Jang Nara, Shin Sung-rok, Choi Jin-hyuk
More casting news has been announced for SBS’s upcoming An Empress’s Dignity, which last month floated Sung Yuri as a possibilityfor one of the lead roles. Turns out Sung Yuri is out of the running for the project, but Jang Nara (Go Back Spouses) is now a contender for the leading role, although this isn’t a case where they were up for the same character.
An Empress’s Dignity is set in an alternate reality where South Korea is currently a constitutional monarchy. A bright and vivacious musical actress becomes an overnight Cinderella when she marries into the imperial family, and finds herself fighting against those in power in the palace. When the dowager empress is murdered, it sets off events that threaten the monarchy itself, and all the while, our heroine struggles to find true happiness and love.
Jang Nara is up to play the main character, the lively (and aptly named) musical actress Oh Sunny. She’d wanted to be a musical actress for the rest of her life, but never made it out of the nameless understudy stage, until one day she suddenly becomes the nation’s Cinderella. Sung Yuri had initially been offered the role of a legal representative to the monarchy, but she has since declined the project.
Shin Sung-rok (Return) has confirmed signing on to play the charismatic emperor Lee Hyuk, who is respected by the citizens for revitalizing the country’s economy. His pleasant outer appearance and eloquence belie an uglier underbelly, and his insides are “decayed with corruption,” which of course they are because you don’t cast Shin Sung-rok and notgive him an ugly underbelly, which he will then make delicious. It’s just the rules of dramaland. I guess he has a romantic side, though, because he’s unable to forget the dead empress and misses her, despite his roving eye for women.
Choi Jin-hyuk (Tunnel) is in the mix to play a mysterious character who stands in the center of all the tumult and conflict. While his reps confirmed that he had been offered the drama, he has not yet made any decisions on it, although we’ll be able to see him soon when his upcoming drama Devilish Joy premieres next month.
Writing An Empress’s Dignity is Kim Soon-ok, who has proven herself a successful writer in the weekend-family-drama and the long-running-daily-drama space with shows like Jang Bori Is Here, My Daughter Geum Sa-wol, and Wife’s Temptation. Directing is PD Joo Dong-min of Return.
The series is planning to premiere as a Wednesday-Thursday series on SBS beginning in November.