military service, Kim again filed for exemption, stating that he was the sole provider for his family.

This time the exemption was granted as it was implied that without Kim, the family would be in ruins.

Meanwhile, Kim has starred in various dramas and musicals since 2007 and has pocketed more than 300 million won ($260,300).

Netizens were in a furor when the news broke, citing that it is unfair that so many celebrities are given exemption on groundless evidence.

Kims agency has since come out and countered that Kim was in truth supporting his family, as his father was diagnosed with cancer in 2008.

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 Author| Post time 21-6-2012 09:15 PM | Show all posts
June 21, 2012

Jung Il-woo proves that cheese isnt the only pizza topping
By Carla Sunwoo Korea JoongAng Daily

Dominos Pizzas new face, Jung Il-woo, revealed his signature boyish smile while filming a Dominos advertisement, bringing smiles to onlookers.

Im so glad I could be an advertising model for a brand that Ive always been a fan of, Jung said.

Jung finished filming without trouble, eating several pizzas in the process.

Dominos ad starring Jung began airing on TV earlier this month.

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 Author| Post time 21-6-2012 09:18 PM | Show all posts
June 21, 2012

Choi Jin-hyuk confesses his relationship with Son Eun-seo
By Carla Sunwoo Korea JoongAng Daily

Choi Jin-hyuk and Son Eun-seo

Actor Choi Jin-hyuk, 27, directly confirmed rumors of dating with actress Son Eun-seo, 25.
On the evening of June 21 Choi gave his official position on his Twitter, saying, I was so busy filming that I didnt have the time to write until now.

Commenting on the scandal reported the day before, Choi showed his affection for his girlfriend saying, We are dating, as many of you have already heard in the reports. It somehow became that the scandal came first and our explanation second, but Son and I truly care for one another, and Im happy every single day I spend with her.

He also said, I was so thankful for all the congratulatory messages that I got from many. Im really sorry that I couldnt tell my fans earlier, he apologized to his fans.

Apparently, Choi and Son first met in My Daughter the Flower, an SBS drama that aired until May, and continued dating even after the drama. Recently, they were spotted on Garosugil, a glitzy strip of shops and restaurants in Sinsa-dong, southern Seoul, while on a date.

Choi made his debut in 2006 and became popular for his performance in dramas Pasta (2010) and I Need Romance (2011), and Son was made famous by her acting roles in dramas The Princess Returns (2009), Flames of Ambition (2010) and Spy Myung-wol (2011) and movies Humming (2007) and Girls High School Horror 2 (1999).

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 Author| Post time 21-6-2012 09:21 PM | Show all posts
June 21, 2012

The Wanted raves about 2NE1
By Carla Sunwoo Korea JoongAng Daily

K-pop has claimed another smitten follower in British boy band member Jay McGuiness from the British-Irish band The Wanted.

The 21-year-old musician from Nottingham raved about 2NE1s new video I Am The Best, which was left by a follower on his Twitter page.

Hell yeah! CL- Bad ass, Minzy - Sexy, Dara - Cute and Bom C Gorgeous... 2NE1 C Talented, McGuiness tweeted.

The posting was made on May 31, and since then, McGuiness has also been spotted wearing a 2NE1 shirt out and about.

The Wanted consists of Max George, Siva Kaneswaran, Jay McGuiness, Tom Parker and Nathan Sykes.

The groups debut single All Time Low was released in July 2010 and reached No. 1 in the U.K., a position it claimed for a week

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 Author| Post time 21-6-2012 09:25 PM | Show all posts
June 21, 2012

SHINee meets with dying NY girl
By Carla Sunwoo Korea JoongAng Daily

SHINee and American fan

SHINee made a special wish come true Wednesday by meeting with a terminally ill American fan. The boy band known for hits like Sherlock and Ring Ding Dong met 15-year-old Donica Sterling, who came from New York to meet her favorite K-pop groups.

The special fan meet took place at SM Entertainment headquarters in Cheongdam-dong, southern Seoul.

On Sunday, Sterling also caught up with her other favorite boy band, Super Junior, on the set of its new music video in Namyang, Gyeonggi.

Sterling is unable to use her legs and is losing hearing. Her illness was not identified. She said she keeps her spirits up by watching Hallyu dramas and K-pop videos.

Herbert Black, president of American Iron & Metal, sponsored Sterlings trip. She will stay in the country for two weeks visiting disability rehabilitation centers, meeting celebrities and attending K-pop related shows such as the 2012 K-pop Star Entertain Art Show, which is an art exhibition taking place at Kintex in Ilsan, Gyeonggi, from June 23 to Aug. 19.

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 Author| Post time 21-6-2012 09:31 PM | Show all posts
June 21, 2012

Director says 'Concubine' sex scenes are complicated
By Jung Hyun-mok Korea JoongAng Daily

Director Kim Dae-seung By Kwon Hyuk-jae

Erotic period film The Concubine is heating up the big screen this summer, beating out Hollywood blockbusters including director Ridley Scotts new sci-fi film Prometheus as well as Men in Black 3 in local cinemas. The film, which opened here on June 6, has attracted over 1.8 million people as of the end of last week.

The R-rated films strength lies in its risque portrayal of sexuality in an otherwise sexually repressive period in Korean history. Centering around the character Hwa-yeon (Cho Yeo-jeong), the daughter of an aristocrat who enters the royal palace as one of the kings concubines, the film features a steamy love triangle involving her, Prince Seong-won (Kim Dong-wook) and a commoner, Kwon-yu (Kim Min-jun). Director Kim Dae-seung who started his film career as the protege of director Im Kwon-taek, has gained critical acclaim for his feature films including Bungee Jumping of Their Own (2000) and Blood Rain (2005). Kim talked to the JoongAng Ilbo about his newest film, The Concubine.

Q. In the film, Hwa-yeon in a way starts turning into the queen, whom she loathes. Why?

A. Hwa-yeon and the queen mirror each other. The queen is Hwa-yeons future and Hwa-yeon is the queens past. Its a vicious cycle of lust and greed. Even the beautiful maternal love of these women turns to greed, which is only getting worse at this stage, in this highly competitive society.

Parents put their children in private institutes to study, that endless routine, saying that they are doing it for their sake. But that act also reflects the parents own desires. The aim of this film was to look at the mother and son relationship between the prince and the queen, and reflect on such relationships in our own society.

There are those who say that The Concubine feels like a remake of the 1968 film Naesi by director Shin Sang-ok.

Hwang Gi-seung [film director and producer] actually approached me and asked if I wanted to take part in a remake of Naesi. The film tells the story of a woman who enters the palace and the man who loves her and follows her into the palace to become a naesi [a Korean eunuch who is an official to the king]. I didnt think that this particular story would translate well for modern day people. However, I thought that the palace itself, as a unit holding various greedy intentions of the people inside, was an interesting place, so I made the film with the palace as a background.

A still image from the new film The Concubine starring Cho Yeo-jeong, right Provided by Lotte Entertainment

There was a lot of hype before the film began with people talking about how erotic the film was. Do you think this helped ticket sales?

I didnt think that kind of buzz was ideal, but in a way I enjoyed it quietly because that meant there was at least interest in the film.

There is a sex scene that reflects the power struggle of the characters and the camera was quite close to the action.

In the latter part of the film, when the prince and Hwa-yeon have sex, the scene seems to symbolize the shift in power between the two.

Yes. The prince, who loves Hwa-yeon more than she loves him, is the weak one in the relationship. In turn, Hwa-yeon becomes more strong-willed, revealing her utter devotion to her son and that she can sacrifice anyone for him. All the sex scenes in the film are a jumble of power and lust and not even a moment of it can be beautiful as a result.

I think the film also benefited from the quality acting.

At first, I didnt even dream Cho Yeo-jeong would agree to play the part because she had already done a similar, physically revealing role in the film The Servant (2010). But she said yes to the part saying she just wants to do her best acting in the film. This films positive public reception is all due to Cho Yeo-jeong.

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