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Jumong actor thrills Iranian fans


Photos by Majid Asgaripur, Mehr

TEHRAN, Aug. 19 (Mehr News Agency) -- South Korean actor Song Il-Guk of the TV series "Jumong" is amazingly here in Tehran having been invited by LG Electronics Group, and he attended a press conference on Tuesday.

South Korean actor Song Il-Guk waves to Iranian photojournalists during a photocall prior to attending a press conference at the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) International Conference Hall in Tehran on August 18, 2009.

The actor was enthusiastically greeted by hundreds of reporters and fans and took part in a conference held at the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) International Conference Hall.

He first expressed his gratitude to the LG Group for their invitation and for providing the facilities for him to travel to Iran and said, "I thank the people of Iran a hundred times for their warm welcome here and at the airport".

"Iran was a strange country for me before I made the trip and I only knew a bit about it from historical books. I was not aware that the TV series was so popular in Iran. I had heard that I have a lot of fans here in Iran and I am thankful for that. I hope I can also introduce the culture of Korea well."

Jumong is currently being aired on Iran's TV channel 3 and is a great hit with Iranian viewers.

Produced in 2006, the series is directed by Kim Geun-hong and Lee Ju-hwan. Song Il-Guk plays the role of Jumong, Kim Seung-su plays Prince Tae-so, and Han Hye-jin plays lady So-suh-no.

The Jumong series portrays the life of Jumong Taewang (founder of the kingdom of Goguryeo). As few details about Jumong exist in historical records, much artistic license has been taken in the production of the venture. Many of the original myths surrounding Jumong have been replaced with more down-to-earth storylines.

Asked about Iranian movies, the actor said that he has only watched "Children of Heaven" (Majid Majidi) and that he liked it a lot, "when I watched this film I realized that Iranian and Korean cultures are very similar."

On being asked if he would like to act in an Iranian movie, he replied, "If I receive a proposal to play in an Iranian TV series, I would first review the text and then decide. I have heard that Iranian films are good and enter Korean film festivals every year."

He later gave his views on Iran, remarking that Iran is a beautiful country with many attractions and that its people are very kind.

One reporter asked him which scenes had been most memorable, and he answered, "The series was produced three years ago and I can't recall much. However I do remember a scene in which I had to drown in mud, even my ears were filled with mud, and I remember that afterwards I couldn't eat food for a week. Also, I found the last scene of the series very attractive and it made me cry."

The actor denied that he is married to lady So-suh-no (Han Hye-jin), adding that he is married, but not to lady So-suh-no!

Asked which international filmmakers he prefers to cooperate with, he said that he holds all actors and filmmakers in respect and that he is not able to choose one in particular.

He also mentioned that he would like to hear his voice dubbed in Persian, saying, "When the series was aired in China, a friend called me and said my voice dubbed in Chinese was very funny and this made me sad for a few days."

The conference continued with the question being asked whether he knows that there is a street in Seoul named Tehran, and he replied that he knows good relationships exist between Iran and South Korea and that there is one street in Tehran named Seoul.

He also mentioned that he has heard that the Jumong TV series has helped reduce traffic jams in Tehran during the time it is broadcast in the evenings, "The same was true in Korea. And ladies liked it because their husbands used to come home early."

Finally, at the end of the program it was announced that a documentary on the arrival of Song Il Guk and his stay in Iran will later be produced for interested fans.

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