U-KISS member Eli was in Shanghai earlier this month to attend the press conference for China’s Full House (浪漫满屋) actress auditions.
Korean idol Eli was cast in the Chinese version of Full House back in October. It was then announced that his female co-star will be selected from auditions throughout China.
At the Shanghai press conference, Eli interacted with the selected top 10 finalists from the auditions, praising each of them individually for their unique characteristics.
The original 2004 Korean drama Full House helped launch the careers for the show’s two main leads: Song Hyekyo and Rain. The show has since been recognized as one of the most successful Korean dramas associated with the Hallyu wave. The drama’s Chinese remake will be its sixth remake after similar productions in the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, and Indonesia.
When asked if he feels any pressure to take on such a successful role originally filled by superstar Rain, Eli responded that he feels both pressured and empowered by the high expectations. He respects Rain a lot, and wouldn’t mind at all if audiences compared him with the Asian superstar, but he will work hard in bringing an “Eli style” to the male role.
Though the U-KISS member was born in the United States, Eli has a basic foundation of the Chinese language as he previously lived alone in Beijing for several years, studying various martial arts techniques. Eli’s understanding in Chinese is one of many reasons why he was cast in the TV show.
The Shanghai press conference earlier this month was attended by numerous industry professionals, including: Executive producer Chen Weiming, executive director Fu Huayang, director Lee Mincheol, NH Media CEO Kim Namhee, Community University of China professor Zhao Ningyu, Beijing Central Academy of Drama professor Wang Jianchun, and Shanghai Theatre Academy professor Hong Bin.
This list of notable guests shows the high importance production companies Korea’s Group 8 and China’s Asia Media Holding have assigned to this upcoming Chinese TV drama.
For the show’s actress auditions, event organizers received over 210,000 registrations with over 1.7 million netizens following the overall audition process.
Reporters at the event asked the U-KISS member about his expectations for his female co-star. Eli laughingly replied that he had actually brought his personal criteria to the Shanghai event. He said that the actress must be cute, passionate, and kind-hearted.
Eli remarked that he hopes the chosen actress will be cooperative during filming, but also added to say he will work hard in improving his Chinese.
Filming is set to begin later this year, with hopes for a premiere in 2015.