|SBS series "Red Sky' ended with its highest viewership rating at 10.4 percent, Tuesday. Courtesy of SBS|
By Lee Gyu-lee
Actress Kim Yoo-jung, who starred in the 2016 hit period romance series, "Love in the Moonlight," has led yet another period series to success with SBS's fantasy period series, "Red Sky."
The fantasy series, starring actors Kim, Ahn Hyo-seop and Gong Myung as the leads, ended its 16-part run, Tuesday, scoring its highest viewership rating of 10.4 percent.
"We started working on this series from the cold winter through the spring to the hot summer. And the series has wrapped up with the perfect timing of the fall season," the actress said through her agency, Awesome Ent.
"The memories of all seasons I spent with the series will stay with me for a long time. Like ink soaking into paper, I hope this series made an impression on viewers and hope it stays with them."
Based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Jung Eun-gwol, who wrote the original novels for the smash-hit TV series, "Sungkyunkwan Scandal" and "Moon Embracing the Sun," the series follows genius painter Hong Cheon-ki (Kim).
Despite conservative social norms disregarding women's abilities, she makes it into a prestigious painting institute, the Korean Royal Academy of Painting, as the first female painter to enter the academy.
She falls in love with a blind man, Ha Ram (Ahn), an astronomer who works at a royal unit. However, their romance takes a rocky road as the two get caught up in the machinations of the royal court, involving the free-spirited Prince Yang Myung (Gong) and the cruel, ambitious Prince Joo Hyang (Kwak Shi-yang).
The series is directed by the star director Jang Tae-yoo, who led the hit series, "My Love from the Star," "Deep Rooted Tree" and "Painter of the Wind."
Actor Gong expressed that taking part in this series, working with director Jang, was a worthy challenge for him.
"I grew up watching director Jang's period series, and to be able to work with him was such a huge reward," he said through his agency, Saram Entertainment. "To be able to portray such a multi-layered character was a challenge for me."
He added that his character allowed him to appreciate acting more deeply.
"This character taught me the joy of acting. Yang Myung seems to be lighthearted, but he is a lonely person inside," he said. "And as the story continues, he starts to bring out his charismatic side, of which I enjoyed his development."
Adding that he feels bittersweet about the end of the series, he thanked the series' viewers.
"I want to express my gratitude towards everyone who has watched and supported the series," he said. "I always have mixed feelings of regret and relief whenever I finish a project. But I hope to take those feelings to improve my acting in the future."