In the special episode of “The Red Sleeve” which aired this past January 31st lead actors Lee Junho and Lee Se-young Among others had many behind-the-scenes anecdotes of note about the historical drama, which deals with the reign of Yi San and his relationship with the concubine Seong Ui-bin. Lee Deok-hwa, who played King Yeongjo, joked about his age. He noted that despite his fifty years of work he looks more like a fisherman than an actor.
Lee Deok-hwa did clarify that, to be fair, he had been a fisherman for sixty years rather than just fifty. Lee Deok-hwa noted that he’d never played a king before, and seemed to think that King Yeongjo was an all right guy going by his performance. Lee Deok-hwa also praised the passion and sincerity of his younger co-stars Lee Junho and Lee Se-youngsaying that he could feel their raw energy in all their scenes together.
Lee Junho and Lee Se-young had more dietary comments to note. Lee Junho said that ever since January of 2021 he had subsisted on chicken breast meat to try and have the proper physique for his role. Because of this strict diet, Lee Junho could not eat with other actors and had to eat alone in his car. For the bathing scene in particular, Lee Junho abstained from liquids the entire day ahead of time to get the right look.
Lee Se-young also mentioned less extreme weight management measures. To look younger for the initial eighteen year old version of her character, Lee Se-young gained three to four kilograms. But during production she lost ten, and has gained another seven to eight since leaving it. Lee Se-young also described herself as crying when reading the original book on which “The Red Sleeve” is based, and described herself as tearful watching these scenes on screen as well.
Written by William Schwartz
“The Red Sleeve” is directed by Jeong Ji-in, Song Yeon-hwawritten by Jeong Hae-riand features Lee Junho, Lee Se-young, Kang Hoon, Lee Deok-hwa, Jang Hee-jin, Kang Mal-geum. Broadcasting information in Korea: 2021/11/12~2022/01/01, Fri, Sat 21:50 on MBC.
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema’s travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea’s public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via email@example.com. He also has a substack at williamschwartz.substack.com where he discusses the South Korean film industry in broader terms and takes suggestions for future movies to review.
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