In an exciting announcement, actors Ji Chang Wook and Shin Hye Sun have been confirmed as the lead actors in the upcoming JTBC romantic drama “Welcome to Samdalri” (written by Kwon Hye Joo and directed by Cha Young Hoon). This marks their first collaboration in a JTBC drama.
“Welcome to Samdalri” tells the story of Samdal, a dragon who left his hometown and achieved success elsewhere but eventually loses everything and returns to his roots, seeking solace and rediscovery. The drama portrays the lives of characters who, despite growing up, remain delicate and inexperienced, providing a heartwarming and laughter-inducing viewing experience.
Directed by Cha Young Hoon, renowned for works such as “When the Camellia Blooms” and “Person Who Gives Happiness: Cruel History of Office Romance,” and written by Kwon Hye Joo, known for “Confession Couple” and “Hi Bye, Mama!,” “Welcome to Samdalri” is a highly anticipated collaboration that showcases their talents. Ji Chang Wook and Shin Hye Sun will take on the roles of the main characters.
Ji Chang Wook will portray Jo Yong Pil, a weather forecaster at the Jeju Island Meteorological Agency. Yong Pil is known for being a headstrong individual who challenges the agency’s forecasts and even engages in heated debates with the agency’s director. After losing his mother, who was a haenyeo (Jeju female diver), he nurtured his dream of becoming a forecaster out of genuine love and admiration for Jeju Island, especially for the cherished people of Samdalri, whom he affectionately calls “Samchun” (a Jeju term used to address adults regardless of gender). He continues to passionately fulfill his role as the “stubborn” forecaster at the Meteorological Agency, determined to protect his beloved hometown.
Shin Hye Sun will play the role of Cho Eun Hye, also known as Jo Samdal. Since a young age, Samdal dreamed of leaving the island and succeeded in becoming a renowned fashion photographer under the name Cho Eun Hye. However, her hard-earned success crumbles in an instant due to a particular incident. Eventually, she returns to her homeland, which she still affectionately refers to as Samdalri, where she and Yong Pil, inseparable childhood friends, spent more days together than apart.
Yong Pil and Samdalri, who were always inseparable as childhood companions growing up in Samdalri, inexplicably lost contact with each other for several years. However, with Samdalri’s return to Yong Pil’s cherished hometown, their long-lost affection and love, which silently accumulated over time, are destined to bring warmth and excitement.
The production team warmly welcomed Ji Chang Wook and Shin Hye Sun to JTBC, stating, “We sincerely welcome Ji Chang Wook and Shin Hye Sun, the masters of romantic comedy, as they bring their remarkable performances to the characters of Samdalri and Yong Pil. With their bright and vibrant energy, we have high expectations that these two actors will propel ‘Welcome to Samdalri’ to the pinnacle of success in JTBC dramas for the year 2023.”
They added, “‘Welcome to Samdalri’ is a drama that encapsulates the unique talents of director Cha Young Hoon and writer Kwon Hye Joo. In a fast-paced world, this drama invites viewers to reflect on the value of their lost past, the significance of the connections they have encountered, and the importance of healing. We eagerly anticipate welcoming audiences in the second half of this year to experience this compelling production.”
“Welcome to Samdalri” is scheduled to premiere in the second half of 2023.