Why Was Kim Soo Hyun’s Cousin Listed as Production Advisor in ‘Queen of Tears’?

kim soo hyun cousin
kim soo hyun cousin
Credit: Getty Image Korea, iMBC

Viewers of tvN’s weekend drama Queen of Tears might recognize a familiar name in the opening credits: “Production Advisor Lee Love.” Lee Love, also known by the names Lee Sarang or Lee Jaehyun, serves as the Chief Creative Officer of Gold Medalist, the agency representing Kim Soo HyunLee Love made his directorial debut with the 2017 film Real, starring Kim Soo Hyun, under the stage name Lee Sarang. Naturally, this leads us to wonder what kind of production advice he offered for Queen of Tears.

Gold Medalist has co-produced multiple Kim Soo Hyun dramas, such as the 2020 tvN drama It’s Okay to Not Be Okay and the 2021 Coupang play drama One Ordinary Day. However, unlike previous projects, Gold Medalist did not co-produce Queen of Tears, with Lee Love only serving as a production advisor. Additionally, reports suggest that Kim Soo Hyun has lowered his per-episode fee from 800 million won to 300 million won for Queen of Tears. This suggests that Kim Soo Hyun did not make any unreasonable demands regarding his appearance fee, especially considering that this is his third project working with writer Park Ji Eun after My Love from the Star and The Producers.

Queen of Tears reportedly had a production budget of 40 billion won and was co-produced by Studio Dragon, Culture Depot and Showrunners. Culture Depot is the agency of writer Park, and Showrunners is a production company founded by TV producer Jang Young Woo. One source said, “Three companies are already listed as producers for the drama. If Kim Soo Hyun’s agency had also joined, it might have been harder to make money from the project.”

Lee Love received harsh criticism for his directorial debut, Real. The film drew only 470,000 viewers and is considered the biggest “flop” in Kim Soo Hyun’s filmography. While Lee Love is publicly known as Kim Soo Hyun’s cousin, words within the industry suggest they might actually be half-brothers. As a result, some fans weren’t happy about Kim Soo Hyun working with Lee Love again, especially after Kim started his own agency. However, this time, Lee Love has taken a step back and only served as a production advisor.

Gold Medalist clarified that they didn’t take the production advisor role for Queen of Tears because they couldn’t be listed as a co-producer. They explained, “We offered ideas throughout production to help make the drama a success, and the production company decided to list Lee Love as a production advisor.”

>> Kim Soo Hyun and Kim Ji Won Discuss Their ‘Queen of Tears’ Chemistry: On-Screen Sparks Fly

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