[Update: as of midnight Sunday night, Han Ye Seul was still a no-show for the entire day’s filming, and representatives from both sides have been in a closed door meeting that ended with no agreement. Tomorrow’s episode may be replaced with something else in the worst case scenario that filming can’t resume on Monday morning.]
This is not good. In fact, the behind-the-scenes insanity with Spy Myung Wol (already pretty crazy with the writer additions) just went from bad to Defcon 5 level production crises emergency. Once the media is actually being informed via public announcements about issues going on that normally only come out via whispered rumors, you know shit is bad. On August 14th, lead actress Han Ye Seul missed a 7:30 a.m. filming call, leaving the entire cast and crew waiting for her until 11 a.m. and still unable to commence filming. Because, you know, she is the main character and needed for pretty much every scene. Apparently only 40% of the broadcast footage has been shot for the upcoming two episodes and a representative for KBS stated that they might not have enough to air on Monday.
What makes this story even more salacious is that earlier on August 12th, Han Ye Seul also didn’t show up for a filming call scheduled for 6:30 a.m., instead showing up 9 hours later at 3:30 p.m. What tha? SMW has been confirmed to be an 18 episode drama so a public spat between Sidus HQ (Han Ye Seul’s agency) and KBS really throws this already beleaguered production into even more of a mess. And if anyone claims the added two episodes is not to give it’s follow-up drama Poseidon more time to film then I will eat my shorts, and your shorts, too, because the ratings for SMW are so low it would never merit an episode length longer than the standard 16 eps for rom-coms.
I honestly feel bad for the entire cast and crew, Han Ye Seul included, because SMW is clearly turning out to be not what they signed up for. Sidus HQ released a statement that she was sick (but obviously didn’t bother to call the production since KBS professed not to know why she didn’t show up), and since the filming for the previous day went until 5 a.m., clearly she would not be able to make a 7:30 a.m. filming call (but the other cast and crew which filmed until 5 a.m. as well somehow could make it). See, doesn’t that explain it all?
Apparently Sidus HQ and KBS has been in a stand-off for days now over the production being unable (or unwilling) to accommodate Han Ye Seul’s schedule for other engagements during the filming of SMW. Rumor has it Han Ye Seul did in fact inform the PD she was NOT showing up the first time she didn’t show up on the 12th. Which doesn’t make it any better, but at least she was upfront about it. Sigh. Could it get any messier? We have 8 episodes left to see. But I reckon the cast and crew will likely be very pissed with Han Ye Seul, regardless of her reasons, because this impacts them as well. Which makes me worried about the upcoming plot and chemistry between the leads.
My thoughts? I dunno. I think Sidus HQ is playing hardball, leaving Han Ye Seul looking mighty unprofessional, and leaving every other cast and crew member of SMW screwed by conflicts unrelated to them. As for Han Ye Seul’s other engagements? When she accepted the drama, she should expect the normal (insane) Korean drama production schedule. I’m not sure where it was stipulated the production would accommodate her other engagements, when everyone else pulls all nighters and lives and breathes the drama for 8-10 weeks straight. Nevertheless, I hope this issue is resolved because there are four more weeks of filming left.
[Credit: Nate news]