Actress Lee Young-ae has appeared on a major Fuji TV program on Monday. The top Korean star was invited to SMAP x SMAP Bistro, a segment of SMAP x SMAP hosted by Japan’s famous five-man band SMAP, who cook two dishes for invited guests. The popular program has aired for over 10 years.
Lee talked about how she became an actress and came to appear in the hit drama “Daeganggeum (Jewel in the Palace).” When asked to name her favorite food, she answered, “There is no food I don’t like, but today I feel like eating Japanese food that matches my image.”
“It was a struggle with time, weather and lines, and the most difficult part was that I had to learn cooking and acupuncture,” Lee said frankly about the difficulties she had when shooting the drama. “Since we had to shoot on such a tight schedule, at night I would often have dreams about being on set.”
She talked with Tsuyoshi Kusanagi in Korean. Takuya Kimura flattered her by saying that she has beautiful eyes that no Japanese have. Shingo Katori dressed as Ganggeum, the leading character Lee played, and sang and read some lines from the drama. Goro Inagaki asked her about films she appeared in.
SMAP x SMAP is so popular in Japan that stars feel honored just to be invited to the program. World-famous stars such as Madonna, David Beckham and Jackie Chan always appear on it every time they visit the island country. Even former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi and current prime minister Shinzo Abe have also made appearances. Korean stars who have been invited include BoA, Jang Dong-gun, Choi Ji-woo, Ahn Jung-hwan, and Kwon Sang-woo.
“Daeganggeum” is being aired on NHK and is recording the second highest viewing rate among Korean dramas since “Winter Sonata.”
credit: KBS Global