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Title A delightful banquet among the stars begins soon in “East of Eden!”
Upate 2008-08-12 17:08
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A delightful banquet among the stars begins soon in “East of Eden!” Premieres on August 25, 2008 (Mon)

The star-studded cast of “East of Eden,” a new MBC TV miniseries special (writer: Na Yeon-sook, co-directors: Kim Jin-man, Choi Byung-kil) came together to shoot a promotional poster for a new TV show.

Starting from 12 pm on July 28th, the photo shoot took place at the MBC Ilsan Dream Center and lasted for nine grueling hours. The leading cast members including Song Seung-heon, Yeon Jung-hoon, Lee Da-hae, Han Ji-hye, Park Hae-jin, Lee Yeon-hee, Lee Mi-sook, Yoo Dong-geun, and Cho Min-ki struck different poses for the camera.

Song Seung-heon was the first star to appear at the studio. “East of Eden” will be his first show for MBC in 10 years after last appearing on the MBC sitcom, Three Men, Three Women” in 1997. “It feels like a homecoming visit,” he said with a smile.

“”East of Eden” is a period drama that is set in the backdrop of a coal mining town through the 1960s until present time. After the final shoot of the drama, the coal mining town of Taebaek will be shuttered down. It’ll be a TV miniseries featuring many cinematic shots unlike other shows,” Song Seung-heon said with pride. Song Seung-heon told us that he prepared a lot for his role as Dong-chul and during the shoot, he constantly monitoring the viewfinder of the camera after the photographer took each shot.

Dong-chul, the character that Song Seung-heon plays, witnesses the death of his father at a young age and later finds out that it was a premeditated murder, which compels him to get revenge. He becomes the right-hand man of a casino mogul to execute his plan for revenge. Song splashed water on himself to create the image of a downtrodden character who suffers physically and mentally from his circumstances. The cuts on his face, which were done by makeup artists, give him a meaner and tougher look. The tough image of his character makes him look like a wild stallion but Song Seung-heon responds to this by saying, “My previous image used to be a button—upped guy but this time, I play a violent character with a lot of rough edges. The director has shot amazing scenes that are like masterpieces. I hope viewers will support me. I’m working hard on the set in a tense atmosphere.”

Meanwhile, Yeon Jung-hoon cut a sleek figure while wearing a black suit. “I’m portraying a prosecutor and so I’m trying to contrast my character from the one that Song Seung-heon plays” Yeon Jung-hoon says. He really does look like an intellectual prosecutor. But playing a three-dimensional character that can be both moral and evil is a challenge that Yeon Jung-hoon seems to be up to as he gets into character with a laser-like focus.

“It gets really hot while wearing a winter suit in the summer. I envy Seung-heon because he only has to wear an undershirt during the photo shoot,” he said half-jokingly. “I think we’ll make a hit drama with such a great cast,” he revealed.

Cast members began appearing at the studio as time passed by and they tried hard to get into character while withstanding the searing heat. Braving the heat, actresses Han Ji-hye and Lee Da-hae kept saying, “It’s hot” during the shoot. While wiping off beads of sweat, the actors struck different poses for the photo shoot and monitored the viewfinder to make little improvements in their postures.

Individual and group photos were taken during the photo shoot for nine hours. Song Seung-heon mentioned earlier that “Since there are so many top actors and actresses here, I feel like I need to step up my game.” This sentiment seemed to have spread among the other cast members as everyone used more than their allotted time for their individual shoots to get a better shot.

As a TV miniseries special that commemorates the 47th anniversary of MBC, “East of Eden” is a story about the crossed fates of two families caused by a criminal act committed by one person. The first episode will premiere on August 25th at 9:55 pm.